What to Look For in a Mobile App Solution Provider
There are likely hundreds of conference directory mobile apps on the market.
While making apples-to-apples comparisons of these products should include a close examination of the price ranges, feature sets, and value propositions, there is another element to consider heavily during the purchasing process: the provider.
When there are lots of choices (in any industry), products sometimes start to look the same and buyers look for ways to narrow down the field. Excellent customer service, immediate and helpful responses (not just automatically generated emails), and a genuinely positive customer experience—even during the “getting to know you” stage—should be taken into consideration.
Another way to put mobile technology into perspective is to look at whether the product is a standalone application or part of a larger ecosystem of related applications. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both categories, mobile apps that are part of a platform communicate, synchronize, and update more easily than standalone apps that integrate (through APIs) with other non-related apps.
Single Point of Contact
Implementing a mobile app for the first time can be a big step for some trade show organizers. Having a single individual on the supplier side to manage the project from end to end can help make the process smoother for event producers. It can also help ensure that the app is ready for deployment and an appropriate reflection of the event brand.
Mobile conference-directory apps are constantly evolving. Although making sure that an app developer is using the most advanced approaches for pushing messages, caching data, wayfinding, geolocation, and other functions requires research, it should be a strong consideration when choosing a solution provider.
Proven deployment process
Part of the deployment process involves introducing the app to attendees and exhibitors and providing them with instructions on how to download and use it. Developers with an organized process, support materials, and a pre-developed marketing campaign can greatly enhance app adoption and relieve organizers of the burden of creating marketing materials.
While most conference-directory app developers can accommodate multiple smart-device operating systems—iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry (government attendees still use it)—it’s a question worth asking. And the question should be how the developer does the accommodation (native app or mobile web) and whether those methods are suitable for your audience and venue.
As with any product purchase, it’s important to consider the stability of the company. With so many solution providers in the field, a long history in the event industry, a strong portfolio of clients, and an established reputation for quality products and service can be deciding factors.