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Once you’ve determined what features you’re looking for, you can then narrow your search to the supplier who offers what you’re looking for. The Event App Bible, a downloadable ebook, compares the mobile event apps currently on the market, and can help you choose the one that’ll work best for you.
Conference apps can make it easy for attendees to filter through available sessions, picking the ones most relevant to their interests. This means that participants can tune out the “noise,” and personalize their own event experience.
And it can mean they’re not losing valuable time onsite just trying to sort out which sessions to attend, or which booths to visit in the exhibition area. This leaves participants more time to learn and network, and ensures they get maximum value from their event experience.
Networking opportunities can be built into an event app, too. In the same way that attendees can select sessions they want to attend, they can take note of people they want to meet, and build their own personalized networking program.
Exhibitor and trade show features offer attendees a better way to find people, through a “build your own trade show” functionality. At a recent event, a group of salespeople spent nearly an hour in the exhibition hall, going through paper notes, choosing who should visit which exhibitors, and planning their approach. An onsite event app could have taken care of this ahead of time, leaving the sales team more time to actually interact with the people they’d come to see.
At trade shows, a mobile app can help participants scan through the sometimes-daunting lists of exhibitors, sorting them by product, service, location, or area of interest. The conference app can help participants build a “shopping cart” for the services or products they’re interested in, helping them narrow down the available choices and plan their visit on the show floor.
In addition to “build your own program” features, event apps can offer personalization and calendar integration. A “networking builder” feature can tell participants who’s attending, and facilitating networking and offering matchmaking functionality.
Note-taking is another useful conference app feature, especially for tablet users who want to take notes on the go. And the ability to synchronize the app’s data and activities among all the user’s devices—smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer—can be essential. An attendee who creates a personalized event program on their smartphone will want to know that they don’t have to start the process over on their tablet or desktop. Seamless data integration ensures that the conference app experience remains consistent on their way, at the event, and once they’re back at the office.
In-app messaging among delegates, exhibitors, and speakers allows people to send messages, facilitates matchmaking and networking, and helps people stay connected throughout the conference.
Real-time notifications can help meeting planners update participants on the go, without the hassle of trying to fit new information into the print program. If last-minute changes arise, the planner can notify people via the conference app right away.
Apps that offer session ratings and feedback give attendees a place to voice their opinions. Using the app, they can send instant, direct feedback, whether positive or negative.