Many event organizers miss out on valuable attendee insights due to lack of event app adoption. Event apps allow organizers to collect real-time data like content preferences, event activity, feedback, and social interactions. Without in-app interactions, organizers are left in the dark about the preferences and sentiments of their audience.
But, luckily this can be avoided! The key is to focus on event app adoption, long before your event starts. This way, you can spend more time creating personalized experiences to facilitate valuable connections for attendees during the fleeting moments of your event. Let's dive into the six basics in event app promotion to win higher adoption rates for your next event.
1. Create an amazing event app download page
Your first chance to ask users to download your app is right after they sign up. Once someone buys a ticket, instead of taking them to a simple “Thank you” page, take them to a dedicated landing page with your app download links and the values of downloading the app. Take for example HelloMind's beautiful website experience pictured below; they clearly demonstrate the values of downloading, and make it easy or mobile users to get the app right from this page.
Image Source: hellomind.com
What makes it so great? The answer is it's simplicity--there are no distracting menus, pop-ups or ads. It is brand consistent and well designed, leading the user down the page to learn more. You can do something very similar with your event app by cross promoting the values of your event with an extra layer of how your app benefits that experience and provides exclusive value.
Here’s a simple format for your event app download page:
- Headline: A one-liner that explains exactly what the user will get. Be sure to include your event name!
- Sub-head: A supporting sentence to encourage app downloads explaining the benefit of attendees downloading the event app.
- CTA Button(s): “Download App” CTAs for Apple and Android and any other OS you might be supporting.
- A Video Demo: A short 1-1.5 min app demo video can give the users a real feel of the app and it's functions.
- Key Benefits: Use the area below the fold to highlight the top benefits of your event app such as what features will be used at the event and what networking capabilities are available. If you can’t create a video, use plenty of app screenshots to explain your event app’s features.
- Testimonials: If you can get any of your app users from the previous year to review their app experience, make those available on the download page.
- CTA Button(s): Repeat the download CTAs at the end of the page to be sure users don't need to scroll back up the page to download.
2. Send email reminders to download the event app
You might already have an email workflow that goes out to the users who register for your event. To boost app downloads, add emails with the app download call to action. Users are very attentive to any communication they get from you right after registration. Take advantage of this by making your app download email the first email in your pre-event campaign. For better adoption of the event app consider the following communication touch-points:
- Including your app download page CTA in your registration thank you email
- Sending another email 1 week prior to your event, and the day of your event linking to the download page
- Sending out pre-event SMS messages 1 week prior, and the day of your event linking to the download page or app store
Also, don't forget the power of your internal staff's signatures; daily correspondence can be turned into an event app marketing channel. Try adding something along the lines of this to everyone's signature leading up to the event:
“Coming to [your event name]? Download the app for exclusive content and networking opportunities. [Shortened Link]”
3. Promote your event app on social media
Just like an email campaign, design a social media campaign to promote your event app to your followers. Post regularly about how to download the app, and use a different benefit statement for each post. Be sure to include a link within the post to your app download landing page. Here are some things you can do on social to increase the buzz of your event app:
- Request your event speakers, partners, and sponsors to promote app downloads on their social profiles. Give them ready-to-share messages and creative. See example above of how Shine Bootcamp activates their speakers.
- Support your social media efforts by boosting event app promotions with paid spend to get them in front of more of your followers
- Ask your staff and team to share messages on their social channels about the event app and how to get it.
4. Use FOMO tactics
FOMO (the fear of missing out) is a powerful motivator. To use this tactic to increase app downloads, create some app-only-exclusive content. Here are some examples of app-exclusive event content:
- Speaker/Panel Interactions
- Games or scavenger hunts
In addition to exclusive content, you can also make some features exclusive to the app — for example, posting directly on the event’s live feed, or getting access to exclusive areas or lounges at your event.
Once you have all the app-exclusive content ready, use the time leading up to the event to create hype via email, social and other owned channels. The more your attendees learn about the content and feature offerings that are only available in the app, the more likely they'll be to download.
6. Promote event app downloads during check-in and sessions
The best place to ask attendees to download the event app at the venue is the check-in space. Include QR codes that users can scan to download your event app right at the check-in counter and throughout your venue space. Also make sure that check-in staff are familiar enough with the app sign-up process to assist attendees and that they are evangelizing download of the app.
Once your event begins, use your opening introduction and the following sessions to prompt users to download your event app.
To do so, encourage your speakers to use the event app to facilitate their sessions. For example, they may utilize in-app features to collect questions or comments, or use in-app quizzing features to engage attendees with content. You can also ask your attendees to participate in each post-session survey to evaluate speakers they loved.
Promote your event app effectively...
For higher download rates build a little hype around your event app, it deserves it after all! The above tactics are all about making your event app look unmissable to your users. Because, it is! Attendees who use mobile apps report a more satisfying event experience, and organizers who use an event app have a direct line of communication with attendees at all times. It's a win-win!