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Event Apps: Interacting Before, During, and After the Main Event

This Sunday well over 100 million viewers will tune in to watch the Super Bowl; there will be countless beers cracked, chips consumed, and bets won…and lost, I suppose. Over the past couple of years, mobile has played an increasingly larger role in this enormous event.

Whether they are attending or not, fans across the nation will surely have their smartphones and tablets in hand during the game, ready to tweet about a big play, post a status honoring a favorite player, vote on a favorite commercial, or Instagram a picture of the game day spread.

This year, Coca-Cola built a “mobile-optimized microsite that is fueled by social media,” allowing fans to help pick the ending of its game day commercial in real-time. For those attending the Super Bowl, the app titled, “SB XLVII Guide” is a free download to help plan their time at the stadium, as well as activities nearby, such as restaurant and bar recommendations, game day activity sites, etc. Mobile technology will enable consumers to interact with brands longer and experience the Super Bowl more intimately.

Event applications are something we are quite familiar with here at Maestro, having made them for sales schools, conferences, and speaking engagements. It’s a tool that can enhance an event’s experience, as well as encourage additional interactions with the material, the people, and the brands involved.

Lets take a peek at Maestro’s most recent, socially savvy event app. Southwest Michigan First, an organization dedicated to the economic growth of Southwest Michigan, hosted Catalyst 2013, an event in its third year that brings together leaders of all ages to expand their strategic, creative, and leadership toolkits. Maestro worked with the organization to create an application to engage attendees before, during, and after their event.

Before the event, those that downloaded that application could look at a running countdown to the event, get directions to the event site, review sponsor information, scan updates from the related LinkedIn group, and send tweets to the hashtag #YouAreACatalyst2013. It is kind of a teaser that gives only the logistical information needed before the event starts as well as a little pump-up for the big event.

Once the much-anticipated event began, attendees could access the full agenda for the day. Speaking events throughout the day were complete with speaker profiles, including pictures and short bios with the option to visit their LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook profiles, or visit their personal websites.

Attendees were encouraged to use the live Twitter feed built into the application to tweet an inspiring quote from the current speaker, pose a question to fellow attendees, or just comment on the day. This feed was also a great way for Southwest Michigan First to start to deduce what everyone liked most about the event and begin to sift through feedback – almost like an informal survey!

Think about when you attend a large event. Maybe you are a college volleyball coach headed to nationals to recruit new players. Maybe you attend conferences to meet people in your industry that could be interested in your work. Or maybe you are lucky enough to be going to the Super Bowl. Mobile event apps package everything attendees could need, and it’s all accessible from their pockets.

Sydney Hill

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