According to G2.com, "Apps are top drivers for event attendance and satisfaction". This means that in-person attendees who use an Event App have a better overall event experience than those who don’t — and virtual attendees don't have much fun if they never log in. 😆 Raising awareness about the app, providing login instructions, and supporting attendees after they log in are all key to app adoption for any attendee type.
So, here are our best practices for planning your Event App’s promotional strategy to encourage adoption and usage and ensure everyone has the best experience possible. 👇
The sooner you launch your Event App, the better. Generally, we recommend launching your app at least 7 days before the official start date so attendees have plenty of time to log in and start looking around. Launching 2 to 4 weeks before the official start with a set of features designed to boost interest and engagement is a great promotion tactic, too!
If you're not done adding and configuring features and content, that doesn’t have to hold you back. With Webex Events, any updates you make in the Platform appear in the app within moments, so attendees can join early, get used to the app, and take advantage of pre-event content and activities while you finalize everything else.
🧠 Make a promotion plan and strategy
Before you officially launch your app, you need a promotion plan so communication is timely, clear, and useful. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Choose channels - The next section of this article provides a thorough list of possible communication channels, though it’s unlikely that all of them are a good fit for every event and audience. Choose tactics that you're already comfortable using, and that make the most sense for reaching your attendees.
Build a promotion schedule - Once you've chosen channels, figure out when you want to send messaging and which team members and partners are responsible. Blasting on every channel all at once can be great! There's also benefit in strategically timed messaging that aligns with established channels like monthly newsletters.
Craft throughtful messaging - Rather than only listing the app’s features, explain and show what your attendees can get out of it. This is a great time to tie in attendee goals so you can clearly show the benefits.
Create promotional resources - Depending on your team size, we encourage you to get creative with your app launch. We've seen customers produce graphics, PDFs, PowerPoints, and videos that build excitement and show how to join and use the Event App. Check out our guide to making an attendee walkthrough for ideas.
Make joining a breeze - Attendees need to know how to access the awesome event experience you've crafted. In your communications, provide the Web App link for virtual attendees and help in-person attendees find the mobile app with your event’s promo page. Our access instruction templates are a great place to start, with templates for the Mobile App and Web App that correspond to each Privacy Setting.
Consider internal communication - Are members of your organization serving as moderators or emcees? Getting them familiar with the app early is important, too! Send them access instructions and our moderation guide.
📣 Choose communication channels
There are nearly limitless options for spreading the word about your Event App and building excitement leading up to your event. The ideas below may not be right or possible for every situation. You know your audience and bandwidth best, so do what makes sense for you.
Website — Include a brief Event App description or intro video on your organization and/or event website. Place eye-catching banners about your Event App in high-traffic parts of your site and link to the promo page.
Registration email — Customize the email your attendees receive after they register to mention your Event App, and provide the promo page link if you're ready for attendees to start joining.
Promotional emails — If you've already planned an email marketing campaign around your event, include your Event App in those efforts. Highlight it in the “Before you go” email or even dedicate a whole email to the app, its benefits, and how to download.
Social media — On your organization’s social media channels, create teaser posts to build anticipation before the app’s launch. After launch, post an “App is live!” Announcement that links to the promo page. Continue to include the app in additional posts showing highlights, updates, and screenshots.
Speakers, vendors, and exhibitors — Enlist these partners to use their own websites, email campaigns, or social media channels to spread the word about the Event App and promote app downloads. During and after the event, they can announce how users can access their presentations or materials via the app.
Event Game and Wall — Get attendees into the event early with a pre-event game or game codes that are only visible before the event begins. Encourage guests to interact on the Wall by posting challenges there. Check out our tips for making an amazing Event Game for inspiration.
TV screens and projectors — If your event is an internal company meeting, use the presentations and TV screens in your building to promote the app before the event takes place. Add the Promote Page content to company presentations leading up to the event.
Use Live Display - Use the Webex Events Live Display product. Easy to deploy and maintain, Live Display presents content from your app in real time, including the app download QR code so users can download your app easily in the days and weeks leading up to the event.
😄 Create value for early adopters
You've built your plan, identified communication channels, and drafted awesome promotional messaging, graphics, and assets. Now you need to give your early adopters a reason to be glad they joined early and get them excited to invite others.
While it's not always possible to have everything in your Event App built out and ready to go weeks before your event, you can still create great early adopter experiences. Here are the top features to include at launch:
⭐️ Keep in mind, configuring some of these features requires you to publish your event, and some are only available for Hybrid or Virtual event types.
Game - We can't emphasize this enough: attendees LOVE the Game feature! Create challenges that reward attendees for exploring the app and talking about the event in their social media spaces. Hide codes in key speaker and sponsor profiles, your FAQ feature, the Agenda, and anywhere else you can think of. This helps attendees get comfortable in the app and fosters networking and camaraderie in your early adopters.
Resource or FAQ feature - Much of the value in launching early is giving attendees time to explore and ask questions. Have a help center or FAQ ready to go so attendees can find answers themselves instead of asking event staff.
Attendees - The Attendees feature lets users see who else is attending the event and send one another connection requests. This is one of the main drivers of attendee networking. Attendees can also boost app adoption by inviting others to download the app! Learn more in our Attendee Networking article.
Agenda and Speakers - These two features go hand-in-hand. Add speaker profiles and Agenda sessions, then use Internal Links to connect them so attendees can browse both together. Add links to presentation slides, speakers' social accounts, and more!
Sponsors - Add value for your sponsors by showcasing them from day one. Link them to sessions they're sponsoring, use them as part of Game challenges, and create Video Rooms where attendees can virtually mingle with sponsor staff.
Announcements — Create an exclusive experience for early adopters by sending out announcements that provide them with special benefits. For example, invite them to sessions with limited capacity, send earlybird game codes, and notify them when you add new features, Agenda sessions, and other items.
Wall - Add the Wall feature to give attendees, sponsors, and speakers a place to make posts and have conversations collectively. To get things started, event staff can post photos or ask engaging questions before the event. Asking what attendees are most looking forward to or posting pictures of your pets are great ways to help conversations and connections take off. 🚀
Video Rooms - Set up a series of pre-event hangouts using Video Rooms. Attendees can get to know one another in a relaxed environment without the pressure of making it to the next session on time.
Recordings feature - What better way to get attendees excited for this year's sessions than showing them last year's recordings? Upload recordings to Video Center and add them to a Custom List feature or use the Web List feature to link to recordings hosted on sites like Wistia and YouTube. Read our Add Session Recordings to Your Event article for complete details.
Follow Us - Simple, but mighty — this feature lets you add links to your organization's websites and social pages. Reward attendees with game codes for using your hashtag and sharing your posts on social media.
If your app is valuable and engaging even before the event starts, you can benefit from organic, peer-to-peer promotion, with early adopters spreading the word and inviting others to join in. 📣
🧪 Publish and test your Event App
Before anyone can access your Event App, you have to publish it. Publishing opens the app to your attendees and lets you log in as an attendee so you can try it out. Don't worry! Attendees won't know where or how to find the app until you tell them.
Check out our instructions on publishing your event if you're not sure how.
Don't make your attendees be your beta testers. Before launching your app, you and your colleagues, moderators, staff, speakers, and sponsors should download it and try it out. Experiencing the app for yourselves helps ensure it’s polished and accurate, and it better prepares you to answer attendees’ questions.
When everything's ready to go, start executing your communication schedule! 🎉
🤝 Promoting during your event
Even after your event has kicked off, there are many opportunities to promote your app to in-person and virtual attendees who may not have logged in yet.
Send targeted communication - You can easily see who has and hasn't downloaded the app or logged in to the Web App yet and send them a reminder email after the event starts.
Empower your staff — Train your staff on the app so they can help attendees download it and answer their questions. Try to have an "app expert" standing by to help with attendee login issues or questions about navigating the app.
At check-in — Ask your in-person check-in staff to mention the app when they greet arriving attendees. Leverage effective signage here, like banners or tabletop displays. We’ve also seen creative tactics such as putting a QR code linking to the app promo page on the back of printed badges, or including a postcard about it in swag bags.
Intro session/keynote — Ask your emcee or keynote speaker to highlight the Event App, including how to use it and how to download it. With all eyes on them, this is one of the most effective ways to encourage app adoption and engagement.
TV screens and projectors — If your venue has TV screens, use the Gallery feature in Live Display to show visuals about the Event App. Enable the 'Promote App' Live Display feature to show a QR code that lets users download your app quickly and easily!
Printed signage — Promote your app on printed directional and session signage. Let attendees know that maps, agenda details, and more are right at their fingertips.
With a thoughtful promotional strategy that uses the right tactics at the right time, rest assured that your app will help your attendees have the best possible event experience. Both during and after the event, use Event and Community Metrics to measure adoption and success.
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