For many businesses, industry events are a fundamental part of the marketing calendar. Attendance charges and exhibit costs can often take a significant bite out of the budget, so what is the best way to ensure that key messages are absorbed by potential customers? The answer could be found in an engaging and event-tailored interactive app experience.
Events are successful because they are so immersive. Attendees are surrounded by people and exhibits to interact with, and so can benefit from the full sensory experience on offer. It’s no wonder then, that interactive content via applications is proving to be increasingly popular.
The best types of app for industry event marketing
Apps made specifically for event use differ from those you might download to your smartphone. These apps are usually web-based, but can be made available offline too, and are generally made to suit both large HD screens and small tablet devices. Built in html5, they can be hosted online and then packaged for iOS or Android, or desktop use on Mac or PC, to suit whichever technical set-up is available.
Depending on the content of the presentation, as well as the goals of the presenter, there are a number of app types to choose from. Many successful apps will be formed using a combination of these formats:
Demo apps are perfect if you want to demonstrate a service in a more visually appealing way than is possible with a live system interface, and without showing any sensitive data. You might be looking to mimic system behaviour whilst allowing users to input their own data and see the subsequent outcome, or maybe even to bring to life future technology concepts that are not yet a reality – the possibilities are endless!
Containing a combination of educational and entertaining content, ‘edutainment’ apps are content-driven apps that are fun to explore. They often encourage users to navigate information in engaging formats such as live-action footage, 2D or 3D animation or infographics, as well as text. The interactivity stimulates natural curiosity, encouraging users to seek out more information that they might read on printed material. These apps are built to be effective whether presented or self-explored by users.
Presentational apps are similar to edutainment apps but are designed primarily for a presentation scenario. This app type is the most comparable to a traditional PowerPoint presentation, but with far more flexibility. Aside from having plenty more content type options to choose from (such as animated infographics and expandable / collapsible sections), they allow the presenter to choose from multiple paths depending on the audience. For example, the presenter may select a sales pitch for potential customers, or partner case studies for potential collaborators.
Data collection apps
A data collection app could be standalone or integrated into any other app type. Questions in the app can provide insights about customers, encourage newsletter sign-ups, or form part of other research. Questionnaires utilizing simple buttons and sliders are not only easier to fill in, but more appealing than a physical questionnaire. Even if you don’t ask questions directly, useful data can be collected on how people use your app. This will offer valuable insights into which content your audience is most drawn to and guide your future strategy.
Content that your audience will remember
The beauty of interactivity is that it makes content much more memorable for potential customers. The ability to explore a demo or edutainment app sparks natural curiosity, making a user more likely to continue to browse the content that’s interesting them, and to retain the information there.
The multiple user journeys facilitated by an app allow salespeople and marketers to have flexible two-way conversations with customers, rather than dictating information, with the option for customers to explore the app unassisted. Demo apps, in particular, provide a great opportunity for presenters to explain a concept whilst the audience gets hands on and stuck in.
Apps that are built to last
Unlike physical handouts and whitepapers that require replacement after each event, apps can be adapted and continuously improved upon to make the most from the initial investment. The first version of an app could be quite simple, but its effectiveness at events could be the proof of concept needed to invest in expanding with even more immersive app features, such as AR or VR.
Not only can apps be updated and reused at every event, but as they are web-based, any updates will instantly go live on everyone’s version of the app. This eliminates the risk of old documents with outdated information or pricing structures being used by mistake.
Get in touch
If you’d like to talk about which kind of app could engage your customers and add value at your next industry event, get in touch with our team. We’re experienced in building effective apps and digital experiences, and can offer advice on the best strategy to meet your goals.