The question always comes up, native app or web app for your conference?
We say neither.
EventMobi Fusion™ brings together the power and offline capability of native apps with the ease of web apps. No need to go one way or the other. Here’s why.
During lunch the other day, Meagan, one of EventMobi’s Support gurus was chatting with Tim, a developer at EventMobi. Wondering how they could truly demonstrate the power of Fusion, they came up with a plan: recreate a traditional native conference app on the EventMobi Content Manager to offer a real technology comparison. Hold up a native app beside a Fusion app and show the differences to help event planners make informed decisions.*
*For legal reasons, the EventMobi version of the app is no longer available – that said, we’re still going to tell you about the process, the timeline, and the price tag
Analytics prove that early launch (1 month out) yields the best results and highest app adoption rates. At the mercy of programmers, last minute bugs, structural changes, not to mention Apple, Google, and BlackBerry approval systems, native app deployment is never a smooth ride. When it comes down to it, native app technology simply does not afford event planners with the control they need to execute a mobile strategy successfully.
With EventMobi Fusion™, the app is ready to launch at a moment’s notice. No third parties or programmers for you to wait on – a Fusion app is always in your control.
With native apps, what we tend to see is an explanation in the Know Before You Go email like: “To download the app, go to your app store and search the name of the event”. Well there’s currently 800,000+ apps in the Google Play (Android app store), and 900,000+ in the Apple App Store – that’s a lot of apps to navigate.
And what about the BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Tablet, Laptop users that don’t have access? Do you have to print more paper guides? Will there be another technology available? iPad rental?
Using EventMobi Fusion™, all you need to do is publish your customized link to your attendees as if you were publishing a web app.
It’s that easy. Your attendee has your app on their screen with one click. They might be on an iPhone, or maybe a Dell desktop computer; maybe a new BlackBerry, or even the latest Amazon Kindle. No matter what they’re using, they can open and access the app instantly. You’ll also notice that for the vast majority of devices, the app has downloaded natively onto the device so attendees can access the app offline. This is the power of EventMobi Fusion™.
TIP: All too often, what looks like a native app page is simply an online website embedded into the native app. It’s a smooth and easy trick but if you’re paying the big bucks for a native app, then make sure you’re not getting played.
Even if you launch your app one month before your event, approximately only 50% of your attendees will download the app ahead of time – what about all the others who are going to be downloading the app onsite? With native apps, 50% of your attendees are downloading large event apps onsite (can range 10-50MB). Can the venue’s WiFi handle all those downloads at once? In comparison, EventMobi Fusion™ apps usually weigh in at 1-3MB maximum.
You can also take your event marketing to the next level by linking to different pages in your app rather than just telling people to go to the app store and download the app. Whether the goal is to increase networking with in-app attendee-to-attendee messaging, or driving foot traffic to booths, a web-based HTML5 technology gives you that flexibility and control.
Because it’s web-based, you have the all the advantages of a website. Link directly to a very specific page rather than instructing attendees to download the app and follow a list of steps through the app. Just one click is all it takes with Fusion.
With all these profiles, multiple tracks, sponsors, and customizations to create, you might be thinking that building your own app is overwhelming and all of this work must take ages.
Well in all honesty, Meagan built our Fusion vs. Native experiment yesterday in 4 1/2 hours, start to finish - pulling information from the original native app, creating the app, and launching it.
On top of that, rather than simply providing a text list of company names as was displayed in the native app, Meagan gave each company participating in the trade show its own profile page; essentially it’s own virtual exhibition space which in the digital age, would be expected. An online virtual presence also allows each company to tweet, post, and share their profile pages, providing better marketing opportunities for them and your conference app. Meagan also included the built-in Audience Response System to encourage feedback.
Because the app we made for this particular event was the unofficial one, we had to keep our ears open for agenda changes and make them on the fly. With the Content Manager, it only takes a few seconds to make a change and publish it.
For such a monumental event with over 2,000 attendees, it only took 4 1/2 hours to launch a comprehensive meeting app that included, a customizable agenda, delegate profiles, social media, live-polling, and more.
Time: 4.5 hours
As demonstrated, a native conference app may seem like a slick choice, but when you compare apples to apples and features to features, you might think twice.
With EventMobi’s HTML5 Fusion, you provide your attendees with all the benefits they need to be successful at your event. No need to waste money on technology that only works on some devices and that doesn’t afford you the control you require to execute a successful event, there is a better choice when it comes to conference apps. To learn about Fusion and test it out with a free trial account afterwards:
As EventMobi’s Communications Manager, Jonah works closely with his team to create and share resources for event planners looking to learn more about mobile apps. Listening closely to what planners need to succeed, Jonah strives to make the transition into the world of mobile apps as simple and easy as possible. Connect with Jonah on Twitter!
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