Mobile Apps: Native Vs Web App

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This is a guest post by Tim Masterson, founder of conferencehandbook.com. Thanks, Tim, for the insight! If you’ve done any poking around in the mobile world lately you may have heard the terms “Native App”, “Web App”  and “HTML 5” … Continue reading

Welche Funktionen gehören in eine gute Event-App?

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This is the German version of a guest post I wrote for the Event Manager Blog. Einleitung Smartphones und Tablet-Computern werden immer stärker genutzt. Internet-fähige Handys “erfinden die Beziehung zwischen Unternehmen und ihren Kunden neu”, wie es Rich Miner, Partner … Continue reading

World Newspaper Week Vienna: iPad and Smartphone App (Review Part 3)

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3. The World Newspaper Week iPad and Smartphone app It was quite a bit of work, and in case anyone would tell you differently – don’t believe them! Designing your (native) event app is something you will have to invest … Continue reading

8 Indispensable Features for a Kick-Ass Event App

Julius Solaris kindly asked me to write a guest post for his great Event Manager Blog, which I happily did!

Find my post about 8 Indispensable Features for a Kick-Ass Event App here.

Here is the German version of this post / Hier gibt’s eine deutsche Version davon.

If you want to know more about event apps, check out this previous post about vendors and best cases, or these tips on how to promote your conference or trade show app once it is published.

Event Technology and Social Media Trends at IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show 2011

Two years ago, the Frankfurt International Motor Show IAA took place at the peak of the financial crisis – and the automotive industry seemed to be in deep trouble.

2011, a totally different story: In one word – breathtaking!

You want to know what are the latest trends in stand design, audience interaction at trade shows and event technology? That’s the place to go to.

I attended the exhibition to see the event  from an organizers viewpoint – and tried not to be too much distracted by the hostesses…

Let me share with you my experiences and observations at this years show, and see some stunning examples of 3D brand design and immersive trade show environments!

iPad and Smartphone event apps: 10 ideas that drive downloads

After some consideration, you may have come to the conclusion that a conference or an exhibition like the one that you run requires a native smartphone and/or tablet app. Congratulations! You took the right decision! In case my previous post on app technology and providers has given you some inspiration, I’d be more than happy…

Now comes the tricky part. The reasons to offer a native app for your event might be various.

  • Branding aspects: Being present on the personal devices of your target audience and exposing them to your event brand.
  • Service aspects: Delivering functionalities that go way beyond what a catalogue or website can do, e.g. networking of the delegates before, during and after the event, location based services or personalization.
  • Marketing / sales aspects: Encouraging target audiences to visit your event, sponsor or exhibit.

Whatever your strategy might be, it is important that you focus not only on building the app, but as importantly also on promoting it. Particularly when you have the 3rd aspect (marketing) in mind.

Here are my tips what to bear in mind when you think about promotion tactics for your app:

  1. Consider the best timing for launching your app. A lot of apps are downloaded on the weekends, so it makes sense to choose a timing for the launch that assures that you appear in the “New Apps” section exactly when people are browsing the app stores.
  2. Make sure your description on the App stores contains the right keywords that your audience might be looking for.
  3. Start by generating a QR code (e.g. at Kaywa) that will link directly to the download page on the iTunes and/or Android stores. Scanned with your smartphone, the example on the right hand side will take you directly to the download page of the new Google+ app on the iTunes store. By the way: Add your company logo to the QR code (up to 30% of the surface) and you have a good chance to increase the scans. Berliner Bank did that and registered 6 times as many scans than without their logo!
  4. Make a screenshot of your app and include that screenshot together with the QR code and a brief description of the app features in all your advertising material (brochures, website, roll-up banners etc.). However, there might still be people not familiar with QR codes, so you should also include a download link.
  5. Write a press-release about the launch of the app, together with screenshots of the features and the QR code. You might want to include not only your usual PR contacts, but also special magazines that write about apps.
  6. In case you are using a html-based email marketing system, it is quite easy also to include the download link and code in your email newsletters.
  7. Include a rating functionality in your app (e.g. Appirater), to get people to rate and share their experience with your app.
  8. Use your social media channels to spread the word about your app. Not only your own channels, you may also want to search for groups related to your conference content and post the link to your app there as well. By the way, that is an important element of any social media promotion strategy for your event.
  9. Submit your app to the websites dedicated to App reviews (e.g. Appreview).
  10. Post a How-to-Use guide on Slideshare, showing the main features of the app.

I believe that apps are a great tool for interaction, customer service and innovative branding for your event. My team and I are currently working on launching our app for the World Newspaper Week in Vienna, which will be available for iPad, iPhone, Android and RIM Blackberrys soon. I’ll keep you updated as soon as it’s available.