CrowdCompass and the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) have partnered on a research report covering the momentum of mobile event apps. The report reveals some key findings about “how attendees value and engage with mobile event apps.” It also reveals the obvious benefit/opportunity of mobile apps for planners: the cost savings on printing fewer directories. There are some not-so-obvious opportunity gems in the report too.
More adoption means more and better data
Survey says: Meeting planners believe (on average) that 56% of their attendees will use mobile apps by 2016. That means that planners will have the potential access to real-time, on-site data on over half of their audiences and over half an audience reporting in on any one data point yields a nicely representative sample of what’s going on in the meeting. Of course, 56% of an audience downloading an app doesn’t say much, but over 50% of an audience physically checking into a session that they never registered for does.
Low- to moderately-priced apps as stepping-stones
Survey says: A total of 44% of all survey respondents (not accounting for sponsorships) spend more than $10,000 on an app for their meeting or trade show. That leaves 56% of the survey respondents currently paying under $10,000 and better than half of those are spending less than $5,000. So, planners can get into mobile apps for a very reasonable price, allow their attendees to get used to the concept, and then upgrade to a more robust, full-featured app when adoption grows and the need arises.
Better margins and more sponsorship options
Survey says: By 2016, planners expect that 72% of their sponsors will be interested in mobile advertising options. While some of the advertisers will have shifted to mobile from print (because printed directories are in decline), the potential for planners is in the margin on digital advertising and sponsorships. It is relatively less expensive to offer digital advertising than it is print advertising. Also, digital advertising opportunities are more diverse, from banner ads to sponsored pieces of content to push notifications leaving the options open for more sponsors at a broader range of levels.
App value will rise as usage models shift
Survey says: The top five mobile event app features that are important to planners today are event agenda/schedule, floor plan, 24/7 support, branding, and personalized scheduling. The top five features that planners consider to be more important in 2016 are attendee networking, live polling, lead retrieval, contact exchange, and attendee messaging. This shift indicates a strong interest in changing the fundamental raison d'etre for the apps from audience experience to workhorse. And, if that’s true, app developers will focus more on those capabilities and planners will benefit from the increased value of the apps.
While it’s useful for planners to see how app adoption is growing and what their peers believe to be of importance going forward, they also need to know what’s in it for them. If anything, the CrowdCompass/EMI report results demonstrate the growing value of mobile apps and where’s there’s value, there’s opportunity.
Written by Michelle Bruno