Latest app usage statistics – What do they mean for event apps?

Screenshot at Sep. 09 21-04-51

At first glance, the bare figures that Comscore have revealed last week can be pretty discouraging for event app providers – as well as for organizers implementing an app for their conference, exhibition or event.

The full report can be viewed here, but let me summarize the key findings:

  1. In Germany, two thirds of the 40 million smartphone users haven’t downloaded a single app during the last month! People have become reluctant to add more and more apps to their phones.
  2. Du to the fact that smartphone penetration is still on the rise, the app economy is growing, but at a decreasing rate. Market saturation is coming nearer.
  3. While downloads are decreasing, internet usage via mobile apps is on the rise. In the USA, digital media time spent on mobile apps is already at 52%! People have their favorite apps that they use more and more often.
  4. Overall, digital media time spent on mobile platforms (apps, browser) in the USA is at 60%, desktop down to 40%, with a strong tendency towards further mobile internet growth.
  5. In Germany, the most used apps are Facebook (including WhatsApp and Instagram), Google (incl. maps, search, YouTube), Amazon, Ebay, Weather and a couple of news apps including Kicker (football). That… is pretty much it.

What do we event marketers make of these facts? Here are seven tipps: 

  1. There is no way around having a good mobile marketing strategy in place when promoting conferences, trade shows or business events.
  2. Most importantly, organizers have to carefully consider how their website will be viewed on a small smartphone screen. Responsive webdesign, adjusting automatically to the size of the screen used, is a basic requirement.
  3. Event apps can be cool, but… You rather give your audience a veeeery good reason to download it, because they may be reluctant to adding more apps to their phone.
  4. That said, it is not enough to place the app on the app stores. App promotion tactics on multiple channels are key to getting a decent amount of downloads.
  5. Regarding imagery, make sure the pics you’re using work on small screens, too. Strong pictures, supporting the core messages of your event, not too much detail.
  6. Text… is overrated…? Not really, just the opposite! Spend as much time on your headlines to create compelling, engaging texts – with no more than 40 characters! Don’t believe that is an easy task, though…
  7. Generally speaking, the “flatter” your design is, the better it is. Flat design means minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colors. Using mobile phones, users want to get straight to the point, without having to find their way through a complicated and useless design.

Even though screen sizes on mobile phones obviously tend to become bigger, as we can see from today’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus presentation, they are changing the way we gather and process information drastically.

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