Using App Metrics to Improve Events

How to analyze usage for valuable insights into attendee behavior

 Gain unprecedented access to the inner workings of your event with event app data.

 Turn attendee behavior into actionable data to optimize your app and create the best event possible.

 Understand that collecting metrics as an aggregate of your overall attendees' actions (as opposed to individual attendees) removes privacy concerns.

Event apps are becoming more prevalent, but are users tracking the right metrics? Apps capture attendee data that can provide the event organizer with valuable insights on what's working (or not working) at the event.

As vice president of demand generation and marketing at mobile app provider Guidebook, I work with event organizers to tap into the data they need to take action and continuously improve their events. Here are the top five event app metrics.

When users select items from the app's main menu, they're telling you a lot about the type of information they're looking for. Are networking features within the top five menu items? If yes, connecting with each other is a primary reason people are attending the event.

 Use this information to improve the event, such as by creating more opportunities to network in the future.

 Use this data to optimize the app to better showcase networking features.

 Evaluate how you arrange items on the menu, ensuring that the most popular items get priority over others.

Lists are the building blocks upon which your app is constructed. They house some of the most valuable information, such as a catalog of sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and vendors.

 Measure the number of times each list item is viewed, to identify the most popular. For instance, if you want to know which food truck vendors or trade show exhibitors were most interesting to attendees, you can find out by seeing how many views they received.

 Use this data to provide return-on-investment statistics to sponsors, or to evaluate your own ROI on keynote speakers.  

If list items are the building blocks of your event app, schedule items are the building blocks of the event itself.

 Track how many sessions are added to personal schedules to identify which topics are driving the most interest.

 Check the stats prior to the show. If views are high for a given session, or if a lot of attendees are adding a session to their personal schedules, add an additional session to avoid disappointment.

 Check the stats after the show. If views are low for any particular sessions, use that data to eliminate or improve upon topics that didn't resonate with your audience.

Understanding what devices your attendees use can inform how to optimize the app, mobile site and other mobile efforts for events.

 When building the app, preview it on both iPhone and Android phones to head off complaints about device issues.

 Recognize that device types vary widely by geography. Apple's iPhone may dominate in the U.S. but in the rest of the world, Androids rule. Windows Phone is strong in Europe amongst the corporate set.

Was the event app worth it? Did attendees use it? Having insight into total installs can help you determine the overall effectiveness and marketing success of your app.

 Divide the number of app installs by your total attendance to determine a percent adoption rate. Use that to benchmark over time.

 To increase those total installs, market the app well in advance of your event. Promote the aspect of your app --- be it networking, content, etc. --- that provides the most value to attendees.