Apple is Changing Their App Store Guidelines: Here’s How It’s Going to Affect Your Event App

There’s been a storm brewing in the mobile event app industry over the past few months, ever since June 2017 when Apple first announced significant updates to their App Store Review Guidelines.

At the beginning, it seemed as though the storm might blow over and wouldn’t affect event professionals, because companies initially believed the guidelines weren’t applicable to the event app industry. But as event technology providers like EventMobi consulted with Apple, it became clear that these updates would have some influence on the way event apps are delivered in 2018 and beyond.

For those of you unfamiliar with the new guidelines, or still in a state of confusion, we’re going to lay out what we know and don’t know about Apple’s new guidelines so far, and how they’ll influence the app options available to event professionals like you.

What are Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines Now?

For event apps, there are two critical lines within the new guidelines. It’s these two lines that have been widely debated and discussed by event professionals and event technology companies over the past several months. They are as follows:

4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected

4.3 Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app…”

What’s the Purpose of These Guidelines and Who’s Affected?

The primary goal of Apple’s new guidelines is to provide a cleaner, more valuable, and intuitive App Store experience for customers. For example, these new guidelines more explicitly discourage the cloning of successful apps, such as Candy Crush or Flappy Bird knock-offs, that clutter up the App Store and make it more difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for.

At first, companies that provide event apps (like EventMobi) weren’t worried, because the language didn’t seem to apply to the products we offer. After all, EventMobi creates unique, customized and branded event app experiences, ensuring no two EventMobi apps are the same.

However, after our team spoke with Apple it became clear that even with the distinctions between our customers’ apps, some adaptation would be required by EventMobi and other event app companies to remain in line with Apple’s App Store guidelines.

These guidelines remain open to interpretation, and time will tell how they impact the overall evolution of the event app industry. One thing that’s certain is that we’ll be staying in close contact with representatives at Apple during this period.

When Will the New Rules Come Into Effect?

The new App Store rules will be in effect starting January 1, 2018.

What this means is that in the very near future, event planners seeking an event app may find changes to the options available to them.

For existing EventMobi customers who have apps that need to be submitted to the App Store, we recommend planning to submit no later than December 18, 2017.

If you’re not yet an EventMobi customer, but having a branded app in the App Store is important to you, you should get in touch with us right away!

Schedule a demo today before it’s too late to get your own branded app!


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What Does This Mean for Existing Event Apps?

Here’s some good news: Apple is “grandfathering” existing apps created before December 31, 2017. So for all you event planners relying on existing event apps, breathe easy, because your apps will not be impacted. EventMobi and other event app providers will be able to continue maintaining and updating these apps.

How is EventMobi Evolving to Address the New Guidelines?

Apple’s updated guidelines offer an opportunity for event technology companies to rethink how they deliver event apps. EventMobi continues to lead the industry by providing event planners with a comprehensive list of options for creating and sharing their apps with attendees.

Our approaches to addressing Apple’s guidelines combine the best of both worlds, allowing you to showcase your brand while providing attendees with a great event experience.  Whether you’re hosting a single event or multiple events, you have three choices with EventMobi:

  1. Customized Branded App: We’ll work with you to design and submit to the App Store a unique branded app for your organization that meets Apple’s new guidelines.
  2. EventMobi App: Your event app will be delivered through EventMobi’s new universal app, easily accessed by your attendee with either an event code or our Smart Launch link.
  3. Web App: Bypass the App Store entirely and direct your attendees to access your event app through any web browser.

We’re obsessed with helping our customers create events that exceed expectations, and can’t wait to show you what’s next for EventMobi and our customers. We’ll be keeping new and existing customers informed of evolving best practices as the new year unfolds and we start to see the practical implications of these guidelines.

Talk to your account manager or schedule a demo today and let us show you what your event app could look like!

Want to learn more? Watch our recent webinar on Apple’s new gudelines.


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