Have you ever considered creating an event app?
Events are stressful, and not just for the people that plan them. One of the major obstacles for attendees when deciding whether to attend an event is stress. It takes a lot of effort to set up travel arrangements, make a business case for attendance, and miss out on at least few days of work.
One of the best ways to alleviate attendee stress is to provide them with plenty of information about the event. That’s why, when it comes to communication, it is critical to update attendees regularly. In a perfect world, you would communicate so well that they would never have a question.
Unfortunately, it is easier said than done – and nowadays, many companies still don’t know what is the best way to provide fresh and updated information that actually reaches everyone on time.
So, what’s the best way to update attendees? There are so many sources of truth for consumers these days, where they can go for information, that it can be a bit of an overwhelming question. Should you invest in print media – flyers, brochures, mailings? Should you post updates on social media? If so, which sites? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? All of the above?
What about updating your website – but how should you then get the link out to everyone? And when it comes to ticket sales, do you use Eventbrite? Ticketmaster? Another booking solution? Your own ticket portal? There are many channels that you can use to reach your audience, and this seems like something positive at a first glance.
However, the existence of so many channels also has its challenges – as companies don’t have a single channel that will also guarantee the fastest and most direct way to reach everyone with the latest updates on your event.
Having said this, today we will focus on a channel that has a huge potential to achieve this goal – mobile apps. However, there are also quite a few challenges when it comes to creating an event app, and we will tackle them as well. And last but not least, we will see what is the best way to build a mobile app that delivers information quickly, easily, and to the right audience – in other words, using a powerful app builder such as Beezer.
With Beezer, you can house all of the pre-event information that you need to communicate in one, interactive and engaging app – which you can distribute directly via a simple URL through our platform’s distribution functionality. Send updates about the event, consolidate all of your social media streams, and sell tickets, all from within your Beezer progressive web app. But more on this later!
Of course, pre-event communication is only one of the challenges that event planners face. Let’s look at some of the most common challenges when it comes to event planning, coordination, and creating an event app – but most importantly, how those challenges can be overcome with the right tool.
Challenge 1: Unclear event navigation
No matter what the type of event is that you’re planning – be it a corporate conference with thousands of attendees, or a neighbourhood Bonfire Night party – chances are there will be several things going on at any given time, some of which will appeal to some attendees, some of which is better for others.
One of the biggest challenges of organizing a good event is making sure that everyone knows what is happening, when, and where. And that they are easily able to find and enjoy the activities that are best for them. Tackling this challenge will be a key step towards creating an event app that efficiently delivers the right information to the right people.
96% of planners and venue professionals believe events are expected to be more personalised than ever before.
More than ever before, guests are searching for something beyond a “traditional” event — they want personalised experiences that will engage them on multiple levels.
Printed schedules or brochures can only go so far in letting attendees tailor their experience of your event. Additionally, they are not only expensive to produce, but even more expensive if you have to make changes and print them out again every time you want to change something.
And the worst part is, chances are that most people who grabbed a brochure (for example, passing on the street) will most probably not receive the updated version of it.
Having said this, one of the best ways to ensure that you always reach your audience with the latest updates (and on time) is by creating an event app. But not just any app – for example, native mobile apps are expensive, complex, and take a long time to develop, so you can’t just decide on creating an event app and have it the same day just like that.
So, if you want to create a native app for your event, conference, or meeting, you will not only need to do plan it and execute it with months in advance, but also with a significant budget set aside.
Luckily, there is another way you can achieve your objectives, and have your own events app in the matter of minutes – by using a progressive web app builder such as Beezer. If you are not familiar with the concept of PWAs, progressive web apps are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native app, but without all the hassle of app stores and lengthy mobile downloads.
By creating an event app with a powerful builder like Beezer, you can enjoy some of the following features and benefits:
- An abundance of information about the various event offerings ahead of and during the event, which can include videos and social media feeds;
- A clear daily agenda which links to further information about every item;
- Member log-ins and a registry of members to chat to anyone topping their list in terms of networking;
- Real-time push notifications to remind them of their favourite upcoming speakers;
- Event maps to help them navigate the venue;
- The ability to rate and review speakers, performers, or any other part of the event – in real-time;
- …and so much more!
To sum it up, you can easily overcome the challenge of difficult or unclear event navigation by creating a progressive web app. PWAs are not only great for delivering real-time updates on the instant, but because they are easily accessible with a single URL, users have all the information at their fingertips.
Additionally, because progressive web apps also work in offline mode, your event attendeees will be able to open your app and access the event details even if they don’t have a stable Internet connection.
Challenge 2: Poor time management
It’s vital that you invest in the right resources in the right place, at the right time. We all have a “oh, I could have this done in no time” moment from time to time. But more often than not, we tend to regret procrastinating and wish that we could go back in time to begin planning sooner.
Having said this, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to creating an event app is time management. As we already mentioned, if you decide to go with a native mobile app, you would have to plan it with months in advance. And the trust is, many events are not planned with so much time in advance so that you have the time to build a native app. And what’s more, get it in front of the right audience on time.
On another hand, even if you had the time to create your app with enough weeks left to promote the event and get people to sign up, there is another aspect of time management that you have to take care of. And that is, organizing your requests and delivering the changes to your event attendees as fast as possible.
As an event organiser, you get plenty of last-minute, “urgent” requests. In fact, when we asked organisers about the biggest barrier to productivity in their day-to-day lives, nearly half (44%) said “last-minute requests.” So when you plan your day, leave at least 20% of your time free to account for the unexpected.
For this reason, bulding a progressive web app is not only a great way to have your app up and running within a single day, but also an excellent tool for improving your time management regarding the event itself.
For example, with Beezer, you can use your progressive web app as your main tool for pre-, during-, and post-event communication and engagement. And also for having a dedicated resource whose role is the management of this effort.
Ordinarily, it would be a big and difficult-to-manage undertaking to have one person overseeing processes such as agenda update, push notifications, and collating reviews or form inputs from event attendees. But with all of those to-do items in one easy to use, easy to manage place – the Beezer platform – the task, and your time, becomes manageable.
Challenge 3: Budget
The next challenge when it comes to creating an event app is your budget. Unless you are organizing a huge global event such as the Global Tech Summit or the 4YFN Barcelona, the chances are that you don’t have a designated budget to build an entire app just for this particular event. In fact, you will barely have a enough budget for the event itself in most cases.
Considering the fact that a native mobile app can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 (or more, if it’s more complex), it doesn’t seem practical nor cheap to build an app for your event. And even if you did end up creating an event app for the Apple App Store or Google Play store, how practical it really is? Nowadays, people barely download apps for things that they are using every day – imagine if they had to download an app just for that one single event.
For this reason, progressive web app development is one of the best ways to overcome the budget challenge that many companies face when it comes to event organization. PWAs are not only very cheap to make with a Drag and Drop builder – starting from just $15 per month, but they also come with the benefit that users won’t have to download them on their phones.
They can simply access your PWA events app with a single URL at any time.
Another budget-related challenge that you can overcome by creating an event app using PWA technology has to do with the event planning itself.
How do you stick to your budget when event planning? Event budgets are shrinking, and event planners have to be more creative with less budget to draw upon. Of course, it would be amazing if you could plan an event with an unlimited budget.
Life-sized ice sculptures! Flame jugglers! Maybe not right next to each other…but you get the drift. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in, and the reality is that in a recent survey of event creators, 9 out of 10 said their budget is insufficient. Yet 55% said their budget will not increase in the following year.
Ultimately, your event budget is critical to calculating your event’s return on investment. Want to turn a profit? Use your budget to control your event’s total cost, so you can meet your goals and grow your profit margin for the next year. Not sure how to calculate your event’s ROI? Use this simple equation:
[(Total Sales Revenue – Total Cost of the Event) ÷ Total Cost of the Event] X 100 = ROI
If your ROI is 1X, it means you broke even. Most events aim for an ROI of at least 2-3X.
Now of course, when it comes to keeping costs low, it’s easier said than done. As a start, here are three simple steps that will support your efforts to stay within your budget:
- Set a clear budget from the outset;
- Track every little expense as you go;
- Look for creative and unique ideas that are budget-friendly;
Creating an event app with Beezer
It’s on this third point that Beezer comes in. It goes without saying that some costs can be managed but not avoided. Amongst these are the cost of the venue, of any food or giveaways that you offer, and the wages of staff hired to work the event.
But when it comes to costs associated with event marketing, organisation, and communication, a Beezer app can significantly help businesses of all sizes.
The costs associated with printed materials can quickly reach into multiple thousands – and that’s without considering the cost to the environment.
But in most cases, going paperless with a mobile app can be at least as costly. Pre-build mobile apps for an event cost, on average, anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on functionality. And a properly custom app with complex functionalities tends to range from $10,000 to $50,000.
…And then we have Beezer. For a price starting at just $15 per month, you can solve all the above-mentioned challenges by creating an event app with all of the functionalities you could possibly need for your event.
And as Beezer works on the basis of a monthly subscription fee, and grants you the right to update your app at will, instantaneously and an unlimited number of times, this is not a one-off payment for a one-off app. Instead, it’s access to a powerful tool which you can use throughout your events’ lifetimes:
- Pre-event communication and ticket sales;
- During-event coordination, scheduling, communication, and attendee engagement & networking;
- Post-event follow-up, review gathering, sharing of updates and driving of viral shares of the event;
- A fully adapted and updated app for the event in the next year, already downloaded to the phones of your previous year’s attendees!;
And the cycle goes on and on – because creating an event app with Beezer is more than just building one app for one event; it’s an all-inclusive and fully adaptable tool to power all of your events. You can have all of that for thirty years before you’ve paid the average cost of one traditional event app.