A few weeks ago, a client asked me for ideas on how to increase attendee engagement through the app. So I started writing out a list. Several of my fellow account managers contributed their ideas as well, and the list grew rather quickly. We certainly hope these ideas will be helpful for your next event!
Mobile event apps allow you to provide customized content on a level that is almost impossible for an event planner using traditional methods. This is one of the major advantages of having an event app, so be sure to make full use of it. Having this content gives your participants a solid reason to use the app; you are providing them with highly valuable information that is directly applicable to them.
Simply put, gamification is providing small rewards to drive particular behaviors. Because your app allows you to track attendee behavior, you then have the power to reward the behavior that you want. With a little bit of planning, gamification can significantly increase your app ROI.
5. Not all gamification has to be competitive. Simply offering a reward can often be enough. On day one of your conference, offer a free latte to anyone who shows you the home page of the app on his or her phone. Draw for door prizes using the list of attendees who logged into the app, checked into a particular session or posted a photo in the photo section. Choose some of the best responses from the discussion board each day and highlight them during lunch the following day.
Super-Charge Agenda Details
7. Provide an in-app to-do list before the event. This lets people know what they need to do and as they check items off on their list, it allows you to see if anyone is falling behind on preparation.
8. Attendees can take notes in the app and then have those notes emailed directly to them. Advertise this feature so attendees know they have a green and hassle-free option for notes.
Interact and Crowd Source
10. Use discussion boards to crowd source. Work with your speakers to develop questions and topics for discussion; then schedule a time to feature some of the best responses.
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11. Set up a photo booth in a lobby and encourage attendees to upload photos to the app. Make sure someone on your staff posts the first few photos; many people will be hesitant to be the first one to post a photo. You can use these photos in promotional material for next year’s event!
12. Organize photo bingo or a photo scavenger hunt with attendees posting photos of themselves in particular locations, with particular people (drive them towards your sponsors!), or doing particular things. See who can fit the most people into a selfie or take a picture with a famous landmark in the background.
13. Put a “get to know you” survey in the app a few weeks before the conference and ask attendees to fill it out before coming. Let attendees know that their answers will be visible in their attendee profile on the app. This information can be great for breaking the ice and networking. Promote this aspect of the app and how useful it will be when prepping for networking meetings.
14. Crowd source a report on an important topic in your industry, with all participants receiving a free copy of the report. Dedicate a segment of time for responding to this topic. If you have the right people participating, you can even sell this report to non-attendees.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Your attendees need to know that you have an app, why they should use it, how to download it and how to login.
17. Have a placard on display at the registration or sign-in table with instructions for downloading and logging into the app. Be sure to include Wi-Fi information as well!
18. Have a laptop at the registration desk with someone who can login to your app dashboard in case an attendee experiences problems. What if an email address is wrong? What if somebody isn’t on the attendee list? If you can immediately correct these problems on the spot, your attendees will more likely use the app.
Hopefully some of these ideas are useful to you or have sparked a new idea for how you can make use of your event app to connect with your attendees. We would love to hear more ideas about how you have increased app usage and engagement! Leave a comment below with your great tip!