Implementing a Branded Event App instead of using the Socio Event App enhances the attendee experience in several ways and lets you brand every aspect of the app to your organization and event. Choosing between the two can be tough, but it doesn't have to be!

This article guides you through the benefits and considerations for both options so you can make an informed decision. If you decide the Branded App is for you, the last section of this article leads to the next step! 🏃‍♀️

This article mostly refers to "events", but Branded Apps work for Socio Communities too!

Branded App benefits

All the same features

No matter which option you choose, your events and communities can still be kitted out with all 21 (and counting!) of Socio's features. Creating your event follows the same process regardless of which option you choose, and you can still choose custom colors, icon labels and images, and feature content. The only differences are that you'll link the event to your Branded App instead of the Socio App before publishing, and your app has its own unique name and app icon.

App download experience

Normally, attendees download the Socio Event App from the App Store or Play Store, and then search for your event among the list of all published events. When using a Branded Event App, attendees download your unique app from the app store and see only your events.

Two screenshots. One of the Socio Event App in the Apple App Store, and the other of a Branded App.

Customization

If a unified, totally branded app experience is what you want, then the Branded Event App is for you! While the Socio Event App has a static orange theme color and Socio branding, the Branded Event app lets you customize these and upload a custom splash image. Compare the Socio Event App on the left with a Branded App on the right in the images below.

Custom Icon

Upload your own custom icon that appears on app users' device home screens instead of the Socio logo. 😄

Two screenshots. One of the Socio Event App icon, and the other of a Branded App icon.

Splash Screen

When the app is loading, or when someone loads a new event, the Socio Event App simply shows the Socio Logo. Your Branded Event App lets you upload a custom Splash Screen where you can show off your event's style, display a welcome message, include a shout-out to your title sponsor, or all three! 🙌

Two screenshots. One of the Socio Event App's splash screen, and the other of a Branded App splash screen.

Theme Color

The Socio Event App always shows navigation elements such as the top and bottom bar and page indicators in "Socio orange". With your Branded Event App, you can set the Theme Color to anything you like so you can match your custom icons and branding! 🌈

Two screenshots showing the Socio App and a Branded App.

Sign up, log in, and social experience

App users can sign up for the Socio Event App using their email address or social account (Facebook, Google/Apple, Webex, or LinkedIn).

The Branded App lets you customize the signup and login experience for app users. Enable any combination of email, social accounts, and Single Sign-On (SSO) login options. You can even customize the order in which some options appear on the Branded App login page. To learn more about Branded App signup and login customization, check out Customizing Sign Up and Log In Options.

⭐️ Keep in mind, SSO is available at no additional cost! We recommend planning for 2 additional weeks for configuring and testing SSO. This means you must allow at least 8 weeks between purchasing your Branded App and the date of your first event.

Once attendees have logged into the Branded App and selected a virtual or hybrid event, they can use the awesome Shake to Connect feature!

Branded App considerations

Cost

The Branded Event App is an added cost feature in the Socio Platform, and you'll likely spend more money commissioning splash screen graphics and people power to manage your Apple Developer account and SSO. If budget is more important than branding for your event, the Socio Event App is a great option.

Time and effort

Events can be published to the Socio Event App instantly, so it's the best option if you're on a tight deadline and need quick turn-around with a fabulous result. Your app is ready as soon as your Event is!

For Branded Event Apps, there are several "moving parts" that can take a varying amount of time. We recommend no less than 6 weeks to get your app ready, or 8 weeks if you're using Single Sign-on.

  • Apple Developer Account - In recent years, Apple has changed their rules for custom apps. The event organizer/organization must now have their own D-U-N-S number and Apple Developer account, which can take 2-4 weeks total to set up. Setting these up and granting Socio access to your Apple Developer account are the parts of the Branded App process that take the most time.

  • Event/Community creation - Before you can submit your Branded App, you have to have a published Event or Community to link it to. Your event doesn't have to be anywhere near complete, but there are some crucial graphical elements that have to be in place:

  • App submission - Once you have your Apple Developer account, you must configure and publish the app, which sends it to our team so we can finalize the submission to Apple. You must submit the app no less than 14 days before your event. If you're using your organization's SSO, plan to publish your Branded App no less than 28 days before your event.

    Check out our article on submitting a hassle-free Branded App for tips that will help your app sail through the approval process.

⭐️ Keep in mind, after you submit your Branded App, you and your attendees won't be able to access the Web App for any linked events or communities for 3-4 days. Once the app's status has changed to "Waiting for App Store Approval", access is restored.

Resources

After or while setting up your Apple Developer Account, you can get started configuring your Branded App with the following:

  • App Name

  • App Icon

  • App Label

  • App Description

  • Home Screen Name

  • Splash Screen images (iPhone and Android)

  • Theme Color

Make sure you give your team time to create the graphics and draft the App Description. Oh, and don't forget our hassle-free Branded App tips! 🧠

Screenshot of part of the Branded App design process.

Ready to take the plunge and make your very first Branded App? Click here to get started! 🎉

Have more questions? We're happy to have a targeted discussion about your event so you can decide that's right for you. Don't hesitate to reach out to your Socio contact!

Questions? Chat Us or Email support@socio.events

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