So you’ve managed to create your first mobile eventapp, great! Although there’s still a lot of scepticism, your colleagues are very proud of your perseverance, and even the board notices your efforts and innovational spirit. You’re determined to prove their hesitation wrong. Mobile technology is the future isn’t it? After the event however, you got the shock of your life. The usage of the app is utterly disappointing, and you feel like your colleagues are laughing behind your back. How could this great innovation have turned into such a big disaster?
First of all: you’re not wrong at all! Mobile technology IS the future, it will just take some time to adopt. In the mean time, stick to your game plan and carefully prepare the effort you’ll have to put into raising awareness for your mobile event app.
Let’s walk through the steps that will help you to attract your mobile visitors attention towards the app:
1 realize that mobile apps are relatively new to your event visitors too. You’ll have to put some serious effort in getting attention for the app. The vast majority of the people will not be actively searching for an event app yet. But depending on the ‘tech savvyness’ of your audience they actually may be already.
2 connect to the existing visitors’ route. Your audience will visit your website to get relevant information about the event. With today’s technology websites can easily detect whether the visitor is browsing with a mobile device or not. Ask your webmaster to redirect all mobile traffic to your event app or a splash screen with download / installation instructions. This is the most natural way to direct traffic to your app.
3 add a link or banner on strategic parts of your website. For example on the program information page. That’s where you can add value for your audience. ‘Get the mobile app if you want to receive real time information during the event’. Of course the same for your homepage and news section.
4 dedicate a page to educate your audience about the usage of the app. Provide them with instructions on where to find it, how to install it and how to benefit from it. Adding a QR code can help the already more tech savvy visitors to quickly access the app. Using a simple URL helps a lot. Ask your webmaster to create a m.youreventsite.com or youreventsite.com/app. This is more easy to understand for delegates.
5 add a link / installation instructions to all your marketing communications, from (e-)newsletters to your Facebook page, and Linkedin groups. Add the same to your tickets, badges and event booklets.
If you don’t have delegate phone numbers or e-mail addresses, engage in social media (for example Twitter) to reach out to delegates. You can track the events hashtag to find the audience to your event. Send people an @reply with the link to the event app. Be sure not to include the events hashtag, in order to prevent yourself from cluttering the hashtag. Also start with the twitterhandle of the delegate to keep your own timeline clutterfree (if you @reply to someone, your followers don’t see it in their timeline).
If you have delegate phone numbers you can send an SMS containing the link to the app.
6 at the location put posters with link / QR code / installation instructions on visible places and high traffic routes (entrance, toilets, near the food, etc.). Be sure your MC or chairman mentions the existence of the app.
7 ever thought about a Social Media Helpdesk to support delegates at your event to use Social Media more effective? Also a great way to help your audience understand how your app works and to give them a better event experience.
So what about your colleagues? Don’t bother!
Leave them with the quote of Albert Einstein: “You never fail until you stop trying.”