Should a Mobile Event App be Used for Virtual or Hybrid Events?

Source: Stock.xchng / biziorWhen trade show and conference planners think of a mobile event app, they usually think of using one for a physical face-to-face event. But what about using one for virtual or hybrid events? Useful? Or useless?

As more and more associations and companies turn to completely virtual or hybrid (physical plus virtual) events either to save dollars, time or the planet, the second rate stigma that has hung over virtual audiences is beginning to lift. But keeping your live and online audiences connected is still a significant challenge.

Granted, planners can employ free social media tools to keep both their physical and virtual audiences engaged. Keeping the feeds for the major social networks, Twitter and Facebook, is definitely a requirement now. However, that leaves out a big opportunity to sign on sponsors since these public feeds cannot be sold or sponsored (at least as of this writing).

Plus the social streams are crowded with tweets and posts from every other source imaginable. The event’s postings can get lost in the daily social media shuffle, especially for virtual attendees who may be following the event on a “second screen.” Another related challenge for virtual attendees who are splitting their attention between screens is that they may miss sessions and waste their investment.

So how can a mobile event app solve these issues?

  • The Event HQ. Live or virtual attendees have just one place to connect for their event experience with a dedicated mobile app. Everything from social media feeds to session descriptions and handouts are all accessible by tapping into the app “headquarters.” 
  • Sell the Superior Sponsorship Opportunities. Put yourself in a sponsor’s place for a moment. If you knew that every time a live or virtual attendee opened a mobile event app they would see your ad, would that be valuable to you? Of course it would! Plus, one of the downsides of virtual audiences is that they usually don’t see the signage and other onsite promotions for sponsors, thereby limiting the reach of the sponsorship. Selling sponsorships within the mobile event app helps capture both types of attendees.
  • Pushing the Distracted Second Screeners. Virtual attendees often pick and choose what sessions they want to attend, especially since they aren’t there in person for full tracks. Only problem is that they are also often juggling what gets their attention. This is where mobile app push notifications can come to the rescue.
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