Everybody is talking about them. Everybody wants one. But many people struggle with how to choose the right one. We are talking about mobile event apps: an unstoppable hype of the event industry. On 16 May, the Event Manager Blog launched The Event App Bible: an impressive attempt to bring some clarity into the general confusion concerning event apps. The free eBook offers a great overview of the many possibilities out there, however without making an explicit recommendation for the best event app. We like to help you with that selection: we analysed all apps listed in The Event App Bible and chose our personal favourite.
In order to be of value to your event or conference, an event app should ‘mean’ the following to you:
The app should make our event experience more intensive by providing functions that cannot be replaced by non-tech solutions. That means the app should provide functionalities that simplify a user’s ‘event-experiencing-process’.
The app should create additional value by extending the lifetime of the event beyond the boundaries of the physical event. It should stimulate (potential) attendees to engage before and after the event.
- The perfect event appp should benefit everyone involved: participants, sponsors and the event organizer.
What 7 features should my event app have?
Page 23 of the Event App Bible lists a myriad features and functions of event apps. Unfortunately most of them are not necessary or even useless for your event. What should a good event app in our opinion at least be able to do?
1. Easy to sign up and manage Registrations
This is the first step at any event or conference and, if badly organized, it can be messy and time-consuming. An app that let’s you register in a few clicks and helps the organizer to manage the registration process efficiently is very valuable.
2. Create a Personalized agenda
Most conferences offer a full programme. Give your attendees the ability to choose the sessions they are interested in and establish their personal conference agenda. The organizer receives valuable information about which session are going to be popular.
3. Exchange contact details through Badge Scanning
Networking is often at least one of the objectives of a conference or event. Now, what happens with all the collected business cards when you return to the office? A scanning function or another badging feature is useful to exchange networking information super efficiently.
4. Ability to Work offline
Ever been to a conference or event with poor WiFi access? Fill this one in for yourself …
5. Attendee networking & messaging
A good event app should help your visitors to detect other interesting people in the venue and to get in contact with them. It would even get better when it helps your attendees to stay in contact after the event.
6. Audience response system to increase interactivity
An app function that facilitates audience participation during the sessions adds value to your conference. Therefore it should enable attendees to send questions and comments to the stage.
7. Intuitive Design
Chances are big that stakeholders will user your app for the first time. So the learning curve should be smooth and easy. Good design makes an app not only more friendly to the eye but also more fun and easy to use.
Our nomination for the best event app of 2013
If we apply our list of essential functionalities to page 23 of the Event App Bible, only a few apps survive: Connectspan, DoubleDutch, NoodleLive and Spotme. If we then take a look at interface design, Double Dutch comes out as most promising to us. The app possesses all necessary functions which add extra value to an event. The modern interface is user-friendly and stimulates social interaction.
This week you get a chance to ‘test drive’ the app at the Meetings Show UK in London. Choose your operating system and download the #MSUK event app right here.
What do you think?
Which features should a good event app have in your opinion? Do you have experience with event apps? Which one would you recommend?
Please share your experiences with us!