Event engine ScreenshotA new survey shows there has been a 49% increase in the use of conference and event apps in the UK over the last 3 years with 79% of respondents having used an event app within the last 12 months compared with 53% of respondents who used event apps 3 or more years ago. However 60% of respondents are inexperienced using mobile event apps and wanted to have more information.

Conference, exhibition and event app provider Propeller Mobile recently commissioned a survey by MA students in Conference and Event Management at the University of Westminster to explore the current level of usage of mobile event apps in the UK events industry, identify the key challenges which restrict the use of this technology by event organisers, what their perceptions of the capabilities of conference and event apps are and explore what event organisers need in order to feel confident in using this technology to support their event.

Two thirds of the respondents agree that, not only can an event app enhance the attendee event experience but can also meet the event organisers’ objective hence making it a necessary technology.

More than half of the respondents have also indicated their intent to use an event app within the next 12 months.

The target audience consisted of UK based event organisers belonging to the following organisations: Eventia, Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), International Special Events Society (ISES), Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), as well as other independent event organisers.

More than 50% of them think an event app gives more benefits to the delegates. UK event organisers do not yet appear fully convinced of the positive return of investment of event apps. In contrast, 80% of US organisations have been and will provide a mobile event app within the next two years. (Omnipress 2012)

59% of respondents still want to know more about conference, exhibition and event apps. In particular they would like to know more about information regarding such things as costs and benefits of an event app, the risks associated with using event apps, level of increase of attendee engagement, length of time to build and flexibility of the app (i.e. could it be re‐used at several different events). Respondents also wanted to know how delegates perceived the experience of using an event
app, the number of organisations within their sector currently using apps and whether event apps could be used as a source of income.

80% of event organisers are comfortable using mobile applications. There was an even spread among the age bands of users, which suggests that age has very little influence on the use of mobile apps. This comfort level is reflected in the high usage of mobile apps in the respondents’ daily lives. 94% indicated the use of apps for such purposes as networking, banking, transportation, and communication.

Asked if they are going to use an event app in the next 12 months, 50% of the respondents answered yes. Respondents believed they received good value for money in relation to Event Objectives, Attendee Engagement and Data Obtained.