Mobile Site vs. Event App – Which is Better And Why
Globally, mobile Internet traffic has now the lion’s share of the total. New mobile apps are spewed out daily, the usefulness of many being questionable at best. I’m telling you, it gets pretty ridiculous out there. Whether we’ve reached a point of app oversaturation is a valid question. No wonder people may hesitate before downloading yet another application to their phone. The fear isn’t completely unfounded either, but if you’re one of those folks, I’ll help you combat it with this post. Let’s go!
Moving forward, I’d like to narrow down the type of software discussed to event apps. To many, they seem like an unnecessary extra, since there’s already a mobile-optimized event site available. Thinking these apps don’t offer any additional value is faulty. This isn’t to say websites aren’t formidable opponents.
Event app vs mobile website comparison
They can be great looking and serve as hubs for all the conference-related information such as the agenda, speakers, contests, sponsors, venue map, etc. The problem is that the attendees visit the site only for raw data. They remain anonymous and aren’t being actively engaged.
On the other hand, you have a conference app, and yes, you have to make the tiny effort to download it to your phone, however, this is precisely the advantage it has over a static website. An app allows the organizer to stay in direct touch with an actual human being and get them involved into what’s happening to a much greater degree.
Let’s now take a closer look at some pros and cons of both an event website and an event app.
Event site optimized for mobile
Let’s make one thing clear – I’m not suggesting going siteless. On the contrary, I reckon you should invest time and money (well, a free template probably won’t cut it if you’re trying to wow the visitors) into developing a remarkable site.
It will most likely be the first point of contact for any potential participant and will serve as a reference before and after the conference. Considering you may have competition, it’s good to keep this piece of digital real estate in the online world anyway.
A conference website:
✔️ Holds all the information related to the conference, such as the agenda, speakers, maps, downloads, etc., and presents it in a clear manner.
✔️ Doesn’t have to be downloaded to your mobile device.
✖️ Serves a purely informational role and doesn’t get the attendee directly engaged.
✖️ Doesn’t work offline.
Dedicated event app
Considering the number of apps we’re bombarded with these days, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some people are a little hesitant when someone asks them to download their software.
The thing is apps come in various shapes and sizes and I’ll risk stating that the silly ones are giving all the really helpful ones a bad rep. Business meetings and conferences are all about professionalism, efficiency, novelty, and usefulness, and event apps reflect these values.
A conference app:
✔️ Allows the organizer to be directly in touch with the participant since it’s installed on his phone.
✔️ Increases attendee engagement thanks to various features requiring action, such as quizzes, polls, live chat, gamification, ask a question feature for debates/panels.
✔️ Can be used to inform participants about emergencies, last minute changes and program amendments thanks to PUSH notifications.
✔️ Can serve as a networking platform utilizing live chat or direct messaging. It can help people establish new contacts and arrange meetings.
✔️ Can work offline, albeit not to its full capabilities.
✖️ Has to be downloaded to your mobile device.
Both event sites and event apps have their merits. The former is like a business card – aesthetically pleasing and providing all the necessary information to anyone interested in attending. The latter is like the next step in initiation – it allows for fuller immersion and a better experience overall.
Events have the goal of bringing people together and facilitating networking, but a website isn’t very social and doesn’t promote much interaction. These are precisely the objectives achieved thanks to a dedicated app.
Make no mistake – a great event app outshines a mobile-optimized site in terms of attendee goals and expectations seven days a week. It helps the organizer make a better impression and create an unforgettable experience as well. It’s just a matter of convincing people to get on board by highlighting relevant features.