Technology is revolutionising how we approach almost everything in both our personal and professional lives, and that includes organising an event.
Developers have built a vast array of apps to help event directors with almost every part of the organisation process. From apps that aggregate maps, schedules, and any other useful shared documents, to others that offer customised online invitation, ticketing, delegate registration, and mobile check in. There are even apps that tell you how much coffee, how many tables, and how many fire extinguishers you’ll need based on predicted attendance.
Every base appears to be covered, and if you find one that isn’t, it’s also become popular to have a bespoke app developed specifically for your event.
But with so many options to choose from, including the bespoke built, how do make sure you pick the right one?
As with many modern day questions, a Google search is a great starting point. Searching for “event app” brings up page after page of vendors spouting off about the benefits of their particular products or services. In the midst this sea of possibility it’s important that you make the correct decision and avoid “option paralysis” – not choosing anything at all.
Thinking about the fundamentals will help set you on the right track. Distinguishing between apps that are designed to help you (the organiser) and apps designed to help your delegates will help you to differentiate what’s suitable for the job.
When it comes to the latter, there are three key questions that you should ask of any app you’re considering using
Will delegates be able to use it quickly and easily – is it intuitive?
It is essential that your app is user friendly and visually clean. Remember, apps are often used on-the-go, so delegates don’t want to faff about filling out endless forms. The whole point of an app is to streamline the bureaucracy and logistics, and this often means less is more. They’ll simply give up on an app that’s time consuming and hard to navigate. Furthermore, offering too many fancy functions could even put delegates off; so it’s better to have an app that does a few, but does them well.
Does it work both online and offline – is it native?
As a portion of an app’s content may be stored online, some apps require an internet connection for full functionality. Unless you’re sure that your event will absolutely, one-hundred percent have a good internet connection, it’s best to look for an app that retains at least part of its functionality offline. After all no one wants to turn up to an event finding out they can’t access their mobile ticket or the event itinerary.
Is it possible to make last-minute changes and publish them instantly – is it dynamic?
Managing and updating your app’s content should be a simple and stress free task. This means looking for an app that supports user-friendly tools such drop and drag editing. It’s also important that it supports multiple administrators, who are all capable of making changes to the app’s content. So if you’re tied up with another task your colleague can make the edits for you.
There are of course a whole host of other considerations, from the customer service of its developers, to its cost. But, what stands out as the key to being a great and worthwhile app is certainly not its all singing, all dancing features. Conversely it’s much more dependent on the apps usability and even simplicity, from both an organiser and user perspective.
And now for the really interesting bit: apps designed to help organisers. Why not check out this link of some of the best?