The Secrets to Event App Success

CrowdCompass’ Mobile App Benchmark Report reveals the secrets to increased adoption and engagement rates for event apps.

Last summer, the mobile app ecosystem turned 10 years old. This is an industry that didn’t exist prior to 2008. Yet it now sees almost 200 billion yearly downloads from both the App Store, Google Play and Amazon AppStore.

Apps occupy our attention (on average, three hours staring at our screens each day according to ComScore). Each of us has around 80 different apps installed on our phones and we use around 10 of them on a daily basis.

Those we don’t use daily, we dip into at certain times of the year (to plan travel or book airline tickets for example), or when we have a specific requirement (such as buying a house, solving a creative work problem, or just needing a torch to light our way).

In an age where our smartphones have become our ‘other limb’ and we feel panicked when we find ourselves separated from the always-on computer in our pocket, whatever the problem, the humble app is often the first place we’ll go to try and source an answer.

The rise of the mobile event app

Event app enjoyment

This everyday reliance on mobile apps has finally spilt over into events, with the average event app adoption rate increasing exponentially.

According to CrowdCompass’ recent Mobile App Benchmark Report, overall event app adoption increased 15% over the past year.

Conferences and trade-shows currently see an average 61% adoption, seminars and webinars see 58% average adoption, while training and workshops see the highest average at 64% adoption.

Attendees not only actively seek-out an event’s app, they also expect every event to now have an app that features both rich content and functionality that will enhance their attendee experience.

Engagement is the ultimate goal of any mobile event app. CrowdCompass’ report reveals that a successful app is one that encourages in-app engagements, which drive in-person actions such as attendee networking, session interactions, or an increase in future event registrations, revenue or other important ROI metrics.

What to include in your event app

Mobile app in use

CrowdCompass, part of Cvent, found that a majority of successful event apps launch with an average of 14 functionality icons – signposting attendees to important information like the venue WiFi password, sponsor information, local hotel details, or session sign-up pages.

The average number of icons per successful event app may seem like a lot but enlarged phone screen sizes mean that many smartphones can now accommodate up to 18 icons on an app home page, and nobody wants to look at an empty screen.

The type of features included in any event app also greatly impacts app adoption and engagement rates.

CrowdCompass’ study found that ‘Superstar’ events are more likely to have an app that features, 37 pages (19% higher than average); at least three maps; 15 push notifications (30% higher than average); at least three in-app banners; the ability to schedule appointments; session-level surveys and polls; gamification elements; and the means by which to post to a social event wall.

Those planners who informed attendees ahead of time that important event updates would be pushed through the app and then included between 11 and 14 push notifications during the event, saw a 20% increase in app adoption. While events that used between two and six in-app session polls saw a 150% adoption increase.

By adding more additional content, organisers can expect to see increased usage and therefore greater value for in-app banner advertisers and headline event sponsor messaging.

In other words, the more you put into an event app, the more you and your event stakeholders will see in return. Witnessing significant increases in adoption and engagement is well worth the effort.

Download and read the full Mobile App Benchmark Report by CrowdCompass today!

Mike Fletcher

Written by Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.