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 22 (and counting!) of Socio's features. Creating your event follows exactly the same process regardless of which option you choose. The only difference is that you'll link the event to your Branded App instead of the Socio App before publishing.
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.
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.
Upload your own custom icon that appears on app users' device home screens instead of the Socio logo. 😄
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 shoutout to your title sponsor, or all three! 🙌
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! 🌈
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, or LinkedIn).
With the Branded Event App, you can choose which of these options app users can log in with. You can allow them to sign up and log in with their email and social accounts (same as the Social Event App), their email only, social accounts only, or you can use none of these and implement Single Sign-On (SSO) instead!
⭐️ Keep in mind, SSO is an additional cost add-on feature, and we recommend planning for 2 additional weeks before you event for configuring and testing SSO.
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
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.
Apple Developer Account - In recent years, Apple changed their rules for branded 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 part of the Branded App process that take the most time.
SSO configuration and testing - If you plan to use your organization's SSO, plan for 2 weeks to cover implementation and testing in addition to the 6 week minimum we recommend (8 weeks total with SSO).
App submission - Once you've got your Apple Developer account, you must configure and submit the app details to our team so we can finalize the submission to Apple. It can take 2-14 business days for Apple to approve the app after we submit it. Check out our article on submitting a hassle-free Branded App for tips that help your app sail through the approval process.
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:
⭐️ 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.
After or while setting up your Apple Developer Account, you can get started configuring your Branded App with the following:
Home Screen Name
Splash Screen images (iPhone and Android)
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! 🧠
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 make the decision that's right for you. Don't hesitate to reach out to your Socio contact!
Questions? Chat Us or Email firstname.lastname@example.org