event technology and event apps

The Future of Event Apps

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Posted on November 25, 2019

People use apps as their wands: whatever you want  to reach, there’s a mobile app for that. And if you’re not using it right now, it’s inside your pocket, mapping out your journey till you reach your goal. The future of event apps is a natural marketing adjustment to the consumer’s current behavior.

46% of Event Planners use event apps in their meetings. 26% are considering using an event app for their next event. The increasing use mobile event apps to do anything is not just a sensation, but is a proven indication in numbers about a changing technological landscape of events. 

Event Tech Live 2019, in London/UK, presented a special panel about event apps of the future.

Let’s start from the beginning: what is an Event App and why your events need it.

Mobile marketing has become the THE touch point rather than A touch point. It’s through a mobile app that the marketing science plans to have the so called 360 degrees view, joining: native apps, web powered apps, programmatic media, social media, email, search, sms, display, and, of course, in-person interactions.

An event app works as a community builder, based on tastes and interests of people that are in the same place and at the same time. Event participants can interact with the program activities in many ways, so that they can chat with each other and sharpen their business relations.

People use smartphones mainly to exchange messages. On the other hand, one of the main reasons for people to attend events is networking. So why not join the two?

With all the information that you actually put in and extract from the audiences with event mobile apps, it becomes the most practical and efficient tool for a successful event. Some examples include: speakers, maps, exhibitors, sponsors, newsfeed and a range of other features and information most requested by customers. 

Alongside all the care with UX / UI care for optimized attendee experience and personalized schedule, event mobile apps can be white labeled with the event brand.  There is therefore a concern to maintain application usability by bringing together elements of visual sophistication and simplicity

The Event App of tomorrow

But an event app not limited to that. We recently launched our 2020 edition of Corporate Event Trends. In this industry report, you’ll find that the integration between apps and events are changing whole markets and consumer behaviors. If you want to be updated with the latest trends and what you have to do about them, you can download your free copy here.

Pedro Goes, InEvent CEO has recently participated in a panel of Event Tech Live 2019, regarding the future of event apps. Together with other specialists, he raised up points that deserve special attention:

Pedro Goes, InEvent CEO, shares his visions and experiences during Event Tech Live 2019 panel.

1. Native versus Web (PWS) apps.

If a brand is prioritizing performance, native apps are usually faster, due to the fact that they are built up to work in a certain mobile device.

Meanwhile, web apps can be instantly enabled through a web browser and can shorten the customer buying journey.

From a developer perspective, a native mobile app can integrate better with specific mobile models built-in resources.

From a user perspective, both native and web-based apps can look quite similar. But native apps are often more related to a proper product, with the support and guaranteed security assured from the application stores.

However, downloading apps for every situation might be a bit annoying for the user, which can cause interruptions or even a withdrawal from the flow of their customer experience.

2. Functionality – future of event apps predictions.

Phygital strategies are a big trend, as we’re seeing the real and virtual worlds merging in many meetings. If before smartphones were distractions for people’s sessions and agendas, now those are complementary. Augmented reality is giving meetings a new meaning. They’re still the only way of providing attendees with the possibility to make the most of a fully interactive, immersive experience, totally integrated schedule that includes digital and in-person experience.

Besides, event organizers will have an even greater opportunity to make tests for brands. Industries such as retail, travel, consumer goods and automotive, for example, can always bring an event innovation that worked out well to their daily operations. Let’s say: an interactive mirror for a clothing shop, for example. Or an on-site navigation of a hotel for someone who’s looking for a resort to spend their next vacation.

Also, contactless technologies like NFC (Near Field Communications) are allowing seamless operational efficiency. Organizers using NFC will get instant access to what the hotspots of their events are. If there’s congestion in a given area, for instance, this organizer can quickly take action and reallocate resources for that. And for participants, they can expect major upgrades on their experiences such as shorter or even no queues, plus the possibility of doing cashless payments.

In summary, event apps go towards a direction of being one of the main human behavioral change factors, as they are transforming the way we express our questions, interact with the environment and other people. Plus, they capture data of these behaviors and help AI to understand and predict our patterns.

3. The impact of 5G, 6G and WiFi.

5G has barely being implemented and 6G is already under research. Our brand new report Corporate Event Trends for 2020 states that these technologies will impact on the festivalization of every event.

Even the most boring conference will have the possibility to be turned into a Coachella like festival, with live polls and gamifications.

Experiences will have to be re-imagined almost as theme park to attract younger audiences. There’s gonna be the possibility to add entertainment to every industry, as we can already see with edutainment, for the education sector, or shoppertainment, in retail. I guess we’re very close to an era of augmented reality for 5 senses.

In the other hand, even with so much advanced technology being developed and constantly deployed, event organizers still struggle with wifi quality, registration and other operational frequent problems.

We had a talk with Will Curran, CEO at HelloEndless, a few days ago. He stated that wifi is super complex. Planners just know they need it, but they got no idea of how it works.

4. Pricing models.

The challenge of a SaaS pricing strategy is to be simple, while not being commoditized. It’s inevitable that, for an enterprise client, for example, you’ll need to go through some software customizations. So, how to price it?

As well, it cannot be entirely different from the competition, as the final decision maker is always the client. So, knowing the value we have to add to our partners, we decided to keep our pricing page as simple as possible and, recently, adding a free 30 days trial option. That option goes for each one of our three plans, including the Full Plan, where anyone can start using all of the  features – even the most advanced ones – today, without spending a single buck.

In conclusion

The impact of technology on the future of event and conference apps is already being felt. First of all, because they’re softwares – and softwares are running the world. But fear not, event organizers! These software are feeding and developing the AI that might help you with big decisions on real time in the near future. They’re integrating to our routines in a way that we did not realize but when we noticed, we were making use of apps on a daily basis.

So we’re not looking at a traditional model or a digital model of running trade shows. We’re actually seeing the integration happening. Whatever used to be measurable only on digital, is now part of in person interactions and agendas as well. That includes mapping the whole consumer journey, interactions and emotions.

Corporate Event Trends for 2020

Technology will not only affect the future of conference apps, but the whole MICE industry. You can check what are the trends you need to keep up to date for 2020 with our new industry report, Corporate Event Trends for 2020, includes detailed data analysis of the whole MICE industry scenario, as well as strategic recommendations for the challenges ahead. Download your free copy here, or clicking on the button below.

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