Technology is advancing rapidly and with a greater number of mobile platforms available, it’s vital that planners provide event information that can be accessed using any kind of mobile or tablet device. Planners used to ask themselves, “Which platform should I create an app for?”, “What kind of smartphone do my attendees use?”. Thanks to a new technology called HTML5, planners can create one event app that will work across all devices with a web browser: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
HTML5 is an extension of the current web language that finally brings the best of both Native and Web-based mobile apps into a simple, unified solution.
At some point, you’ve probably heard of that funny string of letters H-T-M-L. It’s a programming language that basically works as the backbone of the internet – just so you know. You don’t really have to worry about the intricacies of the new HTML5 platform, we’re just going to outline some of the core benefits that planners can take advantage of with this new technology and how it will make for a better attendee experience.
1. Ease of Access Means Happier Attendees
Every barrier to accessing event information is a lost client or an unhappy attendee, especially during the event! A conference app built on HTML5 technology provides instant access to the app and all the event information. Attendees no longer need to wait during the conference or on the show floor to search through an app store, enter their iTunes password, wait for the app to download, install, update… you get the picture. With HTML5, the process is streamlined, allowing attendees to simply enter the event app’s URL into their web browser to access it. The app then automatically downloads onto the device so it can work offline if the internet cuts out. This makes the app easier and faster to access, allowing your attendees to focus on the event rather than fumble with their smartphones!
2. Works Offline
Unlike mobile websites, attendees will be able to access important event information without having to worry about an unreliable WiFi or 3G connection at the venue.
Flying 30,000 feet above the earth or deep in the basement of a conference center, attendees can use the app wherever, whenever.
3. It Works Across a Wide Range of Devices
No matter what type of mobile device attendees use, they’ll be able to access the event app without any problems – it even works on tablets and laptops! For example, with HTML5 technology, attendees can move seamlessly from their laptop to an iPad to an Android smartphone, all with a consistent user experience allowing everyone on any device to stay informed and digitally interact with the event. An app built on HTML5 technology is the only true unified-solution that makes it possible to reach everyone at your event.
4. Consistently Fast User Experience
One of the biggest drawbacks of web-based apps or mobile websites was that each click on the app required connection to the web. This was at times slow when the WiFi or 3G connectivity was not optimal. However, HTML5 apps, like native apps, access data that is pre-loaded onto the device allowing for immediate response and a great user experience. Ultimately, this means attendees can access event information in seconds, put away their phone, and get back to the all-important face-to-face.
5. Real-Time Updates
Last minute changes and updates are one of biggest concerns for event and meeting professionals. With this new technology, attendees will receive real- time updates on important event information like room and schedule changes. The best part? The entire app can be updated instantly without having to deal with update notification pop-ups or visits to the app store! New downloads and updates can be done behind the scenes so as not to interrupt the user – a nice way to offer your attendees the latest information without getting on their nerves.
6. Faster Downloads than Native Apps
A conference app built on HTML5 can be as small as 1-3MB (the same file size as a 2 minute song) – almost 1/20th of the size of most native conference apps! This allows attendees to quickly download the app even if there is an unstable WiFi or 3G connection at the event.
This also means less demand on your WiFi or the 3G coverage which is a major concern for large conferences and trade shows. Quick and easy access for attendees means higher usage rates!
7. Faster than Mobile Web Sites and Web Apps
Even though an HTML5 app is accessed via web browser, it is not a traditional web based app. After the data is downloaded during the initial access, it resides on the device meaning it doesn’t have to connect with WiFi or 3G. Because all the data is stored on the device, your event app operates at blazing fast speeds making for a more enjoyable user experience.
8. Face-to-Face is Where the Magic Happens
How much do you want your attendees to play with their phones at your event? The fact of the matter is, your conference app is there to support the event and to provide attendees with immediate access to information so they can learn about their industry, meet new contacts, and discover innovative products. An HTML5 app is the perfect blend of technology allowing for immediate access and an amazing mobile experience without any distractions. An app that consumes too much of attention of attendees during the event is not really all that productive, more time on the app isn’t necessarily a good thing for live events!
9. Social Sharing of Mobile Event App Content
Similar to traditional mobile sites but unlike native apps, HTML5 apps have unique pages for each piece of content like session descriptions, speaker profiles, and enhanced exhibitor pages. This means your attendees, sponsors, and even speakers can share a very specific piece of content directly. For example, a speaker can tweet out his or her session description, an attendee might want to share their profile, and a sponsor may post a link to a coupon on the app. This makes your event content easily sharable on various social networks and because HTML5 operates as part of the open web, you’ll enjoy better search engine optimization (SEO) for your conference. Not only is HTML5 app content easier to share on social media, it’s also better for your overall online marketing objectives as your event is easily found online.
Bringing the best of both native and web apps together, HTML5 technology is creating a truly incredible alternative that will change event technology forever. Stay tuned for Part 2 on how HTML5 event apps will make life easier for planners. Coming soon!
If you want to learn more about mobile technology for events and how it can benefit and enhance engagement and interactivity at your event, just send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply sign up for one of our weekly webinars.