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September 18th, 2014

In the third part of this series on event apps, we’ll discuss what your attendees most want and need from your app. Boiled down to the Managing info v2very basics, your attendees want NAVIGATION—they need help finding their way through the masses of possibilities and volumes of information available regarding your event. Let’s look at the different ways that navigation applies across multiple aspects of the event experience.

  1. Maps and Local Info– in its simplest form, navigation applies to where your attendees are going. Where are they trying to end up, and how do they get there? If your app does nothing more, it should help attendees find their way through your venue to the sessions and amenities that they need.
  2. Organization – your event provides a tremendous number of opportunities, but it also adds to an attendee’s work and stress load. Your event app must help attendees filter through the possibilities; it needs to make planning easier for your guests. Ideally, guests can search through sessions or exhibitors by keywords—then immediately plan them into their calendar and locate them within the venue.
  3. Social Networking – attendees take the time to come to events for two reasons – gathering information and making contacts. Your app needs to help attendees navigate through the crowds of people and find the contacts that are most useful and valuable for them. These days, everyone has a social media network that they prefer for business and professional use. Attendees will expect advanced networking possibilities from your event app. Your app needs to provide a convenient, concentrated platform where digital contacts can be formed within the framework of your event and where the conversations are focused on the experiences of the event itself.
  4. Personalization – beginning with the event agenda, attendees want to create their own path and forge their own experience, one that is tailored to their unique business needs. The ideal event app makes it easy for guests to carve their own personalized itinerary from the overall offerings—letting them get in and out with exactly the information they needed and with their goals achieved.
  5. Real-time Notification – with instant messaging a standard now, your event app needs to instantaneously deliver changes and reminders directly to guests. It should also facilitate messaging between event participants, creating another opportunity for networking.
  6. Ratings and Feedback – your guests have strong ideas about what they like and don’t like, and it’s best to allow comments as the experience is occurring. Allowing ratings during an event helps everyone—attendees can see which sessions, speakers, and exhibitors are most worth their time, exhibitors have a chance to receive constructive criticism, and you, as an event manager, can see what’s working and what’s not, making a better experience overall.

Stay tuned to this series, as we delve into specific details on how to achieve each of these! Next week—How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Four: Maps and More!”

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