Developing Mobile Event Apps Under Short Timelines

Posted by Matt Milloway on Nov 30, 2015

Event planners and organizers must tackle countless logistics before any meeting, conference, or trade show and often lack the manpower to address everything months in advance. Other times changing initiatives handed down from company higher ups or extra funds in the budget changes priorities. In many cases the need for a mobile event app might only be fully realized with a month or two to spare and begs the question: is creating a high quality, native mobile app available for iOS and Android users still a reality?

The answer is yes; continue reading to understand how a mobile app development team prepared for short timelines can deliver a finished product with as little lead time as three to four weeks before the big day arrives.

Forging a Partnership

Initiating and finishing a mobile app development project on short notice takes great communication and efficient task management from everyone involved. During the initial rush to ascertain the viability of the project, gravitate towards a solution provider offering clear and honest assessments to any big-picture goals related to the app.

Is custom development required to add a special feature? How much content is associated with the event? A mobile app with all the bells and whistles might be a best case scenario, but establishing a realistic baseline--with the possibility of additional work as time permits--is an often overlooked consideration to figure out in advance. Signing an agreement and assuming everything falls into place often leaves both parties scrambling to meet unrealistic expectations. A better approach is to receive clear-cut answers such as an acknowledgement the all-important interactive exhibitor map can still be included in the event app if all content is received by a given date.

Development Logistics

Seasoned support specialists are able to immediately assess timelines and present milestones to ensure the app is available to attendees before the event. From giving event organizers immediate access to tools used in the content uploading process to establishing a plan for graphics necessary to view a test app, big picture to-do items are broken down and articulated to clients in a way that makes sense, yet still adheres to any firm deadlines. Does the client want to micromanage the app’s color scheme or leave it to the graphic design team? What about using built-in tools to import event data from Microsoft Excel files to the content management system used to propagate event app content? A good support team strives to make life easier on event planners and organizers by understanding what’s most important and where tasks can be made easier.

Approval Process

As a general rule, all graphics for the app and a significant portion of content need to be ready before submitting to Apple for approval and release in the AppStore. The process typically takes about a week, but can reach up to 10 business days based on the number of apps in the queue at any given time. Partnering with a mobile app development team with a track record of submitting event apps to Apple ensures a seamless approval and mitigates nearly all risks of the app being rejected.

For mobile apps using a content management system to upload sessions, speakers, and other data, a small percentage of each app section may be added before submission so long as no section (i.e. exhibitor directory) remains completely empty. For example: 15 sessions maybe up added out of the 50 total sessions at the event prior to submitting the app to Apple, while the rest of the content may be added at the event planner’s convenience throughout the rest of the approval process. The ability to work around Apple’s required approval time period and still ensure an app is released in a short time period is of great benefit to event apps developed in the final weeks.

For more details on AppBurst's mobile event apps and to speak to a representative about developing mobile solutions under shorter timelines: