The digital face of retail.
Increasing sales is the number one goal of businesses, with many businesses exploring the world of new and innovative technology of mobile apps, particularly custom conference apps. The availability of smartphones and tablets has led to a re-evaluation of how best to reach new customers in a conference environment, as well as how to retain loyal clientele. As the capabilities of these smart devices increases, the cost of utilizing them for marketing and sales is decreasing. Add to this the strengthening of both the wireless and wired networks and the explosive growth of cloud technology and the choice to utilize mobile apps to increase sales and improve the success rate of conference events becomes an obvious one.
With this rise in mobile app interest is a corresponding rise in business interest in creating and developing their own conference apps. Many businesses have responded to this rise in interest and usage of mobile apps, including conference-oriented apps, by boosting their IT department numbers, as well as seeking outside expertise from firms such as Worry Free Labs, and beginning to actively brainstorm and create new apps specifically for their own business, customizing them to suit their own and their customers’ needs.
Advantages of creating custom business conference apps
There are a number of advantages for businesses that choose to create their own conference apps. The main one is customization. Designing and creating conference apps that are customized to the business’ unique specifications allows them to use the event to market their products to customers in a memorable way; generating a user-friendly experience that sells their products while retaining the individualized experience of being “in-store”. Customizing an app for a business means that a combination of audio, video, images and sounds can be used to draw attention and convey information. In addition, mobile functions such as GPS, push notifications and maps can also be used; even the user’s address book and calendar can be connected to the app. Customers are more willing to use a mobile app, and even pay for it, if the app is easy to use, attractive and takes them through the process of shopping quickly and effectively.
When a business adds a conference app to its arsenal of marketing tools, it opens up a new channel for product promotion, plus customer service and marketing that can quickly raise awareness of the brand and generate sales. One of the best ways to raise sales via a conference app is to offer customers a way to browse for merchandise and purchase products directly from their smart device. Customers are increasingly willing to purchase products for themselves and others through retailers’ online websites, with mobile-based sales comprising nearly one-fifth of total online sales
Creating and developing custom apps
Whether employing an outside firm or utilizing their own IT department, a business needs to go through a familiar regular set of steps to create and perfect a custom app. Of course the first step is to create a plan, including what the goals and objectives are and what project resources are available, and how they will be allocated; key attributes and functions that are must-have; and a general timeline for the process, including when to debut the new app. This is a vital element that will need to be presented to owners and stakeholders so being clear and concise here is necessary.
Next is the creation and correction phase, when the custom app is built from computer code and formed into the workable entity desired. This is also the period when debugging occurs, offering the business an opportunity to work out kinks and quirks in the function of the app and hone its usability.
Finally, the testing phase, which completes the process, entails working out the remaining problems and allowing the target user, the customer, to begin accessing the app.
Available conference apps
A number of conference apps are currently available that can assist with planning conferences and coordinating functions such as registration and check-in; navigating event booths and meetings, and even providing attendees with entertaining game and network options. EventMobi, Evernote, CardMunch and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare can all help facilitate businesses to reach customers and new clients during conferences and events.
The future of business conference apps
Mobile apps are anticipated to propel business marketing in the future, shaping it and strengthening it. With this in mind, many marketers focused on digital promotion would do well to concentrate more resources on developing mobile apps for businesses that are individualized and geared toward specific usage. Having specific-use apps for a business can provide it with a competitive advantage for a brand. For example, a custom developed trade show app can help prospective clients and customers find a business easily, give them a peek at the new products and services being featured, and even provide a way for purchases to be made before the show opens.