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How to Create a Mobile App for Your Event or Conference

Technology Audra Hopkins

Looking for a new way to take your next event or conference to the next level? A mobile app just might do the trick.

According to TechCrunch, the average smartphone owner uses 9 apps per day and around 30 apps per month.

That’s right- 30 apps every single month. And one of those apps could be your association’s event app.

Mobile apps for events and conferences have transformed the way people look forward to attending and being apart of your association. They provide an extra level of event management for event teams, and an extra level of communication for event goers.

Having an app strictly dedicated to your association’s events helps to build up event attendance, engagement, and overall experience for your members.

But how do you create an event app that provides benefit to both your association and its members, event attendees, and over audience?

If you’re looking to create an event or conference app that generates excitement, provides helpful information, and boosts engagement, you’re in the right place. We’re going to break down how to create a mobile app for your event or conference that your association and its members will love using.

Here’s a basic rundown of what you need to know to create your mobile event app.

 

Think about branding

Just like any type of promotional/advertising material for your association, having proper branding for your mobile event app is essential.

Why is this? To start, it gives your app credibility.

If audiences are searching for your app to add to their phone, they might scroll right past if they cannot recognize the branding. You need to make sure your app logo is easy identifiable by those who are familiar with your association’s brand.

It also pulls together your app and makes it aesthetically pleasing. An event app that is synonymous to your association’s website will seamlessly flow together in terms of marketing and advertising.

So, we know seamless branding is important for your mobile event app. Now, how do we put it together?

You want to use elements that stay consistent to your website branding. Think about color, graphics, and logos that your website uses.

Incorporate these items into your app. You can even create a similar format to your website (think about the menu, sidebar, and any other feature of your app and try to match them to your website format)

Figuring out your in-app branding should take some time and serious consideration.

This is what your audiences will see when they first use your app. If you want to make a good impression for your association, you want to put in the dedication.

 

Make in-app event materials

Having an event app is a great way to ensure all of your event attendees can have access to important event information- including event handouts and materials.

This is a great option for associations that care about their environmental footprint. If you’re looking to have an eco-friendly way to distribute event materials, making them available on your app is the way to go.

What type of materials should be accessible?

Ideally, any type of handout, schedule, or flyer you would give at events should be accessible on your event app. This way, members have an in-pocket guide to all information your association offers at its event.

Having in-app materials is a huge convenience to your event goers.

With almost 5 billion mobile users around the world, it’s no surprise that having a mobile app with a schedule, informational packet, and any other material at your attendees fingertips is game changing.

Create a tab in your app specifically for your event materials. Or, you can create a separate tab for your event schedule, and keep other materials in a different section.

With in-app event materials, you never have to worry about your attendees missing out on any valuable information.

 

Send push notifications

Ever feel frustrated at an event or conference when a guest speaker unexpectedly doesn’t show up? Or what about feeling confused when an activity changes rooms without your knowledge?

You don’t want your attendees to miss out on important updates during the event itself. This is why sending push notifications is essential for keeping them on track throughout the event.

You might be wondering, what is a push notification? In fact, you probably receive them to your mobile device without knowing.

A push notification is a notification that can be send directly to a desktop or mobile device. Typically, these notifications come in the form of a pop-up, interrupting your phone screen and alerting you with a sound, vibration, or other form that something important has happened with an app.

Push notifications are a great way to notify members of event cancellations, room changes, or any other important message. App users will get the notification sent right to their phone.

Worried about annoying your members with push notifications? Don’t worry. Push notifications can be enable or disabled through any mobile device.

Want another way to bring value to your app push notifications? Monetize them.

Consider selling ad space to event sponsors through the form of a push notification. You can send out notifications to members about a company’s service, event booth, or anything else they may want. This is a great way to bring in some extra revenue.

Push notifications are the way to go for keeping your event attendees on the same page as your association during events.

 

Include information on speakers

Your guest and keynote speakers are a vital part of your event. Many people flock to seek advice and knowledge from your speakers.

It’s that reason alone why they should be featured on your event app.

You want to advertise the amazing people you’ve brought together for your event. Putting a section dedicated to your speakers can do just that.

Your app’s guest speaker section should include two things: A photo of each speaker and a short bio on them. You want to include information like line of work, past experience, topic of expertise, and anything else that attendees might want to know before attending a speech.

You can organize your speaker bios by putting them underneath their allocated schedule time.

Think of it like this: What time are they speaking? What is their talk about? And finally, who are they? That’s how your guest speaker section should read.

Reach out to your event speakers and ask them for a photo and short paragraph that they’d like included on your app. This engages them and allows them to include information they want others to know.

You want to stay on top of this list even during the event. This way, if a speaker cancels or gets caught up and can’t make their allocated block, you can cross them off of your list. Doing this will ease confusion for event attendees.

An up-to-date speaker list complete with photo and bio will help attendees get to know who it is they’re seeking information from during your event.

 

Map out your event

Last, but certainly not least, you need to create a map your app users can follow in order to navigate your event.

Chances are, your association uses different venues for their events. And even if you stick to the same venue, there are always first time event-goers that can get confused by the layout of your venue.

You don’t want event attendees to miss out on activities because they can’t figure out how to arrive at their location. Adding a venue map to your app combats this worry.

Think of this as a customized mobile gps. With the touch of a button, attendees will be able to pull up a map and chart out how to get to their desired destination.

This is a much easier way to navigate your association’s event as opposed to a paper map. You get rid of the risk of your attendees losing or forgetting your event map during the event.

 

With all of these tips in mind, your association can create an amazing mobile event app that will help its attendees stay informed and engaged the entire event.

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