More Than Just Another App: Why Your Attendees Want a Mobile Event App
In an age where there is an app for everything, app fatigue is a real concern. Even so, that doesn’t mean that new apps that are helpful and engaging serve no purpose — quite the opposite.
Contrary to popular belief, event attendees are big fans of specialized mobile event apps. These bespoke applications streamline attendee experiences, offering targeted information, networking opportunities, and the ability to personalize their schedules and easily keep track of the sessions and talks they’ll explore throughout the event.
Rather than contributing to app fatigue, a purpose-built event app can transform the event experience, increasing engagement while establishing a new standard of what events should look like.
If you want to learn more about event apps, you’ve come to the right place. In this piece, we examine the ins and outs of mobile event apps and how to use them to take your event to the next level.
Understanding the Attendee’s Perspective
Over the last decade, mobile technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. As a result, the average person now has 80 apps on their phones, and each user spends an average of 4.8 hours on their devices daily.
While many of these apps are personal — think Amazon, Netflix, social media, and banking apps — users increasingly rely on apps to do their jobs. According to one report, the average department uses between 40 and 60 applications, while some use more than 200.
As apps become even more integral to the modern enterprise, it is no surprise that they power an increasing number of events. In fact, according to Bizzabo data, 67.5% of event attendees agree that mobile event apps are now a vital part of the event experience because they can use them to ask questions and participate in polls during event sessions. Moreover, 56.1% of attendees say an in-person B2B conference mobile app can make or break their event experience.
To meet these expectations, more and more event organizers are investing in mobile apps for conferences. As a result, the market for event mobile apps — which brought in $1.2 billion in 2022 — is expected to reach $2.65 billion by 2028, growing 14% each year.
The Benefits of Mobile Apps for Event Engagement
Mobile apps have become critical components of modern event strategy. With a powerful, feature-rich mobile app in place, event organizers benefit from the following:
- Increased attendee engagement: Mobile event apps serve as central interactive platforms attendees can use to stay informed and actively participate in various aspects of the conference. Using features like polls, Q&A, interactive maps, and custom scheduling, attendees can engage with content, speakers, and other participants in real-time.
- Improved communication: By enabling event organizers, attendees, speakers, and vendors to seamlessly communicate with one another, apps help deliver timely updates, announce schedule changes, and share important announcements instantly — all of which help attendees make the most of their time.
- Personalization: Mobile event apps let attendees personalize their experience by creating agendas tailored to their interests and preferences. Not only does this enhance their overall experience, it also makes it easier to navigate the event. By personalizing their schedules, attendees can prioritize sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities that align with their goals.
- Improved networking opportunities: Speaking of networking: Mobile apps make connecting with other participants easier thanks to searchable attendee directories, 1:1 messaging, and matchmaking algorithms that help attendees foster meaningful relationships with like-minded folks.
- Feedback: The right mobile app makes it easy for attendees to share feedback about sessions and the overall event experience. Event teams can use this data to optimize their event strategy and make the next event even better.
5 Event Mobile App Features Attendees Want
As you can see, a mobile app can transform the event experience. That said, not all mobile event apps are the same. As you search for an app for your next event, here are five must-have event mobile app features to look for.
1. Networking opportunities
The right app will make it a cinch for attendees to network with each other, with the ability to easily search for other folks and message them right in the app. Leading solutions are coupled with wearable tech that makes it easy for folks to exchange contact information and launch 1:1 messages with a single tap.
2. Personalized schedules
Attendees should also be able to easily personalize their event experience by creating their schedule by selecting which sessions they’ll attend through a fully interactive agenda.
3. Interactive elements
The ideal app will also include several interactive elements — like interactive venue maps that help attendees navigate the venue and built-in live polling, surveying, Q&A, and chat functionality.
4. Sponsor/exhibitor information
Your event mobile app should also make it simple for attendees to track down information on sponsors and exhibitors. That way, if they see something that catches their eye during the event, they’ll know exactly where to find the information they need.
5. On-demand content
As an event planner, you aim to pack as much incredible content into your event schedule as possible. Since attendees are unlikely to make every session — and since they may want to see their favorite sessions again — your mobile event app should allow them to access event content on-demand, at their leisure.
Overcoming Mobile Event App Resistance: Tips for Event Organizers
Unfortunately, you can’t just decide to roll out a mobile event app and get great results. If this is your first time deploying a mobile event app, you will face some pushback. In this section, we examine some of the common concerns event teams encounter when rolling out an event app — and what you can do to overcome them.
Attendees who don’t want to download the app
Not every attendee will be eager to download yet another application. While that’s understandable, you can overcome this challenge by emphasizing the app’s value and telling attendees how it will enable them to maximize the event experience. It’s not just an extra tool. It’s a place for exclusive content, important announcements, and personalized schedules — a way to stay connected to the event. On top of this, it also offers a seamless way to network.
Stakeholders who don’t want to pay for an app
In today’s age of tightening budgets, not every decision-maker will be on board with adding an app to the event budget. Overcome this objection by showcasing the long-term benefits of an event app, like increased engagement, which can lead to improved event satisfaction and loyalty. Plus, when you partner with the right vendor, you don’t have to build an app from scratch, making it more affordable.
Exhibitors who don’t want to be part of the app
Some exhibitors might hesitate to help you populate your event app. Change their minds by highlighting the promotional advantages for exhibitors, including increased visibility, targeted lead generation, and enhanced networking opportunities. By making it as simple as possible for exhibitors to get involved, it becomes much easier to convince them that the app is a valuable marketing tool worth their time.
Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Mobile Event Apps
At this point, you might think that a mobile event app sounds great, but you’re probably wondering what this looks like in the real world. We’ve got you covered.
Piano: Reaping the Benefits of a Branded Event App
Piano is an end-to-end activation and analytics platform that helps companies understand their customers more deeply. Recently, the organization used Bizzabo’s mobile app builder to create an event app for its inaugural customer conference, Piano Academy Live.
“It’s great to have attendees download a Piano-branded event app,” says Alexis Fillon, senior growth marketing manager at Piano. “The app’s setup is effortless and customizable. Even if you’re not a tech expert, you can use Bizzabo’s mobile app builder.”
Agora: Offering Powerful Session Interactions
Agora is a platform-as-a-service company that helps developers embed real-time engagement tools into their applications. When the team was planning its eighth annual RTE conference, they made it a hybrid event and opted to use Bizzabo’s mobile app to power the event — which proved to be a shrewd move.
“Whether they were virtual or in-person attendees, people could connect on the Bizzabo app and comment and interact with each session,” explains Claudia Oliva, senior manager of creative design and production at Agora. “That part of the platform worked very well for us.”
Nitrogen Wealth: Building a Top-tier Networking Experience
Nitrogen Wealth (formerly Riskalyze) is a fintech company that aims to help financial advisors deliver more value to customers. The company hosts the Fearless Investing Summit each year, a three-day event filled with engaging sessions, product announcements, networking opportunities, and keynote speeches. To make the experience as best as possible, the company used Bizzabo’s event management software and mobile app to deliver a top-tier networking experience.
“We partnered with Bizzabo because we needed a world-class in-person experience — and that’s exactly what we got,” says Emily Wolfe, senior manager of events and experiences at Nitrogen Wealth. “Bizzabo clearly came out on top as the product solution that could give us everything we wanted.”
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention: Championing Sustainability with Less Print Collateral
The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is focused on improving the lives of people around the world. In February 2021, the organization hosted one of the first hybrid events of its kind, Empower 21, which took place at a convention center in Texas with a virtual audience from all over the world. Southern Baptists used Bizzabo’s native app to power the event, eliminating the need for print collateral, helping make the event more sustainable.
“When it came time to renew our virtual and in-person software, the functionality and ease of use set Bizzabo apart,” says Sheryl McFadden, event coordinator. “I used the floor locator, which connected with the map inside the app, and I added a venue map because we had four floor levels.”
Build Events That Matter with Bizzabo’s Mobile Event App
In the ever-changing world of events, mobile apps are emerging as transformative tools that enhance the attendee experience and help your event stand out. With increasingly sophisticated features — including personalized matchmaking recommendations powered by artificial intelligence — apps can redefine how attendees experience your events while giving your team the data they need to continuously improve their event strategy.
To stay ahead of the curve, event organizers must incorporate mobile event apps into their planning. Not only does offering a mobile app meet attendee expectations, it also positions events on the cutting edge of what’s possible.
As technology continues to improve, event organizers who leverage mobile apps as dynamic tools for connection and engagement will lead the way in crafting immersive, impactful, and future-proof event experiences. On the flip side, those who keep doing things the old way will likely see less and less interest in their events.
Need tips on how to use mobile apps to power your next event? Check out The Complete Guide to Mobile Apps for Events and Conferences.
Get Started: Learn More About the Power of Mobile Event Apps
Putting on the best events starts with understanding attendee needs and doing everything you can to exceed them.
In an age where folks are increasingly comfortable using apps and expect personalized experiences and instant gratification, a mobile event app can be the secret sauce that helps you accelerate your event strategy and get better business outcomes.
To learn more about how an app can ensure your next event is the best yet, request a demo and see Bizzabo’s mobile app in action.