The EventApp industry seems saturated with options and with a playing field where an Event Organiser is seemingly spoilt by a wide range of software solutions it can be confusing to select an EventApp that properly suites your event needs. MICExchange discussed with DoubleDutch aspects of the EventApp industry and its focus on providing solutions to event planners its during AIME 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
The AIME 2016 Expo connects event professionals by showcasing the best of the Australian-Pacific Event has to offer. Ryan O’Connor, Enterprise Account Executive (DoubleDutch ANZ) said, ”We at DoubleDutch had the opportunity for 1-to-1 meetings with key contacts via the hosted buyer program. It is clear the event industry is looking for higher engagement and value out of their event programs. Delegates of the show came to our booth looking for new ways to increase audience participation and close the feedback loop important to demonstrate ROI.”
When asked about the wide range of technological solutions and Apps for the Meetings and Events industry, Mr O’Connor gave some insight on how DoubleDutch saw the competitive landscape. “Often competitors in the field come up with a specific angle that we may not cover, and that angle may fill a certain need and work very well. But DoubleDutch has a very specific vision. We know what we want our product to do, and the bottom line for DoubleDutch is, ‘audience engagement’ and how to get your audience talking – if an App feature does not really help with that aspect, we are not that interested. Unless we are driving the engagement, we step away from a lot of features.”
“Especially when you look at exhibitions, there are so many things you could do around exhibition planning and working with exhibitors – to have a communications strategy around, but that is not us. There are event management systems and other players that do it well, such as registrations – that is not part of our strategic vision. We have a very specific goal and we are going after audience engagement.”
MICExchange asked – How does an Event Planner know which is the correct App for them?
O’connor answered, “That is always a question we ask when people call us – Do you know what you really want to achieve? If you need a paper replacement – it will cost very little and you can get that anywhere, there are so many EventApps, we can do that but its a very small part of what we do.”
“But if the client wants people networking and talking – where everything you do is around communication – for example if your need is how you connect Exhibitors and Buyers, our App can help. So – Step one, the client needs to be able to identify what they want to achieve. The majority of our events are conferences and seminars and anywhere from 200 to say 2500 attendees – thats where 75% of our event clients are.”
“However, we have also started doing small 50 person leadership conferences you need a certain reason to have an App at that point and at that points its not about communication but organising them and making sure they know where they are meant to be. There isn’t really an ideal event for us – we work for finance, pharma, for tech companies to associations – right up to the massive trade shows in China with 150,000 people.”
O’Connor went on to discuss the cultural differences in the use and acceptance of social media Apps. “Its all based on social media use – at the end of the day you have an activity feed where you pose questions and you will interact with one-another. Australia and USA are good at that, and we see very high activity on those aspects, but for instance in Japan, people are really quiet. Posting and saying something in front of a group of people is not really done, especially when there are seniors in a room. But there is a need for information and the organisers will start posting updates and people want to see that. So we see a lot of activity but its not necessarily social – its more about gathering information and surveys.”
“So culturally there is a bit of a difference in the approach. China is very strong on WeChat, people know social communication but they prefer to be private so the public feed tends to be quiet but the private discussions are going through the roof because people are all messaging each other. So different regions use the App in different ways. The biggest thing for DoubleDutch is once the organiser has decided to use the App, how do you show value. This is easy in Australia and the USA but in China eventApps are still quite new but it is a different approach in providing value even though adoption rates are very high.
DoubleDutch provides mobile engagement applications for events, sales teams, and enterprise workgroups and lists an impressive array of high profile clients where its cloud-based, geosocial apps help companies tap into a social scene to maximize engagement. DoubleDutch Events enables organizations to create mobile event applications customized and branded to an event, creating a private social content hub as the most innovative way to engage attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and organizers. DoubleDutch uses engagement to enable organizations to increase value for their events.