Avoid These 10 Things at All Costs When Event Planning

Warning!Planning a large event is a major endeavor and it can be hard to avoid small mistakes. Such events atkes a lot of time and budget to handle big events. Even handeling such major events through a mobile event app is a major challenge if we miss the practical factors of event management. But if you can avoid these big (and common) mistakes, you’re more likely to avoid the issues that can ruin what would have otherwise been a successful event.

Competing with another large event

Know the events you have to compete with for your participants’ attention. Don’t plan your inaugural event for the same weekend as an established event’s 20th iteration – attracting the right participants may be difficult if they’ve had another event on their calendar for the last year.

Sharing a venue with others

Be aware of what other events are scheduled in your venue and whether they will be accommodating of your needs. Scheduling your event for the same hotel as Harley-Davidson’s Biker rally could be distracting to your participants and speakers.

Inefficient Registration

Don’t make your participants fax, scan, or mail registration forms in. Use technology! Whether you’re using Grupio’s efficient and streamlined registration platform, or some other technology package, make it quick and easy for participants to register. The best event app features help you meet these challenges.

Not allowing yourself time to set up

There are few more stressful things than trying to finish your preparation while your valued participants or speakers are tapping their feet waiting to get seated. Even if it means you need to rent the venue for an extra hour or two, make sure you have enough time to set up – it’s professional and far less stressful.

Refuse to delegate

Organizing large events takes countless hours of preparation, communication, and planning, and while we know challenges can arise with larger teams, delegation and help are invaluable. Find people you trust to do the work well, give them tasks to do, and then let them go to work. The best way to coordinate the event will be using a conference app.

Not hiring enough help on event day

So you thought you could handle doing your walkthrough of the venue, setting up the tables and chairs, welcoming the speakers, and live-Tweeting your event without any help? Think again. While we know that labor costs are a significant portion of any event budget, not having enough help can cause much bigger problems then the several hundred dollars you spent on extra labor.

Not having a backup plan

Know what you are going to do if certain parts of your schedule fall through. Whether it’s bad weather for an outdoor segment, travel delays for a majority of your participants, a venue cancellation, or a speaker cancellation. Know how to move forward in as quick, efficient, and painless a way as possible. Under estimating event app cost can also restrict your growth of your event promotion inistiative.

Missing your walkthrough

Pictures, descriptions, and video tours are great, but never miss the opportunity to do an in-person walkthrough of your venue. Go through the entire event as if it was taking place in front of you, with your clients present, and make sure this venue will work for your needs.

Overlooking the opportunity for pre-event networking

Whether you are organizing a large pharmaceutical conference, a regional political event, or a model trains enthusiasts club meeting, expect your participants to network early and often, and give them the means to do so in a way that helps your event. We’ve written in detail about Creating A Social Buzz at Your Event, but in short – use the tools at your disposal and encourage participants to connect before, during, and after the event.

Forgetting how technology can modernize your event

Make use of the technology to engage attendees and also the people who might attend next time. Use live streams to broadcast engaging speakers, turn a great instructional series into a webinar, and keep your users engaged throughout your event with a great event planning app.

Big mistakes can cripple your event before the first speaker even arrives at the venue. Avoid these common errors to increase our attendance, decrease your stress, and make your event work like a well-oiled machine.

Ready to get started with your own event appSign up for a Grupio demo now.

How to Promote Your Event App Offline

Offline promotion for Event appsIn this age of information and web-focused promotion, most event apps are promoted strictly online through social media sites like, Twitter and Facebook, or through web blogs, and corporate websites. Online event app promotion has a very large reach and should not be ignored or dismissed but often the conversion rates are quite low since it requires a lot of time and a consistent effort to produce results.

Good old-fashioned offline promotional techniques that have been selling things since the birth of advertising, if properly used, can still create results in the current tech age. While these techniques may cost a little more than web based efforts they give hard results and provide a base on which to build an app community. These methods are particularly useful for apps that are targeting a specific areas or niches industries.

Local Promotion

Find out where the local community meets the most and host a low-key promotional event there. Perhaps it’s a park, local bar, restaurant or coffee shop; wherever it may be make sure to add a little something extra for anyone who downloads the app while at the event – like a free drink or t-shirt. This could be a hook for new users to talk about and share the app with their friends.

Get the Press Involved

Create a press release about the conference app and send it out to local newspapers and industry publications. Write a sponsored article about your industry and event and incorporate your app into the message. Remember to promote the idea the event is part of, not the app itself. The big story is not going to be the app – but the app can get media coverage if it is connected to a larger idea or story that is interesting from a news perspective.

QR Codes

Not only do millions of U.S. consumers scan QR codes every day; that number also continues to skyrocket. Recent research from Pitney Bowes suggests that there are already millions of QR code users in the US, and over 50% of smartphone users have scanned a QR code. Creating a custom QR code is fairly easy and free, but make sure to create a simple web landing page so people can easily learn about and download the event app without a hitch. Remember, QR codes are a hugely powerful tool to link online and offline efforts, but only when used correctly. You can do the QR code scanning using the best event app.

Custom Stickers

Creating eye-catching stickers will draw the attention of potential users; use them in places that target audience members frequent the most. Don’t forget to incorporate the QR Codes when designing the sticker – make it as easy as possible for people to download the event app no matter where they are. You can further enhance the sticker option by using event app gamification feature.

T-shirts and Flyers

One page flyers can get lots of downloads but be careful not to turn them into sales promos – write some tips about the app and present them in a useful way. Flyers are easy to print and they’re relatively inexpensive. They are a great way of promoting an event app when targeting areas like shopping complexes, office complexes, niche shops, and other promotional events. Is there a clearer way to make a statement without “selling” than a with T-shirt? Use the event app logo combined with a catchy call to action that people will notice and remember. Don’t forget to hand out a couple of T-shirts with those flyers. Who doesn’t love a free tee!

Launch Party

Nothing shouts “our app just launched” more than a good old party. Invite key industry influencers as well as, current contacts, top customers, media, and brand ambassadors. Do some additional research and invite industry or topic related bloggers and local tech celebrities that have shown an interest in the industry. Encourage attendees to share photos of the launch party across social media during the event and make sure to get testimonials from users on video at the event that can be used for further promotion of your event planning app.

The world is now becoming smaller as the connections between offline and online become larger and more common. A combined offline and online effort can get more downloads than either of them alone. Just like with any other promotion technique, make sure to test out different combinations of methods to see which are most effective.

Looking for specific ways to use an event app during your next event? Check out our previous post on using event apps for more details.

Ready to find out how Grupio’s mobile solutions will help your next event succeed. Contact us to schedule a demo.

The Evolution of Event Marketing

Marketing an event requires time and a little premeditation. Getting the word out about an event beforehand is crucial to the success of the event so you want to make sure you are devoting ample time and resources into marketing. So what are the best ways to market an event?
The evolution of event marketing

Expectations and Challenges

Event marketing has evolved over the past few years in huge ways. New technology has evolved the position of the customer, consumer or buyer; marketing is now focused on building their relationship with a company or brand. Audiences have higher expectations than previously held and are interested in being more engaged and gaining a real personal value from events.

Event planners and marketers are now challenged with proving that events are valuable by offering customers a greater return on their investment. As more technological advances are made, they must be embraced by organizations in order to optimize customer experience before during and after events. Mobile technologies and social media continue to offer ever increasing ways to provide value to event attendees; these technologies extend the life-cycle of an event and enables marketing to be more frequent and more engaging.

Increase Engagement through Technology

Here are a few ways that mobile event apps can help increase the effectiveness of event marketing:
• Streamline and Expedite Online Registration
• Increase Engagement on Organization Websites and Social Media
• Collect Valuable Attendee Demographic Data
• Publish Immediate Event Updates
• Extension of Organizational Branding
• Increases Networking Ability through Messages, QR code scanning, etc.

Not only is mobile technology a great way to reach audience members before and after an event, organizations are now encouraging audiences to use their mobile phones and tablets during events in order to stay connected to other attendees as well as to the organization. Mobile apps can keep attendees up to date with last minute scheduling changes during the event and they allow users to stay organized and make the most of their limited time at the event.

Integrated event campaigns that use as many communication channels as possible via a custom event app are the very best at engaging an audience and pulling off a successful modern event. Today’s event attendees are tech savvy and expect the same from the events they attend. The future of event marketing looks bright as technologies, particularly in the mobile arena, continue to advance thereby increasing an organization’s ability to communicate and engage with its target audience.

Another great advantage of integrating a technology that can measure your events Return on Event (ROE). It has been found that only 23% of the survey respondents are able to track event ROI vs. 37% of tech adopters. Revenue reporting is important for measuring every event program’s growth. It has also been found that organizers who are able to track their event ROI can closely define their future event budgets.

Planners are integrating their event technology to enable full-funnel measurement and real-time action. It has been reported that 51% of the adopters have found success by integrating technology in there event management. And non-adopters only stick to the top-funnel metrics as they do not have the access to directly connect to their sales pipeline.

Other benefit includes personalization. The Best event app allows companies to capture the data of the audience from their session interests to their food preferences. This allows in creating personalized experience throughout the event lifecycle.
With the data, companies can automate better post-event follow-ups and personalize their outreach based on guest data, which is integral to enhance sales cycles and get better customer engagement.
B2B companies are more apt to integrate event technology as they are looking for more valuable touchpoints, which will improve their sales cycles, and personalize the experience of their clients.

One of the most important reasons to integrate the conference apps or event app can help in is lead generation. As said by Andrea Vahl, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, “In these days of social media, face-to-face content can really enhance your online connection with your potential customers. Make sure you are using the Twitter hashtags regularly and watch the social media marketing that happens for the event on Facebook so you can comment on the posts and gain visibility with other attendees before the event.”

And the best way to do so is by correctly targeting the demographics. The right event audience is the one that has an interest in what the event has to offer throughout the sessions.

Upselling! What upselling at an event? Is this possible?
Well, yes.

You can easily upsell by introducing your customers with the products and services that they may not know about or may not realize that could address their needs. It is very easy fo the audience to fall back at the same kind of vent every time. Thinking out of the box can inspire and connect your with your new and existing audience in a refreshing way, which will in turn will increase the chances of attracting new attendees.

But before you setup the event application, it is important that you keep these things in mind.

Build a model up-front to understand the sensitivities of your event ROI based on various metrics.

Keep brainstorming session with your team to come up with unique, viable, and strong ideas.

Identify multiple touches in your promotion. ( In order To generate the highest amount of registrants, you need a mix of email, social, public relations, and other types of paid promotions.)

Events occur in real-time, and attendees often use social networks to engage with other participants in a live environment, so do not forget to include social media channels.
To make sure your event app development cost is justified, follow-up with attendees after the event and take feedback.

Looking for specific ways to use an event app during your next event? Check out our previous post on using event apps for more details.

Ready to find out how Grupio’s mobile solutions will help your next event succeed. Contact us to schedule a demo.

5 Useful Event Marketing Blogs to Follow

Do you struggle to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in event marketing and planning?

Keeping up with the latest news, discussions, and products is essential in the event industry. Following event app blogs will give you the immediate information that printed materials lack. Online articles will appear within hours of an important discussion or occurrence and keep you ahead of the game but knowing which resources are the best will save you time so you don’t have to search through a sea of information to find the gems.

Event Manager Blog

This blog is the resource for all things events; from event technology to social media, they have all the bases covered. There are resources for wedding planning, event management and party planning, but their true area of special interest lies in innovation and is widely referenced by other event planners. As one of the leading blog for planners it is a great source of information to get the best event app features.


Techsytalk offers a slightly unique perspective on event planning with a focus on social media and the tech savvy side with event planning. It offers tips and new on social media techniques for event planners and corporate event planning, as well as info on the latest conference app and technologies available. Whether you’re tech savvy or not staying on top of these trends is a must and the articles are quick, easy reads that are very shareable.


BizBash provides quality facts on everything from venue selection and marketing tips to party planning ideas. They offer an abundance of creative ideas you can use at your next conference while keeping you up on what’s trendy in the event world. This site is a go-to resource for the latest event planning industry news.

The Meeting Pool

Started by two veteran event planners who are curating great content from highly relevant and topical sources as well providing the latest on new event planning app, social media trends, event technology and everything else an event professional may need.

Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections

The information here is very useful, easy to read and engaging. Their focus is on conference planning and event education techniques. There is a wealth of strong, well researched information here and they have recently ventured beyond their scope to include topics on social media, speaker practices and general industry news.

These event blogs are chock full of goodies to help both organizers and attendees get the best out of their event planning app and event going experiences but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What mobile event app marketing and planing blogs would you add to this list?

7 Reasons You Should Invest in Mobile Apps for Events

Photo Credit: Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia

The venue is booked. The invite list is prepped. But wait a second. Are you forgetting about a mobile app for your event? There are more and more reasons why mobile apps for events should be on the must-have side of your to-do list – and as consumers become more and more tech-savvy, those reasons are more important than ever. Here’s why you should consider investing:

Engage Your Attendees

When you invest in a mobile event app, you’re investing in technology your invitees already use. After all, a whopping 90 percent of Americans have a cell phone, and smartphone usage is expected to rise heavily from its current 58 percent penetration rate. Simply put, event attendees are primed to use their smartphones at an event, and when you present them with one of the best mobile event applications, you get a chance to engage their attention, their time, and their dollars. Does it get much better than that?

Promotion In Your Pocket

A great mobile cnference app is an opportunity to promote your event multiple times to your attendees – and to include sponsors in the messaging mix. When a potential attendee downloads your event planning app, they open up an entirely new promo channel … one that reaches them in their pocket whether they’re around email/snail mail or not.

Tease and Please

What’s an event without a bit of mystery? a mobile event app can provide a great chance to tease upcoming event highlights. You can even use them to reward those who download with exclusive perks, peeks, and program information. The result? Attendees who are engaged, excited, and primed for the event.

Demystify Your Event

Mystery may have its place in dinner theater, but not in other events. The best event app features act as shrewd guide to users. They can be especially useful for large conferences, narrowing down choices and providing an easy-to-use guide for attendees.

Attract New Attendees

With paperless conferences and mobile event apps on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be on the forefront of event technology. In fact, many attendees are attracted to events by the technology options on hand. Don’t risk losing their business to another more tech-savvy event.

Mobilize and Monetize Your Sponsors

What better way to supplement your event coffers than with even more opportunities for sponsorship dollars? Simply put – mobile event and conference apps are a golden opportunity for event organizers. That’s because they allow sponsors to pay for even more in-depth promotion and engagement opportunities. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Bottom Line: Apps Just Plain Make Sense

Still don’t think it makes sense to invest in a custom event app? Truth be told, you can’t afford not to invest in one. That’s because consumers are becoming tech-savvier every year. Are you going to risk falling off the train of progress just because you fear investing in an event app that makes your life (and the lives of your attendees) easier? We didn’t think so.

Don’t take it from us – take it from the thousands of event planners and attendees who have experienced more streamline event planning and enjoyment with the help of mobile event app. If your budget doesn’t include expenditure on an app, it’s time to re-prioritize. Your next event will thank you.

The Value of Using Mobile Meeting Apps

Photo Credit: Robert Scoble via Wikimedia Commons

Meeting apps are rapidly taking over the event industry – they are ubiquitous productivity tools that help to drive connectivity and engagement with your attendees. If you are a Meeting Planner or Conference Organizer here are some tips and insight for using Meeting Apps.

Generate Residual Income

Enhance the event for your sponsors and give yourself more “digital real estate” by offering sponsorships and other discount offers via the meeting app.

Get Instant Feedback through Surveys

Most mobile event apps have built in survey functionality enabling you to poll attendees easily and quickly both during and after the event.

Communicate Information Dynamically to Attendees

Meeting Apps let you update your attendees just about in real time during your event – instantly connect and communicate and no worries about email connectivity issues for/with your attendees.

Extend Your Brand

Meeting Apps provide a great way to brand your event by customizing your meeting app with corporate colors, logo, email contacts, social connections and links to forms.

Go Green

conference App affords more productivity for your business, it’s all digital, saving time and money on “old school” registration forms requiring data entry and helping to make your organizations event more green by reducing your carbon footprint.

Stay Connected with Attendees

Mobile event Apps are design to incorporate Twitter streams, especially if you are using hashtags for your event – and you can monitor what’s being said in real time other social networks as well.

Guide Attendees in the Right Direction

Most meeting apps have built in maps, the ability to customize your information; i.e. places of interest, things to do during the event, local landmarks and places of interest.

Build Stronger Relationships with Attendees

Your attendees are mobile ready in today’s always on digital economy. Meeting Apps ensure they are in tune with your event and connected on a 24/7 basis.

Meeting Apps Drive Competitive Advantage

Are your direct competitors using mobile apps? If the answer is no, then mobile app integration with your business model will definitely drive competitive advantage and help to distinguish your brand with your attendees.

Using a white label event app can help you monetize all your event and conference needs. With Grupio you can get an affordable event app and maximize your efficiency from planning to promotion.

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Event Planner

Photo Credit: Sheraton Shanghai Waigaoqiao Hotel via Trip Advisor

We should say at the outset of this blog post we are biased, as we make mobile event apps for professionals. If you are thinking about hiring an event professional here are the top reasons we think you should! We should underscore, an event professional will save you time and money, even when you factor in their fee structure.

Significant savngs on Hotel and facilite costs

Event Planners are working with facilities, hotels and venues constantly. They are well connected, have a good sense for fair marketing pricing on rooms and entertainment. They can probably negotiate a better deal than you could and still save you money in total when factoring in their fees. They mostly use

One should use blocks of rooms for events and book them through the professional event planner. The hotel may be willing to negotiate this fee, assuming it’s a purchase of a large block of rooms.

Event Professionals Have Stellar Negotiating Skills

A professional event planner has an in-depth understanding of what the cost should be for a venue at a specific time of the years, what’s a good to great deal and will know how competitive the overall market is for your event. Also, a savvy professional event planner is gong to negotiate for and get complimentary services that will add tangible value to your event and may also know about hotel or venue upgrades and/or special promotions the venue is offering.

Event Professionals Can Negotiate Multiple Deals at Once

This gives them buying power that you would not have for a single event; they may also be able to bundle special promotions offered by your venue or hotel in unique ways that will save you money and improve the overall quality of your event. They can even use there own event app to help you promote your event at low cost.

In-place Relationships with Vendors

An event professional has her or his fingers on the pulse of a local or national economy. If local, they have a read list of entertainers, speakers, specialty acts and/or others to call to help to make your event one of a kind. And, they know about some of the pitfalls when hiring other vendors and what’s reasonable: fees, services and time and how to negotiate all.

Save Time and Reduces Stress

“The devil is in the details” – an event planner has a thorough understanding of requirement details. They can guide of your event and  tell what’s fair and reasonable in terms of fees, delivery dates, reasonable expectations for performance, etc. Of equal importance, most professional event planners will save you time getting. They use event planning app to put your event together. They will also have a contingency plan in place if you have any weather issues or problems with a venue or vendor.

The Value of Trade Show Mobile Apps

Trades show app Grupio

The singular focus for most trade shows is to help company’s highlight their products and services. Trade show app can help drive deeper brand engagement for sponsors and exhibitors . The advent of Smartphones has ushered in a new digital age for trade shows. The attendees are already using 30-50 apps on average. And a trade show app is in most cases is a utilitarian tool. Continue reading “The Value of Trade Show Mobile Apps”

Ten Ways to Use Mobile Apps

1) Use Mobile event App to connect with your existing customers, which in turn lowers your marketing costs, drives near and long term engagement.

2) Make sure your speakers and presenters are using your mobile app – their contract and/or Terms of Services should be specific on this point – meaning, they can’t speak or be a participant in your event unless they are using your mobile app platform of choice.

3) Integrate multi-day schedules (our mobile event app does this flawlessly) with your mobile event app – enabling your attendees to see what’s happening, when, where and who is presenting across all of your sessions and presentations.

4) Cross link all of your social media accounts and marketing activities with your mobile app – ensuring you get the broadest exposure possible for all of your digital touchpoints (social media accounts, blog, web site, sponsored pages, etc.).

5) Just like your speakers, make sure your exhibitors are using your mobile app and that their profiles are completely filled out and accurate within the mobile app for your event. Profiles can and should include statement about their exhibit of course, email contacts, social contacts and web site.

6) Set up your maps for the location of the event that are pre-tested prior to the event. Also include a map of the location if your event is being held in a large hotel or conference facility. Remember many of your attendees will expect these maps to be flawless. Don’t overlook double checking them for accuracy in the event planning app.

7) We underscore this point with our clients frequently! Don’t forget to use the period after your event as a marketing opportunity; surveys, feedback forms and/or requests for mentions via social media accounts can help to create post event buzz.

8) Build long term connections with your attendees by offering something of value that moves them to your web site at some point after the event. You don’t want to dilute focus during the event – this should be timed properly, with an offer that resonates with your attendees.

9) Use a conference app for logistics information that may be helpful or informative for your attendees; this can include local places of interest, transportation hubs, nearby restaurants, etc. And, these listings can also give you a way to sell sponsorships to your exhibitors as well.

10) Remember mobile apps can be a common platform for all of your attendees but make sure you integrate an event-specific hashtag as part of your event or several and some of these can be thematic in nature. #SanDiegoMPI #EventProfsSanDiego And, hashtags are no longer just for Twitter – Facebook is not integrating them with their platform.

Event Apps Make Your Organization More Competitive

It’s a dog eat dog competitive world, especially for event planners who want to use event apps to make your organization more competitive. To be blunt! Event apps can help you differentiate your firm or agency from your competitors – here is our take on competitive advantage.

Improve your Organizations Overall Productivity:

An event app can have all in one inclusive features. Using event apps frees your staff (as an example) from the boring drudgery of entering attendee registration information, trying to keep track of paperwork and event apps also make your organization greener.

Build market buzz with mobile apps

To drive down marketing costs – once your attendees have registered they can share the event instantly with their social media connections. Which will in turn lower some of your burdened costs for marketing the event, especially if you have some kind of viral marketing associated with your event: “get 10% for referring a friend on Facebook.”

Use Event Apps to make your organization better organized and smarter

An event planning app can improve your competitive advantage by making your organization more nimble. It can reduce your time to market (set up the app and connect your team and attendees). It will also force your staff to use their smartphones to stay in touch. This would improve engagement with your attendees, either via the mobile app, texting or social media accounts that are one click away from the mobile app.

Drive connectivity after the event

You’ve invested significant marketing dollars with your mobile app vendor and driven attendees to an online destination. Don’t stop with preloading marketing information for them prior to and during the event – use the mobile event app to connect with your attendees after the event as well.

As an example, use a survey form and ask them to fill this out and Tweet a response back to you using your event hashtag to drive greater recognition for your brand. Upload presentations or link to streaming videos of your speakers and presenters after the event and make these accessible (“clickable”) via the event app.

Event Apps will drive technology deeper into your organization

Event app usage forces your team to (sales, customer support, IT Department) to use cutting edge technology which also makes your organization more competitive and nimble in the long run. And, you should take a hard and in-depth look at your nearest competitors to understand if they are using a conference app to make their organization more competitor – or not!

Our team here at Grupio is customer service oriented and has years of experience developing mobile apps for event professionals – please reach out here via our web site or toll free number to speak with one of our knowledgeable team to understand how we can make your organization more competitive!