Some companies have embraced mobile apps as a part of doing business. Others don’t use apps, likely due to a lack of knowledge of and experience with this emerging technology. According to a blog I just read, mobile event apps have transitioned from an interesting offering at trade shows into an integrated part of the event experience. Many expo attendees are glued to their smart phones, and savvy event organizers are leveraging that mobile addiction to make a more meaningful event experience. Maybe it’s time for more companies to get on board with apps.
One familiar element regarding apps is the need to get the word out about it so that show attendees, clients, prospects, etc. download it and use it. App promotion is a critical step, and you have many options in this area.
1) Start Early
Before your conference kicks off, send an email to generate app awareness, asking attendees to respond to a question in the app. For example: Which session are you most looking forward to? What is your main goal at this expo? Engaging them before the expo encourages attendees to participate and connect in person at the event.
2) Encourage Download at Registration
Set up an “app support” area near registration, staffed with someone who can help attendees get started. Include signage that has both compelling benefits, and clear download instructions. Incentivize attendees to download early, by awarding points or badges for an attendee’s first check in at the app support table.
3) Dedicated App Champions
With a busy trade show and packed registration area, some folks may miss the app assistance at the registration table. Therefore, organizers could have a few staff members – app champions – on the exhibit floor and around meeting rooms. These easy-to-find experts should be available to answer guests’ questions about the app and encourage attendees to download it.
4) Contests and Gamification
Leveraging games and contests within the app is a great way to jumpstart adoption and activity. For example, you can give a prize to attendees who check in at every exhibitor booth, or enter attendees into a raffle if they complete a survey. If appropriate for the conference, you could even organize an app-based scavenger hunt and award prizes.
5) Leverage Social Media
For apps with an official hash tag, using twitter to promote your app is a must. Use short tweets to highlight specific app benefits. Some benefits resonate more than others, so put various benefits out there. For internal events that may not use a twitter hash tag, think of where the social networking happens for attendees. Maybe it’s an internal forum or wiki… be sure to leverage the social spaces in which your target audience interacts.
6) Daily App Recaps
Each day, attendees have interesting conversations on the application. Showcase this engagement to all event attendees through daily recaps of the best comments and photos. Share relevant stats about the top sessions and speakers of the day, and some of those who are not on the app will be motivated to hop on board.
7) Get Speakers and Exhibitors Involved
Last but not least, encourage speakers and exhibitors to become advocates for the app. Ask the keynote to pose a question that attendees can answer via the app. Encourage exhibitors to give swag to people who check in at their booth location. Not only does it help app adoption, but it opens up the conversation to all event stakeholders.
To learn more tips and tricks for boosting app downloads, check out the Official App Promotion Guide by DoubleDutch today.
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