Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association


May 24 2013

Get Attendees to Download Your Meeting App

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

By now, every meeting planner has heard the same advice: you need a mobile app for your meeting. However, creating an app doesn’t automatically mean that attendees are going to download and use it.

Robin Jones, vice president, marketing, QuickMobile, says that the company’s clients have indicated a typical adoption rate of 70 percent for the first-time they use an event app. Still, Jones highlights that effective promotion is essential to achieve or exceed these average rates. As you prepare for your next meeting, here are four tips to increase the adoption rates for your mobile meeting app.

SEE ALSO: How to Take Your Meeting Mobile

1)  Get Started Early.

While you may have plenty of last-minute downloads just before the meeting begins, you should still promote the mobile app as soon as possible.

“It’s imperative that you show the value of having the event app and the benefits it offers early in the communication strategy,” Trevor Roald, mobile event technology evangelist, QuickMobile, says.

Roald recommends creating a fun and engaging web banner advertisement. As soon as your meeting website launches, the ad can immediately increase awareness of the app’s availability.

2) A Simple Email Isn’t Enough.

While every meeting marketer sends out promotional email messages, attendees receive a lot of information. In order to drive home the benefits of an app, creativity is crucial.

“Make sure your message stands out and doesn’t get buried under other info,” Jones says.

Rather than relying on standard text-based messaging, Jones recommends creating an engaging video that encourages attendees to download your app and highlights how to actually use it. Want to score some bonus points? Have one of your keynote speakers star in the video and endorse the app.

SEE ALSO: The Payoff of Paperless Meetings

3) Show Off the App’s Networking Skills.

As meeting planners work to satisfy a multi-generational audience, it’s no secret that older attendees may be less inclined to part ways with traditional paper-based programs.

“Since this audience usually prefers face-to-face meetings, one way to encourage them to use a mobile app is to emphasize its networking capabilities,” Jones says. “If your attendees can text, then they will be able to use the in-app messaging system to reach out to other attendees and start networking even before they set foot in your venue.”

4) Ask Your Partners for Help.

The success of your meeting relies on many individuals, and so does the success of your app. Jones recommends asking speakers, vendors and exhibitors to promote the app through their own marketing campaigns and social channels. If you can leverage their fans, followers and email subscribers, you can add plenty of momentum to your mobile app.

Your App’s On-Site Success

Of course, increasing the number of downloads for your mobile app is only one piece of the equation. You’ll also need to make sure that attendees are actually using it once they arrive. Jones recommends asking all keynotes and session speakers to promote the app at the beginning of their sessions.

Outside of additional efforts to promote it, it’s equally important to have staff ready to troubleshoot issues and offer guidance to any attendees who have trouble understanding its functionality.

“Add an area to your registration desk where attendees can go for assistance with downloading your mobile app,” Jones says. “Alternatively, your staff could also walk around this area and engage attendees as they wait by helping the download the app.”

Looking for more info into how planners have successfully leveraged the power of mobile apps? Click here to download “The Rise of Mobile Event 2.0” from QuickMobile - - all it costs is an email address, and it includes some very useful insights.

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