Choosing the Right Event App

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As an event planner, you know that a key part of putting together a great event is choosing the right mobile event app, but there are so many different apps on the market that it can be hard to know where to start.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you research mobile event apps.

It’s the features, but it isn’t only the features.
As you explore different event apps, not only is it important to ask, “Does it have great features?” but it is equally vital to ask, “Do these features help me to accomplish my goals?” and “How are these features integrated together?”

Most mobile event apps on the market will have the same basic assortment of features including maps, schedules, session descriptions, speaker bios and the like.
What sets the best apps apart are features that make the experience of the conference better for attendees and support your goals for the event. Worthwhile app features should encourage networking, interaction, feedback, and conversation without distracting attendees from the content of the sessions you have planned.

Top-notch features include:

  • Customizable attendee, sponsor, and exhibitor profiles to facilitate networking
  • Surveys and live polling to allow real-time feedback
  • A social wall or newsfeed to help attendees share and connect
  • In-app messaging or chat to build lasting connections

Don’t be fooled. A long laundry list of obscure features doesn’t necessarily mean a better app. Features that are redundant, complicated to set up, or confusing may just end up cluttering the user interface. Better to have a streamlined, intuitive and simple app than opt for the kitchen sink approach.

Make it easy for everybody.
It’s not just top-notch features, but ease of use that separates a mediocre from a great event app. A well-designed app platform shouldn’t require you to understand programming or graphic design to build a custom app. Look for one that is as easy to set up as creating a Facebook profile. Pick an app that is simple to build yourself and lets you edit on the fly. Make sure your app provider can guarantee a quick fulfillment process so that your app appears in the iOS and Android app stores ASAP.

Sponsors and exhibitors want easy, too. They are looking for straightforward ROI and the opportunity to connect with attendees. Choose an app with sponsor and exhibitor profiles that are a snap to set up, allow logo integration and offer real ways for them to connect with attendees. The best apps include a newsfeed or a social wall that allows sponsors to create native ads and be a part of the conversation. A great app will have clear analytics, too, so that sponsors can track attendee engagement and monetization.

Most importantly, you want the event app you choose to be easy for attendees to use. It should offer a real value-add over the traditional conference booklet. Is it intuitive, clear and uncluttered? Easy to read? Make sure a proliferation of features doesn’t unnecessarily complicate the user experience. Give your attendees the chance to be “social” and share the fun they are having at your conference or event by selecting app that offers social media opportunities and integration.

Look for value.
You are working within a budget, so the bottom line matters. Event app developers know this too, but relatively few publish their rates. That means you may have to sit through a “demo” and sales pitch only to discover you can’t afford the app they are selling. Keep in mind that there is an incredibly wide range of pricing in event apps, and just because an app is more expensive doesn’t mean it is better. In fact, very well designed apps can be reasonably priced. So look for value. Your best bets are the apps with straightforward pricing published right on their site. No matter what, do your research and know what you are getting for the rate quoted. You want a balance of helpful features and smooth interface for an affordable price.

The mobile event app marketplace is a crowded space. Clear through the clutter by looking not only at the features an app offers but how they work together to meet your goals. Keep it simple for everyone by choosing an app that is easy to set up, allows sponsors to connect and track attendee engagement, and that everyone at your event will enjoy using. Great and affordable event apps are out there, so look for apps platforms that publish their prices so you can be sure of what you’re paying for. With these ideas in mind, you’re well on your way to choosing the mobile event app that is right for you.

As you narrow down your search, Attendify is a mobile event app platform to consider. An affordable app, Attendify isn’t afraid to publish their features and rates, so you know what you’re getting. Set up is a snap, and you can even create and test run your app before you buy. With quick fulfillment in the iOS and Android app stores, a social wall, top-of-the-line analytics, and native ads in an intuitive interface, Attendify is a first-rate mobile event app worth putting on your short-list.