What's the Big Secret to Getting More Event App Downloads?

Picture this: It’s the future. (A week after your event.)

You’re writing thank-you letters to your volunteers and vacuuming glitter out of your briefcase.

This is also time to begin evaluating your event’s success. Registration goals were met, attendance was great…but what if you had a disappointing number of event app downloads?

It doesn’t feel good. You know that your return on investment is directly related to app adoption. You might even feel like the event app was a waste of time and money.

Tracy boosted event app downloads with great promotion

Tracy Robey, who manages the Renaissance Society of America’s annual meeting, a 2900-person conference with an 850-page program, recently helped RSA go mobile.

To encourage members to adopt the mobile app, Tracy slowly introduced the concept through sparing email communications leading up to the event.

The last email before the conference included the QR code and web link to download the app. “By the time they showed up, most people had already downloaded the app and used it. They had their schedules and to-do lists already made.”

Tracy came up with a clever method for catching the stragglers. She inserted bookmarks into the huge printed programs with a QR code and app download instructions printed on one side. Good timing when so many attendees desperately wanted to stop lugging around the heavy program! The RSA had a record number of event app downloads this year, and Tracy will come close to eliminating printed materials next year.

A mobile event app isn’t a surprise

The vast majority of adults have smart phones these days–in fact, in 2014 they have surpassed laptops and desktops as the most prevalent mobile device. To get more event app downloads, all you have to do is make sure your guests understand three things:

  • There is an event app.
  • There’s a good reason to use it.
  • Here’s how to do it.

Multiple mentions of the guide, plus a little on-site signage and staff training: that’s your golden ticket to more event app downloads.

Put the guide on your website

Get started early by alerting your guests to the existence of the event app. Include a web-based version of the mobile guide right in your website so they can peruse the agenda, maps, social events and more. Your web developer should be able to easily use an iframe to add a guide tab or link.

Direct potential registrants to this web guide in your email campaign preceding the event.

Tell them why they should play around with it

Once a guest has registered, it’s time to remind her about the mobile guide. Include the download link on the registration thank-you page along with a compelling reason to download it right away. “You can browse the agenda, build custom to-do lists to check off on-site, and create virtual business cards to trade!”

Share a little note a day before the event

Capitalize on the final email you’re probably sending–the one that includes directions and last-minute instructions. To boost event app downloads, include a link to get the mobile app. They’ll be prepared the moment they walk through the door.

Post event app instructions on-site

  • Visible from the registration line
  • Near entrances to sessions
  • On the back of attendee badges
  • Near the device-charging stations

Train your registration staff to prompt event app downloads. If you’ve printed agendas as well, keep them out of sight unless they are requested. Ask speakers and sponsors to promote use of the app (it benefits them the most).

Looking for more ideas to increase downloads? We have a support article for you right here.

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