Fantastic Ideas on How to Use Apps at Events: A Conversation With FLIRT Communications

Flirt LogoFor the second year in a row, the Content Marketing World team is thrilled to partner with FLIRT Communications on our event mobile app. As mobile is becoming an increasingly important component at events, we invited FLIRT Communications (@FLIRTcomm) to join us for our last #CMWorld Twitter chat prior to Content Marketing World next week.  We had a great conversation about what features are essential for event apps and how to increase usage. There was a lot of banter and excitement about the event as well. 

If you are attending the event, you can download the Content Marketing World app. If you are not able to attend, follow #CMWorld on Twitter next week. We’ll be back with our twitter chats at 12 PM ET on September 17.

 

Let’s get started! Q1: How have mobile apps enhanced event attendees’ experiences? #CMWorld

A1: At first, I was against mobile apps for events, but last year proved they work really well…especially PRE event #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent It extends experience beyond the event: pre-show & post-show. It allows event organizers to think beyond the ballroom. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

By the way I hope #CMWorld is going to be using #RiteHere app. Love it. #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

If content ahead of the show makes the show better, if content after the event continues the conversation, the app facilitates that. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A1: Where the hashtag works for more broadcasting, the mobile apps enable attendees to connect one to one pre and post event #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent One of my fave reasons I like it is it connects into LI, say u met someone at one of sessions, you guys can connect. #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

A1 There is a lot of potential for apps to keep networking going post event if loaded with the right information #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

The hashtag is a great start but there is a whole strategy for mobile/social apps pre, during and post event. #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

A1: They are much easier than bulky event literature that unfolds to the size of a tarp! #cmworld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@SusynEliseDuris I agree…both serve different purposes IMO #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

A1: Event apps allow people to plan, see immediate changes to the event, get more info on sessions/speakers make notes #CMworld

@lttlewys

 

A1 Also great for organizers to keep attendees updated with room/schedule changes on the fly…can’t do that with print #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@tracibrowne I know…nothing like getting to the session and finding out it’s cancelled or changed speakers. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@lttlewys Definitely! In the world of events, things might need to be changed on the fly. Apps allow planners to notify attendees. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@MichaelMooneyy Agreed, but I’m so surprised the number of people that still rely on the print. It’s a must have as well. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@tracibrowne Exactly! Very useful. Push notifications help here too. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

A1 Also, event apps are awesome for crisis communication…you never want to use it but great when you need it #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

I agree with @tracibrowne – to get folks to download those apps, there has to be bene’s long after – many stop after event is done #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@JoePulizzi @MichaelMooneyy Agree! So we have both an app and a nice sized book for #CMWorld. Good combo, we think.

@CMIContent

 

Q2: How far in advance do you need to start planning a mobile app for an event? How do you get started? #CMWorld

 

Scale dependent, @CMIContent, you could be talking anywhere from 2-8 months (mostly about content planning and promotion) #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent A2 – Gosh, I hope at least 6 months!! #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

A2: I think our ultimate goal is to never stop with the app updates…so planning continues on directly after event. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

The hardest part is knowing where to start. Here’s a handy infographic to choosing the right type of app: http://t.co/bOga9FyLwK #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A2 Plan for it early and start the build, you can update with content as your go. #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@SusynEliseDuris @CMIContent We can do an app in as little as two months, but the client has to be ready with content #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A2: I believe we started planning seven months out this year for the mobile app. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@FLIRTcomm @SusynEliseDuris Wow, that is fast. Are they previous clients who know content expectations? #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@FLIRTcomm nice infographic – however I didn’t see Pinterest as a share option. Did I miss? #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

Just like any other content project, app content needs planned inline with technology (so we aren’t running to get the content) #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@FLIRTcomm @CMIContent Well, there’s a little more to app creation – I am talking end-to-end. #CMWorld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

Don’t forget event exists long after the keynotes have left building. Connections live on and so does data capture #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

Q3: What are some ways that data distributed/collected on event mobile apps can be used for event #contentmarketing? #cmworld

@CMIContent Collect quotes, watch check-ins and comments, post surveys and quizzes. This is where the useful info is buried. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A3 If you have a sched builder you can see what sessions are most popular…not popular…can always market better #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@NickKellet Agree! One great thing about the #CMWorld community is that we are connected all year.

@CMIContent

 

A3: We are hopeful to capture majority of event feedback in app: surveys, session popularity, etc. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@JoePulizzi I’d assume 70%+ of downloads happen within 2 weeks of the show? So, post-show follow up is probably important. #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

A3 If networking function you can easily see who your influencers are by how many people are trying to connect to them #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@tracibrowne Agree! That is definitely a way that we are using it for #CMWorld.

@CMIContent

 

@CMIContent This content teaches you about your audience. It can shape future content and communications. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

An important one…we use the feedback from the app to determine which speakers to bring back (and which ones not to) #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@JoePulizzi unless you have a very, VERY strong event brand/community, postevent, attendees are not engaged anymore to the event #cmworld

@djstomp

 

@JoePulizzi So be sure to check-in and talk about your faves. It means something! #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@FLIRTcomm @CMIContent There’s a lot of planning even before reaching out to development, yep, that’s why I said at least 6 mos. #CMWorld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@djstomp Agreed…I think that’s where multiple events under the same umbrella can play a role here to keep conversation going. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

agree…if you have more than one event then multi-event apps are the only way to go…cross promotion @JoePulizzi @djstomp #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

Some groups just put an app out there wanting coverage via App Store/Goog Play but forget about the total attendee experience. #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@djstomp Agree! Our #CMWorld webinars, twitter chats, main event, etc. are ways we work hard to stay connected. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@LindseyScoot16 Let’s make it happen this year Lindsey! #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

A3: Unpopular but true: ad costs for next year. #cmworld

@MichaelMooneyy

Q4: How can reporting/analytics be used during an event to increase buzz where needed? #CMWorld

 

Buzz is built when you involve people – and make your buzz their buzz. #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@CMIContent During an event, it’s really tough to get real-time analytics that have much value. Things happen so fast. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A4 @CMIContent QR codes? Different ones for different actions. #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@CMIContent Focus on launching surveys and polls to ask specific questions to get the info you want. Know what you want, ask for it #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

Far too often. MT @susyneliseduris: Some groups put an app out there wanting coverage but forget about total attendee experience. #cmworld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A4 For information real-time best to push out short polls…app activity not always good data for larger segment #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@FLIRTcomm #cmworld From the information overload perspective I lean towards the opposite: attendees more selective towards apps

@djstomp

 

A4: Who is excited for what! If it is valuable to folks at the show, it is probably valuable to your audience who couldn’t make it. #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@tracibrowne @JoePulizzi #CMWorld multi-event from the attendees or event planners perspective?

@djstomp

 

@djstomp If content is relevant, the community is relevant, and there’s motivation, I can see the value. But I take your point. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@MichaelMooneyy We should look into what % of the app audience isn’t on site. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A4 Don’t get too involved in data…the best way to determine how the event is going it to simply observe #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

Q4: Maybe a cool check-in feature that shows you where everyone is and tracks what you did. #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@leeodden 100% right! see you #CMWorld Lee

@ChaseMcMichael

 

Q5: What are some event app layouts/features that attendees use the most? #CMWorld

 

A5 Completely depends on the event…internal corporate vs. conference vs. product launch #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@CMIContent We always see high response and use of events feeds (it’s the in-event backchannel), logistics-type content… #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent (con’t) and people love games that connect to physical events. Plug: Watch out for Rock to the Top at #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

People often forget about patchy wifi in big conference spaces – and also that people come from abroad & don’t want data roaming:( #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

A5 The feature is only as good as the content you put into it #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@CMIContent @FLIRTcomm Games are good – there’s some fun to be had! #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

Huge issue! MT @NickKellet: People often forget about patchy wifi and data roaming at conferences #cmworld

@lindadessau

 

@NickKellet One of my biggest concerns Nick. Patchy wifi can kill the app experience entirely. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@tracibrowne everything revolves around content. and should. 🙂 #cmworld

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@tracibrowne Garbage in, garbage out. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@JoePulizzi I also love events that stream the tweetstream for all to see, many don’t know what’s going on in Twitterville #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@djstomp Techn/platform are one in the same but value is different to both. Engagement for attendees, convenience for planners #cmworld (A4)

@FLIRTcomm

 

Joining late, but looking forward to meeting everyone next week! #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@tracibrowne: A5 The feature is only as good as the content you put into it #cmworld” agreed!! Provide attendee with valuable content

@djstomp

 

@NickKellet @CMIContent Some see them as fluff, but we see them as connection and conversation starters. We work hard at them. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@JoePulizzi I love the dialog that happens between attendees as much as the content from speakers – a very unique event experience #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@NickKellet As long as it’s not on stage during the keynote. I can’t stand seeing a twitter feed next to me when I speak. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@FLIRTcomm makes it easy who you may want to make a point of meeting @NickKellet @CMIContent #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@JoePulizzi the app is really nice, enjoying it so far! Great way to connect pre-event #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@NickKellet @JoePulizzi Yes! And after seeing this year’s attendee list – there is much dialogue and content to be had! #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@JoePulizzi You don’t have to watch it:) #cmworld It’s for the attendees. It’s an emerging social norm – in my mind – an expectation

@NickKellet

 

@MichaelMooneyy Do you like seeing the tweets up on stage while you are watching the presenter? #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@steph_montreuil Let’s you do your homework before the first day of school: who should you be friends with & what you want to learn #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A5 I think people would use networking features more if they were better populated with deep dive info…not just name and company #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@NickKellet I don’t like it from an audience perspective. Distracting in my opinion. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@MichaelMooneyy @JoePulizzi Lol – very funny – #bigwig – taking feedback in real time is hard:) #CMWorld

@NickKellet

 

@tracibrowne We like to focus on the personal side of professional networking. Example: Tags. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

Q6: Do app sponsorships or lead gen opportunities deter attendees from using event apps? #CMWorld

 

@CMIContent You know, everyone in our world is social (online and off), so are all pretty used to some amount of that. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent I haven’t seen/heard anyone so turned off by it that they reject the app (or social media or parties) #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@JoePulizzi That’s how I’ve met some great people – via the stream. Not everyone is online and fully powered and wifi’d up:) #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@NickKellet Still not gonna do it 😉 #stubborn #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent ok, rubbing it in about great content and sessions to those of us who cannot attend #cmworld is cruel. very cruel. 😮 🙂 🙂

@SusynEliseDuris

 

@JoePulizzi @NickKellet Attendees can follow the stream in the app as well. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@JoePulizzi I’m with you on this one…I hate the tweet walls onstage…no everyone is a Twitter junkie @NickKellet #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@MathewHaugen Wyndham? They are offering free shuttle to/from. Did you try the link on our website? #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@CMIContent Anything that incorporates a fun hashtag that represents your brand & makes attendees WANT to visit your sm pages. #cmworld

@StuartUffner

 

@SusynEliseDuris Just in time for me to make it to the conference, hopefully! #cmworld

@lindadessau

 

@tracibrowne @JoePulizzi I just need Google Glasses:) Then I can have my own 3rd screen or is that 4th:) #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@MathewHaugen https://t.co/MPBIU5lx26 Try this if you haven’t. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@SusynEliseDuris For sure! #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@MathewHaugen have you tried @airbnb ? #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@tracibrowne @JoePulizzi @NickKellet Even twitter junkies can dislike the twitter wall. 🙂 #CMWorld

@cmcphillips

 

A6) Ppl are more willing to give up personal info if the perceived value of the webinar is greater & if it’s a respected company. #CMWorld

@WhatRunsWhere

Q7: How should we measure the success of events? Attendee engagement, exhibitor ROI or revenue? What else? #CMWorld

 

@CMIContent Define your success metric!!! What do you want your event and your app to accomplish? That’s crucial. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent Beyond that, an app can help measure sentiment, use, interaction, engagement, movement, etc. It all depends. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A7 Anyone can make money on an event…event attendee satisfaction is the most important measure of success #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@lindseyscoot16 Be sure to listen to the #ReachTheSummit podcast on Thursday when we talk to @JoePulizzi of #CMWorld http://t.co/5NZgYsLYrX

@MichaelBowers

 

@CMIContent To see how complex this can be, we wrote a longer response to this kind of question here: http://t.co/KgunxKRzK0 #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

Have you got your own orange outfit ready for the event? #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@SusynEliseDuris I meant next year, hopefully – maybe to coincide with you speaking 🙂 #cmworld

@lindadessau

 

@CMIContent Also, app experiences are best when the app intersects with face-to-face conversations. #longestTwitterAnswerEver #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A7: The mobile app experience is part of attendee satisfaction. Goal is to have 100% of attendees say they would come back. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@NickKellet do you?? #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@Steph_Montreuil @NickKellet I do! #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

awesome goal! MT @JoePulizzi A7: …Goal is to have 100% of attendees say they would come back. #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

A7: Lead-gen is the sexiest metric, but it ignores your awareness/consideration activities. #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@lindadessau @tracibrowne maybe they can make money once, won’t make money again without attendee satisfaction #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@NickKellet Yes! Just a couple. #CMWorld

@cmcphillips

 

@tracibrowne We had one person last year say they wouldn’t come back. I hunted that person down 😉 #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@JoePulizzi I don’t think anyone was worried about you 😉 I guess I have to go shopping! @NickKellet #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@JoePulizzi @Steph_Montreuil You have a whole wardrobe of orange:) This we know #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@CMIContent Agreed…the app should motivate in-person interactions…but tough to measure. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent I tried the link. Sold out. You guys must be packing a house. I’ll just pitch a tent on the sidewalk. First in line @ #cmworld

@MathewHaugen

 

It’s really always about the people and connections you make at events. Making the app enhance the experience is just smart. #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@JoePulizzi Stalker! #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@MathewHaugen Try calling direct…our room block is probably sold out but they may still have some rooms. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@MathewHaugen Seriously, DM us so we can try and help. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@CMIContent A7 [positive] Engagement. That’ll establish consumer/brand trust, gain customer loyalty and ultimately lead to revenue! #cmworld

@StuartUffner

 

Q8: What are some ways to increase app downloads at our events? #CMWorld

 

@CMIContent Increase app downloads by sending relevant, informational emails on a consistent basis leading up to event. #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent Promotion. promotion, promotion! Your app is a product like any other, so market it like it’s a product. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent demonstrate value & awareness. #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

@JoePulizzi @CMIContent post-show twitter campaign: Who’d you meet at #CMWorld?

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@CMIContent Incentives move the needle. Rationally, why would a VP want a free piece of candy? But it still works as a motivator. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A8 Signage posted throughout registration lines, roving app help desk, announcements at keynotes, stationary app help desk #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@CMIContent Show the value on site: have a booth, have signs, let people see other attendees use it, support it on site. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@MichaelMooneyy @JoePulizzi Great idea! We should also have a chat just catching up with people, w/ some event-specific questions. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

@CMIContent And games, contests, polls, any good reason to engage with the app. Surround them with the app. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

Wow @FLIRTcomm I love the attendee matching this year based on selected preferences. Well done! #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

A8 If essential event info e.g. schedule is _only_ on app (must be available on all major platforms) you’ll see lots of downloads! #CMWorld

@ASegar

 

@CMIContent If you have any questions, stop by the app booth. Our app engagement experts will be on hand #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A8: Virtual presence feature. Build believers! #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@tracibrowne Great stuff – so glad you’re here today! #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

A8: Also mention the app in the opening session and make people feel guilty who haven’t downloaded the app. #workslikeacharm #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@CMIContent two words: Scavenger Hunt #CMWorld

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@joepulizzi A trick we love! #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

A8 the number 1 way to get people to use your app…make sure you provide them a way to recharge their device during event #bigfail #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@tracibrowne What’s worse than a bunch of marketers in a room with dead devices? #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

36 Tips from Brands & Content Rock Stars #CMWorld http://t.co/ulOdbjUDqM via @toprank

@Alex_Hanial

 

A8 Events should have charging stations all over…or a device check (much like coat check) drop off for a quick charge #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

A8) Incl session schedule organizer, interactive floor plan, locator and recos for restaurants & hot spots near event. #CMWorld

@WhatRunsWhere

 

@tracibrowne We’ve got ya covered – our app lounge will have chargers for all #CMWorld app devices…plus candy!

@FLIRTcomm

 

Q9: Are there any #contentmarketing opportunities that can be generated from mobile app engagement? How? #CMWorld

 

@CMIContent Start conversations with people in the app and see what resonates. It’s a smart way to test your ideas. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@cmcphillips You have an inside track and a constant reminder of Orange:) #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

@CMIContent Also, the app is a microcosm: see what problems people have, what they’re talking about to get content ideas. #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@CMIContent programmers without red bull? #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@NickKellet This is true! #CMWorld

@cmcphillips

 

@tracibrowne LOL. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

A9 If conversations are talking place on the app…look for questions people are asking…or info they are looking for #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@FLIRTcomm That’s really helpful when the app is user-friendly and our messages can be edited/added quickly. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

Most popular sessions and speakers – specialty eBooks and guest blog posts after the event #cmworld

@JoePulizzi

 

@jweb Joe, thanks for making the list – I’d love to know more about @Smartbrief – let’s hook up in Cleveland. #cmworld

@NickKellet

 

Now that we’ve discussed the orange, who’s wearing 80s garb at the House of Blues? #cmworld

@Steph_Montreuil

 

Link to the #CMWorld app can be found here, with great ideas from @FLIRTcomm : http://t.co/IhWmPqH6vq

@CMIContent

 

@tracibrowne yes!! Was at #usopen yesterday & wanted to use their app for updates but my phone died. Events NEED charging stations! #cmworld

@StuartUffner

 

@StuartUffner Especially at events (which may be all events, nowadays) where device is searching for signal & draining quickly. #CMWorld

@CMIContent

 

Q10: What events have you seen with top notch mobile apps? Why are they your faves? #CMWorld

 

@CMIContent CMWorld2012! CMWorld2013! (yes, we own a time machine.) EventMarketingSummit, BlogHer, TechWeek2013 #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

Blatant plug: Go see our friend @crestodina at the Lunch and Learn Tuesday. He’s a great presenter and has killer tricks to share #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

Just downloaded the app for #CMWorld. Now: where do I pick up my badge….

@spafax_arjun

 

A10 my favorite event apps are ones that have a desktop app for pre-event then links to mobile app when you are at the event #cmworld

@tracibrowne

 

@spafax_arjun Watch the app to find out! 😉 #CMWorld @FLIRTcomm

@CMIContent

 

Last blatant plug: We talk about mobile event stuff all the time on our blog: http://t.co/Z3ZVgt8eBV #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@cmicontent He’s tackling “Beyond the Content Platform” – will give countless reasons why tech/platform is only first step #CMWorld

@FLIRTcomm

 

@JoePulizzi @FLIRTcomm @CMIContent Thanks for all the great info! Are there any plans to keep a weekly CMI chat after #CMWorld?

@MichaelMooneyy

 

@Steph_Montreuil @tracibrowne For sure! See you there – I’ll be in orange. And something very 80s.#CMWorld

@cmcphillips

 

@FLIRTcomm Thank you, thank you! See you next week! Talk to you sooner! #CMWorld

@cmcphillips

 

More info on @flirtcomm: http://t.co/gKyD070VKh. Download the #CMWorld app: http://t.co/Q0G2cN9vEC

@CMIContent

 

May #epiccontent be with you! Check out the battle brewing in the world of #contentmarketing http://t.co/Y9RpAxzjho @JoePulizzi #CMWorld

@JoePulizzi

 

Thanks for another awesome chat @CMIContent @JoePulizzi – hope everyone has a great time at #cmworld

@lindadessau



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