In the upcoming months, millions of people will be attending trade shows and user conferences! They will be using their best spy skills to find the perfect vendors to work with or the most useful classes to attend. How can you, as an event planner, help them complete their missions? Many trade show planners are taking advantage of smart phone technology to create apps for their show attendees. Apps can provide a great deal of information minus the mess of creating millions of paper copies, but what features would make your app the most user-friendly for your attendees?
Maps: Your event may attract the attention of attendees who live far away and may be unfamiliar with the area. Your app can provide them with important clues, such as directions from the airport to the exhibition center, and local hotels and restaurants. On a smaller scale, you can also include a map of the exhibition center.
Directory: Even with all the best sleuthing of your show’s attendees, it’s possible they might not be able to meet up with everyone on their lists. Providing a directory will ensure that contacts from the show are being made long after the last booth is packed up. You could also put QR codes on badges that, when scanned by the app, lead the user to contact information for the badge owner.
Social media: Your show’s attendees will probably be on multiple social media outlets throughout the event trying to make appointments and new contacts. Integrate social media on your app and ensure that the attention will be kept to your app and your show.
Schedule: With all the flyers exchanging hands, paper schedules could easily get lost in the piles of paper people will be collecting throughout your show. A virtual schedule will ensure your attendees will always know the times and locations of speakers and classes.
Notification System: How do you go about informing your attendees of a change in room or schedule? With a notification system on your event app, people would be able to receive important information quickly and easily. You can also add session reminders for registered attendees.
Despite possible downsides, such as difficulties with different kinds of phones or data plans, event apps have the potential to be a very useful addition to your show. Not especially tech savvy? Many companies, including Guidebook and TapWalk are available that can help you create your own app from a set of templates. If your conference or event needs are more advanced and you want to incorporate special functions such as GPS location services or other custom features, you can take advantage of the expertise of mobile app development companies like Segue Technologies, Inc. With this new technology and the user-friendly atmosphere that follows, you can be certain your show will be a favorite of attendees.
-by Jenna Marie, Chief Code Breaker