So, you’re an organiser gearing up for that huge event or trade show. You’ve even invested in a specialist mobile app for attendees and delegates to download. What can go wrong?
Unfortunately, quite a bit. We’ve spoken to several big event organisers in the past and determined that, on average, the main event app is usually downloaded by only about 30% of the audience
Why so few?
Often, because the app simply isn’t good enough. It’s not uncommon to discover that event apps just aren’t really intuitive – or for that matter, functional. Many of them claim to do some pretty dramatic and impressive things but in practice they fail to deliver on their promises.
For example, at a recent big trade show in Cannes, France, the official app put its meet-up feature front and centre. It looked great in principle. Visitors and delegates would be able to search for contacts (all of whom were expertly profiled), connect with them and even book meetings.
In reality, it simply didn’t work. Some messages didn’t get through. On occasion, messages from one contact were allocated to a totally different person. The chat features were flaky and patchy internet connections on-site prompted the app to freeze or crash entirely.
It’s incredible that this type of thing still happens in our tech-driven business world, but unfortunately it often just doesn’t get the attention and focus it deserves. Many event organisers still see a specialist app as a niche or peripheral option within the portfolio of products they have to offer.
And yet at the same time, a misfiring app can have a considerable negative impact on an event:
- Firstly, the people at the event will be massively inconvenienced if the app doesn’t deliver on its big promises. Just like the delegates in Cannes who were unable to line up the meetings they wanted
- Secondly, the organisation that actually sponsored the app and has its brand all over the app, will suffer significant levels of reputational damage. The sponsors of the Cannes app were incredibly embarrassed because people assumed it was their technology that was to blame, even though it was nothing to do with it.
Since it was a technology company, that’s hardly the sort of word of mouth publicity it was seeking.
However, done correctly and well, an app can be an invaluable technology addition to support a big event. It allows the event organiser to deliver a better experience to delegates and gathers important data about attendee activities and behaviour, which is then used to inform the sales process.
It can be customised, used to provide feedback and integrated with gift and stock allocation. In short, the right app can be the difference between a good event and a great one. A flaky and malfunctioning app, on the other hand, can ruin it for everyone.
If you’d like to know more about Celadin and how we support event organisers through technology, please get in touch.