Mobile Event and Conference Apps: 12 Tips for Improving Adoption of Mobile Event Apps

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Adoption rates of mobile event apps in the meetings and events industry are soaring – sometimes as high as the 90th percentile. Your rate of adoption will depend upon your industry, your attendees and the effort you put forth. Think of it just as you would any other marketing campaign. Remember, downloading the app isn’t enough – you must continually give attendees reasons to use it before, during and after the event .

Here are 12 Tips for Improving Adoption of Your Mobile Event App:

Promote early and often

Deploy your mobile event app at least 30-60 days in advance and promote it often. Though most attendees download the app within a week of the event, you should continuously remind users the app exists as soon as it’s live.

Communicate it prominently

Place download information in a prominent location on the event home page. Websites are the go-to resources for trade show and conference participants, and will likely be the first place attendees go to find the mobile app for events.

Distribute far and wide

Take advantage of any and all marketing channels, including social media, to get the word out about the mobile app. Tweet reminders, post links or pin pictures to make it easy for users to download and use the app.

Use QR Codes or Short URLs

QR are an easy way for people to scan and download the mobile event app. Include QR codes on all printed materials in advance – and on signage throughout the event. Alternatively, use a short, easy URL.

Educate Audiences on Mobile

Educate your speakers, exhibitors and attendees on the mobile app. Hold 10-minute webinars before the event. Create and promote a five-minute how-to video.

Have Exhibitors and Speakers Promote It

Ask exhibitors and speakers to forward the QR code or URL to their customers and followers.

Prepopulate content within the app to encourage adoption and engagement

If the early content isn’t compelling you may not get a second chance. Consider exclusive mobile content and promote it through social channels. As you get to the 30-day window, push out new content two to three times a week.

Provide onsite assistance

Help users download and use the app effectively through signs, individuals, or specially designated areas (a mobile app “bar”) on the show floor or meeting space. For example, emphasize the ease of using it for mobile check in.

Mention during keynote or sessions

Have the opening keynote speaker discuss – and perhaps show – the mobile app.

Publish more content in the mobile event app

Reduce the content in the printed guide to encourage people to use the app. Use abbreviated course descriptions in the printed guide, for instance, saving full course descriptions for the mobile app – along with handouts, a video preview from the speakers, etc. (Caveat: Though their generation and industry is telling, only you know your audience and can determine their reaction to a reduced printed program. Some do resist the mobile apps and must be pulled in over a series of events.)

Make it easily accessible

Make passwords and login information easily accessible or recoverable to reduce the number of inquiries to technical support or event management.

Promote usage of the app before, during and after the event

Offer new content at various times or include a game element to compel attendees to use the app.

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