App Communication 701: Using Your App as an Event Communication Tool.


Posted by Bethany Mills - 22 October, 2020


I know what you’re thinking: 701?! We’re starting off with a graduate-level class already? And the answer is yes. Based on feedback we’ve gotten from hundreds of associations, we know where your efforts are right now. So instead of working backwards and starting with the basic communication pieces available in the app, let’s start with where you’re using your app right now: events. 

Using the app as a piece of your comprehensive event communication plan is imperative these days. 70% of all media time is consumed on smartphones. Don’t you want to connect with your users where they are?

To make this easy, here are the adjustments to your event communication plan your association can put into action today:

Pre-event communication - the beauty of using alerts within the app is twofold: reaching your users where they are and using a relatively simple tool to do so. When it comes to pre-event communication, we know you generally already have a plan of what you’re doing by email and perhaps even physical mail. The key to incorporating your mobile app in this stage is by duplicating efforts. Whenever you send out an email, copy and paste the same text and also send it out as an alert in the app. This step, while seeming very small, has the key benefit of creating consistency for your users, training them to come to the app for event communication. 

You should be doing this for every piece of event communication you send out, from the sales marketing emails to the ‘here’s what to expect for the event’ pre-show communication. 

Onsite communication - app alerts should continue to provide information to your users once they’re onsite. In our previous blog How One Association Transformed Their Event with Alerts, we walked through all the types of live-event alerts your association should be taking advantage of. I won’t go into the specifics here because this blog really provided lots of details including examples. But what I will note here is that the key for onsite communication using an app is planning ahead of time. Will there be spur of the moment alerts that will come up onsite for things that you could not have possibly planned for ahead of time? Of course. But a large majority of these alerts - welcome to the event, sponsor messages, how-to guides for the app - can and should be written out and set up ahead of time. 

Post-event communication - it’s very common for app communication to fall off after an event. Associations spend so much energy ramping up for an event that afterwards the app becomes an afterthought. But this is a huge mistake. After you spent all this time working to continuously engage your app users, don’t lose your momentum. Building engagement in the app is one of the key indicators of a successful app and there is no better draw to engage your app users then event. So make sure you continue the app communication post-event with alerts like providing the event’s follow up survey, one final reminder of the event sponsors and the next event’s details.

Topics: Mobile Engagement, Member Communications & Outreach, Mobile Strategy

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