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.

What an interesting few days we’ve had here. In case you haven’t heard, as of July 26, 2017, 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

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