Almost two-thirds of meeting planners are using event apps, which is expected to grow to 85% by this summer, according to a white paper produced by Meeting Professionals International and DoubleDutch: The State of Event Apps.
Jennifer Hawkins, director of marketing at DoubleDutch, says that one of the primary drivers of increasing app usage is the ability to measure engagement. Just like website owners rely on Google Analytics, meeting owners use event app analytics to better understand user behavior.
“We want to make sure there’s data surrounding the entire event lifecycle that you can hold onto and measure and track, so you can optimize events,” she says. “It would be crazy to let all of these interactions go by without somehow capturing them, so you can see at a high level what is performing well.”
As an example, DoubleDutch worked with a firm who wanted to test how well employees understood the company’s vision and line of products. Before one of the company’s events, employees were polled using the DoubleDutch app before and after to gauge the event’s educational impact.
“They were able to use the analytics portion of the CMS to really determine what products the salespeople were most interested in, and did that correlate with what the marketers were interested in,” says Hawkins.
She adds that most event apps out there do a good job creating a nice digital agenda, and some pull in social media, but DoubleDutch offers much more.
“We’re actually more like a branded Facebook for your event, so everyone has their own profile, and you’re able to contribute into the app,” says Hawkins. “We’re seeing and encouraging more organic connections, so for example, if I see on the feed that you’ve posted some really provocative comments about mobile marketing, I think this could be a really interesting person to talk to. So within this very public sphere, I can actually post a reply to your comment and say I would like to talk to you more about this.”