How to Get Your Guests to Use Your Mobile Event App

Written by
Published on
March 16, 2020

Event apps are more popular than ever. It didn’t take long for event organizers all over the world to see the benefits of communicating directly with their guests through an app.

You’ve probably been to an event that had its own app, but you may not have known it. You aren’t an outlier, though. Event organizers constantly struggle with adoption rates. According to one survey, only 20% of events enjoy adoption rates of 75% or more.

That begs the question: How do you encourage your guests to download and use the event app? How can you make your app a powerful part of your event experience? In this article, we’re going to explain how to boost your event app’s adoption rate.

Incentivize Your Guests to Download

Sometimes getting people to behave the way you want is as simple as giving them something in return. An easy (albeit a bit expensive) way to get people to use your app is to create an incentive they can’t ignore.

For example, you might give everyone who downloads the app a free t-shirt when they arrive at the venue. Or you might require that they download the app in order to receive their swag bag.

Some events incentivize users to download the event app by using the app to conduct business. For instance, you might allow guests to check in without waiting in line through the app. Or you might let them reserve their seat for a lecture early using the app.

Giveaways are also effective ways to incentivize guests to download the app. You could draw a winner from the list of everyone who downloaded the app. You could also award prizes based on how people use the app. For example, you can give a prize to the person who completes all of your gamification elements or who engages the most using the app’s social media features.

Make the App Part of the Experience

Mobile event app

The best way to get your attendees to use your event app is to make it an integral part of your event. Bake the app into the event so thoroughly that they won’t get the full value from their experience without it.

For example, if you distribute a schedule or itinerary for your event, consider abandoning paper handouts in favor of a digital asset in your event app. This would save you on printing costs and make sure every guest has their schedule at all times. This would also make it possible to make changes to the schedule that don’t disrupt your guests’ experience.

Event gamification is another way to integrate your event app into the experience. Gamification is when you introduce game-like mechanics into your event, like competition, goals, points, problem-solving, and even physical activity. For instance, you could award points for scanning QR codes or checking into iBeacons. The points could be exchanged for prizes or privileges (like free VIP access or a meet-and-greet).

Here’s a short list of other ways you can make your event app an important part of your event:

  • Include a map or virtual guide of the venue to help guests navigate the space.
  • Create information pages that help guests understand important concepts, learn about speakers, or prepare for a lecture/presentation.
  • Add iBeacons to special locations (like a demonstration or booth) that alert users to important information.
  • Create user profiles that let people network and learn about other guests.

Inspire Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a psychological principle that compels people to behave in certain ways due to their anxiety about missing something important, valuable, or meaningful. According to psychologist Elizabeth Scott, “The fear of missing out refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem.”

For instance, a person might attend a party because they fear missing a group activity, even if they don’t particularly feel like partying that night. Or someone might compulsively check their Facebook feed because they fear they’ll miss something important.

You can convince more of your guests to adopt your event app by leaning on their fear of missing out. Make them think there’s something in the app they can’t get unless they log in.

The best way to inspire a fear of missing out is to fill your app with event elements that aren’t available anywhere else. You want each guest to think, “I won’t have a good time or get my money’s worth if I don’t use the app.”

Here are some key elements you can implement in your event app that will instill a fear of missing out:

  • Exclusive content, like eBooks, videos, or games.
  • Priority access to key event areas and activities. Have guests check-in at the area using their app or simply show it to an employee/volunteer at the entrance.
  • Social media features that allow guests to not only connect with other guests, but also connect with key event players, like speakers, VIPs, or the host.
  • Discounts, offers, and coupons from you, your sponsors, and vendors.
  • Alerts and notifications that can make their experience more fun, entertaining, and valuable.

Leverage Your Communication Channels

Mobile event app

In many cases, convincing your guests to use your event app just means making them aware of it. Event apps have gained popularity (especially among tech-savvy people and early adopters of new products), but many people don’t expect them to be available. So it’s important to make your guests aware of your app by maximizing the use of all of your communication channels.

Your communication channels are simply the ways you communicate with your guests, potential guests, and fans. That might include…

  • Your website
  • An email or SMS list
  • Your social media pages
  • Influencers, affiliates, or salespeople
  • Blog posts, podcasts, or videos
  • Press releases or official statements
  • Printed documents (handed out or mailed)
  • Event signage

It’s important to mention your event app often through every channel. Send multiple emails and make multiple social media posts about it. Ask your influencers and affiliates to promote it as part of your partnership agreement. Put an image, icon, or message in the header of all printed documents. Make it prominent on your website (ideally on every page).

Most importantly, make sure to promote it heavily during your event. Instruct your employees and volunteers to prompt everyone at the welcome/registration table. This is the most effective way to inform every guest about your app, address their objections, and help them download and use the app if needed.

Use the Right App

None of the work you do to promote your event app will be helpful if users don’t like the app enough to use it. So it’s important to create a quality app with plenty of features that offers a positive user experience.

That’s where Superevent comes in: Superevent offers a very complete set of features to make your event even more successful! It serves all of your event needs to bring your event to the next level. Managing the app is as easy as editing a Word document. It doesn’t require any technical expertise. Changes are visible in the attendees’ apps immediately, without any app store approvals.

Superevent is free to create and launch your app! Only start to pay when you need premium features or a bigger audience. Create your first event app.

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