Guide to Purchasing an Event App

An Event App can improve your event experience by several folds. But how do you choose the perfect app for your Event?

Here we have created a complete guide to Purchasing the Best App for your Event. We will try to help you by shedding some light on the current technologies available, we also discuss the major considerations in choosing an Event App.

The big problem event organizers face, in 2020 there are numerous options to choose from. And oftentimes you have so many other tech solutions in combination, there are compatibility issues, it all becomes a mess, especially event profs have so many more things to focus other than this.

We hope this guide will remove confusion and save some time and make the experience as smooth as possible.

Our extensive research and practical knowledge, we have come up with just 5 selection criteria to Simplify your decision-making process.

5 Criteria to Consider while Choosing an Event App

1. Evaluate the Features

Event app Feature is usually the strongest factor in the app selection process. Combining with pricing (which we will talk more about in the next point) most of the event profs have a clear idea to make the decision.

Here is a quick tip: The more features are not necessarily the better.

Opening the discussion with an overview of your expectation the provider should be able to help you what features you may need.

As you access the features ask the provider for use cases and dummy data for each feature.

2. App Pricing and Actual Cost to your Organisation:

If you are considering using an event app for the first time. We will highly recommend you start with small investments in event apps. Low cost or free apps are a good place to start your journey with an event app. There is also a freemium model available with some providers, which allows you to start free with some limited features and upgrade later when your needs exceed.

It requires some experience to understand your needs and get your perfect app done. Other than the price you must consider the time and effort it will take to integrate a new thing in your event management pipeline.

Make sure to look at how much time it will require to roll out your app, and the support available from the app provider.

Looking at the pricing (ask for a proposal if the pricing is not disclosed) is a good start, but we encourage you to see the bigger picture. Except app pricing other things to consider before making the final decision are how much of your and your organization’s time it will consume to completely implement it, the size and skills of your team. Look into much effort it requires delving into the features, trying the product, carefully evaluating the support will receive, convincing your attendees to install the app, educating and helping them to use the app.

Many companies do not disclose the price on their website. Do not automatically discount those, make sure to ask them for a proposal. Mostly what happens is if you use their event management or registration platform, the event app is provided for free or little to no cost and is completely integrated with the whole event management system. This can be attractive for many event profs. But, as writing the pricing for the app might mislead people so they chose not to disclose the price, and when someone asks for a proposal they explain the thing.

Key take away:

  • A risk free way to approach your first event app is to start with a low cost or free apps, and then scale with your success.
  • Before making the decision, consider other costs like your organization’s time and effort it will take to roll out and utilize the app successfully.
  • Look for how much support available from your app provider.
  • Don’t ignore any app if the pricing is not available on the website. They are as genuine as any other provider. Ask for a proposal.

3. Support from App Providers

Make sure to investigate App providers’ reputation, especially how good their support is. For the success of an Event App, the app providers’ support is necessary, especially for the event profs who are using the event app for the first time. Their support has to top notch.

It more needed, if you run a very complex app. The chances things getting messed up are really high, you always want to have their support to ensure everything goes according to the plan.

The providers should be readily available before and at the time of the event, be in constant contact with the support team for troubleshooting should anything go wrong.

It is highly recommended to make sure they are available in your time zone. Providers at a different continent may not have support for your time zone.

The provider’s location is again important for GDPR consideration. If your event location is in the European Union, it would be wise to have the Event Providers servers located in the EU only.

Key take away:

  • Make sure the app provider has top notch support, which essential to run an event app successfully
  • At the time of event be in constant contact with their support to troubleshoot immediately in case anything goes wrong
  • For better support, make sure to check if they have good support at your time zone

4. Container App vs Dedicated White Level:

Containers Apps are very affordable and it requires very less time to be developed, especially because they do not require to be verified in before publishing in the App Store and Play Store; (In App Store now it has become a lot harder for a new application to get published) also because to premade templated design it does take much time to be built.

On the other hand, Dedicated White Level apps are fully custom apps, independently published on App Store or Play store. While these apps are quite expensive and require sufficient time for development, these can be fully customized, great for your brand.

Container AppWhite Level Apps
Templated designs, not very customizedFully customized, a great branding opportunity
Your event will reside inside an App with many other events. Attendees need to perform more steps to navigate to your eventA dedicated app, Consistent user experience. Attendees just download from the App Store / Play Store and they are good to go
Takes less time to develop, you do not face any problem publishing the appTakes considerably more time to develop and also has to pass through an approval process while publishing on the App Store.

So it false down to your budgeting decision based on how important your attendee experience and branding are.

If you expect high downloads demands and user rates, consider purchasing a white level app.

If branding consistent user experience is really important for you, go for a White Level Event App.

Tip: Of course, there are over a hundred of Apps Providers, so the experience may vary. So, make sure to check the experience yourself, reach out to several providers listed and ask for both the Apps sample for a similar event.

And what we don’t recommend you to do, if you have less budget do not go for a provider who promises to provide a White Level App for a really low price. It takes a lot of technical work and industry experience, providing which is very unlikely. The experience will be way better you go for a standard Container App from a reputed company.

Key take away:

  • If your event is small, you experience fewer download rates or you have less budget for Apps, Container App will be you Best bait
  • If you have sufficient budget and time (at least 6 months) for Event App, you expect to experience a good number of downloads, and branding is very important for you, consider a white level app.

5. Native App vs Web Applications

Web app and Native Apps have their pros and cons, and the decision to use one is not so straight forward.

Native apps are developed specifically for each operating system and available at play store and app store for download. Where Web Applications are designed for and accessed through any web browser.

Native Apps:

Native Apps certainly can provide much more sophisticated features and seamless user experience than web applications.

Native apps allow the use of push notifications during the event, alerting the attendees when their attention is required. These increase the attendee engagement as you can regularly bring the audience back to the app more easily.

Once the user gives permission, Native apps can use phone hardware and innate features like camera, mic, address book even GPS location.

But the downside is many among the Audience might be reluctant to install the app due to space and security concerns.

Web Applications:

To access a web app, users have to navigate to a web address from the browser of their choice. This might potentially negate the issue of a user not willing to install your application.

Web apps, of course, can be updated in real time, without any user intervention.

Web based apps operate multiple browsers, operating systems, devices, no need to build for each individually. So, the user can access the same using Tablets and desktops.

However, web apps do not provide as excellent user experience as a native app, can use only limited features of your device. Hard to engage the audience with these restrictions.

And as these apps do not appear on the web store you might miss the opportunity for marketing your event app and for branding.

Tip: A hybrid app (both web application and native app) can offer the best of both the world.

Key take away:

  • Native apps allow much more sophisticated features and user experience than web apps, but many people may reluctant to install it. So, depending on your audience decide which one to use.
  • Additionally, make sure your native app is dynamic, what that means is, if any changes in content or anything, it must seamlessly reflect in apps immediately.
  • Consider purchasing a hybrid app to get the advantages of both

So here are the 5 important criteria for choosing an Event App. Hope this helps you make the decision easily.

However, a few more things you should keep in mind –

Checking the app provider’s credentials is very important. Ask for client references, check out their social profiles for people’s opinions, especially look at their quality of support.

And finally, your decision should be based on: the event’s objective, your teams skill, available time and budget, event size.

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