Welcome to part one of a three-part Mobile App Q&A series. We carefully selected several attendee questions that were asked in our mobile event app sessions at Cvent CONNECT this year and passed them along to our expert to answer.
Brooke Gracey is CrowdCompass’ Senior Mobile Events App Strategist and the force behind the Cvent CONNECT mobile event app which received a 100%+ download rate. An above 100% percentage was achieved by having guests log in on multiple devices. During Cvent CONNECT, she spoke to a packed room of event professionals. Below she thoroughly addressed three attendee questions from the session to provide valuable answers for you and your organization.
Q1: My company thinks our attendee base isn’t the age group that would use an onsite app. What can I say to convince them of the value of using an onsite app?
Since mobile was introduced to events, I’ve constantly received the same concerns about technology and events. Here’s the reality, attendees of all ages use mobile as a part of their everyday lives and expect event content to be easily accessible through the same device.
There are several different approaches to convince your stakeholders, one is starting with the facts. Earlier this year, CrowdCompass partnered with Edelman Insights on a research study with participation from over 1000 attendees to better understand what they expect at events. The study reported that 91% of baby boomers and 98% of Gen Xers said session information, maps, and notifications are some of their favorite event app features. The majority of attendees across all age groups reported the app had a positive impact on their event experience, too. Statistics like these make it difficult to prove mobile isn’t a good investment for both content and engagement at your next event. You can download a copy of the report HERE.
Secondly, start looking at your event goals and how mobile can help reach you achieve those objectives. These conversations are valuable for your stakeholders, especially since they are looking at the event as a whole. Make sure to calculate the costs you would save if you decreased printing costs and sold mobile sponsorship opportunities, and also the hours saved by using the VIP Admin Center and easily make last-minute changes to the schedule. Offer tangible (and quantifiable) ways that you can increase engagement onsite using features like Polling and Live Q&A, along with our comprehensive metrics data.
Q2: I haven't gone paperless yet (still using a printed program). Should I completely switch to a mobile solution or use a mix of both printed and mobile?
There are a few ways you can drastically reduce printing while easing your attendees into the mobile experience:
Don’t hand out paper. One of the biggest mistakes I see event planners make is building a fantastic mobile onsite app, but continuing to shove paper into the hands of their attendees. If you are proactively handing them a paper guide, they will be much less motivated to download the app. Train your check-in staff to remind each attendee about the mobile app and explain a few key reasons to download. Instead of having the paper guides at check-in, set them on a table nearby and include signage about the mobile event app.
Ask your attendees. Many planners will include a question as part of registration, asking attendees if they want a paper guide. Provide some brief information about saving paper, and reminding them a mobile app will be available is enough for most attendees to check the box “I do not need a paper guide.” Now you know exactly how many paper guides to print, saving a ton of money!
Also, only print the basics. Attendees sometimes feel like paper is a security blanket they aren’t ready to give up, but don’t want to carry a 100-page guide around all day. Try printing a mini-program with a brief schedule and use the mobile app for all the details. For example, print the high-level agenda on the back of their badge and include information about downloading the app.
Q3: How do you measure the success of an app?
A great question, and one that I encourage all planners to ask from Day 1.
Before confirming your “success” measurements, start thinking about your event goals. Is your goal to educate your audience? Facilitate networking? What about increasing leads? Being able to map those goals to your app metrics is a critical way to prove your event’s value to stakeholders. Here are two key metrics you want to understand:
- Adoption rate is the number of attendees vs. the number of mobile event app users. If you’re seeing low adoption rates at your events, it could be time to revisit your mobile event app promotion strategy or to shift more aggressively towards paperless solutions. Here’s a resource that can help you achieve a 100% mobile app adoption rate.
- Engagement number is the metric that shows how much engagement happened within the app. Attendee-specific engagement numbers like contact shares and user contributions can help you understand how attendees are interacting with your mobile event app. By weaving these metrics together, you can create an impactful ROI story to tell your stakeholders and a benchmark to measure yourself against year after year.