Understanding Different Audiences for Mobile Event Apps

Posted by Matt Milloway on Jan 13, 2015

Mobile event apps by definition provide attendees with information about conferences, meetings, and trade shows. Yet the ultimate goal of event planners, as well as the relationship between host and attendees, varies greatly from one event to the next. Understanding how audiences arrive at events with different expectations and how to effectively address each scenario helps event planners not only better utilize mobile technology, but see additional opportunities to leverage event apps.

A Gathering of Industry Leaders

Bringing together industry leaders to share and advance ideas, as well as network with colleagues, is perhaps the most common event scenario. In addition to a full event program, apps are best utilized with an emphasis on promoting interaction between attendees and providing educational resources to prolong important topics and ideas for months to come.

Speaker or attendee directories making contact information available to users, with the ability to directly email another user from the app or read bios, address info, and more. Including PDF presentations and abstracts with relevant session and speaker detail pages also gives attendees valuable references to access well after the event ends. Understanding the goals of attendees and the overarching theme of the event helps determine the most important features and uses of the app.

Internal Meetings

Many smaller events focus on internal employees to share company news, review past performance, and look towards the future with new goals and initiatives. Not open to the general public, event content may also need to be limited to internal personnel. Such an event app may limit engaging interactive features and ads, with content limited to a smaller group of sessions, documents, and event logistics. The focus instead typically falls to user authentication--protecting sensitive information and better tracking app activity, as well as attendee directories with more personal information and company-specific documents.

Alternative methods of distribution in the AppStore are also available to limit the app's availability to the general public and give event planners more flexibility in adding content. Much like an event geared towards gathering industry leaders, internal meetings--smaller, yet still large enough to warrant an event app--typically contain a unique set of requirements and best practices when making a wishlist of features.

Customer-Driven Events

Events drawing an audience consisting of existing and potential customers represents an entirely different scenario in terms of app content. Simultaneously an event program and marketing tool with the potential to reach users 365-days a year, features such as PDF brochures and other marketing material are often highlighted in a separate section of the app--giving users easy access to documents outside of any event-specific information that may be removed in the following months. An emphasis on ads and social media integration also effectively turn the app into a virtual promoter.

Instead of prioritizing attendees connecting with one another or limiting event content to the general public, the goal shifts to engaging users for the purpose of connecting attendees to the event host or sponsors, as well as spreading the app’s footprint to as many users as possible. A related example involves the coming together of buyers and sellers with the event planner simply acting as a host. Much like a gathering of industry leaders, these events--often in the form of a trade show--necessitate bringing users together and providing a tool for networking.

Whether focusing on potential customers, internal employees, or industry leaders and with goals ranging from education to lead generation and promoting new products, understanding both the general makeup and expectations of attendees is vital to creating the most relevant mobile event app.

For details on AppBurst's mobile event apps: