Timing can be everythingSo once your association decides to make the leap to mobile, the question of when to launch an app can be just as important as the content and features it provides. An opportunistic time to introduce your new app is during a conference. Not only do conferences bring your members together physically, they also provide one of the few times all year where you have their collective attention. Take advantage! Get your new app ready to go with all the features and content needed to make your members’ conference experiences the best possible. Launch it to the masses and let them start getting familiar with the app. After the conference, you can keep the engagement going the rest of the year by adding standard membership features (digital ID cards, mobile payment reminders, discounts, etc.), connecting them to local chapters and events, and sending notifications.
A good first impressionThe Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) followed this blueprint with a new MobileUp-powered app at its recent annual conference in Norman, OK. The app included a blend of conference information and interactive features that encouraged the members to get familiar with the association’s new technology as well as make new contacts with each other. Here are some of the goals the OVMA had for its app launch and some of the features it used to achieve them.
Goal: Provide Information and PersonalizationBefore getting too fancy with interactivity, the app needed to provide essential information about the conference in a convenient and easy-to-consume manner. (And hopefully reduce some printing costs too!) And when possible, members needed to be able to save session information that was especially relevant to their interests.
Goal: NetworkingIt seems fewer people carry business cards anymore. The app needed to help members remember new people they meet during networking hours at the conference by saving contact information.
Goal: Activites and CompetitionsEvery conference has a need to increase attendee traffic inside the convention floor where the event sponsors and exhibitors have their booths. The app played a role in this, encouraging members to interact with each other and the vendors in attendance through its version of the “stamp game” that is common at most trade shows. Here is how it worked:
The OVMA gave each vendor a unique QR code to display at its booth. Attendees visited the vendor booths and used a built-in QR code reader in their apps to scan the booth’s code. A leaderboard kept members in competition to complete the scans in the exhibit hall.
With each scan, attendees were made eligible for door prizes and a record of which booth they visited was recorded in their participation record (visible within the MobileUp app administrator tools).
More incentive: If an attendee scanned at least 75 of the 83 vendors, he or she was entered into a drawing for a free registration at the next OVMA Convention in 2019.