Is an Event App Worth It?

Having an app for your event not only takes additional funding, but it also can take extra time and labor on the part of the event coordinator.

How can you judge wether the event app undertaking was worth the extra work?

At its Worldwide Convention, McDonald’s sent out a “What’s Hot” message every morning through its mobile app, which provided a preview of the day ahead and replaced the email blasts that were used in the past. The message received about 16,000 views each day.

palaroo notification phone


“The amount of attendees and exhibitors downloading the app in advance of the show and whether or not you saw engagement through crowdsourcing or gaming are just a few of the factors that can determine the R.O.I. of your mobile app. It’s beneficial to do a year-by-year comparison not only to see the click-through rates, but also to do an evaluation on push messages and whether or not they drive more traffic to the event or an exhibitor’s booth. All in all, if you find that your attendees are engaging in the app, they’re more likely to have a memorable and positive experience at your show.”
—Jaime Rosov, marketing director, Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM)


“If you care about long-term engagement, are people still using it a week after the event is over? A month? A year? Or did the engagement just end when the event ended? What percentage of your audience built a personal agenda in advance or synced the calendar with their Outlook or real calendar? How many private messages were sent? How many people used the private messaging feature at least once? How many private meetings were scheduled? How many people scheduled at least one private meeting with the app? Also, while it’s a bit counterintuitive, I believe that if you look around your event, and everybody has their phones out looking at your app, you’re doing it wrong. A well-designed app helps them figure out how and when to get where they need to be. It helps them find and meet valuable connections, and it helps them build relationships, but it does so quickly and unobtrusively. It should present the right information at the right time, and then get out of the way. If people are checking in and paging through status updates, they’re not talking to each other, and they’re not learning.”
—Jordan Schwartz, C.E.O., Pathable


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