Knowing When to Change Event App Technology: Part 1

Posted by Matt Milloway on Oct 14, 2014

Going mobile with conference and meeting content represents an increasingly popular trend in today’s digital age. Every event planner likely already works with a mobile app development company to provide an app to attendees or is in the process of determining the best option to start sharing mobile content to its user base. For those in the former situation with a mobile event app already in place, it may be time to assess not only the app itself, but the experience of everyone involved.

Saving Time

Even the best event app from an attendee’s point of view still needs to make sense for the host company or organization. How easy is the process to enter event content from year to year? Does the mobile app development company offer a user friendly CMS to upload content, as well as options to connect to 3rd-party sources via a data connector and truly streamline the content integration?

One of the biggest benefits of mobile technology over traditional paper products is the time and headaches saved in updating content. By publishing changes in real time to end users around the world, the turn-around times--and often the impossibility--of changing paper program content are obsolete. If the process for uploading and changing content in the mobile app, however, is also time consuming or involves delays associated with waiting for the support staff at the development company to make a simple change, it may be time to look into alternatives.

Saving Money

Saving money is another important consideration. Much like the benefit of easily changing digital content versus paper, mobile apps should ideally cost less than expensive print runs to create and ship programs for thousands of attendees. Mobile event apps offering extensive ad features--interactive and more engaging to users than traditional options--also help defray the cost of development and for those with an aggressive strategy, often turns the app into a profit generator. Once the dust settles after a meeting or conference, event hosts have a much better chance of keeping costs down, or even making money, with a mobile app and should be experiencing these results first-hand.

Another benefit of mobile apps for event planners centers around the fact updating content in a mobile app from one year to the next--all things being equal such as features and amount of data--should be less expensive than the first year. Unlike print runs, which more or less take the same amount of effort from one year to the next and thus reflect similar costs, the effort to build a mobile app, versus simply refreshing content and maintenance considerations, is higher. If renewal costs to provide an event app to attendees is close to the original cost to develop the app, a significant benefit of going mobile isn’t being realized. Check out alternative development company’s policies on renewals to get a better sense of the landscape and how costs can be significantly defrayed in subsequent years of an event.

Stay tuned for Part II next week.

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