With the rising tide of the Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, many associations have been forced to cancel in-person events. We understand this can have a catastrophic effect on organizations. If you are considering turning your meeting into a virtual event, here are our top 5 suggestions of the ways to successfully use your mobile app to move away from an in-person meeting.
1. Lock Down Access to the Event
The key to virtualizing an event is picking an appropriate platform for your online function and that is where a mobile app can step in. Take the basic functionality you already have in your mobile app and turn it into your virtual event source.
This essentially will make your app the main platform for attendees to absorb event information leading you to add more content into the event in the app than you may normally, so you should consider limiting the event access to only attendees.
2. Live Stream Sessions
Lots of services have popped up over the years to provide this exact kind of service: recording sessions and streaming them live or after the fact to your users. Use this functionality to serve as the primary way for your users to “attend” sessions. Check with any service providers you already have for online meetings as they may have this functionality available too.
3. Set up a Clear Communication Plan
Take advantage of all modes of communication in your app to provide as much information to your users as possible. This setup will look differently for each organization, but may include: providing updated steps to claim CEU credit after virtually attending your meeting, sending out timely alerts about the sessions occurring in the virtual event accompanied by any instructions needed by your users, using News Feeds to discuss minute-by-minute updates on the virtual event and/or activity and collecting feedback from your users electronically through in-app evaluations for the event and/or sessions.
4. Set up a Forum for Attendees to Interact with One Another Virtually
One of the key pieces of any event is the social aspect of interacting and networking with other attendees. Use event forums to set up a similar experience within your virtual event. Users will get to interact with one another, sharing their thoughts and experiences and you’ll get the bonus of getting to see the behind the scenes action of that communication.
5. Take Advantage of Users’ Attention and Bulk up the Content in your App
One of the most difficult parts of launching any mobile app is engaging users. By virtualizing your event within your app, you are requiring your users to download and login to the platform in order to experience the event. Take advantage of this opportunity by reviewing and updating your app with the most appealing content possible to ensure that even after this virtual event they will stay engaged. Maybe you have considered adding some more member-related content or setting up links to industry standard documents. Now is the time to make your app as robust as possible so that users engaging during your virtual event will continue to look to your app as an important source moving forward.