Do New York City Event Planners Really Need an Event App?

March 23, 2018 Susan Serena

We are not going to sugarcoat it. Opinions from New York City Event Planners can sometimes be divided, as is evident in these highlighted quotes:

“Event apps done right save time and money. They simplify communication to and from attendees.”

“Survey results show our attendees would not use one.”

“Event apps are one of the best inventions for networking and productivity in the event planning space.“

“They are not used, no traffic.”

“Attendees loved the mobile app at our conference.”

“We have tried event apps three times. The use was dismal. The App was pushed quite hard, but just not utilized. The cost could not be justified again.”

“We’ve eliminated paper programs and rely strictly on an event app now. The change has saved us a ton of money, we can make instant changes if the schedule changes and attendees seem to love it.”

“Tried apps – the cost vs the return was too low.”

“It makes an event more interactive, alive, real and interesting for attendees, they are IN the process, not separated from what is happening. Our experience is positive.”

“It is difficult to get executive buy-in.”

Some New York City Event Planners have doubts on whether or not an event app adds enough value to an event to justify the expense. Other New York City Event Planners rave about them and see them as an indispensable component to each event they plan.

So, who should you believe?

Well consider this…

Are event apps a problem?

Or is there a discrepancy when picking the right app solution and executing it properly?

How to Determine if an Event App Will Add Value to An Event

New York City Event Planners probably know their event and the audience better than anyone. Often you will have a “gut feeling” whether an approach, such as implementing an event app, is the right fit, or not. Although more often than not your intuition may be correct, this is not sufficient to get others, who may be much more skeptical, on your side.

Even if you are certain that investing in an events app is right for your event there could still be resistance and reluctance from your boss, your client, the board or the rest of your team before you can implement an event app strategy. For the best chance of success, you need to take the time to research and present all the evidence.

This next section gives a framework for how to make your case and confidently address some of the most common concerns raised. Going through this evaluation process should mean that you can have all the answers ready and can come to an informed decision everyone is happy with.

The event planners that have the greatest success with event apps follow this 8-step process to make the right selection and purchasing decisions.

Establish Your Business Need for an Event App

Just because something exists, or because it works for others, that doesn’t mean it’s right for New York City Event Planners. Thinking that an event app is a cool thing to have or wanting one because your competitor had one at their event, are not solid objectives and motivations.

Before New York City Event Planners invest time and money into selecting an event friendly app, they should make sure the reason for doing so is in line with the overall objectives of the event.

If the main driver for wanting an app is one of the following, the right event app solution could help:

  • To meet CSR objectives to reduce environmental impact
  • To deliver rich, real-time, event analytics
  • To provide a revenue stream as an enticing sponsorship opportunity
  • To increase exposure for sponsors and exhibitors and their products
  • To offer better problem solving and matchmaking between attendees
  • To improve customer service and support to attendees

It’s important at this stage to clarify all your key objectives. These will be essential for creating a business case outlining the need for an event app and gaining the buy-in from your client or boss.

Step 2: Determine Your Event App Budget and Resources

Do you know what budget is available to invest in the event app? Knowing your numbers enables you to focus on the event app providers that offer suitable apps within your price bracket. This helps you to narrow down the options using our online event app selection filters.

Also, consider the bigger picture such as staff time and extras such as WiFi costs at the venue. You don’t want to waste your investment by not having enough staff, time and resources to allocate to the app.

Although there is likely to be a cost for the app, does it also offer significant potential savings and opportunities to generate revenue?

Know your figures:

  • If you haven’t created a full event budget download our free template so you can work out how much you can invest in your event app.
  • Using the event app selection tool linked above you can specify to only show apps within your price range, whether you need a free event app, an event app under $1k, $1-5k or over $5k.
  • Identify how using an event app can save you money (e.g. not printing your event brochure), offer potential additional revenue (e.g. securing an event app sponsor) and automating processing to cut down on staff time (e.g. reducing manual appointment setting).

Have you ever used an event app before? If the answer is yes, now is the time to look back at past data to see what you can learn from previous uses, and what you would change if you were to use an event app again.


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