Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 11 2013

How To Make Your Mobile Meeting App A Must-Download

By David McMillin

meeting app download

As attendees power on their smartphones and tablets at registration desks, education sessions and cocktail hours at meetings around the world, mobile meeting apps are transforming the face-to-face experience. However, developing an app for your meeting doesn’t mean that all of your attendees will automatically embrace it. In fact, recent statistics from big data company Flurry shows that the average smartphone user has 65 apps but only regularly opens 15 of them.

If you are struggling to motivate your attendees to download and use your mobile app, here’s some helpful advice on how to make your app a big success on the small screen.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Promotion

Changing behavior in the meetings industry takes time. More importantly, it takes a combination of aggressive marketing and helpful instruction. Remember that your year-after-year attendees have grown accustomed to flipping and folding pages.

“Even though attendees are using mobile apps in their daily lives, it’s important to remember that many of them are accustomed to carrying that big printed program around on-site,” Mary Reynolds Kane, senior director, experience marketing, Professional Convention Management Association, says. “You have to make an extra effort to remind the audience that the mobile app is going to literally lighten their workloads.”

“You have to be over the top in marketing the app to a new audience who is afraid of change,” Reynolds Kane adds. “From emails to social media posts to signage to an on-site help desk, make sure that attendees are reminded of the app everywhere they turn.”

Convenience Is Key

However, all of your marketing efforts will fail to pay off if attendees realize that the app isn’t making their lives better. That realization can come very quickly, too.

“The user’s first impression of your conference mobile app is a make-or-break moment,” a new e-book from leading mobile app developer for corporate and business events, CrowdCompass by Cvent, states. “It’s a critical point where a snap judgment is made: is this mobile app convenient and helpful? Every ‘yes’ drives repeat use and ultimately, stronger adoption.”

Remember: This is Not A Website

Getting to that affirmative response relies on recognizing the big difference between an app and a mobile website.

“One of the biggest dangers that meeting professionals face is simply repurposing all of the information on the meeting website in the app,” Reynolds Kane warns. “Attendees aren’t going to use an app that just offers session descriptions and static information. The app has to be able to offer a right here, right now experience with networking opportunities, interactive games and last-minute updates.”

Be Ready To Make Adjustments

If your initial adoption rates are low, do not feel discouraged. Inspiring a switch in attendee behavior will not happen overnight, and it will require an internal evaluation of what worked and what can be improved from the launch of your app.

“Our first go around with mobile apps was a web-based app,” Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, Director of Meetings & Events, National Association of Sports Commissions, says. “Learning a lot, we switched to a native app on the second go around and things really took off. App usage more than doubled from our previous year, and we created a new mobile sponsorship channel.”

Do you want more useful tips on how you can get your attendees to fall in love with your mobile meeting app? Download CrowdCompass by Cvent’s free e-book “Mobile App Marketing Playbook: A Guide to Increasing Mobile Event App Adoption.”

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