Event-specific apps have become the standard for associations and nonprofits. Development companies like Cvent and EventMobi have helped organizations consolidate content and information for large events such as conferences and conventions into a single app for attendees to use. The major downside to these apps however, is that 99% of users delete them within 30 days. The other 1% probably just forgot the app was still on their phone. The reality is there is no real purpose for these apps once an event is over. It begs the question, where is the longevity and ROI in an investment like this?
If an organization is willing to allocate resources for a mobile solution, why not invest in something that will produce year-round connectivity and engagement among members rather than limiting it to once or twice a year? The impact a custom, 24/7 app has on an association or nonprofit is huge. Those who have yet to explore mobile are lagging behind and continually missing out on significant advantages.
Native apps have proven their value and effectiveness time after time for member-driven groups. Through collaborative features like member directories, group and direct chats, news feeds, discussion forums, polling and dedicated event functionalities, organizations stand to benefit like never before.
Makers of event apps tend to sell groups on an overabundance of features they claim are vital to their users. Unfortunately that ends up not being the case and purchased features go to waste. It makes much more logical sense to only pay for features that are 100% necessary. The beauty of native apps is the freedom of customization. You choose what is of highest priority and cut out the rest.
Pre and post-event engagement looks completely different when using an app year-round. Events can be uploaded well ahead of time garnering a much higher attendance rate (using easy in-app registration and push notifications as reminders) and an increase in member interactions. Group and direct chats allow members to introduce one another, organize meetups, collaborate and share information beforehand. Then instead of deleting the app once the event has ended, those same functionalities open the doors for continued conversations and followups. No more having to save stacks of business cards when you can instantly find and message members using the in-app directory.
Event-only apps still sound like the right path?
You owe it to your members to make the most of both your event and mobile efforts by taking the approach that’s worthwhile. They’ll quickly appreciate it as their membership becomes exponentially more valuable during events and well beyond.