It’s Game Time! How to Harness a March Madness Approach to Event Apps

March 14, 2019

Wayne Crawford

Wayne Crawford is Vice President of Sales for Core-apps, a leading event technology provider. He is an exposition, sales and event technology professional with more than 30 years experience as both an organizer and supplier.

With March Madness right around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about how the teams that get to The Big Dance have just the right mix of game-winning strategies – sort of like the components that go into creating and managing a successful event app! 

To make your event app a slam dunk, you need to consider some key factors that can make it a winning success. Here are the top tips event organizers should consider as they put together a game plan for winning over their attendees, sponsors and exhibitors! 

The Coach

Make sure the right person on your team is leading the event app effort and that they’re in sync with your developer’s main point-of-contact. It takes time and expertise to build an event app that will score the right points with your audience. Here are a few plays your team leader should prioritize:

  • Data integrations
  • Theme and branding
  • Feature/functionality best fit
  • Capturing downloads and usage
  • Sponsorship placement for optimal ROI

The Team

Your event app developers should build an app that will make your audience cheer. Here are a few skills your starting players should have:

  • Knowledge around how to handle complex data integrations
  • Event app expertise when it comes to technical support 
  • Offer strategic consultation as a part of all projects 
  • Beat the buzzer when it comes to managing projects on time and on budget

The Game Plan

There are some key design elements for a successful app that event organizers should consider as they craft a game-plan for their event. Make sure your team knows what your goals are, associated with the following:

  • Creating an intuitive user-interface
  • Contextual help, to ensure people know how to use the app
  • Innovative features that keep your app fresh and relevant
  • Interactive and engaging content to keep your app sticky
  • Branding should be top of mind, for all stakeholders
  • The right features to enhance the attendee experience but not too many features that do not add value to the experience!

The Crowd is Going Wild!

Give your attendees a reason to cheer for your event app. Don’t just check boxes; think about your event’s profile and create an experience tailored to your audience. Consider the following top plays, that can really help you win points with attendees: 

  • Keep things fresh with an updated look and feel
  • Ensure your app is easy to use; don’t overcomplicate easy features
  • Make sure your team is prepared to add enough content to keep things interesting
  • Navigation should be easy and intuitive 
  • The schedule is one of the top reasons people download your app; make sure it’s easy to use 
  • Networking is another big reason attendees use your event app, so make sure it’s worth their time
  • Promote the fact that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint by getting rid of print materials and transitioning to the app

The Competition: D-I-Y vs D-I-F-M (Do it for me)

Be sure to have the best player take the game-winning shot. When it comes to comparing DIY solutions, to fully supported offering, there are some clear differences to consider: 

  • Does your team really have the expertise and time to do it right, on their own?
  • It’s an attractive price point, but you get what you pay for
  • You are limited in what you can provide to attendees
  • Lack of brand recognition and they are not as easy to find in the app store

The Win!

To win the game you need a team that is prepared to work together to complete the goals, just like your event technology ecosystem. Basketball is not a single player sport and neither is building a successful event app. Just showing up and checking the box doesn’t cut it either. You need the right mix of talent, tactics and tools to bring home the win with your attendees and exhibitors. Here are some top considerations for evaluating event app providers:

  • Do they offer easy integration with the industry’s top technology solutions?
  • Are their customer service and project managers experts in the event industry?
  • Do they offer support for complex programs like abstracts and posters?
  • Do they offer innovative and next level features and functionality?
  • Is your brand going to be well represented? 
  • Do they offer cutting-edge interactive mapping and routing?
  • Do they offer additional products, tailored to the needs of event organizers?


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