CEIR Research: Why Nobody Is Using Your Event App

In a recent blog from Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Does Your Show Mobile App Deliver Value that Prompts Attendees to Use It?, they reported that only 26% of young professionals use a mobile app version of an exhibition program to plan and stay on schedule (which is only 2% higher than what’s recorded in CEIR’s study looking at attendee needs and preferences in general). This is significant because there’s an assumption that app adoption rates should be far higher among tech-savvy young professionals.

This is also significant because, as an event organizer, you know the value that an effective mobile solution could potentially deliver…advertisement revenue, communication facilitation, copious amounts of data, and more. If you’re going to invest in an event app, it’s imperative that it’s used!

So, why aren’t attendees using event apps?

The main reasons they cited in the CEIR study were because they prefer the paper version or dislike pulling down an app for a one time use or for this purpose in particular.

Attendees look to event apps to provide content, so event organizers and mobile app solution providers need to ensure our sites/mobile solutions (in the words of the CEIR blog) “modify content in a way that makes an exhibition mobile app a ‘must use’ resource when attending” and ensure post-show content is easily accessible so attendees are interested in using the app beyond the event.

Build your app to be relevant beyond the event

When it comes to mobile solutions in general, there is a lot of controversy in the digital world around whether native applications or responsive sites are “better.” The truth of the matter is, it just depends on who your audience is and what problem you’re trying to solve.

When it comes to mobile solutions for events, a responsive website design built in HTML5 has more use and adoption potential than a native app. Because the content can be accessed across multiple devices, the lifespan of the content can surpass the duration of a one-time event. This solves the aforementioned problem attendees have with “pulling down an app for one time use.”

Check out this infographic for more factors to consider when selecting a native app or responsive website design for your event.

Keep up with content

Having an accessible platform for attendees to visit beyond the event is important in driving adoption, but to maintain interest it is critical to continuously provide content for consumption. It sounds overwhelming, but if you really want to capture and keep your audience’s attention, you need to plan on feeding their desire for valuable information by regularly providing content that they can access via your mobile site.

Need content ideas? Check out this blog: 3 Deliciously Effective Ways to Serve Content to Your Event Audience.

I’d love to tell you more about how to drive event engagement with digital technology. Join me for a free webinar, Solving the Digital Engagement Puzzle, on Wednesday, September 17!


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