3 Steps for Creating an Event App Business Case

Making your business case to an exec in the C-suite? Read the second post in this “Selling Event Apps to the C-Suite” series here

You’ve got plenty of reasons why you want to offer an app at this year’s conference. Maybe you tried PCMA’s Convening Leaders app last month and loved it. Or maybe you know that event apps are going to dominate the industry and it’s time for your enterprise to jump on board.

However, while it may be easy for you to see why mobile event apps are awesome, convincing your boss (or your boss’ boss) may be a different story.

When it comes to offering an event app for the first time, your boss wants to know how the organization will benefit from buying into this technology. Your business case should demonstrate what kind of results the mobile app will produce and how these results will positively impact the enterprise.

Step 1: start with your goals

The very first thing you need to ask yourself when building your case is: why do we need an event app?

Yes, having an app will be awesome for attendees, but if the event app doesn’t help your business become better, stronger or wiser as a result, then it may not be as successful. Start with listing out your event and business goals. Use a chart like the one below to outline your different objectives (you may also find it helpful to use our POST Worksheet for mobile event strategizing).

chart 1

Now add another column labeled “Event App Goals.” Taking what you know about event apps, look at your event and business goals and list out different ways an event app can help you meet these goals.

chart 2

As you can see, there are many ways that an event app meets your business objectives while also adding to the experience of your event. Building out a chart like this not only helps demonstrate the app’s ROI capabilities, but also ensures that there is no misalignment between what the app is designed to achieve and what are the key objectives of your event for all your stakeholders.

While it is easy to lean towards the event goals, especially when you have a large body of delegates planning on attending your event, you have to make sure that at the end of the day, your event app can justify itself.

Make sure to also get feedback on your goals from colleagues in other departments. Engaging all departments within your organization from the onset ensures that your investment reaches maximum return and helps you gain the internal support you may need to convince your boss to invest in an event app.

Step 2: set up metrics for success

Your business case should not only demonstrate the ROI of an event app to your organization, but also show how you will measure the app’s success at your event.

If you’re going to dedicate a portion of your budget to going mobile, you want to make sure that it’s going to deliver the results you want. Set measureable goals and then use your event app’s analytics to help you track your success. Some things you might want to track include:

  • # of downloads and activation rates
  • Click-through-rate (CTR) on sponsor banner ads
  • App feature that saw the most opens and activity before, during and after the event

With an app, you can also monitor activities in real-time and make changes during your event so you can ensure the best possible outcomes. Based on the activity you see within your app, you can drive your attendees to behave in ways or perform tasks that drive your key objectives. Check out this resource for 10 ways you can use analytics to demonstrate ROI and improve your event on the fly.

Step 3: talk to event app vendors

At this point, especially if you’ve never deployed an event app before, you should consider talking to some event app developers. Their technical expertise and experience working with enterprise organizations will help you greatly in building your case.

Go into each conversation at least knowing what your event and business goals are. This will help you shape the discussion so that you’re only getting information on the features that will help you achieve your objectives. You can also use what you learn during these conversations to build out your Event App Goals. We suggest adding them to your chart like so:

chart 3

Moreover, engaging app vendors early on will give you an idea of the cost, timing and feasibility of all the things that you want your app to achieve. Having a chosen vendor or even a shortlist of vendors once you do make your request to your boss can also help to strengthen your business case.

Put it all together

Every enterprise has a different process for making a request to purchase new technology for an event. Some may require a long and lengthy business case, while others may just need to sit in on an event app demonstration or two.

Regardless of how short or intensive your organization’s process is, knowing your Goals, Success Metrics, and possible App Vendors are the three things you absolutely need to not only create a strong business case, but also create the best app possible for your event.

We highly encourage you to take the time to perform these three step exercises and feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions about event apps!