How to Optimize Conference App Adoption Rates

by Phil Rappoport

When we on the AgendaPop app team look at installation and login rates for our client partners, we see a correlation between:

– how frequently and how early an organization promotes the app
– how early the app is available for download
– how the organization communicates the value of the app to participants before and during the meeting
– whether there is a printed program and how much detail is in the print piece

Making the app available and promoting its immediate availability at least 1-2 weeks prior to the event can have a significant impact on adoption rates. Attendees can download the app well before the meeting in order to plan their schedules, see who is attending the conference, look up speaker profiles, start conversations, and more. Making the app available for early download will reduce the rush to download on the first day of the conference and help to mitigate capacity issues on the conference WiFi.

Fundamentally, app adoption has much to do with its value, i.e. the features available on the app that are most useful to the attendees using it. Participatory activities such as live polling, information-gathering such as downloading materials, or even a more convenient way to process CEUs are just three examples of features attendees are likely to find useful. We also recommend assigning a staff member (or a representative from the app developer) to provide on-site assistance. The human touch can make a difference in the attendees’ adoption and satisfaction using the app.

Organizers and planners are well served to have discussions with their app provider before and after their events and should examine the adoption and usage data made available to them. The takeaways from one event should be useful in planning the next event. In many cases, we’ve seen adoption rates rise from 50-60% initially to 80-90% at later events. Increased adoption rates for future events result from familiarity with and convenience of the features of the app and lead to a more successful conference.