Not long ago, the question medical conference planners were asking themselves was, “Do I really need an event app?” Today, with the majority of meeting attendees not only toting, but practically tethered to, their smartphones and/or tablets, that question has pretty much answered itself. In fact, according to Manhattan Research, a whopping 81 percent of U.S. physicians have smartphones. So now, the only question is, “What kind of app is right for my event and my attendees?”
Whether you have your own in-house digital team or are outsourcing your event app development, there are a number of important considerations.
First and foremost, don’t be tempted to take the easy route by using one of the many available “one-size-fits-all” mobile event apps. Every event and every audience is different and, for an event app to be a truly useful tool for attendees, it really must be built from the ground up and customized with that in mind. Also remember, a well conceived, well designed app does more than help your attendees navigate the meeting; it’s also offers unprecedented “real-time” communication and engagement opportunities between you and your attendees.
The need for a custom event app is especially important for medical associations and their meeting attendees because of several unique requirements:
Educational Content – most event apps on the market were designed to showcase the tradeshow components of an event. For healthcare and scientific events – education is the main event. Complex session structures, speaker role definitions and ability to drill down to handout syllabus documents and meeting room locations all require your app to have muscle on the Session side.
Posters & Abstracts – a staple of healthcare events, abstracts and posters require unique handling including file sizes and timed embargo restrictions. Make sure your app is equipped for this!
Compliance Issues – whether your event requires the publication of speaker conflict disclosures, tools for tracking CME and CE credits, or restrictions regarding visual proximity of commercial elements (ads) to educational content, the app you select needs to be able to address these conditional requirements.
When you begin your search for a custom event app that can handle all that your healthcare or scientific conferences can throw at it – the best place to start is with a company that understands those needs, and has experience in providing solutions to meet them.