Experts say that Mobile internet traffic in 2011 was eight times that of the entire internet in the year 2000. As a show manager in these times, you have to make sure you offer your attendees the option to plan their experience at your show using their mobile device. It’s not just a convenience now, it’s almost an expectation.
When looking at mobile vendors for a native app dedicated to your show, here are a few items to keep in mind:
Features Try to think about the major actions an attendee is going to want to perform on the app. Be very careful not to think too hard. The possibilities are endless, however you want to be sure to stick to the core competencies otherwise the app is going to be too large. By too large I mean unable to download or update in a crowded convention center, frequently crash on you, or be unresponsive when trying to do any function. When in doubt, keep it simple.
- a floor plan that is easy to navigate and personalize with your favorites
- the ability to find an exhibitor searching by company name and/or product category
- a complete session schedule with the ability to favorite sessions to personalize an itinerary
Sponsor recognition It’s very tempting to think of an app as a revenue stream, but who doesn’t get annoyed at over-branding? Remember that your attendees have probably paid money to get into your event, so although the app is free, too many ads would clutter the usable space on their 4.5 inch screen and cause frustration.
Synchronized content If you allow any of the features on your app on your website, like “favoriting”, be sure that the two are connected. Users are accustomed to using their laptop at the office and their mobile device on the show floor. Make sure they have a seamless experience.