How to Get Approval for your Event App in 2019

As an event planner, you already know the benefits when it comes to incorporating event technology into your events*. Increasing attendee engagement, reducing printing costs, increasing event revenue through sponsorships, and collecting attendee feedback are just a few examples of how it can help your team achieve your goals.

But there may be a number of key stakeholders in your company who still need to be convinced. If you’re planning to present a business case on why it’s worth investing in an event app for your next event, you need to be prepared to address any questions they’ll have and potential barriers to adoption.

*If you need a refresher on the benefits of using event technology at your events, read The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Event App Adoption.

This blog post will help guide you through the process of how to create an event app business case and get the buy-in you need to move forward. This includes:  

  • Preparing your pitch
  • Common objections to event app adoption
  • FAQs (and answers)

Preparing Your Event App Pitch

1. Pinpoint the Benefits

The benefits you present should be clear, specific, and quantifiable. Be sure to provide specific examples to back up your arguments.

Some of the benefits of an event app include:

  • Reducing the cost of paper programs, feedback surveys,  and signage
  • Generating revenue through digital sponsorship opportunities
  • Increasing attendee engagement before, during, and after events
  • Improving on-site attendee communications using notifications and in-app reminders
  • Helping guide attendees with session information and maps
  • Boosting networking opportunities with gamification
  • Making it easier to collect session and overall event feedback
  • Improving event branding by increasing the number of touchpoints attendees have with your brand
  • Attracting and retaining more millennial attendees

2. Research All Associated Costs

The benefits are important, but your company’s primary question will be: How much is this going to cost? And a “no surprises” approach works best when introducing new technology. This is particularly important if there’s been previous resistance within your company. Try to be as transparent and honest as possible about the benefits and risks when pitching a new event app.

Keep in mind that when it comes to technology, there can often be hidden costs involved. Make sure you ask yourself these following questions:

  1. How much time and money will it cost to train staff on the new software?
  2. Is there an opportunity to gain cost efficiencies by using this technology across multiple events over the course of the year?
  3. What added value are we getting by going with this vendor vs. building internally?
  4. Are there any other associated costs?

Let your stakeholders know how much they should expect to spend upfront and in the future. They’ll be more confident in making the purchase, and you’ll be better prepared for expenses lurking down the line.

3. Anticipate Their Questions

Start by asking yourself this question: If you were an event stakeholder, what would you ask after hearing this pitch? When considering a significant investment, they’ll be looking to clearly understand the associated costs and benefits, and how this decision will impact the organization.

To prepare, you’ll need to:

  1. Make a list of potential questions your team  could ask
  2. Research and rehearse the answers

We’ve already discussed the importance of addressing these costs and benefits, but your stakeholders are sure to have questions beyond those points.

Here are a few example questions that might come up:

  • How much technical know-how is needed to use the event technology?
  • How does this event technology integrate with our existing platforms?
  • How will we ensure that attendees download and use the event app?

Once you have your questions, you can start preparing the answers and, if needed, do additional research. The more prepared you are, the more convincing your pitch will be, and the more likely you’ll be to sway your audience.

4. Build And Present Your Event App Business Case

Finally, you need to weave all these arguments into a cohesive presentation. You’ll want to be targeted and concise in your delivery. Include facts and figures, but remember that examples and anecdotes from respected sources can be a powerful way to build support. Identify possible concerns and objections and provide information to address them. And of course, provide an opportunity for questions.

Common Objections to Event App Adoption

Let’s talk about some of the key objections that may come up when stakeholders are evaluating a technology purchase, like your mobile event app.

1. Our demographic isn’t tech-savvy enough

It’s true that not every person who participates in and/or attends events is technologically literate, but that’s changing fast, especially with smartphones becoming so prevalent. People of all ages now use apps on their mobile devices on a daily basis, so extending that usage into the event space is not a far reach. That said, EventMobi’s platform is actually one of the industry’s most intuitive and easy-to-use event apps. Many clients have raved about how easy it is to learn to use the event app, on both the backend and frontend.

Recommended Read: [Case Study] GetWellNetwork scores at cost savings and engagement using an event app and gamification

Another important thing to note: Seeing the value that is personally gained by using new technology is one of the key factors that motivates people to use it. If you can show attendees how the event app will provide benefits that align with the reasons why they registered for the event, they’ll be far more likely to download and engage with it.

2. We don’t have the budget for event technology

This statement may indicate that you haven’t done an effective enough job showing your stakeholders how an event app can help solve many of the organization’s event challenges. Or perhaps, the challenges cited aren’t painful enough that your organization is ready to invest money in solving them.

One approach to veer the conversation back in your favor is to revisit these challenges and quantify how much money you’re losing/already spending.

For example,  you could discuss how an event app could prevent:

  • Increased spend on printing event guides, surveys, and paper signage
  • Losing revenue opportunities around digital sponsorships opportunities
  • Decreasing attendee retention rates due to a lack of engagement and innovation

Then, you can continue by emphasizing that by implementing an event app, you will save money and/or bring in more net revenue by opening up sponsorship opportunities that not only cover the cost of the technology but will generate additional revenue. Many EventMobi clients, like Real Property Management, saved so much in printing costs that there was no additional budget required for purchasing the event app.

Recommended Read: [Case Study] Real Property Management wins the game at attendee networking

3. Technology will just be an added stress to manage at our events

It’s true, there are a lot of technology options out there, and most event planners don’t have the time or the training to manage multiple vendors. You can remedy that situation by selecting an integrated technology solution that offers an end-to-end solution—from event registration to a mobile app to digital signage, all on one platform. This option also keeps you from having to learn, negotiate with, and manage tech support from several companies at once.

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!)

We’ve helped coach many event planners through the process of presenting event app technology to their executive team. There are a number of questions that come up again and again, no matter what industry or type of event. Here are the most common that you should be prepared to address:

1. No one else in our space is doing it. So why should we?

Many organizations are choosing to use event apps to achieve their event goals. Beyond that, investment into the attendee experience can be a competitive advantage that sets your events or company apart. And for millennials, this could be the value-add and modern type of experience they’re looking for that will convince them to choose you over a competitor.

2. What type of staff training will be required to build and update the technology? Is it hard to use?

EventMobi’s Experience Manager is extremely straightforward to use, and has become known as “the WordPress of event apps”. In fact, every new EventMobi staff member gets to build an app during their first few weeks of work. Everyone from the customer support team to finance and salespeople. It’s very easy to use and is a flexible platform that anyone can learn, even if they have limited technical knowledge.

3. What if adoption is low?

Creating a solid plan for promoting the event app is key to success. You can read more about this in our ebook The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Event App Adoption & Usage.

Remember to keep in mind that it’s impossible to please all your attendees all the time. But if you’re focused on making sure that the majority of them are enjoying an improved experience using the event app, the less-engaged attendees will realize that they’re missing out and be motivated to download the app to see what all the fuss is about!

  1. How much money can typically be generated through app sponsorship opportunities?
  2. While it depends on organization-specific variables, like the number of attendees, many EventMobi customers have had their event app paid for entirely by in-app sponsorship opportunities, while also generating additional revenue.

The value of in-app sponsorship exposure is much more measurable than traditional sponsorship, so it becomes much easier to clearly demonstrate to sponsors metrics like the number of impressions, banner ad clicks, survey participation, website clicks, and more.

If you want to learn more about how to create a convincing event app pitch, register for this webinar How to Get Approval for Your Event App

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