By Darren Edwards
Event Apps have been in the business events industry for quite a few years now and event planners now have easy access to extremely full featured communication and engagement tools. Recently I was asked to speak at an industry event on the benefits of deploying mobile event apps at tradeshows, conferences and business events.
During this live discussion one of the questions raised what ‘should every organisation have an app’.
This is a very interesting question and one that cannot be answered easily without understanding the nature of every business and how it engages with its stakeholders. Mobile apps are today part of every conceivable business, irrespective of their size or services they offer. Apps are the best way to keep your customers engaged with your product – they act like gentle reminders to pull them back to your product of service, while also generating new customers in the process. However, are mobile apps really necessary for each and every business? Do you particularly need one to promote your brand or business?
Listed below are the aspects you need to think of, before developing an app for your business:
- Your Target Audience
- Your Budget
- Your App Content
- Cross-Platform Formatting
- Cost Vs. Profit
To keep my response to this question topical I presented a case study outlining the evolution of the Association App market. I believe that all associations and their members will benefit from the development of their very own member engagement tool. Research has shown that association members would like to receive and have access to association information on their mobile devices. They want access to this information 24/7 and mobile devices represent the perfect vehicle for delivering this information.
Whilst researching tools available now to associations I was fortunate enough to demo a simple yet powerful application, developed by Core-Apps LLC, called MemberDirect.
MemberDirect has been developed specifically for associations and contains information such as a list of members to contact, a calendar of events, buyer guides, marketing research, industry documents, etc.
For associations who use Core-Apps FollowMe or EventLink event applications, MemberDirect will also connect seamlessly to each association event, providing users with a convenient way to access their content any time they choose. And, for users who only require access to the event app, FollowMe or EventLink are also available to download and use with just the event content in a mobile app.
What Makes MemberDirect Special?
- Association information and communication is now mobile!
- Provides members with a single source for access to all events and important information relating to their industry
- Provided member networking tools
- Direct content/data integration every day of the year
- Content Security – Application content can be offered to members of the broader community
- First association mobile app with convenient connection to event app
- More features than any other association app
- Easy to integrate
- Admin portal and statistics for control and analytics
- Revenue generating tools through advertising and sponsorship sales
- Deployed on all phone platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Web based)
One source for information on the go
With Member Direct, your members will have all of your association’s information in one easy-to-use app. With a member directory listing, calendar of events, news feed, social media integration, push alerts, custom tools, and much more, Member Direct gives your members the link they need to be productive on the go.
Ease of data flow
Core-Apps have built Member Direct to work with associations of all sizes and with all types of data systems. They can import your data for the app using discrete files, using regular imports through APIs, and through a custom admin portal where association staff can make live changes 24/7.
Native and web versions
Core-Apps have native clients for Apple iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices that allow your members to quickly use the app with the built-in features of their devices. Additionally, they have a mobile-optimized site for users on other platforms.
Always a custom solution
From the app image, to in-app icons and colors, Core-Apps can customise Member Direct to suit your needs and styles. Plus, with the next-generation architecture the app has been designed with, most changes to the app can be done on the fly without users having to download an update to the app.
Valuable feedback when you need it
Statistics are embedded in the app to allow association staff to discover what kinds of users are using the app and how they use it. Staff can view statistics summaries through a custom admin portal, as well as through their app store accounts.
Member Direct includes access to an account manager who will work with you one-on-one to ensure the app meets your expectations–both before and after launch. Furthermore, our custom admin portal allows your association staff to make many changes 24/7 on their own.
It is my belief that MemberDirect or related tools will become an essential tool for associations to communicate, promote, and publish their information for the mobile user. MemberDirect will enhance the association’s brand with the members and help attract new members.
So in answer to this question, ‘Does every organisation (Association) need an app’. My response is yes. A mobile communication and engagement tool, carefully planned, developed and deployed will be a valuable asset to any association and its stakeholders.
About the author: Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than 20 years’ experience and knowledge in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to drive creativity in events and the way they are run.