How to Avoid Falling Short on your Event App Marketing

Event apps are super valuable — they’re better for the environment, they make planners’ lives easier, and ultimately, they cost less. It’s possible, however, to really mess them up.

Imagine this scenario. You purchase a mobile app and spend a ton of time building out the content and getting it looking exactly the way you want it to. Then the day of your event rolls around and people seem to like the app, but then you log in to your app dashboard afterwards only to find out that you had zero downloads. How disappointing!

How can you prevent a situation like this from happening? It’s simple — master your event app marketing to ensure you’re getting the adoption and engagement you want!

It’s Up to You

The correct terminology for the number of visitors who use your app is “event app adoption.” The higher your adoption numbers, the lower the cost per attendee, meaning you’re getting a higher return on your mobile investment. Event app marketing is in your hands. When you build an amazing event guide, you need to make sure people are using it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Perhaps it feels tiresome to expend additional effort into marketing your event app in addition to everything else you need to do. But take it from us, it is 100% worth the time and effort and will yield valuable data for you as an organizer and will enrich your attendee experience. It’s a win-win situation for all!

The Basics of Event App Marketing:

1. Tackle Early Adoption

Familiarizing users with your app early is the #1 key to adoption. While we don’t suggest you share the event app before it’s built, you should share it early — even if some of the finer details are “TBD.” You can make changes to your guide any time.

Pro Tip: Start talking about the app early. All information you share about your event or location should include the benefits and instructions for finding your app. Drum up excitement for your app by promoting app-only exclusives!

2. Communicate Completely

People absorb information in a variety of ways…and sometimes they need to be told twice! Persistence is key when explaining the value of your event app and prompting downloads.

Include event app details in your email, articles, blog posts and on social media. Message app details to attendees and tell your story in the press. We can set you up with download instructions for your attendees, which you can just email out and be good to go.

Pro Tip: When it comes to promotion, different channels are needed for different people. For example, there may be early app adopters who become ambassadors and share your app details on social media, thereby doing all the work for you. And while some people will be excited about your app and will tell their friends, you’ll be sitting and waiting around for a long time if you wait for this concept to go viral. Strategize your messaging methods appropriately!

3. Make It Easy With On-Site Event App Marketing

It would be nice if people always choose a mobile app over a printed program — apps are better for the environment, more accurate, and have more futures. But this isn’t always true! The more accessible you make a printed program, the more you are actively limiting the number of people who use your app.

Pro Tip: You’ll see a dramatic increase in app downloads if you cut out printing entirely. Help yourself out. Only offer printed materials upon request if you’re using them as an alternative.
In addition to making the event app more prominent than any printed alternatives, put information about the app everywhere! Here are some examples of how you can promote your app at the event:

  • Post the QR code everywhere! This is a great time to be creative. Add the QR code to posters, display screens, event badges and more.
  • Post your free Guidebook posters all over the place.
  • Train your staff to talk about the guide and to help visitors use it.
  • Include download instructions (and benefits) in any printed material.
  • If your guide is for an event with speakers or exhibitors, ask them to talk about it or interact with the guide.

4. Pump Up the Value

If you approach guide use like it’s just a nice benefit, you’ll miss out on the adoption numbers you’ve been dreaming of.

Make your guide essential! When you create a community of users who upload photos, connect with each other, share socially, interact on a private event social feed, and make personal schedules, you establish the guide as a must-have. Your guide opens up a whole new way for users to see the world you’re sharing with them.

Here are some examples of how you can show off your guide’s value:

  • Projected live fed of guide users’ photos and social shares. Only available for those who have the guide!
  • Hold a photo competition.
  • Use push notifications to share real-time news, tips or offers.

And lastly, don’t wait for your users to guess if you’re reducing paper waste. Use the guide to share the details of your mission to go green. Here are some ideas on how you can showcase your green commitment:

  • Create an infographic about the impact your eco-efforts have made. Share it in your app!
  • Let everyone know what is reusable, recyclable and compostable.
  • Organize a group walk to an off-site cocktail hour rather than a cab ride.
  • Include green “hotspots” on the venue map. Mark them with a green icon so they stand out!