If you’re hosting a corporate event or an association conference & tradeshow, and looking for ways to create new revenue streams and sponsorship opportunities, a mobile event app might be just what you need! Mobile event app usage by attendees is consistently topping 50% and even 90% at some events in recent months, which has sponsors falling over each other for the chance to gain exposure with them.
The opportunity to monetize your mobile event app is huge, especially with sponsors who are holding exhibitions at your event. You don’t need to become a savvy tech-geek to do it. Let us walk you through nine simple ways to raise the value of your event app for your sponsors and exhibitors while spicing up your existing sponsorship package with new offerings.
1) Offer exclusive sponsorship
Many sponsors prefer to be the only sheriff in town – if theirs is the only logo in the event app, they’re likely to get more attention, and achieve higher conversion rates. Feature your sponsor’s logo on every page, giving them all the exposure they want on the app, exclusive of other sponsors, and they’ll be more than happy to pay the price. This is currently the most successful and popular way our clients use to sell event app sponsorship.
For you as the event planner, the takeaway is higher rates for less work. Depending on the type and size of your event you should be able to charge between $2 and $5 per attendee, which can really add up for a good-sized event. Most of our clients with a single exclusive sponsorship are able to charge 2-5 times the cost of the app itself, making the decision to go mobile about attendee benefits and not the cost of the event app! This approach also saves you the time and energy it takes to chase down multiple sponsors.
2) Get multiple sponsors for a lower buy-in
If you don’t have one sponsor who wants sole sponsorship of your event app, but you do have a handful of other exhibitors/sponsors who are willing to share the attention of your attendees, then you can offer each of them a lower cost to buy in. A well-designed mobile event app has the capacity to host multiple sponsors, with rotating ads on various pages that ensure your sponsors will each get their time in the spotlight. However, one thing to keep in mind is the balance between ads and usability. Make sure you don’t hurt the overall usability and look & feel of the app by overloading each page with tons of ads, as this can scare away users and reduce the usage of your mobile conference app.
3) Use enhanced exhibitor listings
At any event, exhibitors are competing for attendee’s attention, which is why they’ll pounce at the chance to improve their place in your mobile listing. You can offer exhibitors enhancement packages that allow them to upload their logo and social media links, or distribute things like product presentations, PDF brochures, inventory lists, flyers and videos. Exhibitors can even use your mobile event app to pass around exclusive coupons and discount codes, which have been a hit at many consumer shows. An enhanced listing helps ensure that an exhibitor’s booth will manage to draw a crowd.
A good mobile event app keeps track of how many times attendees have accessed your exhibitors’ materials, so they can measure their ROI post-event. Even better, they won’t incur the expense of printing, or have to pass out their materials by hand. And somewhere out there, one more tree is going to be left standing!
4) Provide more prominent listings for sponsors
You can provide your sponsors with marks of distinction, in the form of ribbons, or other colored markings on their place in your exhibitor listings. This works like a highlighted listing in the yellow pages, raising your sponsor’s profile with your attendees. You might also consider bumping your sponsors to the top of the list. Remember, mobile users normally spend just 3-5 seconds looking at a page before selecting what to do next, so anything higher up in the list stands the best chance of being seen!
5) Use event app notifications to send alerts and updates
Your attendees will be opening their event apps frequently to navigate and plan their experience, which makes the app an excellent place to deliver time-sensitive announcements. If one of your sponsors is holding an event, you can increase the size of their audience by sending a push notification about when and where the event is happening. We’re not big fans of text messaging here at EventMobi, but that’s also an option along with app-specific push notification. EventMobi uses a device agnostic approach to its messaging but if you use the iPhone push notification, make sure there is a way for your Android/Blackberry users to receive those messages as well. Combining in-app alerts with mini-email blasts (for pre-opt-in attendees) is another great idea.
6) Take advantage of your Audience Response System (ARS)
People love to know each other’s thoughts and opinions. If a live audience response system is integrated with your mobile app solution, you have a golden opportunity to use it for revenue generation. The results of polls and audience response sessions grab everyone’s attention when they’re tallied on the presentation screen, which guarantees that an ad placed below the live result is going to do well. Those few minutes of exposure are a valuable resource that you can offer to your sponsors at a premium.
7) Make money from exhibitor ballots
While the ballot box is still common at conferences and tradeshows, mobile app technology is quickly moving in to take its place. Mobile event apps let you sell your sponsors the ability to hold ballots, which can take the form of multiple choice or open-ended questions, and supply them with valuable market feedback and lead information from attendees. What’s more, an app can take care of tracking demographic information, so sponsors won’t have to bother attendees for basic information like their name or email if they are already logged into the app.
8 ) Take Advantage of the Gaming Layer
Games are an excellent way to get your attendees to go where you want them to go, and do what you want them to do. For example, EventMobi’s GamifyApp lets you provide your attendees with adventure, and your sponsors with exposure at the same time. Lead attendees to your sponsors’ booths with scavenger hunts, allowing them to collect points, which they can redeem for prizes. When your attendees are having fun and your sponsors are getting foot traffic and lead information, that’s a win-win situation.
Check our recent blog post to see how the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) used GamifyApp as a marketing tool at their conference this year.
9) Be like Google, take advantage of attendee behavior and analytics! (Your sponsors will love you for this)
Post-event, you should receive a full analytics report from your mobile event app vendor telling you which exhibitor pages received the most views, how many page views each company received, the number of unique visitors for each of them, and other valuable information that may even be attendee-specific, depending on the design of the app.Analytics help you prepare for your next event, and help your sponsors devise new marketing strategies. It is yet another fantastic opportunity to make your top sponsors grateful to you, and happy they signed on to your event.
Something for Every Event
So there you have it – while your mobile event guide enhances your attendees’ experience, it will also open a world of revenue opportunities to you, and can help make your next event the most profitable you’ve ever seen. Discuss these options with your sales and marketing team on how you can create a custom sponsorship package that works best with your sponsors and exhibitors and fits well with your overall event marketing strategy. At EventMobi we are focused on making technology simple for event planners with innovative products to make our industry successful. If you also have any fresh ideas that we might have missed here or any comments at all about mobile event marketing do let us know, we love to here from you.
PS. This is also a great article from ASAE on how Association Event Planers are monetizing their conference app http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=152521