Selecting your mobile event technology provider is a critical step toward success. The vendor you select will not only build or customize a solution for your event, but their support and customer service will be invaluable – especially onsite. After you’ve defined your mobile strategy and identified the features you’ll need, it’s time to choose a vendor:
Start with a list of industry mobile technology providers. Though you can certainly have a mobile event apps custom-built by a developer, it’s not usually necessary since there are so many event-specific apps already out there.
– Solicit input from key internal stakeholders
– Get feedback from industry colleagues that use a mobile app for events
– Identify the solutions that have the features and functions you want
– Establish your selection criteria, e.g. price, timing, expertise, etc.
– You may choose to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to mobile technology and mobile event management providers
– Make a short list of three or four providers and begin comparing their solutions:
- Do they offer a native solution or Web-based app?
- Ask for links to other mobile event apps, download them onto your mobile device and test the functionality and user experience.
- How is the user interface? Easy to navigate? Cleary understood?
- How are the graphics – visually appealing without losing functionality?
- Will the look and feel reflect well on your organization?
- What is their anticipated deployment time for release of the app?
- Carefully review the back-end reporting and metrics they provide – will it meet your needs?
- Have they handled events of your size and scope in the past, such as mobile registration and mobile check in?
- What are all the costs?
- Do they have the ability to assist and make recommendations for keeping the app running year-round?
- What ideas and assistance do they offer to aid in adoption of the app?
– Call and check references:
- Did the vendor hit the agreed upon deployment schedule?
- Were there any unexpected charges?
- Was the onsite support sufficient?
- What was the adoption rate of the app?
Once you select a vendor and begin development, stay focused on your strategy and be wary of feature creep – those extra or unnecessary features that creep into products because they are sexy or fun, but often have little to do with your original goal.
For a complete guide to the inner workings of mobile apps for events – from strategy and tactics to monetization and metrics – download the FREE ACTIVE Network’s Mobile Playbook here.