With increasing stability and decreasing travel restrictions, the world of onsite events is back! 2023 is set to be the biggest year for onsite events since 2019, and there is a renewed need for onsite tools for planners and attendees alike. First time and veteran event planning professionals should consider what a mobile solution can do for their event.
What is a mobile solution?
Mobile solutions are event technologies such as Event Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These tools help attendees to connect with the event happening physically around them and reduce the need for printed event materials. Mobile solutions serve as an extension of the event space and offer a myriad of benefits. They can:
- + serve as a tool for connecting attendees to fellow attendees, speakers and sponsors.
- + help attendees navigate the physical space.
- + aid attendee understanding what types of sessions, training and extras are being offered.
- + host agendas, maps, FAQs, and even exhibitor information.
Beyond helping the attendee navigate the event, mobile solutions can help event data flow not just unilaterally, but also back to the planner through surveys and messaging features, and on the back end via analytics. This means that not only are attendees getting value and information out of these mobile solutions, but planners can also capture additional insight and feedback.
When to have a mobile solution?
While mobile solutions are valuable tools, there are a few things to consider before deciding to implement one at an event. Beyond the additional scope requirements planners will want to consider if their event needs a mobile solution in the first place.
Below we have five key areas planners should consider before implementing a mobile solution.
Does your event have multiple tracks?
- Hosting session tracks is a great way to make sure attendees can find the content they are looking for and adds complexity and value to an event. In many events, breakouts tracks allow attendees to easily understand what the best content is for them. For example, at a tech conference there may be a mix of technical content for developers, branding strategy for marketing professionals, and leadership coaching sessions for executives. Providing tracks helps differentiate the curated content for each background type. To ensure the right people get to the right sessions, mobile apps and PWAs can be leveraged to direct attendee’s schedules and help them navigate the complexities of many simultaneous sessions.
Is your event being hosted over multiple days?
- When an event has multiple days of great content, it can be difficult for attendees to keep track of each day’s agenda. While agendas built into websites can be effective, depending on complexity planners may want to consider a more robust option. Event apps and PWAs can help address more complex filtering, better respond to onsite queries and can offer my dynamic visual solutions.
Is your event taking place at a large or complex venue?
- For events where sessions take place within the same 5 rooms, the need for a digital app is limited. If, however, an event is taking place in a large conference center or hotel with multiple floors for meeting rooms, an event app can be a convenient way for attendees to navigate the complexities of the physical event space. By providing mobile responsive maps, an app can be a quick and convenient way to help direct onsite attendees.
Will your event include a large number of sessions?
- For onsite events, learning from and connecting with industry experts in sessions is a driving force for event attendance. When there are dozens or even hundreds of sessions to choose from, it can be difficult for attendees to navigate what to do next. Maybe a session will be offered more than once? And if so, when is the best time to attend it? Having a mobile app or PWA to help cut through the chaos and look through the information available about each session to make the best decisions. In addition, unlike printed solutions mobile apps and PWAs are responsive to any changes or substitutions in the event schedule.
Does your event have a strong and specific emphasis on networking?
- For events with a heavy emphasis on connecting and networking, a mobile app or PWA can be a key tool for connecting attendees to one another. These apps are a convenient way to share information to connect. With them, planners can host an Attendee directory, incorporate 1:1 meetings options and chat features all within the palm of the attendee’s hand.
If your event features at least two of the above, you may want to consider setting aside time and budget in your event scope for a mobile solution.
What are your options?
Now that you’ve decided your onsite event needs a mobile component, what do you do? As mentioned earlier, a traditional mobile app or a Progressive Web App (PWA) could be just what you need. But what to choose?
Traditional apps offer structure and consistency. In fact many registration and event platforms, offer great in house event apps. These have the added benefit of being already integrated and specially designed to work in tandem with the registration systems. Some registration systems, however, don’t have built-in mobile solutions. In those cases, other products work using APIs and have integrations to work with many popular platforms. These popular platforms can be recommended and set up by our BW experts.
Progressive Web App
Depending on the event, some apps may need additional customization. A PWA has Unrestricted UI/UX, responsive display, and easy installation which makes it an ideal candidate for the ultimate white glove experience. Over the past few months, the BW team has been refining our Progressive Web App (PWA) and are excited about our newest offering for the onsite experience. With a PWA, instead of being tied to an external app, we make everything is run through the event platform. This means 1) all data is stored in one central place with no need to worry about APIs 2) clients can keep their full branding customization and can specify designs based on their UX needs 3) PWAs are easily installed by URL/QR code.
“PWAs are the future for providing enhanced and dynamic mobile solutions onsite. Their technical capabilities give users an experience on par with native apps, but offer the additional benefit of 100% customizable branding and personalization for clients looking for the next big way to step up their branding experience.” – Josh Shepherd, BW Events Tech Strategy Principal Consultant
It’s not just our team and clients who love mobile apps and PWAs. At a recent onsite, an attendee shared their enthusiasm on a social wall for our PWA “THIS APP! Amazing and simple to use on-site”.
Interested in learning more about mobile apps, PWAs and if they’re right for your next event? The experts at BW Events Tech can help! With years of professional event industry expertise, the team can help to advise on what tech can take your event to the next level. Reach out to [email protected] or fill in our quick forum for an event consultation.