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The Best Event Apps of 2014

2014 has been an incredible year at DoubleDutch. We added a boatload of new features to our event app platform, grew the organization by over 100%, and even picked up some awards along the way. But, the true shining moments from this past year came from our customers.

Taking Event Apps to the Limit

This year, our customers really pushed the boundaries on their event applications, using innovative mobile strategies to take their events from good to great.. Here are just a few standout moments from the past year:

These well-designed, fun media assets really elevated the app experience for users. The team at Lift15 went above and beyond by designing unique splashscreens for each device type - taking advantage of the additional space on tablets and considering the smaller screen on phones.

As event organizers, we understand the impact these little details have on the overall experience. With some real design love, the team at Lift15 was able to leave a lasting first impression on app users.

Another well-designed set of media assets this year came from the folks at AMSA. These guys really took branding out of the box by changing out the header logo and primary color on a daily basis. By providing attendees with something new, fresh and interesting every day, you can have a direct impact on return visits and engagement.

If you have a strong brand with multiple color schemes, this is also a great way to mix things up and keep things exciting throughout the event lifecycle.

Sponsors are often the financial backbone of an event. By creating new ways for attendees to interact with and learn about these sponsors, organizers are able to directly impact their return on investment.

The tech team at UBM is no stranger to event applications, with 50+ implementations under their belt this year alone. By scheduling promoted posts in the activity feed that linked directly to individual exhibitors within their roster, UBM was able to drive massive exposure for key sponsors. The mobile app housed information for over 300 exhibitors and then was able to use these promoted posts to drive attendees to sponsored content and ultimately the exhibitors’ booths.

When considering gamification for events, it’s important to first ask yourself, “What are our larger event goals?” and then architect a strategy to meet them. For the folks at Riva 3.0, one of their main goals was to increase education within the organization.

To this end, the team created a custom list in the application with different subjects for attendees to check in to. These subjects were then used in workshops where attendees worked in teams and posted their results in the app to earn points. This program alone led to nearly 100% app adoption, and saw a 28% increase in the number of active users compared to other events of a similar size.

By thinking strategically about their larger event goals, the team at Riva was not only able to achieve those goals, but also demonstrate that success to leadership.

Feedback from attendees is paramount to creating successful events time and time again. To help organizers capture that feedback in real-time, DoubleDutch offers in-app surveys and live polling to all organizers.

At HughesNetSummit, the team really wanted to focus on demoing new and potential product ideas to attendees and collect feedback on those demos to directly impact business decisions. To achieve this, HughesNetSummit set up QR Codes throughout the event that attendees could scan, unlocking surveys in which attendees could rate the new and potential products.

With over 100 potential products demoed, the team at HughesNetSummit, saw a 21% increase in the number of active users compared to other corporate, external facing events of comparable size and a 13% increase in activity within the application. The results of this real-time feedback in the event application have helped HughesNet make smarter business decisions for the coming year.

The DoubleDutch application is truly customizable to your brand. Clients love the ability to swap out app icons, change section titles, and even create custom app sections to reflect their own brand.

The Wheelchair Tennis Community took full advantage of this by creating two app sections that standout in particular: Community Shoutouts and Coaches Corner. The Community Shoutouts section was used to highlight members of the app community with a special biography and photo and the Coaches Corner was to provide tips and tricks on how to become a better coach. Both of these app sections drove repeat visits through the life of the event, creating a more engaging experience for users.

As a data-driven organization, we love to see clients continue to take advantage of insights from their app engagements. The event production team at Naylor has kept using their app beyond the event. Once a month, Naylor schedules push notifications and tracks spikes in engagement from these efforts. When engagement drops, they schedule another push notification to drive attendees back into the app.

What is really inspiring about this practice is that it falls perfectly in line with how we like to think about messaging and engagement here at DoubleDutch. In fact, we’ve revamped our entire analytics dashboard so that organizers can better understand when and why spikes in engagement occur in their applications, allowing them to further optimize their events.

Promoting an event app is paramount to its success - if attendees don’t know about the app, they won’t use it. The team behind the St. Louis Wedding Show really took this to heart, so wherever they promoted their event - social media, web banners, email campaigns -  they also included a mention of the application.

They didn’t stop there either. At the event, they even created an app lounge where attendees can learn more about how to use the application.

Each year the Galactosemia Foundation hosts an Annual Conference, bringing together individuals who have galactosemia and their families. This year, they pulled out all of the stops with a mobile application.

Attendees of all ages come to the event, so organizers decided to create tailored agendas for each age group, ensuring they delivered appropriate content to each audience. They also leveraged other sections of the app to share travel info and showcase  sponsors, speakers, and items that had been donated to the event.

One of the highlights of this app was the scavenger hunt. Attendees were prompted to locate various items throughout the conference and post photos into the application. There were over 50 things to discover, which created opportunities to meet, reunite and celebrate each other. It was a tremendous success, with the Scavenger Hunt app section generating over 4000 visits during the time of the conference.

The app was also used to connect with people who were unable to attend the conference, building a global community. Families from all over the world participated in the app and in some cases met and forged relationships for the first time with others who have the condition.

Autodesk University is a large corporate user conference that takes place in Las Vegas each December. The conference provides training, seminars and labs to help further education in the field and there is a tradeshow-esque exhibitor floor.

One of the standout sections of the AU app is their Interactive Map. With such a large-scale conference, attendees need a way to easily get from one place to the next. Creating a detailed conference map inside of the application was no easy feat, but ultimately helped attendees in a big way.

The team also created what they called ‘Show Specials’ within each sponsor detail to highlight what exhibitors were offering on the floor. This is another stellar example of clients thinking about how to improve our  product in the same way that we are - stay tuned for new features in 2015! 

Autodesk is no stranger to gamification, utilizing hidden QR codes to award badges for taking specific actions such as giving user feedback, participating in CSR activities, and more. Taking gamification into their own hands, the Autodesk team decided to only reward points for adding profile images and taking part in app feedback surveys. Focusing in on these elements helped drive attendee behavior towards them, leading to 425 custom badges earned, 600 survey responses, and over 12,000 status updates.

It’s been an incredible year.

Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for our amazing customers. This is just a snapshot of the incredible things our clients did this year. We hope to see your company highlighted in 2015. Contact us today to surprise and delight your customers by building a mobile strategy for your events.

By DoubleDutch Insider | December 23, 2014

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