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Independent research reveals slow adoption of mobile event apps

Independent research conducted by Event Manager Blog today reveals that adoption of mobile event apps among events professionals is slow, with 59% of respondents reporting they do not currently have a mobile event app. The findings, unveiled in the Event App Bible – Version 3 which is published today, are the result of the largest independent survey of events professionals on mobile event apps conducted to date.

Carried out in January and February 2015, the research received responses from over 3,000 events professionals internationally, with 2,000 of those being further qualified and deemed to match respondent criteria of organising more than one to five events a year.  

The report further revealed a desire to better understand the benefits of mobile event apps, highlighting a need for greater education among events professionals. Of those that do not currently have a mobile event app, some 53% “are looking to get one” in the near future. Top concerns aired by events professionals included frustration at the lack of usage of mobile event apps by delegates and the time required to set up apps and populate data. In terms of objectives for mobile event apps, increasing engagement levels at the event is listed as the main priority, yet only 33% of events professionals report more than half of attendees actually using the app.  

Julius Solaris, founder of Event Manager Blog and author of the report, says: “Our aim with the Event App Bible series is to cut through the hype and report factually on what events professionals are telling us they are actually experiencing and what they are looking for.  There is a huge need and thirst in fact for education on event apps, both from the event organiser perspective and also for the delegates.  People really do see that there is some benefit in reducing paper and improving interactivity, but there are still numerous gaps for events professionals in terms of measuring results from apps and also ensuring widespread usage of apps at their events.  

“One of the biggest frustrations reported by event organisers is the lack of use of their app by delegates. I believe there are two points to highlight here: first that there is a need to educate and encourage attendees to use the app, especially if this is a new venture for your event; and second there is a need to truly commit to the app if it is to work. It needs to be pivotal to the event and the organiser needs to work on that basis from the outset, not add an app as an afterthought.”  

The report identified five key trends in mobile event apps, including the fact that event apps are becoming the technology ‘point of entry’ for events professionals. Mobile event apps, when used at an event, are increasingly pivotal to the event technology component and organisers are looking to integrate other technical requirements with the app, such as event registration and audience interaction. There is also a trend towards hybrid native and web-based apps, with the benefits of speed delivered by a native app complemented by the ability to update live content with web-based systems.  

In addition to providing insight into the current state of play for mobile event app usage and app providers, The Event App Bible – V3 provides a series of useful guides for events professionals to assist with overcoming some of the challenges faced with event app adopting. These include a guide to developing a mobile event app strategy, a check lists to consider when choosing and app provider and even a template for creating an app RFP.

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