Apple Revives the Stand Alone Event App

There was a lot to celebrate at the end of 2017, especially for event planners. Six months after they announced proposed changes to the App Store Guidelines, Apple has revised their proposed changes to make them more event app friendly.

What does this mean for the events industry? Apple conceded huge ground back to event organizers who want to offer their attendees a unique stand-alone mobile event app experience. The catch now is that you must obtain your own app developer license in order to publish a stand-alone app. Although this does require an additional step on your end, it means it is still possible to publish a stand-alone event app. We know the idea of having one more hoop to jump through is not very appealing, but fear not as we have now helped hundreds and hundreds of clients secure Apple developer licenses over the past nine years.

This means that you have the following publishing options available:

  • Stand-Alone: Using your own Apple developer license, you can publish your own branded, stand-alone app and include one or more events within that singular app. This option allows you to have organization or event level branding directly within the app store.
  • AttendeeHub: Have us publish for you and host your events within our AttendeeHub, our multi-event container app. This is a great option for any event organizer, especially true if you don’t want to go through the hassle of obtaining your own publishing credentials. Since you would not have to worry about publishing and going through Apple’s approval process, this is also the quickest option.  Events within the AttendeeHub automatically gain new capabilities as the AttendeeHub is updated on a steady cadence.

Neither of these publishing options are new to us. As the industry experts in mobile event apps, we have successfully supported tens of thousands of events in our AttendeeHub event container app and with stand-alone apps, sometimes with one event and sometimes with dozens; point being, none of Apple’s changes have phased us.

When it comes to mobile event apps, we know what we’re doing and our business is to give you the tools and the support to deliver the best and most engaging mobile experience for your event.

As background, in June, Apple announced their goal to target and cut down on spam and duplicate apps in the App Store. Although this decision had good intentions, the number of app store publishers affected by the proposed changes was much larger than Apple initially realized. Every genre of app seemed to be affected, from marathon, restaurant, and game apps to school apps and, of course, event apps. Fortunately, CrowdCompass has always been App Store compliant and long had a number of publishing options, which made it easy to adapt when Apple announced their updated guidelines in June.

Apple now sees the benefits of template-based apps and the value that app-level branding brings to organizations. Because of this, Apple has revisited their proposed guideline updates in order to make them more event-app friendly.

Previous Guidelines: 4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

New Guidelines: 4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected unless they are submitted directly by the provider of the app’s content. These services should not submit apps on behalf of their clients and should offer tools that let their clients create customized, innovative apps that provide unique customer experiences.

Another acceptable option for template providers is to create a single binary to host all client content in an aggregated or “picker” model, for example as a restaurant finder app with separate customized entries or pages for each client restaurant, or as an event app with separate entries for each client event.

We’ve been making apps for a long time and all of our publishing options are compliant with Apple’s guidelines.  We want to ensure you get the best app experience possible. Our customer support team is devoted to helping you every step of the way no matter what option you choose, from Apple license acquisition to building out the content of the app, to successfully publishing, we’ve got your back.

–David Quattrone, CTO, Cvent

David Quattrone has been with Cvent since the company’s founding, bringing a wealth of expertise in designing and developing large-scale Internet applications. David designed and supervised the development of Cvent’s original beta product as well as all of Cvent’s subsequent product releases, upgrades and redesigns.


Written by Cvent Guest