Understanding Mobile App User Login & Segmenting Content to Event Attendees

Posted by Matt Milloway on Jan 18, 2016

A mobile event app greatly enhances the ability to tailor an event experience to the needs of different attendee groups. User password login and authentication enables event planners to limit certain documents to internal employees or give valuable contact information to registered attendees. The flexibility to dictate content access—an unrealistic concept with paper programs—gives mobile apps an advantage as attendee expectations and the importance of personalized content mounts with each passing year. 

Segmenting Attendees

The first step to implementing a mobile app user login feature is to determine the best way to segment attendees—a process unique to each event. Is every attendee created equal and a login will only serve to keep event details away from the general public who might download the app? Other methods to take full advantage of user authentication involves creating a hierarchy of attendees; consider a grouping for internal employees, another for basic attendees, and finally a group of higher-level users such as speakers or those who pay extra to enjoy better access to PDF abstracts and other exclusive content.  

Make Content Decisions

After sets of attendees are established, event planners and organizers must divide content into the appropriate segments. Popular options include withholding a handful of content for top-tier attendees or only allowing certain users to access everyone’s contact information. Consider what content is most desirable to attendees and which individuals deserve the content—either for free as part of their existing status or responsibilities to the event, or as a value-added option to upsell at registration. The general event agenda, logistical information, and sponsorships are typically made available to all attendees at a basic level and additional content may be segmented. 


A typical workflow to enable user authentication involves assigning each content item (e.g. PDF, session, etc.) a role—or multiple roles—and then accepting in-app user registrations with a specific role designation. For instance, internal employees meant to access confidential event logistics might be assigned a role of “internal” with the relevant content also designated as “internal”. The process remains intuitive and straighforward as additional layers of access are built into the mobile app's content management system.

Increasing Engagement 

Studies show incentivizing users by providing exclusive content serves to increase engagement and long-term retention of important event information. Attendees expect value and providing exclusive content in a mobile environment can serve to generate everything from more registrations at the onset to increased buzz about the event as more people are willing to make the extra effort and sign-up for better content. Make sure to promote this element of the event and mobile app via push notifications, social media, and e-blasts. 

Providing extra benefits and a sense of exclusiveness also motivates users to keep an event app on their homepage throughout the year to access industry information unavailable elsewhere. The action in turn leads to increased sponsor revenue and chances to promote internal services, products, or upcoming events as users remain engaged in the app around the year. 

Real-World Examples

Consider a scenario where keynote speakers need to collaborate on presentations during an event. The process involves sharing and accessing PDF presentations, Power Points, abstracts, and other documents relevant to each person’s expertise. Implementing a user authentication feature gives only these individuals access to a documents library and the ability to network with other presenters. Important attendees of the event are thus incentivized to use the mobile app and engage with other event content. Other examples include unlocking content to attendees who pay extra at registration or providing personal contact information to the entire group of registered attendees. 

Tracking Attendees

An added benefit of user login is the fact individual attendee movement in the event app may be tracked to better understand preferences and determine what content is most impactful. The registration process also delivers an email list ready for email marketing and lead generation; the perk, among others, extends well beyond the event itself. General app analytics tell overarching stories of user engagement at events, but user authentication increases the knowledge a few big steps forward.

For more information on user logins and segmenting content to attendees: