How to Get Your Attendees to Download Your Event App

Event mobile apps have become indispensable tools for enhancing the attendee experience at conferences. These apps offer a multitude of features designed to streamline event logistics, provide valuable information, and facilitate networking.

Designed, in part, to empower event organizers, the real power of mobile event apps is their ability to optimize the event experience for every attendee.

However, to reap the full benefits of event apps, conference planners must encourage attendees to download and actively use them.

It’s like the expression, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” If attendees are unfamiliar with the perks of an innovative event app, naturally they’re never going to download it.

While it’s true that mobile apps are popular, with a more than 60% predicted usage rate in meetings and events, there is room to improve and get everyone on board — or on the app, more precisely — in time for your next event.

Here, we’ll explore effective strategies for conference planners to promote event mobile apps and ensure attendees get the most out of their event.

Early Promotion: Start before the event begins

The key to successful app adoption begins well before the conference kicks off. When you build your event engagement strategy, be sure to include information about the event app in pre-conference communication, such as registration confirmation emails and event websites. Encourage attendees to download the app in advance to access essential event details.

Highlight App Benefits: showcase what’s in it for them

Clearly communicate the benefits of using the app. Highlight features like personalized schedules, session information, networking opportunities, and real-time updates. Emphasize how the app can enhance their overall conference experience.

User-Friendly Design: ensure app accessibility

Choose an event app that is user-friendly and intuitive. If attendees find the app easy to navigate, they’re more likely to use it. Conduct user testing to identify and address any usability issues.

Personalization: tailor content to individual interests

Encourage attendees to create profiles within the app, enabling them to personalize their conference experience. Show them how to select sessions, exhibitors, and networking opportunities that align with their interests and goals.

Tech tip: Introduce attendees to Quick List, a feature that allows them to select all the exhibitors they want to visit and review which ones they still want to see before the event ends.

Interactive Features: foster engagement

Promote app features that facilitate engagement, such as in-app Q&A sessions, live polls, and interactive maps. Attendees are more likely to embrace the app if they see it as a tool for participation rather than just information consumption. Ideally, you want your mobile event app to build community while increasing attendee engagement.

Tech tip: Best Path Routing on Core-App’s interactive maps empowers attendees to navigate your tradeshow or conference with ease.

Networking Opportunities: emphasize connections

Highlight the app’s networking capabilities. Explain how attendees can connect with peers, schedule meetings, and participate in discussions. Emphasize the value of building professional relationships through the app.

Tech tip: Highlight Core-App’s in-app networking tools, like 1:1 connections, meetings, and messages; focus on the fact that attendees are able to control their community and event experience by managing permission-based connections.

Training and Support: provide guidance

Offer training sessions or webinars to show attendees how to use the app effectively. Create instructional materials, including videos and step-by-step guides, and make them readily available. Empowering your attendees with the knowledge and confidence they need to effectively use the app will result in more of them downloading it.

Gamification: motivate more app usage

Considered one of the most effective ways to maximize participation and increase ROI, implement gamification elements within the app. Create challenges or contests that incentivize attendees to interact with the app, earn points, and win prizes.

Tech tip: Core-Apps features a variety of gamification integrations, including prizes, audience voting, competitive activities, treasure hunts, and passport games, all of which have been designed to increase awareness about what your event has to offer, while increasing attendee engagement with these opportunities.

Real-Time Updates: keep information fresh

Regularly update the app with real-time event information. If attendees see that the app provides the latest news, session changes, or alerts, they’ll be more likely to rely on it for updates.

Feedback Loop: encourage user input

Foster a feedback loop by allowing attendees to rate sessions, provide comments, or suggest improvements through the app. This not only engages users but also helps planners improve future events.

→Pro tip!

Use this information to measure the success of your efforts. By reviewing post-event analytics, you can better plan your next event by personalizing outreach and enticing first-time attendees to return!

Social Media Integration: connect digitally

Promote the app’s social media integration. Show attendees how they can share their conference experiences, connect with fellow attendees, and participate in event-related conversations on social platforms.

Incentives: Offer rewards

Consider offering incentives for app usage, such as special discounts, or entry into prize drawings for active app users. Other popular incentives to motivate attendee engagement and participation include exclusive merchandise (bonus points for branded swag) and giveaways, as well as intangible incentives like exclusive access to sessions, post-event content, or leaderboard-style recognition for participation.

On-Site Support: Assist attendees

Have a dedicated support team available on-site to assist attendees with any app-related questions or issues. Provide a help desk or a designated support area so that no one ever experiences frustration or confusion when it comes to using your event app.

“Core-apps was able to accommodate everything we needed from our event apps with the app functionality and design, as well as responsiveness for any questions… Attendee feedback was overwhelmingly positive.”

— Sander R., Director of Marketing and Communications

Dominate attendee app downloads

By implementing these strategies, conference planners can boost attendee adoption of event mobile apps and maximize their event’s success. The app becomes not just a tool for accessing information but a central hub for engagement, networking, and overall conference enhancement.

When attendees see the value of the app and how it enriches their experience, they’re more likely to embrace it, ultimately making their conference experience more enjoyable and productive.

“I absolutely love your app…I cannot thank you enough for your timely response, and I also cannot praise your app highly enough…the choice of using your company for the convention app is one of the APA’s best decisions.”

— J.L. Hawley, Jr., Ph.D.

For a closer look at Core-Apps, the leading event app partner for conferences and trade shows, request a demo today!

Marie Smith
Marie Smith

Marie Smith is a Marketing Manager with Community Brands. She is passionate about giving back to her community and has always been involved with membership organizations from being a Girl Scouts of America troop leader volunteer, to a Parent Teacher Association President and VP of Membership, most recently. Marie is passionate about creating special experiences for customers and future customers throughout their experiences with our products and resources. In her free-time, Marie is equally passionate about spending time with her family, gardening, listening to live music, and enjoying good food.