In early 2018, a significant change to Apple’s App Store review guidelines went into effect: From that point forward, mobile app content owners were required to publish branded event apps under their own Apple Developer Accounts.
Anticipation of the new rule’s enforcement created a surplus of nerves in the event tech (Event Manager Blog cheekily coined the phrase “Appageddon”) and event planning (“Buckle up,” wrote Michelle Bruno in her Fork in the Road blog) industries.
And the changes keep coming. The best way to stay up to date? Bookmark the Review Guidelines page, and ask your event tech provider’s Success Team to keep you posted on any developments that could affect your branded app(s). That being said, here at Attendify we know that event organizers have much bigger fish to fry than staying abreast of fluctuating App Store rules. In fact, an entire component of our team is dedicated to helping clients with branded apps successfully navigate the submission process.
But it all starts with getting an Apple Developer Account. Without one, your branded app will never see the light of day in the App Store, and unfortunately, your event tech vendor can’t apply for one on your behalf. What we can do is make the process easier by supplying the step-by-step guide below. Along the way, you’ll find some comic relief, as well as info on where to get further help if you’re an Attendify customer.
Step 1: Get your organization’s info together
Before you get started with your developer account application, you’re going to want to have a few things handy. Collecting and accessing this information before you begin will make the application process much easier.
(2) popsicle sticks:Sorry! Wrong list.
- An Apple device: Apple requires two factor authentication, so you’ll need to make sure that’s available on your machine. Live in an Android/Windows world? You can find an array of affordable refurbished Apple device options online.
- An Apple ID: This is your account information with Apple. You may already have an ID, but if you need to create a new one you can do so here.
- Your D-U-N-S (Dun & Bradstreet) number: Realtalk…This can take up to two weeks to get— and you can’t apply for a developer account without it—so don’t put it off! This number is the method by which Apple confirms that you’re with the organization you want to represent in the App Store. Use Apple’s look-up tool to see if your organization already has a D-U-N-S number (you’ll need your Apple ID) or if you need to apply for one. If you need to sign up for a new number, they’ll walk you through it. Note: Accredited Educational Organizations and Government Organizations do not need a D-U-N-S number.
- A legal entity status: You must apply for your Apple Developer Account as the legal entity. This means you cannot use a DBA, branch or trade name. There are no exceptions; Apple gives out developer accounts on the entity level only.
- Legal binding authority: The person applying for your developer account must have the authority to engage in legal contract with a company.
- A website: The organization you’re representing in the App Store must have a public website. You’ll need to provide Apple with the URL. Note: Non-Profit Organizations, Accredited Educational Organizations and Government Organizations do not need a public website to apply for an Apple Developer Account.
Step 2: Complete your account application
Now that you’ve got all of your proverbial ducks in a row, you’re ready to breeze through the application process. Here’s how it works:
- Log in: Visit this page, click the “Start Your Enrollment” button at the bottom, and log in to the developer section with your Apple ID.
- Accept the agreement: After logging in, you’ll be prompted to accept the Apple Developer Agreement in order to proceed.
- Select your entity type: Pick the description from the dropdown menu that best fits your organization and select “Continue.” Important note: If you’re publishing an app on behalf of an organization, don’t sign up as an individual. Apple will not allow you to independently publish an event on behalf of an entity.
- Give them your deets: Fill out your organization’s information, agree to the legal requirements and submit payment.
Step 3: Wait
Once you’ve completed the process above, your application will be submitted to the Apple team for approval. Apple typically follows up within two weeks to let you know that your application has been approved and is fully functional. You can check the status of your application at any time here. Make sure you sign in with the Apple ID you used during the enrollment process.
There are basically two potential outcomes at this point:
- Your application is approved: Yay! You
crossed your i’s and dotted your t’sdid it the right way and now you’re ready to build and publish your event app. If you’re using Attendify as your event tech provider, we make it easy to attach relevant details about your Apple Developer Account to your app. Just log in to your Attendify account, and add your developer account details to your dashboard. If you need further assistance, simply reach out to our Support Team via chat on any Attendify webpage or email us.
- Your application is denied: Wah! While not the norm, this does happen for a few reasons, including when you’ve made an error in entering your details, if Apple needs more information from you, or if your organization already has a developer account on file. Need help following up? You can communicate with Apple through the link provided at the start of this section, or ask your Customer Success Manager for advice if you’re an Attendify client.
Let’s face it, you’re not sending off for a free one-way ticket to paradise here, so it’s probably not going to be your favorite task of the week. But if you leave yourself plenty of time, gather the data you need in advance and follow the directions above, you’ll be a member of the Apple Developer Program before you know it. And that paves the way for creating a branded event app that engages, empowers and delights (which is a lot more enjoyable, we promise).
If the thought of navigating the Apple Developer Program gives you a headache, consider an Attendify container app. It’s budget friendly, has a drag-and-drop interface, and doesn’t require a developer account or design skills—you can publish the same day you build! Get your free event app build today.