Event apps, do I need one for my event?

Having an app for your event has really become an essential over the last few years for certain events. Exhibitions, conferences, festivals and challenge events are all likely to have an event app these days, and they certainly are a great tool and can give you all types of information without the need for printed programmes and show guides. They also allow the attendees to network and book in meetings, along with linking directly to social media which is a great way of raising the presence of any event, not forgetting polling/carrying out activities or including some attendee competition by using gamification in the app. However, as great as that all is the apps used for these types of events come at a price and you really need a good sized budget to incorporate these into your event. If you have smaller events, with small budgets or even free to attend events but you still want the attendees to be more involved in the event, how can you decide if it’s worth spending the money?, and will you really get a return on your investment?. There are some lower end options if you fancy creating your own app, a quick search online will bring up a few options, but this will still take up some of your valuable time to build and you probably would need a bit more knowledge of how apps work to make sure it gives you what you want, though it is worth it if you have both the time and skills to do this. However understanding what your audience would get out of the app is key to knowing whether to include this bit of tech in your event. Definitely something to consider for younger audiences and for some industries, however if you’re thinking of using this for a small conference or an awards evening, the amount of use the app is likely to get even with individuals using the social media aspect, you might as well just give them a good hashtag to use from their own accounts, the money you could of spent on the app is much better spent in other areas, like production/staging or design for a better impression on event day!