There seems to be a wide range of pricing for mobile apps, and as event managers, we worry about spending our tradeshow budget appropriately. But what if you have budget limitations and are still hoping to have great mobile engagement? Yes, you can have a great mobile app on a small budget if you know where to spend and where to save. Photo source: Stuart Miles
Where to spend
When deciding where to spend your budget dollars, keep in mind the most important thing you are developing: attendee engagement. So, you want app features that support this engagement, such as attendee appointments, networking, and schedule information. Also, the functionality of your mobile app should be easy to use, so be sure to add additional dollars for appropriate testing of your app before you launch. Speaking of launching, have some funds set aside for sharing and communicating your new app to your attendees. The app is of no use if no one downloads it.
Where to save
When you are short on funds, there are some areas you can cut and go without, at least for that tradeshow season. Your mobile app does not need a lot of big graphics or over-the-top design to have good functionality. You can also save money by being choosy of what functionality you are adding into your app. If keeping a social media platform functional in your app is beyond your budget, focus instead on a good hashtag strategy and real-time social media wall to see the posts as they come up. Work with your app development team to make sure you reduce in the right places, as they can steer you away from mistakes that can cost you later.
Where to sponsor
You can also position your app for sponsorship opportunities. Think outside the box, or phone, with a splash page ad, where your attendees see a full-screen ad every time the app is launched. Sponsored listings provide a great, and easy, way to help exhibitors stand out by highlighting them, and you can also add their logo for further impact. You can provide expanded profiles with links to brochures, webpages, or videos. Interactive maps, one of the most accessed parts of your app, can also be offered as a sponsorship opportunity. Get creative with sponsorships to help boost your budget for the app itself.
A limited budget can still work with your mobile app, and by choosing great engagement in your app, your attendees will be happy you spent your budget wisely.
Written by Lisa Apolinski