5 Key Ways a Mobile App Can Drive Engagement at Your Next Event

mobile app for events

The 2015 Marketing Nation Summit is just 8 days away and the halls are a buzzing here at Marketo! The Marketing Nation Summit is the marketing event of the year—it is two and a half days of connecting with other marketers, engaging with new ideas, and discovering resources to make you a better marketer. And this year is going to be the best Summit yet—with over 100 sessions, 115 sponsors, and killer keynotes featuring Phil Fernandez, Arianna Huffington, John Legend and Salman Khan!

This year, as mobile technology continues to evolve, it only makes sense that our conference follow suit. Mobile apps are a hot trend at user conferences, and as an event manager, I have definitely jumped on board! This year, we’re happy to introduce our Summit 2015 mobile app to help you make the most of your experience.

Here are some of my favorite features in the app and why we decided to include them. And if you are building an app for an upcoming event, use these features to drive maximum event engagement.

1. Stay Connected with an Activity Feed

Stay connected with an audience that you don’t typically converse with! The activity feed centralizes everything going on at your event and highlights different session and activities that your audience may not have stumbled upon. An activity feed is a great way to keep your event attendees engaged–they can interact with not only your brand, but they can also network with other attendees. Take a look at what our Summit activity feed looks like in the mobile app. People are already engaging and Summit has’t begun yet! It is certainly getting people excited about the upcoming event.

Activity Feed

2. Keep Track of Sessions with an Agenda Builder

To most attendees the agenda builder this is probably the most important part of an event app, with over 100 sessions it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. Within an agenda builder an attendee is able to see the entire schedule an event offers and bookmark specific sessions—allowing them to keep track of their plans. For Summit, our agenda builder includes all of our sessions, events, and keynotes.

MarketoSummitAgenda

3. Share through Social

Mobile apps help your audience connect with you and build a social presence while at the event. Having an app that prompts your attendees to connect their social accounts in the app means that they don’t have to navigate away from your event or app to share on social platforms. Encourage your users to post what they’ve learned in sessions and share interesting things they find while they’re in the expo hall! Marketers love sharing what they are doing and getting new ideas…that is after all why we attend these events!

4. Be Relevant and Timely with Push Notifications

Push notifications allow you, per your attendee’s permission, to send a message to their mobile device that pops up on their screen. While incredibly valuable to the event marketer, push notifications need to be relevant and timely. Because of this, when you are putting together your push notification strategy, make sure that they necessary and timely. Two tips—be sparing and offer specific value to your attendee.

5. Encourage Interaction and Competition with Gamification

This is the best way for you to get your audience involved and using all the different aspects of your app! Event mobile apps should always be equipped with gamification features—this helps target the competitive nature of your attendees and keep them coming back to the app for more.

Build out a prize pack and be sure to involve your sponsors! As you build your gamification plan, make sure to reward more heavily for engagement with features that benefit your company as well as your attendees. You can see an example of our Summit challenge below.

Here’s how you earn points:

MarketoChallengeWhen you plan a large conference one of your main goals before the show is to drive attendance. That’s all well and good, but what about once they get there? Mobile apps have given us a new take on how to engage our audience and offer value while they are at our event.

Will you be using a mobile app at your next event?

Are you interested in attending the Marketing Nation Summit 2015? Free Keynote and Expo Hall passes are still available—get yours while they last!

Michael is Event Marketing Manager at Marketo. He is a food lover and frequent traveler. He channels his undying energy, outgoing personality, and events know-how to the marketing industry. Michael graduated from UMASS Amherst with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Read Michael's Blogs

There's plenty of #mobileapps in the sea. Why should you use one for your big events?

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