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“How to Create the Best Local Event App”

Entering the meeting and event planning industry with little to no experience can be challenging, especially if you want to build a local event app with complex features. There’s much you need to know and consider.

Many people prefer getting out and meeting people to sitting at home and watching TV. They like experiencing things, socializing, and building networks of connections. People want to visit different places and attend meetings to get new impressions and positive emotions from mingling with others and finding out new and exciting things.

Meeting management professionals, on the other hand, make things happen with a lot of effort as all the event planning falls on their shoulders. They need to find a place, host a big number of people, offer them catering and organize cleaning up after social gatherings if necessary. What’s more, they need to reach a high level of attendee satisfaction to have a high return on investment.

Startupers see meeting and event industry as rather lucrative and want to build services like Eventbrite or apps like Yplan. Event management is a business, and mobile solutions make the work of event planners faster and easier. How can you enter the event organizing app business and succeed?

Why should you create an event app in the first place?

Think how easy it is to use the apps you have on your phone. Local event apps are just as easy to use. Users can do a lot of things with event planning apps or applications that promote social gatherings including finding, registering for, and organizing events. And with these apps, there’s no need to carry a paper ticket because you can simply scan a QR code on the phone.

There can be at least three user roles in an event planning app: service providers, meeting planners, and attendees. They all use the same platform and come together at the actual event.

Local event apps help users feel like locals and meet others at consumer meetings, conferences, expos, workshops, and pretty much any gathering. Event apps can build a community of attendees, uniting people based on interests and passions. Local dating apps, local bar apps, local tourist guide apps, local selling apps, and social event planning apps each focus on different types of meetings that bring people together and you can build one like that as well. By now, you may be wondering how an event organiser app can function as mentioned above and play a role of intermediary. Follow along to learn more.

What’s more, these local applications can be a lot powerful than global industry players like Facebook Events for instance.They can have:

  • a different layout with icons, making it easier for users to read as compared to text-only format;
  • fine tuning of communication flow and feeds;
  • custom filters to sort out content;
  • integration with local payment systems;
  • integration with local bonus programs and offline systems like terminal devices;
  • community building options;
  • built-in loyalty programs;
  • tailored notification system.

Event organizers want event planning to be quick and frictionless. They want to organize everything precisely. They want to know how many attendees are coming, how many tickets have been sold, and any other important metrics. An event planning application can deliver just that. The success of any digital solution depends on the type of users you target and their end goal in using your app.

Event app statistics

According to Event MB’s State of the Event Industry Research 2018, nearly 46% of meeting management professionals use organizer applications.

Source: Eventmanagerblog.com

Meeting planners realize how essential event organizer apps are, and 91.1% of respondents believe that local event applications are relevant.

Source: Eventmanagerblog.com

Types of event organizer apps

The market is vast and there are many solutions out there. Usually, they are grouped by the type of meeting.

Conferences and business meetings

The world is running at a fast pace — especially the professional world. Business people need to organize work-related conferences and business meetings. Mobile applications can both help plan meetings and facilitate interactions among attendees.

The famous Whova app helps users establish meaningful connections with its networking capabilities. Whova lets people get more from every meeting they attend. The app supports instant notifications from meeting management professionals and lets attendees browse each other’s profiles. The app also lets attendees scan and save business cards and send in-app messages as well as schedule private meetings before and after events. In addition, Whova gives access to agendas, interactive floor maps, parking directions, photos, and more. You can even do live polling and engage users with gamification, tweets, group chats, and surveys.

Source: Apprecs.com

10Times Event Finder is the world’s largest platform for business meetings. It helps users discover expos, exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and workshops in the US, Canada, and Europe, especially in major cities. The application caters to many industries including fashion and apparel, manufacturing, engineering, and IT and technology. Besides finding meetings, 10 Times lets you search for other professionals in your industry, make appointments, and connect. It also includes an event calendar and lets you add upcoming events to your personal calendar.

Source: Download.cnet.com

Local event apps

Local event apps are usually created for a particular city and are used by locals to organize different social gatherings.

DoStuff helps you find out what’s happening in your city. The app operates in major North American cities and lists concerts and parties recommended by local influencers. With recent updates, the new feed section informs users about the latest shows from artists and venues they follow. Apart from refined search functionality, the application features a curated list of cool things to do in a city.

Source: Dostuffmedia.com

Eventbrite is an events going on near me type of app. It gives anyone the opportunity to create, promote, and sell tickets to a social gathering. Eventbrite lets you discover and share events that you’re passionate about and see where your friends are going. What’s great about the application is that it also offers online ticketing. You can also store your credit and debit card information to purchase tickets online and have your QR code scanned. The application also lets you view event details with maps and directions. The app offers content in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Swedish.

Source: Eventbrite.com

Festival apps

Young people like visiting festivals. Festivals have always been popular and enticed visitors. Festivals are usually based around creative bands, themed occasions, or holidays. Finding the right mobile solution for festivals can help festival organizers ensure high event satisfaction.

You can easily lose friends at a festival. The Find My Friends app lets friends follow each other on the map. Find My Friends lets you sync your location with your Apple Watch whenever you’re away from your iPhone.

Source: App Store

Read a related case study about a GPS tracking solution we’ve built.

When there’s a crowd of people, anything can happen. It’s best to be equipped with the necessary knowledge when someone gets hurt. The First Aid by British Red Cross app gives step-by-step instructions on 18 everyday first aid scenarios. And you don’t need a medical degree or access to the internet to follow these instructions. It’s a great idea to have an effective medical mobile app at festivals to ensure attendee safety and satisfaction.

Source: Google Play

Read a related case study about a mobile medical solution we’ve built.

This list of best apps for event planners and attendees shows how tailored they can be. They prove that you can code any logic into a meaningful solution for your target audience.

Must-have features for event management applications

Here is a list of features most sought by users:

Schedules and listings

Users can’t keep all the details of events in their heads. People prefer a convenient schedule or calendar where they can follow all their gatherings. They also want to browse upcoming concerts, parties, trade shows, and other events from their mobile devices.

Internal social feed

Users want to keep track of what’s going on around events. Letting them see a social feed even if they aren’t physically present can boost their interest to attend in the future.

Networking

Users want to connect with other attendees before and after social gatherings. Enhanced networking capabilities like group messages and private messages can increase interactions between users.

Location-based features

Location-based features can be helpful since not all attendees are familiar with event locations. You can use the power of GPS to guide users right to that place.

Bookings

Users will look to your platform not only to find parties, expos, conferences, and workshops but also to book tickets right away. Event apps can support electronic tickets that can be scanned with a QR code when entering a social gathering.

Payment options

It’s great to provide users with the ability to pay using Stripe or PayPal, for example.

Tailored notification system

To help attendees catch all the excitement of live events, push notifications can remind them of meetings they want to attend or special speakers who are going to give talks.

Attendee engagement

Live audience responses, surveys, and polls are becoming a necessity for meeting organisers and attendees alike. To establish feedback and connection with the audience, these features should appear in applications as well.

Here are the features that meeting professionals say they want in an event planner application according to the State of Event Industry Report 2018.

Source: Eventmanagerblog.com

Steelkiwi's experience with mobile event application development

At SteelKiwi, we’ve built a convenient platform for three user groups: meeting planners, venue owners, and attendees that lets all users register accounts and create personal profiles. Let’s look at the two user roles of meeting planners and attendees and what each does.

The screenshot below shows how meeting professionals can create an event by providing a name, location, description, and cover photo. This is one of the main features of an event organizer app.

Meeting planners can apply filters to find the venue that best suits their needs. They can specify a venue type, capacity, budget, and city.

They can even choose additional services like cleaning, entertainment, security, and catering.

The platform also offers messaging capabilities which help meeting planners keep track of their messages.

Attendees can use the application to easily purchase tickets, which are sent by email.

Clients can search for meetings directly or apply filters like event type and city.

Event goers can manage all their tickets within their personal accounts.

For information about the technical implementation of this event creation software, read our case study.

Building an event planner application

The meeting and event industry is thriving since people want to get out and gain more experience or simply connect and socialize. Applications play a middleman in the bigger picture and help users find any meeting they are interested in and even more than that, applications enhance experiences for users when they turn to their mobile devices at meetings. Apps can give insights into which meetings are successful by means of rich analytics. Applications can help users get the most out of every gathering while bringing a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people.

At SteelKiwi, we can help you build an application with rich functionality that caters to any user group. If you want to build an app for event planning, get in touch with us!

Meanwhile, we recommend you read our article about how to choose the right development platform.