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I’m very protective of my iPhone storage – mostly because I constantly run out of space. Like all the time. So, when people ask me to download yet another app, especially, when I don’t see the immediate value, I scoff and usually decline. But, downloading event apps, especially if those apps are well designed actually can offer some tremendous networking value right before the event and while at the event.
Let’s take a look at what kind of event app I would consider valuable. It:
- is easy to use.
- integrates with social media.
- has a useful agenda.
- has an interactive map. GPS wayfinding would be preferred and is possible with sensors and Google tools.
- doesn’t take up too much space on my phone.
- offers personalized content to me,
- integrates with all event-related digital content and platforms.
- allows me to contact the event organizers and they respond.
- a build-in alarm clock that wakes me with enough time to walk/drive/Uber from my hotel to the first session I want to go to. (Airline apps have an early function of this available and tell you when you have to leave to make a flight. I say early, because often they don’t take into account boarding times, time at security and check-in.)
So that’s my wishlist. Not every app has to be perfect and few are, but there need to be advantages to download them. First, let me look at my goals for attending events:
- Usually, I speak at events and am looking to continue to spread the message of authentic storytelling, which encourages realism in content marketing.
- Connecting with new and old friends who are interested in sharing knowledge and expertise. I’m usually not very interested in meeting with sales people who want to sell me stuff I don’t want to buy or even need.
- To learn something at other sessions. (Granted, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what sessions are worth to attend and which ones aren’t, but I can always learn something new.)
With all that being said, here are my tips on using event apps:
Use it to keep track of what sessions you are planning on attending.
Watch other people’s posts and share your own posts. What I like specifically about the Content Marketing World app is that it allows me to publish my app posts directly to Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. I can choose for each individual post where I want each to go. With an active community on each of those networks that ability is important to me. I usually prefer Twitter for events, but I’ve also noticed that more and more spam is being posted during events and while using event hashtags. That’s really too bad. When posting updates to Twitter, remember to add the event hashtag with the post.
Take the time to connect with people inside the app and on other networks that they list. In the Content Marketing World app, you can follow updates from others specifically by following them (top right in the next picture). If they linked accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (bottom of the screen) you can also see to connect with them there. So the connection can stay intact even once the event is done and you’ve deleted the app – because you needed to free up space on that phone once again.
Conclusion on why to download event apps
So there’s an obvious advantage to download and – more importantly – use event apps during the event. On a side note, did you know that most apps get downloaded and not used more than once? Now, maybe you won’t use the app once the event is over and I get that, but during the event it can be worth it. I even turned notifications on to get prompted to open it from time to time. When I don’t have time, I just ignore the notification.
I would definitely recommend trying events apps – at least for a quick spin to see if they do what you want them to do.