Features attendees want from an event app

What features and content should you include in your event app? Not all apps are created equal and the content attendees want may differ per event. Do you look at your post-event page views to see which content was most popular? Some may be obvious, but some could be unexpected.

But first, creating a great app user experience is key to getting attendees to use and engage with your event app. You want your event app to be valuable to an attendee, easy to navigate and use. Design and the arrangement of content is a good start to make sure attendees can find the information they need easily – check out this blog on creating a great app user experience. 

Now to the features attendees want. We analysed top page views from event apps in 2019 to find out which ones had the highest hits. 

Top 5 event app pages

Top 5 event app pages

Attendees want networking features

3 of the top 5 pages were Activity Feed, Messaging, and the Attendee List. This shows there is a popular demand for networking functionality in event apps. Attendees want the opportunity to make new connections and collaborate. A number of event organisers report that attendees used the event app to start networking before the event and often continue to use it after.

profile list

 “Our visitors are already in contact with each other via the app before the event and can also visit each other again via the app after the event. With this app they can now network all year round.” Romy Tiemens, BUMA Music In Motion Amsterdam

attendees looking at event app

Attendees want to be informed

The best part about communicating to attendees during your event via an event app is the real-time updates. Attendees commonly view the notifications page and the schedule and speaker pages to plan their day and stay up to speed. It’s a good idea to plan your notifications and schedule in advance to save yourself time on the day – check out this blog on scheduling your communications for the event day.

schedule screenshot showing streams

Top 5 uncommon event app pages

We also looked at the pages which had very high page views per event, however, they weren’t as commonly used in projects throughout the year. Take a look and consider using them in your next app.

top 5 uncommon event pages

 

Attendees want to be competitive

A common misconception about event apps is, attendees are too busy looking at their phones to network or engage in sessions. The truth is, if done right, event apps can encourage networking via the app and in person.

How to do this? Build excitement with gamification, everyone loves a bit of healthy competition, whether it be for fame and glory of the leaderboard or real prizes up for grabs. Award points for actions you want to see happening, such as posting or commenting in the activity feed and in-person actions – such as direct messaging or bookmarking attendees by scanning each others badges.

event app leaderboard

Enhance exhibitor engagement with a digital passport competition to encourage booth visits and give additional exposure to participating brands.

phone with PCOA event app passport competition feature

“Over 70% of exhibitors thought the passport increased delegate interaction. It created a sense of fun and competitiveness” Cindy Axisa – Admin & Accreditation Manager for PCOA

“People were still playing the games and chasing the achievements even after the conference was over.” Nik Talevski, Australia Post eCommerce Delivery Conference

Attendees want to share their experience

Photo feeds are a great way for attendees to share their event experience. Either create a photo feed where attendees can add photos throughout the event, or ask them to submit their photos via a submission form to curate an event gallery on your website or social pages.

Attendees want personalisation

Make your app content relevant and targeted to attendees by taking advantage of personalisation features. A personalised schedule, notifications and app content specific to each attendee or segment will make it easier for attendees to find what they are looking for and level-up their experience. You can even add travel tips, destination information, table allocations or hotel bookings to add even more value.

“The ability to create a personalised schedule was fantastic! It helped delegates create a bespoke experience ” Julie Shepherd – Co-Convenor (ALEA Victorian State Director) 

delegates using interactive sessions app and laughing

Summary

Creating an app that has valuable, personalised content and provides networking opportunities are the key to strong adoption rates. Take inspiration from these top pages and consider incorporating them into your next event app.

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