It's time to rethink your event app strategy

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We've written a lot about the changes Apple made to its App Store Guidelines in mid-2017, and recently they made further changes that reinforce the importance of adopting an Enterprise Event App strategy. 

There are two key event app takeaways you need to be aware of in 2018: 

  1. App(s) will need to be posted under your own App Store account, and Eventbase can do that for you.
  2. You will still need to consolidate your event apps.

Let's take a deeper look at what the means for your organization.

1. Apple's App Store Guideline 4.2.6 now requires that you post apps under your own App Store account. While posting your event app under your vendor's App Store account may have been easier for your team in the past, this will no longer be possible after April 1, 2018. At Eventbase, we're working with Apple and our customers to make this transition where necessary, but we anticipate the real challenge will be for enterprises who have chosen a low-cost event app to date.

Will your corporate IT team allow your current event app vendor to post an event app under your account? With Eventbase, you know you are getting the most trusted, scalable and secure app on the market and we have posted apps on behalf of many of the world's biggest brands including IBM, Cisco and SXSW. But a low-cost vendor may not be able to meet your enterprise IT requirements, pass your information security review, complete adequate penetration testing, or ensure an acceptable hosting environment. Now is a great time for you to consider upgrading to Eventbase. Ready to chat? Click here for more information

2. Importantly, Apple did NOT change Section 4.3 of its App Store Guidelines, which requires that you consolidate your event apps. “Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app”. Also, Apple is no longer grandfathering existing event apps after April, so this may force you to accelerate your event app consolidation strategy. The Eventbase team is here to help you through this transition.

If you have any questions, send me an email or contact our team to setup a call. 

Jeff Sinclair
Co-Founder & CEO
Eventbase

7 steps for managing smaller events with your Enterprise Event App

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Your Eventbase Enterprise Event App offers your attendees a customized, on-brand premium mobile event experience trusted at some of the largest conferences and events in the world. But did you know that your event app platform of choice can also provide smaller event packages, which we call Essential Events? This package is perfectly tailored for corporate meetings and smaller-scale conferences and events.

Using Eventbase Manager (included in your Enterprise Event Platform), you’ll be able to create, manage and publish Essential Events hosted within your Enterprise Event App. Here are 7 tips for how to best utilize your enterprise event app to manage a successful Essential Event.

Plan ahead

Give yourself three weeks to plan and input all your event and session details. Eventbase Manager makes it easy to enter your event schedule and input pages yourself using plain text or HTML, and upload images and links. Just like our Premium Events, your Essential Event’s app menu is entirely customizable, allowing you to offer your attendees everything they need without cluttering the menu with options they don’t.

Define your roles internally and select a subject matter expert that will be setting up your event. All Essential Events come with access to the Eventbase Help Center, making app management easy. If it’s your first time managing an Essential Event, consider booking a training call with one of our Customer Success Managers. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know, ensuring you’re an expert on the Eventbase platform.

So, what should you include in your Essential Event? Read on.

Content is king

In order to be truly useful, your event app should offer attendees more than just a digital schedule and floor map. Providing unique app-exclusive content helps encourage attendees to download and engage with your app. Include need-to-know information like your event’s wifi connection details, and wayfinding information to and from the local airport, your conference hotel and your event venue.

Offer a customized, VIP experience

Your Essential Event offers the option of segmenting users and creating custom content for each segment. Utilize this feature to offer additional content to VIP attendees, or segmenting content offerings based on role, company or interests.

Enhance on-site networking with gamification

It’s no secret that many people find networking to be a challenge, and yet it remains a key component of any successful event. Your event app can help encourage attendees to connect by using gamification to break the ice. Games within the app can be used to encourage social sharing, or feature a “treasure hunt” that lets attendees collect badges at sponsor booths or certain sessions. Encourage participation by offering a prize, or simply let the leaderboard inspire friendly competition.

Engage your attendees once they leave the event

Your attendees’ event experience doesn’t end when they head to their hotels for the evening. Many attendees are visiting from out of town and may have limited experience with your conference city. Including taxi services and walkable dining options from their hotel are small gestures that can take your attendees’ experience from great to fantastic. Consider adding pages of content that enhance their stay with off-site dining and entertainment suggestions, or ideas for how to extend their stay with popular tourism options.

Looking for more suggestions? Check out these 5 tips for encouraging your attendees to explore your host city.

Make your event live

Once all of your content is uploaded and you’re feeling confident, it’s time to go live. To make your event appear within your enterprise event app, simply toggle your event to “live” on the Eventbase Manager home screen.

Made a mistake or have new changes that came up on the fly? Don’t worry - you’ll still be able to edit app content on your live event.

Invite attendees to download your app

Send out the invitation for your attendees to download your event app at least three to five days in advance of your event. This gives them time to peruse your session offerings and build out their customized event schedule. Best of all, attendees are able to source out who will be attending each session, allowing them to begin networking before they even arrive. Remind your attendees once they’re on site by displaying screens or slides with download information. Your host speaker can further encourage your attendees by noting the key benefits in their intro session.

Your brand’s Enterprise Event App can scale from massive conferences to small corporate events. Make the most of your attendee experience with Essential Event features that offer attendees a premium experience, without the premium price.

5 ways event apps can help attendees explore your host city

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In a recent study conducted by the Experience Institute, over 75% of attendees stated that the destination city factored into their decision of attending an event or conference. Events bring people to new cities and provide a great opportunity for them to explore.

Once your attendees leave the conference floor they’re in a new city, possibly one they’ve never visited before, and left to their own devices for sourcing food and entertainment. When attending busy all-day conferences, this can be a source of stress rather than excitement. There are many ways you can improve your attendees’ event and travel experience while highlighting sponsors and partnerships via an event app.

Here are some ways we’ve seen event apps leverage event technology to explore new places.

Highlight sponsors and partnerships

Whether it’s around the convention center or around the city, drop pins onto the locations of your sponsors, making it easy for attendees to notice and find them around the city. In 2015, the Pan Am Games app did this by placing pins on their lead sponsor CIBC’s bank machines setup at different venues and sites.

Another option for event organizers is to form partnerships with local businesses to offer attendees discounts at restaurants, bars, entertainment and tourism venues around the city. Many conference goers will extend their trip by a day or two to take in the sights of the city, and there are numerous tourism opportunities and deals you can extend to your attendees.

Use a chatbot

One of the coolest ways we’ve seen an event app highlight their city is SXSW and their bot Abby within their SXSW Go app. Abby not only helped attendees find relevant events and networking opportunities, but the Bot provided attendees with a fun, engaging way to explore dining options around them. Send Abby a taco emoji, and the bot would return you the location of nearby food trucks. (Eventbase won “Best Event App” at this year’s Event Technology Awards for building the SXSW Bot!)

Chatbots are getting smarter with every year, and soon they’ll be able to act as a personal concierge for all attendee event planning. Planning to attend an outdoor session in Vegas? Chatbots can remind you to pack some sunscreen and a pair of shades. Raining in Austin? Your chatbot might be able  to call you a taxi to your next session. SXSW’s Abby has gone back to school and is working to learn how to further improve SXSW attendees’ ability to explore and keep Austin weird.

Engage people with gamification

Gamification can work differently to engage your event attendees depending on your end goal. We’ve seen events create scavenger hunts within their app where attendees visit sponsor booths or city locations to collect stamps and be entered into prize draws. Ultimately the purpose of gamification should be to enhance your attendees’ experience, but the ability to drive attendee traffic to desired locations and the added benefits of improved event data are undeniable. With gamification you’ll be able to improve your understanding of your guests and boost your ROI on sponsorship opportunities.

Encourage your attendees to share

Attendees look to each other for inspiration on what to do next. In addition to encouraging the use of your event hashtag on social media channels, your event app should have its own channel for posting photos and comments so attendees can share their experiences exploring your event city.   

Customize their experience

As event apps’ artificial intelligence grows stronger, customizing attendee experiences will become easier and more seamless. Event planners will have the ability to customize attendee profiles to highlight new VIP experiences, similar to the Cannes Lions Beach Rosé Time app which gave VIP attendees notifications of when rosé was being served nearby. This app, developed by Eventbase partners Intergalactic and Urban Airship, showed how the future of beacons can help customize VIP experiences. Tap the app on a watch or phone and staff would use beacons to bring a chilled glass right to you—free. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) event app customized their attendee experience with a guided audio tour of the event, giving attendees an overview of the layout and helping them maximize their time.

The future of event apps will see improved artificial intelligence, the introduction of augmented reality and a seamless integration of technology and real-world experiences. Partnering with an enterprise event app can offer your guests a wholly immersive experience extending far beyond your event’s walls and help your event attendees experience the best of the event city.

The end of cookie-cutter event apps (or why you need a premium ‘branded’ event app)

Eventbase - The Intelligent Event App

January 2018 update: Apple is continually revising their App Store Review Guidelines, for the latest post read It's time to rethink your event app strategy.

July 26, 2017 - What an interesting few days we’ve had here. In case you haven’t heard, several of our competitors are making their case for the consolidation of their customer’s events into a “universal app” with their branding in the app store.

They would like you to believe that Apple now requires that event organizers use a vendor-branded app, which would include events from a multitude of other companies. While that would undoubtedly help competitors whose business model depends on a one-size-fits-all mobile platform (i.e. a cookie-cutter app), it would hardly be good news for those event organizers who want to deliver a branded, differentiated experience to their attendees (i.e. a premium branded app). 
 
Fortunately, Apple has not made any such announcement. When we spoke to Apple for clarification, a senior executive at their Worldwide Developer Relations Team was quick to dismiss the self-serving announcements from our competitors as "pontificating b.s.". He confirmed to us that Apple did recently announce updates to its App Store Review Guidelines to include a new clause within section 4.2 “Minimum Functionality” which states “Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.”  He said that this had always been part of Apple’s internal guidelines and was designed to address the situation where "someone produces 10,000 slot machine apps that are identical except for changing what pictures appear on the wheel.” Needless to say, it is a huge jump from announcing a guideline designed to eliminate cookie-cutter apps, to concluding that Apple is "forcing" event organizers into a vendor-branded "universal app."
 
We believe this new guideline places our competitors in a tough spot. If their apps are currently being rejected, or going to be rejected, because they are cookie-cutter, then the “universal app” is their only option. Based on comments from some of our customers, we believe this stance truly indicates how disconnected these vendors are from the needs of premium brands.
 
To give you an example of what they are supporting, they believe that a company like Nike will agree to post their events in a vendor-branded event app, that would show up on the App Store without a Nike logo and after opening their generic event app the Nike events would be listed beside events from hundreds of other companies including, potentially, competitors like Adidas and Reebok. Maybe one of these competitors paid that vendor to promote its events over Nike’s, so their events show up first. Event App Vendors who do this will profit from advertising and could use your attendee data and usage statistics to market competitor’s products and services. 

Is this something your organization would agree to? Not a chance.  
 
We want to assure you that we know how valuable your brand is and and how much you value an exceptional and branded attendee experience. At Eventbase we have always been committed to providing feature rich, highly engaging, and innovative fully-branded apps for your events. Some call these white-labeled, we prefer premium-labeled or brand-immersed event apps. As an example, we produce a single branded IBM Events App that contains many large and small IBM events and enables marketing at IBM to promote a single app that they know is in brand, scalable and secure. This is the strategy we feel best meets our customer’s needs. Eventbase is unique in that we can support  your top tier events AND your smallest events within a single branded app, ultimately bringing in the power of centralized analytics and journeys. This is our direction and we will continue to support this approach to deliver memorable mobile experiences that elevate your brand. 

You will be relieved to hear that we have already received confirmation from Apple that they will continue to support our approach provided we continue to deliver unique and high-end mobile apps . That is our specialty, and why you rely on Eventbase. 

So what action items do you have? Well nothing at the moment. Continue to produce world class events and we will continue to innovate and earn your business. My ask to you is, if you hear of this from competitors or have internal conversations, let us know, ask us any questions, and feel free to email me and let’s open the dialogue.  But be aware that although others in the market may start to back pedal, they’ve shown where they want to go. Their vision reduces their cost, but at the cost of your brand. It is a vision that falls well short of the needs of enterprises and misses the mark for large events and premium brands.

Sincerely, 

Jeff Sinclair
Co-founder & CEO
Eventbase

5 up-and-coming artists to watch at SXSW

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March 1, 2017 - Every March, hundreds of artists from all over the world come to SXSW, hoping to capture the attention of the thousands of music industry professionals and fans in attendance.  While well-known acts like Weezer, Spoon and Wu-Tang Clan will draw massive crowds, the real magic of SXSW happens when an attendee stumbles across a sparsely-attended show where an indie artist is putting on an unforgettable performance. While your friends are waiting in line to catch a glimpse of a superstar, you could be one of the first to discover the next big thing. Here are some emerging artists poised to make a splash at this year’s festival.

Let’s Eat Grandma

This teenage duo from Norwich, England makes pop songs that are simultaneously playful and brooding.  Described as “wise beyond their years” their performance is sure to captivate audiences looking to catch the beginning of a promising musical phenomenon.

Tunde Olaniran

Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Tunde Olaniran is a multitalented performer whose ability to incorporate live electronics with prodigious singing and rapping abilities will have audiences dancing uncontrollably until long after the show is over, when they’ll be left wondering what the heck they just experienced.

Zipper Club

Recalling Joy Division, Iggy Pop, and 80s David Bowie, Zipper Club will have you dancing even if you think you’re too cool. James Iha produced their upcoming debut album, and we have a feeling they won’t be under the radar for long.

Belle Game

Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Belle Game are masters of songs that burn slowly before blowing out into life-affirming celebrations. They have been refining their craft for a few years, earning praise from Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, and are poised for a big year.

LVL UP

Guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin take the tried-and-true rock four-piece format and give it new life with their truly collaborative approach. Corbo, Caridi, and Benton each take turns on lead vocals and their distinct styles blend superbly for a sound that is both comfortingly familiar and engagingly fresh.

These are just a few of the artists performing at SXSW this year, among the hundreds of other amazing performers you’ll discover.  For more recommendations, download the official SXSW GO mobile app to browse the complete festival schedule and plan your festival experience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed ask Abby, the SXSW Bot, to suggest artist showcases, sessions, films and more.

 

Guest post by: Justin Penney

How to survive SXSW 2017

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CC Image courtesy of Joopey on Flickr

 

February 20, 2017 - SXSW is finally upon us!  Every year thousands of people from around the world flock to Austin to be a part of one of the most diverse, collaborative and inventive communities in the world.  It is the ultimate convergence of the interactive, film and music industries from March 10-19.  Eventbase has powered the official mobile app for SXSW for the past seven years, and we are excited to head down to Austin in a couple weeks.  Here are some tips from our team on how to make the most out of your time at SXSW 2017.

  1. Download the app – Get the official mobile app here and start planning your SXSW experience.  As your digital concierge, it's your go-to source for all things SXSW and will help you get the most out of your time while in Austin.  Browse the SXSW lineup, create your own schedule, check out SXSW Recommends for personalized recommendations, network with other attendees and much more.
     
  2. Plan ahead –  With 6000+ events between interactive, film and music – there’s no shortage of things to do at SXSW.  Familiarize yourself with sessions, events and parties taking place and create your own schedule ahead of time in the mobile app. You’re going to be running in between sessions at a breakneck pace.  Have a game plan in mind of what you want to see in advance, but also don’t be afraid to go with the flow.
     
  3. Bring the essentials – As you document every second of your experience, constantly snapping pictures and tweeting, soon enough it’ll take a toll on your battery.  Pack a portable battery pack, because a fully-charged battery is key.  Also, don’t underestimate the importance of staying hydrated.  The long days and late nights on Sixth or Rainey Street will catch up with you.  Make sure to pick up a big bottle of water, or two.  Water stations are plentiful and will keep you hydrated on the go. 
     
  4. Getting around – Making your way to your next session, meet up, film, or artist showcase is easy.  You’ve got multiple options to choose from, including the Festival shuttles, PediCabs and FASTEN (the official rideshare service for SXSW 2017).  Find out more info here.
     
  5. Don’t forget to eat – with so much going on, finding time to eat can feel like a chore.  You’ll need all the energy you can get when running between sessions and parties. There’s no shortage of amazing places to eat in Austin.  Here are a couple of our favorite spots: 1) Torchy’s Tacos (multiple locations across Austin), 2) La Barbecue (1906 E Caesar Chavez), 3) Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th) and 4) Iron Works BBQ (100 Red River).

Whether it’s your first or fifth time at SXSW, these tips will help make it one of the highlights of your year.  At the end of the day, live in the moment and enjoy every minute of being in Austin!

SXSW 2017 sessions you don’t want to miss

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CC Image courtesy of Brandon Carson

 

February 20, 2017 - It’s our seventh year in a row powering the official SXSW GO mobile app and our team is getting ready to head down to Austin for SXSW 2017.  Every year we work closely with SXSW and put our heads together to determine how we can push the boundaries to showcase innovative mobile technology.  This year is no exception, and we’re excited to announce the release of “Abby” – an automated bot that will answer attendee questions with personalized recommendations.

If you’re heading to SXSW this year, here are a couple sessions and events where you’ll find our team.

 

Saturday, March 11

Better Events Through Technology Meet Up
12:30PM - 1:30PM
JW Marriott, Room 209

If you are an event producer, creator, manager, or sponsor - this meet up is for you! More than networking, our goal is to share with one another cool tech-enabled best practices that we can implement to produce more successful events.

 

Mobile Apps in the Age of Cognitive Computing
3:30PM - 4:30PM
JW Marriott, Salon 8

Join Jeff Sinclair, Eventbase CEO and Co-Founder, and Ted Conroy, Digital Innovation Manager at IBM, as they explore how intelligent machines affect mobile apps as they try to understand and mimic human intelligence.  This session covers the potential for what could be achieved through advancements in cognitive computing and how systems like Watson can be integrated with mobile apps to extract valuable insights from large volumes of data and address the challenges we face today.

 

Sunday, March 12

Event Technology Mixer
1:00PM – 2:00PM
W Hotel, Terrace

Eventbase returns to SXSW to host a reception where disruptors from the biggest brands in the world of events come to celebrate event technology.  Mingle with event industry innovators and brand leaders at one of the premier events at SXSW.  Space is limited, RSVP today!


> SXSW Tech Tour
2:00PM – 3:00PM
Austin Convention Center, Booth 745

Take this annual tour of the SXSW Expo Hall at the Austin Convention Center.  The Eventbase team will be running tech tours and demoing the latest innovation behind the SXSW GO mobile app, giving you a hands-on view of the event technology use cases.  Meet at the Eventbase booth #745.

 

Monday, March 13

The Event Tech Meet Up
12:30PM – 1:30PM
JW Marriott, Room 213

Eventbase’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Ben West, joins a group of seasoned event technology experts to discuss new and innovative technology in the event tech space.  Come and connect with Eventbase and other leading event tech companies like Meetingmax, GigSalad, WayBlazer, Eventbrite, Traction on Demand, and Simpleview.


Everyone Has a Beacon: Now What?
3:30PM – 4:30PM
JW Marriott, Salon AB

Alexandre Ackermans, Eventbase’s VP of Technology, will explore the future of beacon technology.  As a proximity-based marketing channel, beacons have cultivated use cases that extend beyond brand messaging. In the event space, these include indoor navigation, streamlined check-in and attendee networking to name a few. Its power, lies in the deep insights marketers can extract from user interactions and the challenge becomes driving participation for a complete view of the attendee journey.

 

> Eventbase Exhibiting at SXSW

We’ll be exhibiting at SXSW.  Stop by the Eventbase booth (#745) to learn more about why our mobile event technology platform is trusted by half of the largest global technology companies, get an overview of our platform and features and meet the Eventbase team.

The anatomy of Eventbase events

Over the past couple of years Eventbase has witnessed tremendous growth.  We are continuing to make strides in the mobile event technology space and are proud to say we work with half of the world’s 20 biggest technology companies.  This infographic, comparing data from 2015 and 2016, demonstrates the growth and progress we’ve made over the last couple of years.  Our in app engagement is at an all time high, and here are the statistics to prove that.  Check out how we're impacting events around the world!

Eventbase Opens it Doors Nov 24th for Job Fair & Open House

November 11, 2016 - In the past couple of days we’ve been named one of the fastest growing tech companies in North America on Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500 ranking and picked up an award at the prestigious EVENTtech awards for “Best Event App” for our work with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

We just moved into our brand new 15,000 square foot office in Yaletown and invite recent grads and experienced technology industry professionals to join us at our upcoming job fair and open house on November 24th.


EVENT DETAILS:
DATE: Thursday, November 24th
TIME: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
PLACE: 1280 Homer Street

To RSVP, submit a resume and cover letter and we'll do the rest!
RSVP TO ATTEND

Come check out our breathtaking office, order coffee from our in-house barista, and see what a day in the life of an Eventbaser is like.  When you arrive on the evening of November 24th, you will be scheduled for a "speed interview" with an Eventbaser and have the opportunity to meet the team.


OPEN POSITIONS:

To RSVP please click on "RSVP to Attend" and complete the following questionnaire and indicate the position(s) you are most interested in (up to a maximum of two).  For more information on the positions below, please click on the respective postings on our careers page.

  • Intermediate to Senior Producer / Project Manager
  • Technical Production Specialist (a.k.a. Mobile Kickstarter)
  • API Integration Specialist (a.k.a. Web Dev Kickstarter)
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Senior Back End Developer
  • Senior Front End Developer
  • Technical Lead
  • IT Systems Admin
  • UX Design
  • Application Support Analyst

Eventbase isn’t your conventional startup and we’re excited to showcase our amazing new office.  We’ve got a café with an in-house barista, a secret Goonies room (ok, now it’s not so secret), beer on tap, office dogs galore, flex work spaces and a one of a kind Ticket to Ride program (a program that allows staff to travel to the event of their choice to see our apps in action) – just to name a few perks.

Eventbase is one of the leading technology companies in Vancouver, but we’re a little under the radar.  Chances are you’ve heard of IBM, Microsoft, Google, SXSW, Cannes Lions, Comic-Con – they’re only a handful of the amazing brands we create mobile event apps for.  If you’re interested in technology and helping us shape the future of event technology, then we want to hear from you!  Here’s a sneak peek of our office.  

Event app entrance
mobile event app office workspace
mobile event apps stadium seating
Events app cafe and kitchen
event app office space

Your Guide to EVENTtech 2016

Thousands of marketers and event professionals from Fortune 1000 companies and the most innovative agencies in the world will come together under one roof at EVENTtech in Las Vegas on November 14th.  As the signature event technology conference in the industry, it’s an opportunity to learn about the latest technology, best practices from industry veterans and connect with other event professionals.  If you’re as excited as we are, then you’ve already made a preliminary schedule of all the sessions you want to see and mapped out your three days at the show.