You want the best event experience for your attendees and of course, there is an app for that! There are actually quite a few apps that can help improve event attendance, communication and punctuality. Here are a couple that we like and why we see them as being helpful.
Sched is a highly versatile event app. Sched can be useful for one-off meetings as well as large conferences and festivals with 100,000 plus attendees. Sched offers a “lightning fast” mobile app, that features your unique company or event brand. Further branding opportunities for sponsors are within the app. Also, this app converts to a website with automatic updates to both. For example, if a keynote speaker changes rooms last minute, simply update your event schedule with a few clicks.
A unique element of Sched is that the app will work even if the WiFi does not. You can do multiple events on the same app throughout the year which makes this a great choice for reoccurring events.
The planning/RSVP side of Sched is its strength. However, the social media and networking capabilities are slow and both are features that the company is working on. You can try Sched for free; they offer an unlimited trial.
Attendify is an app that you build. While building an app may seem a daunting task, their user interface is clear cut and simple. First, you can drag and drop features like schedule, exhibitors, speakers, maps and sponsors. Second, you can also add content. For example, you can upload a detailed conference schedule in Excel. Third, preview your app, take a look around, change and update things that you don’t like. Fourth, submit your app for review. The process takes about one week from start to finish. The app can also be converted into a website with a few simple clicks.
CrowdCompass, by Cvent, is an app that puts content into the hands of the attendee and gives them the tools to network. The communications tools within CrowdCompass are impressive. Attendees can message each other and exchange contact info (which means you can leave that box of business cards at home).
Within the app, attendees can schedule appointments with exhibitors, sponsors, or other attendees before the event even happens. Attendees can also send questions straight to speakers and exhibitors, which eliminates the awkward silence at the beginning of a Q&A. There is also a note-taking feature within the app that the attendee can then share or export to refer to later.
SpotMe focuses on integration during an event and lasting attendee engagement and they do a good job at both. This is the only event app that we have reviewed that works in multiple languages, so if you are planning a global conference, SpotMe might be a good option.
The SpotMe website is very helpful at laying out all of their options into descriptive Modules. They have platform capabilities, live modules, logistics and content modules, networking modules and advance tactics.
SpotMe is great if you are looking for a dynamic app that will encourage attendee engagement longer than just the short-term.
All of these apps put communication tools into the hands of event attendees which does help with attendance and punctuality, but what others features will help reinforce this that are available in the app?
During the event planning process, it’s a good idea to list all of the priority features that you want to see in your event app. For example, maps tend to be very useful, especially at destination conferences or very large conferences. Language is important. Do you have a large number of foreign attendees, making additional language capabilities helpful? Keep these ideas in mind when shopping around.
It's also a good idea to try out each app before committing. During the trial, if you stumble into road blocks or have questions, get in touch with their customer service representative. It’s these folks that you are going to turn to in the event of an issue during your event, and you want to make sure that they are readily available and reliable. Similarly, most apps advertise their clients right on their websites. If you are going to invest heavily in an application, ask for references and take the time to check them out.
For more ideas on supporting attendance and punctuality at your next event, contact us at Strategic Event Design.