In the first part of the Webinar on How to Evaluate Mobile App Providers, Brooke Gracey, senior mobile strategist at CrowdCompass by Cvent, covered questions to ask concerning content, engagement, and networking. In the second part, Gracey discussed topics to ask potential mobile providers to make sure your app will work for all your attendee demographics, and all of your team members.
There are all kinds of games that can be incorporated into your app, from scavenger hunts to sponsored trivia games. Before choosing gamification, you need to make sure it will appeal to all your attendee demographics as well as bring value to your exhibitors and sponsors.
Gamification should not be just a cool idea—it needs to help you meet your event goals.
Ask your provider:
What is the user interface?
If it is too hard to see or to understand on a demo version, no one will bother playing it at the event.
How does it appeal to all types of attendees?
Other clients of the provider should be able to provide feedback on how successful the feature was with different demographics.
What kind of adoption rates can you expect?
Before you pay for a feature, find out what adoption rates other event organizers had and how closely their attendees mirror yours. If it only appeals to demographic niches you aren’t actively pursuing, it may not be worth the additional money.
How did other clients use the feature to reach their event goals?
One company’s scavenger hunt may have been wildly successful with expensive prizes driving high numbers of booth visits and great exhibitor feedback, but you may not get the same participation rates with the offer of a free T-shirt.
Did another company use the data gleaned from the game to support sponsorships or other revenue streams?
Other event producers may be using app features in ways you haven’t thought of.
Data Collection and Exhibitor/Attendee Engagement
Attendees are potential customers, so your exhibitors are going to want a presence within the app. Ask your app provider:
What evidence do you have that the app can help exhibitors with lead gathering and marketing goals?
Can exhibitors have customized content for attendees?
What kind of metrics are available to help exhibitors track their exposure?
Regardless of its features, if an app doesn’t work, it is useless.
Your attendees are willing to download an app and download content, but if the app takes too long to load content, or it crashes or doesn’t update with time-sensitive information like room changes, your attendees will ditch it.
Ask your provider what the quality assurance process is for each new feature.
There should be a team of testers working on each new rollout.
How often are new features rolled out, and are they automatically pushed to each version of the app?
The app may be stable when you make your decision, but a new feature rolled out the day before your event could cause problems. If you have concerns, get the company to commit to supplying the app you road tested as is. On the other hand, short release cycles may be a sign of an app provider staying on top of trends and tech, but the company should be able to describe a thorough QA process before you commit.
What user research does the provider do?
If end users have no interest in the app’s new features, then the provider has not done its homework. If the company involves planners in its roadmap for future iterations, take it as a sign the provider wants to know what works for you and is planning on executing on it.
The number one question to ask a provider is:
What kind of support do they provide?
Is it 24/7? By email? By phone? Only during office hours?
Can you talk to a real human with account-specific questions?
You need someone at the other end of the line, and events aren’t Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. They are on weekends, at night, and in different time zones and countries.
What other support resources are available?
Is there a help site and FAQ? Tutorials? Web-based communities?
If only a couple of team members are trained to build the app and troubleshoot onsite, you could run into problems if one of them gets sick or leaves the project. An accessible training process and 24/7 backup from the company should give you peace of mind.
Click here for the Beachbody case study on choosing an app provider.