7 Ways to Create Immersive Mobile Event App Experiences
April 20, 2023
Mobile apps have transformed events in so many ways. In the early days, these tools were simply a digital version of the event agenda. Today, they’re a must-have touching every corner of your event.
This article highlights seven ways to create immersive mobile event and conference app experiences that level-up attendee engagement, networking, learning, and event ROI.
What are mobile apps for events and conferences?
Mobile event apps are software downloaded from an app store and installed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. They provide up-to-the-date information. Event apps also power registration, communications, lead retrieval, engagement, reporting, and more to enhance the experience for all participants.
What features should you include in your app?
While event planning apps offer wide-ranging capabilities to support different goals, they must have these core features below:
- Integration, linking both ways with your event management software (EMS).
- Engagement to drive interactions, from social media to Q&A’s, voting, messaging, ratings, photo sharing, surveys, gamification, and more.
- Personalization, empowering attendees to customize their experience, including the agenda, content, meetings, and more.
- Analytics and reporting to help you measure success, and gain customer insights that improve events in real-time and in the future.
How do you leverage mobile apps during online events?
Planners say keeping attendees engaged is a top challenge for virtual events. But online events don’t have to lack engagement.
While leading virtual event platforms encourage interaction, mobile apps can deepen that experience. Optimize online events with mobile solutions that mimic the onsite experience. You’ll enrich events using conference apps for attendees that offer these features below:
- Push notifications keep attendees engaged and informed. For instance, send reminders such as when the virtual event resumes after a break or share highlights of the upcoming keynote.
- Messaging and one-on-one matchmaking facilitate networking. The app serves as the linchpin connecting online and onsite attendees for unified hybrid events.
- Polls and Q&A provide a convenient way to get feedback on everything from sessions to the overall event. With apps in hand, attendees can provide feedback as soon as a session ends.
Why are event apps getting so much attention?
Events historically take the largest slice of the annual B2B marketing budget. Yet many marketers say they can’t measure the return on this investment.
In a challenging economy, finance departments want to see proven ROI backed by data, like they get from digital marketing campaigns.
Enter the event management app with robust analytic capabilities. Having an app in each attendee’s hand provides a window into real-time performance. Use this tool to demonstrate event value and justify spend (see more about this in Tactic #7 below).
How do mobile event and conference apps enhance the attendee experience?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at how the best event planning apps help you create immersive experiences. Take advantage of the following seven tactics to delight online and onsite attendees.
1. Elevate arrivals.
Event check-in apps help cut registration time from minutes to seconds.
Using Stova’s Fast Pass technology, for example, the attendee steps up to a self-serve kiosk, scans a unique QR code in the event app, and prints a badge for safe, contactless check-in.
Amp up immersion:
- Let artificial intelligence enhance the process. Send attendees in-app, personalized recommendations for sessions, exhibitors, and networking opportunities right at check-in.
- When attendees fill out their registration forms, invite them to choose a destination adventure. Rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains, for example. Event check-in apps and kiosks can work together, treating attendees to stunning videos of their favorite adventures.
2. Keep everyone in the know.
One of the main reasons to download an event app is to stay informed – which is why push notifications play a crucial role.
Segment your lists to reach the right people at the right time with targeted information. Then keep everyone up to date with in-app alerts for session reminders, agenda changes, and other vital info.
Amp up immersion:
- Link polls, contests, surveys, and more in push notifications to level up engagement with a tap on the screen.
- Add proximity-based networking to onsite events. Here’s how it works: Picture an attendee walking by a meeting room where some of her top prospects are gathering. But she doesn’t know they are there.
Proximity-based recommendations help ensure she doesn’t miss this chance to connect. The technology sends automatic, in-app alerts about nearby opportunities to help attendees maximize their time at events.
3. Let AI connect eventgoers.
AI takes event networking to the next level, similar to the way social networks recommend new connections with shared interests.
For instance, match investors with startups based on the goals or industries they enter on registration forms. At large events, in-app AI matchmaking helps ensure no one gets lost in the crowd.
Amp up immersion:
- Increase personalization with machine learning. Event tracker apps analyze clicks, check-ins, ratings, profile views, and more to determine where attendees are. Powered by machine learning, the technology makes intelligent predictions about where they want to go next.
- Machine learning recommendations reflect people’s tastes as they evolve. Surprise attendees with insightful suggestions for sessions, connections, and experiential activations they likely wouldn’t have found on their own.
4. Build community with attendee messaging.
Live chat solutions help you get feedback, bring remote and in-person attendees together, build community, and more.
Amp up immersion:
- Empower attendees to arrange meet-ups using an event networking app enhanced with AI matchmaking, attendee profiles, calendaring tools, and an intuitive messaging system.
- Event networking apps are great for posting on social walls and participating in contests, polls, and Q&A sessions with industry experts. Also leverage the app’s matchmaking function to help attendees expand their professional networks.
- Engage attendees with chat groups catering to specific interests and activities as well. You can automate niche content and notifications to enhance networking and promote immersive activities and content.
5. Add to the fun with advanced gamification.
Event gamification, often deployed through a mobile app, is a great way to pump up the fun. Attendees participate in challenges, earn points and leaderboard shout-outs, and win coveted rewards.
Amp up immersion:
- This technology isn’t all fun and games. Treat attendees to immersive experiences that also support your event goals.
- Let’s say the purpose of your event is to drive attendee engagement. Stova’s bespoke “2 Truths & 1 Lie” gamification feature plays off the popular icebreaker game. This tool has helped corporate event profs boost engagement and drive event app adoption to record highs.
- Have a goal to increase exhibitor satisfaction? Award points for participation in scavenger hunts around the exhibition hall. Or support education objectives by rewarding attendees for completing quick quizzes about your company’s new products.
6. Level-up engagement with augmented reality.
AR uses mobile technology to overlay digital content on the real world. These solutions generated buzz in 2016 with the hit game Pokemon Go.
Today, attendees can access AR content through a mobile event and conference app to engage with people and products like never before.
Amp up immersion:
- Imagine a networking event where you overlay the attendee or speaker profile and topics of interest beside each eventgoer. AR acts as the ultimate icebreaker.
- Picture a wine company enabling attendees to point their event app at a wine bottle and get information about the brand’s stellar quality, vineyards, winery, food pairings, and history.
7. Leverage event app data.
Data collection is a critical function of conference apps for attendees.
When eventgoers opt in, the app lets you keep track of your audience throughout the event lifecycle. By capturing the right data points, you can personalize each attendee’s journey. The result is higher engagement that can skyrocket event ROI.
Amp up immersion:
- An event tracker app collects a goldmine of data. Capture data points such as: What session did attendees check into? How long did they stay? What questions did they ask through the event app? What content did they download?
- Set clear event goals and tie each to a specific success metric. The best event management apps integrate multiple data sets. You’ll get a dashboard report that offers deep customer insights and quantifies event ROI.
- Analytics also enhance attendee profiles with valuable clues about their preferences and place in the buyer’s journey. Make the most of these insights to boost personalization and attendee satisfaction.
In short: Immersive event app experiences lift attendee networking, engagement, learning, and event ROI. Book a free demo today to find out what Stova’s revolutionary mobile event and conference apps can do for your organization! If you’re looking for more information about Mobile Event Apps, download our guide: The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Event Apps.
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