Tips for building a useful event and expo app

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Whether you’re planning an app for an exhibition, event or market, there’s more to simply ‘having an app’. What features should your app have? How do you expect visitors to be using the app? How will you engage with visitors using the app?

In this post, we address these questions by discussing the important visitor behaviours and app features that events and exhibition apps share in common.

Information that’s relevant right here, right now

An app’s home screen should be dynamic and relevant. It should attract visitors to return for the latest updates, important information and ‘at a glance’ event summaries. We’ve designed our featured screen to be customisable and flexible. Simply choose the appropriate widgets, upload your content and rearrange them however you’d like.

If your strategy includes beacons - the most straightforward use of location-based technology is notifying visitors of nearby stops or exclusive in-app discounts from nearby stallholders. It’s important not to aimlessly ‘push’ messages without context. Since beacons rely on proximity, only visitors that are within range will receive the message, ensuring that they only receive the location-aware messages relevant to them.

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Chances are that not all visitors will have the time (or energy) to visit every stall or exhibitor. A searchable directory of exhibitors and their detailed profiles - that can be sorted by type - allows visitors to plan ahead and build a personal itinerary from the exhibitors that interest them most.

Spontaneous, real-time discovery can be supported with beacons throughout the venue and interactive maps. Our map feature makes it easy to add stops, POI and amenities so that visitors can see where they are and what’s around them.

A personalised schedule

You could list all the day’s events but why not let visitors build their own schedule? Our Schedule module lets visitors add events to their schedule to view their day ahead at a glance. With optional timed reminders, visitors can even choose when they want to be reminded about an event.

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An alternative module to Schedule, if there are no events, is Favourites. Useful as a pre- or post-experience, visitors can bookmark the exhibitors that catch their eye to refer back to later or to visit those that they may missed on the day.

Cater to the tech-savvy but make adoption easy

Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too much information. Keep the app hierarchy simple, straightforward and logical. Designing for the user experience lets content shine. Not only will it be easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for but accessible, intuitive design is also less confusing and appeals to new adopters.

We’ve always highlighted the importance of content over technology, and it’s no different in this case. Location-based technology integration needs to be seamless and intuitive to appeal to a broader range of users.

Understanding that exhibitions also often span across cities (or countries!), our latest City Selector feature, designed with nationwide events in mind, supports the scaling of native content from multiple cities - all from the one app.

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What else do I need?

Truthfully, there are a long list of features that could work in an event or exhibition app. The key step is to identify what purpose your app serves and why it exists for visitors for use. Defining this will help you identify what features are crucial to your app and what is simply ‘nice-to-have’.

Beaconmaker’s flexible platform is designed to cater to your different needs, and take the hard work out of building a digital visitor engagement experience. Get in touch to see how our platform can help you build a beautiful mobile solution.

Want to know how beacons can add value to your business? Click here to request a Beaconmaker Demo

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