The Importance of Data Security When Considering a Mobile Event App

Posted by Matt Milloway on Aug 01, 2016

Less than half of event planners polled in a recent survey feel confident about data security. As mobile adoption continues to grow at conferences, meetings, and trade shows, the ability to keep data secure on smartphones and tablets is becoming even more important. Learn key questions to ask pertaining to data security when considering a mobile app for any event. 

Availability in App Stores

Not every mobile app needs to be publically available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Consider the event app’s audience and discuss alternative distribution options if the majority of content is extremely sensitive. Good candidates are internal meetings or gatherings with a limited number of attendees. 

Attendee Information

Ask attendees for permission before supplying contact information in event app directories to avoid complications and complaints once the app is made available to the public. Consider password protecting or implementing user authentication in speaker or attendee directories containing personal information such as email and phone numbers for additional peace of mind, but even limiting content to attendees may irk a select number of people. 

Also consider the location of the event and particular industry. The European Union and other entities around the world have stricter privacy laws. Certain industries such as pharmaceutical are also more prone to 3rd-parties doing anything possible for contact information and may put an attendee’s inbox or voicemail at risk of needless spam.  

Sensitive Documents

Event apps can capably share marketing brochures and presentations with attendees. Yet other sensitive documents from exclusive market research and studies to internal reports may need to remain unavailable from the public at large. Event app user authentication features enable hosts to give access to only attendees or a subset of attendees without losing the value of providing content to those who need it most. 

Developer Experience

Ask a potential vendor if its developers have experience making apps for larger Fortune 500 companies or other organizations that value security. Clients in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors are good examples; on the other hand, working exclusively with highly publicized marketing events may not be the best fit. Ensure any development team treats data security as second nature from years of experience providing the necessary services and technology to similar companies or brands. 

Data Security 

Does the mobile app vendor have a secure sign in to access the content management system where event data is uploaded and edited? What about data encryption every step of the way from app content residing on servers to attendee devices? Consider the best practices for data security and make sure any mobile app provider cares about protecting content as much or more than the event host. 

Vendor Policies 

Don’t assume certain data security considerations are filed under a common courtesy or default policy. Ensure vendors aren’t going to sell attendee information to 3rd-parties or try to market their own services to exhibitors in the mobile app. 

Honest mobile app developers should use app analytics to improve their product, fix bugs, and other development factors without using the access to better their own brand. Receive a confirmation in writing if the situation remains unclear and ensure vendors understand any unique concerns.

The Bottom Line

Effective data security requires event hosts to ask questions about the unique makeup of their own attendees and content. It also requires an experienced vendor experienced in implementing best practices and understanding the value of data protection. 

For more information on data security and to speak with an AppBurst representative: