You coordinate municipal events. You have a small team, and an even smaller budget. You have council meetings and a roster of other conferences and events to manage. You’re heading into the height of festival season, which requires a complex coordination between staff, vendors and constituents. You’ve got schedules, sitemaps, resource guides and blog posts to publish on multiple social media channels. Your I.T. department has a stack of content a mile high to manage for other departments too. Staff vacations are about to make resources even tighter.
What to do?
While there are lots of ways to run successful events with lean resources, more cities are turning to technology to save time and money while boosting engagement.
And not just any technology will do. If you’re going to be lean and agile, you’ve got to go mobile with an event app. Here’s why…
1. It’s where people are at, starting with the ones your events are for!
95% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, with it being the key entry point to the online world for many of them. 
A recent study shows that more than 1 billion people are using their mobile browsers on a daily basis, surpassing the number of desktop users. 51% of all media is being viewed on mobile platforms and only 42% on desktops.
Mobile technology is becoming one of the best ways to ensure that you’re reaching the people you serve. It’s literally in the hands of more people than any other tool you use.
2. Mobile event apps are portable. Organizers, vendors and attendees have everything they need, when they need it, right there in their pocket.
The weather rains on your parade -- literally -- and you have to make a quick venue change. A mobile event app lets you manage those changes quickly and easily behind the scenes, then communicate them immediately to attendees.
A last minute change to the materials for a city planning meeting means councillors and residents have the wrong stuff. You’ve got this! Just send the updated material to your app.
Whether you’re trying to get people -- or resources -- to a meeting, a festival, a conference, or a polling booth, you’re there as the co-pilot, virtually, always.
3. Mobile apps do the heavy lifting so your budget doesn’t have to.
Publishing electronically is more cost effective than print media. No more killing a small forest for paper schedules, maps and brochures. A mobile event app means you have an entire library of resource materials right there at your fingertips, easy to edit, and easy to share.
4. Mobile event apps put citizens in the driver’s seat, boosting engagement.
One of the most empowering things a town or city can do for it’s people is to give them a bigger voice. Through a mobile event app you can invite participants to share pictures, personal stories, and even become part of your front line in helping other attendees. Community building through events cultivates civic engagement in other ways. When people see that their contributions are a valued part of their community, they are more likely to become stakeholders in other activities that lead to healthier, happier, more sustainable cities and towns.
Perhaps you’ve been down this road before, and it wasn’t a happy ending?
You tried mobile event apps, and they were a nightmare. They only did part of the job, and didn’t integrate with your other tools. Maybe the learning curve was steep, and your team didn’t have a lot of technical expertise, so it just slowed you down? Worse still, your attendees found it to be confusing, and connectivity at the event site was spotty, so people had a hard time getting the information they needed. It wasted time, caused confusion, and cost you a lot more money. You really don’t want to do that again. You don’t want to put your staff through it, you don’t think management will approve it, and you doubt attendees would even bother with it again.
Yet in the blink of an eye, Progressive Web Apps are putting mobile technology to work for you where native apps have failed.
Here’s what’s changed …
5. The Progressive Web App (PWA) technology keeps on working, even when connectivity doesn’t.
One of the biggest complaints both event managers and attendees have when it comes to using mobile event apps to get information where it’s needed in a timely way was the lack of reliable wifi. PWA is built on a technology that keeps your content available, even when connectivity isn’t.
The IHUBApp, powered by InspireHUB Technology, is built on this foundation. Because it’s a Progressive Web App, it turns the experience on it’s head. In fact, that’s what many of our clients are calling their custom Apps: “The Experience”. It allows them to connect event planners, presenters and participants in a more seamless and interactive way.
Here are just some of the ways you can use the IHUBApp to help manage your events:
- Manage registration for any number of events.
- Sell tickets, send confirmations and respond to RSVPs.
- Create private “channels” where event management teams and vendors can interact while planning, and during the actual event.
- Engage volunteers.
- Do live Polls and Surveys to see what’s working and what else you might try.
- Create an unlimited number of “channels” where you can share pictures, stories and events, and interact with all of the people who are part of your event, from start to end.
- Invite participants to share their own event pictures and stories too!
Want to sell event gear? You can integrate Shopify to add ecommerce. It’s just one of the many ways you can integrate your own favourite tools seamlessly with your IHUBApp.
And no downloading anything from the Google Play store. Share your App link, and everything your users need is already there, even if they don’t have a smartphone.
But it’s expensive to develop a mobile app, right? And you don’t have that kind of money or time! Or do you?
The IHUBApp powered by InspireHUB Technologies allows you to make it your own. It’s the fastest, simplest, most affordable app builder in the marketplace.
In using the Progressive Web App technology, the IHUBApp is able to give you a completely customized, branded App for a fraction of the time and cost of native apps. (Our latest client, Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, had a fully customized app up and running in less than a day!)
The Town of Tecumseh was the very first municipality in North America to put a Progressive Web App to work, and they did it with the IHUBApp powered by InspireHUB Technologies. Take a look at how they’re using it to vitalize everything from Council Meetings to festivals. (See what Mayor, Gary McNamara, has to say about using the IHUBApp to meet their 3 biggest municipal priorities: communication, compliance and reach.)
“The Town has been looking for ways to communicate quickly and promote special events in a cost-effective manner for some time now,” explains Ray Callery, CAO of Greater Napanee. “What we found with this product is that it is easy to use from both the content development and end user perspective. As soon as we developed the content for one event, staff had identified hundreds of possible uses for interacting with our residents, businesses and visitors. The IHUBApp offers huge potential and is very cost effective for smaller municipalities trying to improve two-way communication. The fact that it uses Progressive Web App technology gives us many additional benefits and allows easy user access on your phone, laptop, tablet and other browser enabled devices.”
The IHUBApp enterprise-grade platform is offered in the U.S., Canada and Australia to help keep communities connected at a fraction of the cost of native apps.
Mobile Fact Sheet, Pew Research, http://www.pewinternet.org/
Smart Insights | http://www.smartinsights.com/