MPI Blog

Eventpro

Monetize Your Mobile App to Boost Event Revenue

Webinar-test-image

Available On Demand | Webinar

As mobile apps mature into their role in the meeting and event experience, new opportunities are emerging that help meeting professionals turn those opportunities into cash sponsorships. From banner ads and custom push notifications, to leveraging data and insights to identifying "hot" leads for sponsors, the opportunities to generate revenue through sponsorships are truly endless.

Here are 5 Tips from Jim Gresham at event app leader Guidebook shared his thoughts on how to monetize your mobile app during a recent webinar.

  • Multivariate: You have lots and lots of options. With print advertising, customers must choose from three or four options: full page, half page or quarter page. With mobile, there’s almost a dozen, and they can be priced and configured to address almost any customer.

  • Interaction: Using apps for interactivity and engagement is important, and gathering feedback can be one of the most powerful ways to engage an audience. Use a sponsored poll or survey for that.

  • Target audience: Custom-craft messages for attendees based on interests or groups. If a sponsor paid for a specific session, you can then equip your app to make specific offers to that group of engaged consumers. Offer a coupon for product purchase or consultation.

  • Measurement: Help your sponsors understand the value you provide by sharing the number of downloads, impressions, content interactions, poll results and more.

  • Tiered Sponsorships: Create sponsorship tiers that align with different app-based opportunities—from splash screens, exclusive home page icons, sponsored sessions, push notifications, banner ads and much more.


Want More On-Demand Webinars
and Earn More Clock Hours?

Visit MPI Academy for Meeting and Event Education Resources.

Go On-Demand



Webinar Transcript

Mark:  2017 webinar series. Before we get started today, I want to take you on a little trip around the platform. In the top right corner of the screen, you'll see a flag. If English is your second language, you can use this flag to change the language on the platform itself. On the other side of the screen, you'll see a smiley face. You can use this smiley face to agree or disagree with something the speaker is saying, to ask us to speak more loudly or more softly, or to let me know that you need assistance.

Just below that you will see a chat window. The best webinars are the ones where everyone uses the chat window to share best practices and their own experiences. For now, just say hi to everyone from wherever you are from. You can also use the chat to ask questions. I will monitor the chat window to make sure all the questions are answered. If you're more comfortable with another language, you can also change the language of our chat today using the Translate button on the top of the chat window.

With that being said, I give you the one and only Jessie States.

Jessie:  Jessie States Thank you so much, Mark. Welcome to our 2017 webinar series, and welcome to today's webinar entitled "Money Maker - Monetize Your Mobile App." With the influx of apps that are really replacing paper programs, they are creating engaging experiences, they are helping our attendees connect with each other, all of these amazing things that our mobile apps are doing for us to really enhance the attendee experience and drive business results for our organizations, there are also new opportunities emerging to monetize our mobile apps. So really creating revenue streams through our mobile technologies, so from banner ads and custom push notifications to using the data and insights that we can glean from our apps to identify hot leads for our sponsors, the opportunities to really generate revenue through sponsorships are truly endless.

So what we really want to look at today and talk about today is what opportunities are out there and how can we truly, truly monetize on those mobile app experiences for creating monetization. So today, here's what we're looking at. We're going to discover what to look for in a mobile app to support sponsorship sales. We're going to learn how to think about pricing and position in-app digital ads alongside our traditional print ads. And then we're going to see how to demonstrate the value of ads with the metrics that we can pull from our mobile experiences.

With that, I'd like to introduce today's guest. We've got two of them. We've got Jim Gresham from Guidebook and we also have Matt Oney from Guidebook. Guys, would you just take a moment to introduce yourselves? The audience pretty much knows me well, but if you could take a moment to introduce yourselves and the expertise that you're bringing to today's webinar.

Jim:  Yeah, thanks, Jessie. This is Jim Gresham from Guidebook. We appreciate the opportunity to chat with you today and with your audience. Just a quick background, I actually cut my teeth in higher education for six years as a university administrator and launched mobile applications for a Tier One research institution, and from that experience was able to move into mobile applications full time. I cross the divide here to the dark side from nonprofit to profit, so to speak, but also have experience here on the team working with our small-medium business and organizational relations team. So my day-to-day role is helping our team onboard new schools, of course, as well as small to medium business units and leveraging mobile for communication strategies.

With me I have Matt Oney who works with our marketing team.

Matt:  That's right. Thanks, Jim. I've worked with mobile technology pretty much my entire career, and over here at Guidebook I work on the marketing team, which basically means that I work a lot with different teams at the company to kind of make sure that the products we're building are satisfying the needs of our customers. A big part of my responsibility is kind of putting content together to make sure that everyone is fully aware of the technology. I jump on a lot of webinars like the one we're going to host for you guys today just to kind of inform and make sure that everyone is getting the most out of mobile. And, of course, today what we're going to be talking about is how we can use sponsorship to actually build revenue streams from mobile technology. So we're looking forward to it. Thanks for having us here today.

Jessie StatesJessie: So what does our agenda look like? What are we going to be covering today? First, we're going to talk about why you would want to invest or create mobile advertising opportunities. We're going to talk how to position mobile to your sponsors, so how to really sell them on the idea that this is a way to reach customers. We're going to talk about where to use it in your own promotional strategy and then we're going to take a lot of questions. Because I know that each of you came with some very specific questions that you might have about how to monetize your mobile app. So we want to make sure that we get those answered for you. So we've got a lot to cover. We might as well go ahead and get started. So tell me this, gentlemen, why is advertising on mobile really important to the market place today?

Jim: Great question, Jessie. Now to kind of set us up here with a little bit of data to get us started. So switch over here to the next slide, got a good chart here, something you may also want to share with your perspective sponsors. So right before we dive into the data, maybe to ask a question that we can see some responses in the chat window would be, "Are you currently using the mobile application for sponsorship or do you not have a mobile application at all?"

So to clarify that, do you have a mobile application? If so, are you using it for sponsorship?Or do you not have a mobile application and you're just kind of considering this all holistically? So that would be a great way to start and I'll try to keep my eye on the chat window. And Matt, maybe you want to answer some questions if we get any in there as well while I'm walking through these points.

Matt:  Definitely.

Jim:  But basically, share this information with perspective sponsors because it's our job to educate them on the investment in our organization as we look to sell sponsorships. So this information comes from comScore which is a top media research company. And what you can see from this slide, regardless of age, online is the largest majority of anyone's media consumption so far. So in the past, we used to hear from planners that, "My demographic won't use mobile," or that they're not mobile savvy enough to communicate with them through mobile applications.

But the data show that regardless of who you're targeting, online is the critical channel. So while those broadcast, radio, print, press, game consoles, broadcast TV, online, while those do change as the age group increases, you do see there that the online connection point is the greatest amount of connection through time usage. At least 50% of the online media consumption is mobile.

So taking that one step farther, this chart is highlighting the change in  average daily media consumption. So we're looking at change over time here. This is 2010 through 2015 change. So there's a lot of movement here. And in that five years' stretch, traditional print has dropped significantly anywhere from 23 to more than 30% here. Television hasn't really changed that much, but all the way up to those two top groups, newspapers and magazines. So print specifically being changed the most.And online being up more than 100% alone. So really interesting change here just in the last five years. So it's not to say that traditional print connection is dead. It still has a role to play, but it's much less important than in the past.

Moving over, got a couple more pieces of data here. So print not the only thing that's down, but there's some interesting trends here in the online segment. So very interesting to break this down especially when you compare how people are consuming online content itself. So the data from this chart show that mobile in aggregate has grown to 65% of all digital media time with mobile apps dominating that usage.

So the desktop has lost 12%. And here, this bottom group, you can just see the slow decline here of desktop time over the last two years. So it's not to say that desktop isn't important anymore. I mean most of us sit in front of a desktop all day long. But most ecommerce transactions are still taking place on a desktop experience. I mean multiplatform strategy is critical. However, many planners and event marketers still treat desktop as the primary area of focus, which these days just isn't the case. The desktop is typically a form of secondary contact.

To jump over the next one. So shared demographic audience by platform usage. So there's a lot going in this slide. And the big things here to note are these charts are broken down by age groups and then overtime. And we're looking at mobile only versus multiplatform versus desktop only. So multiplatform can be in a desktop or mobile or some other additional piece. But this drilldown is showing how important it is to have a multiplatform strategy for online marketing.

So this is true for you as the event marketer seeking sponsorships and for your potential sponsors. So you can see the rise of mobile only users especially in younger demographics. They're still a minority but look at the drop in the desktop computer use. Again, pretty amazing to see how the usage has dropped by half or even more depending on the age group. So if you're looking at that 18 to 34 range on that December 2015 stats, desktop only is such a small part of that communication piece.

We'll jump over to the next one.

Jessie StatesJessie: So just to step in, I noticed that you showed one bright spot for traditional media in the earlier chart. ...was up 3% or so. That's not the only bright spot for event marketers though, right?

Jim: Right. So far from it. Recent survey shows that event sponsorship sales are up overall. I'm speaking actually, like skip over real quickly to this. So sponsorships are up overall, which is great for event organization. However, the same survey show that many may struggle to secure those sponsorship dollars specifically. So what's interesting to take a look at in this comparison chart as the Net US Media Owner's Ad Revenue Trends Forecast, that's a big title here. But we've got a lot of great data here as well.

So the struggle mirrors the shift in spending from traditional media outlets and print publications to online, particularly mobile mixed market. So you can see the shift in this chart specifically is up. So this is 2017, 2016 increase in ad revenue trends year-over-year. So mobile and social channels, massive year over year increases from those previous ones. So that's where the sponsorship dollars are being spent versus things like print that shows significant year-over-year decline. So far right side of the chart, you're seeing lots of dropped dollars or print exposure.

So win sponsorship dollars by including mobile adverting. So this is really the crux of the conversation here. So taking a look back at the first slide, kind of preamble of this conversation is why should we be including mobile sponsorship dollars? Are dollars there available? And giving the toolkit that you would need to have and educated conversation with sponsors about why mobile can be much more advantageous to them.

Jessie StatesJessie: There are some really big shifts going on in the overall market that I didn't even realize. But I think most of us and most of our sponsors, the people who are spending money with us are much more familiar with the print publication, the catalogues, the programs, ourOnsite,Dailies, the newspapers and magazines. So how do we start to position mobile as a potential with our sponsors? Because it's often maybe even outside of their comfort zone.

Jim:  Absolutely. And that's a great way to set up this conversation. So the first will be just to start simply with the benefits of digital advertising over traditional print. And there are some key points in here that really highlight the differences. So make sure your sponsor understands the changing landscape and how you're addressing the change in landscape with your sponsorship packages. And then dive into the specific advantages of mobile ads and these are five great specific ones to lead with. So we'll go through these in a little bit more detail, but just so that we can have a little bit of an outline for the upcoming conversation.

We're looking at multivariate, interactive, targetable and measurable and the big advantage being that it's scalable. So any size business organization that's looking to sell advertising and then it's very flexible in a way that print is not.

Jessie StatesJessie:  So explain what multivariate is because I have no idea.


Jim:
Yeah, yeah, no problem. So we're just basically trying to say that there are different ways to communicate. So is everyone able to see the slide here with the sponsorship options of the multivariate? Did it switch over for you? Okay, great. And here we go, sponsorship options.

So basically, talking about all of the different things that you would consider in a mobile environment other than just this traditional print group. So looking back at print, right. Like what are they expecting? They're expecting maybe full-page, half-page, quarter-page advertising. But when you're looking at mobile, since it's more interactive, there are multiple places that you can spend these dollars with us and different ways to be exposed.

So taking a look at these specifically and we'll jump over here to the next slide. So we're talking about specifically a splash screen. So this is an example of a splash screen. It's the first thing that users see when they open your app. So I'm just going to take a wild guess that all of us here have a smart phone and we've opened and closed applications on our devices. That very first, it's kind of a load screen that presents you with just a quick picture or image right as the information loads. So think of that as your front or back cover of a traditional program and you can price that load screen at a premium. Because that is the first screen that people are going to see every time the app opens. So that's your high visibility and high traffic area.

Next, we're looking at banner advertising. So you are probably familiar with this and other applications that you use. Any application that you will be choosing to use as an organization would hopefully include these as an option. So in this particular example at the bottom of the screen, you can see a Google logo. That is actually a banner advertising that can rotate. So the ad can also link to whatever your sponsor wants. So again, we're talking about interactivity. We've got a banner ad. It rotates. When they see something they're interested in, they can touch that and interact with it. You can ask the sponsor where you would like the traffic to be driven. So maybe even giving the sponsor that forethought. Like we can make our folks go to a specific place on your website. Would you like to create a specific landing page with a campaign tracking URL so that you can see the return on this? Or is there a specific piece of information you'd like to surface to them? So banner advertising that has some interactive piece of communication is very advantageous to them.

Push messaging. And push messaging, just to give a brief explanation of this, is if your phone is sitting right there on the table and it lights up, there's a message from an application. That's what is considered a push message. So generally, open rates are three times more than email. And that's really, think about the way that you interact with your inbox versus the way you interact with a notification that pops up on your phone. You're almost always going to see it. You're almost always going to interact with it. And it can take you to key information in the application. Whereas email doesn't necessarily pop up on your lock screen and it requires you to go into the inbox, go to that specific inbox in your email app and then go read that specific content.

So why not give your advertisers and sponsors the ability to have a push message. And price this maybe in a package. Do you want five push notifications, one push notification? What time? Do you want it to go out? And kind of sell those slots. If we're going to think about a traditional analogy, think about radio spots. Like you're buying X number of exposure over a certain block of time. Just keep in mind that just like you if you get a bunch of push notification, you may very well turn those off. So just keep that in mind, but certainly include information about the company, potential discount offers. "Hey, come by our booth at the convention," or something like that. 

Jessie StatesJessie: Jim, do you have any best practices on how many of those should be offered per day during an event or in general by an app?

Jim:  That's a great question especially as it relates to sponsorships. Because remember, you're going to want to be using push notification to communicate critical event information at the same time. So I wouldn't necessarily work in maybe more than one sponsored push notification per daily time block. And what I mean by that is like maybe one between breakfast and lunch as an advertisement, maybe one between lunch and dinner as an advertisement. If you're having evening network inter-social activity, maybe you have a push notification in the evening that's sponsored as well. But you're going to lace those in with very useful information about the conference. Because every time your organization, if you have a push notification, you don't want them to assume it's going to be advertising based.

And if you can have sponsors that maybe are related to a morning or an afternoon or an evening social, you would just tie that to the push notification. So, "Hey, we'd love to see you at happy hour presented by…" insert your sponsor name there, right. And then they get the advertisement, but it's more of a native piece of content as opposed to just like, "We'd love to see you at the booth."

Jessie: Jim, can you guys send out a copy of this presentation to our attendees?

Jim:  We can. We can do that, yes.

Jessie StatesJessie: That'd be great. Thank you so much.

Jim:  Absolutely. Thanks, Jessie.

Matt: Jim, would you mind if I just added one quick point about push notification there? Because I think it's worth noting. We all always think about the frequency of emails that we're sending out to our databases, right. A common concern of course is email exhaustion. The more emails we send, the more impressions we're getting and the more information we have to spread. But at the same time, we do see that unsubscribe rate increase the more emails we send. So if you think of push notifications the same way, you don't want to be selling four or five different sponsored push notifications a day on top of your existing ones that you're actually utilizing for your event.

And so you really just need to give some careful thought into finding that happy medium between, "Hey, this is a great opportunity for sponsors. This convert at an extremely high rate especially when compared to traditional medium like email." But just kind of keep in mind that, "Hey, this isn't something that we should abuse." And I think if you do a decent job of communicating that to your sponsors, from what we've seen they immediately understand that and they see the value in just having a pretty minimum amount.

Jim: Yeah, thanks, Matt. Great point. Jumping down to sponsor cards in social media feeds. So it's a pretty specific piece of exposure and a lot of event applications have what they consider to be some form of a feed of information, whether that's specifically social, whether that's specifically information about the activity. Good application is going to mix both of those into one, like relevant information about the event or organization with potential sponsorship cards alongside Twitter or Facebook information as well.

So from there, you can go into like a sponsor card in the feed. So Guidebook specifically has this integrated feature that we call interact. It's a dynamic feed that adjust to user preferences and their behaviors and actually present relevant information to them every time they log in as chronologically specific and can include sponsored content. So in this image specifically, you see a little bit of a sponsorship picture here at the bottom and it's just mixed in natively along with the other content. So that feed can be controlled by the planner and it could be used to promote specific conference session or another form of banner advertisement.

Coupons in a photo feed. So a lot of event applications are going to allow you to upload specific photos whether that's user uploaded photos or administrator uploaded photos. And this is one that you see in the screen shot. So you can include a picture of a coupon. So it's not even something that we actually when we set out to build the photo gallery had considered ourselves. But one of our clients thought, "Hey, we're running a festival every year. One of the things in print that we allowed our sponsors to do was include a coupon. Is there a way to do that through the app platform?" 

We're thinking about what does this mean? What's the root of the question? Can we upload a picture of a coupon? Well, we have a photo gallery. Yeah, sure. Just upload the picture of the coupon just like you would for print and you could have a photo feed that's just of coupons. And then you would simply show the coupon at that location and you're good to go. So what a great idea that they even thought about themselves.

Jessie StatesJessie: Is that something that you can pan as well? 


Jim: 
You can include them in the social feed, yes.

Jessie StatesJessie:  So what about interactivity and audience engagement? So we said at the beginning of the webinar, these apps are not just replacing our paper programs. They are being used to create interactive experiences. So is there advertising or sponsorship opportunities there?

Jim:   Definitely. And one of the key ways to do that is a sponsorship poll. So using apps for interactivity and engagement is important. Gathering feedback can be one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience. So using a sponsorship poll for that. So configuring a poll can be done in many different ways. There's typically an unlimited number of ways to put one of these together. And we're seeing planners sell those to sponsors and a lot of sponsors to offer prices for completing them. So if you're thinking business card in a fish bowl, that's one way to maybe run and give away as a sponsor. But also, you could include in the application where the sponsor's located. So any application is going to allow you to highlight your sponsor and exhibitors.

What you can do on their profile is include a sponsorship poll that maybe they would be able to use for a price giveaway. So I'm talking to someone at a booth. I'm like, "Hey, you have the mobile app on your phone, great. If you visit our profile, there's actually a survey there and if you complete the survey then we'll enter you for a chance to win a prize." And then whatever information you're hoping to gather as a sponsor could be used interactively through this sponsorship poll.

Jessie StatesJessie:  Another example here would be gamification. Gamification is just a fancy word for, "Hey, is there some way to use this app in an engaging, creative way that's similar to a game?" Sometimes these are done as like a scavenger hunt. They're often done with a built-in QR code reader and people collect the codes across the activity and then they win a prize. So again, this would be something that you would be pitching to your potential sponsor for revenue. That, "Hey, we're going to have this contest. We're giving away this great prize." You're obviously paying for the prize with the sponsorship revenue and you don't want to incur that cost. "But we're only going to let 10 vendors do it. You're going to have to pay this much for it as part of your package. But what people are going to do is come by and scan this code that we're going to put at your booth or your location that ensures some sort of foot traffic."Again, back to the creative native, creative and native way of using mobile application to engage your audience.

Hey, Jim. Before we move off of that, is the entry there yet with the augmented reality? Is that something that you're seeing being implemented or are we still a couple of years away from having sponsorships available for that as well?

Jim: That is a great question. We have not seen augmented reality to the point where it's being considered for this type of communication channel. It is growing a popularity. We're closely watching what Apple specifically is getting ready to do with their upcoming iPhone 8. There's a lot of rumors floating around about the iPhone itself being able to use augmented technology. It would take a market shift like a smart phone technology to make this a possibility for the general populous. Right now, AR technology is still in a bit of ahobbyist phase. So it hasn't gone to the point where it's scalable for common users, but it's something we have our eye as like an industry representative, not just the Guidebook.

But one of the questions we get asked more often since you brought up, Jessie, is about Beacon technology is something as well. And Beacon technology, a little more than AR technology stillfairlynascent. And that is because the Beacon technology requires a physical hardware device. Like there's an actual beacon that would need to be installed at different locations, but it's hyper specific geographically. So if you're thinking GPS, you're getting directions from your phone. We're talking maybe three-square miles or less. With a beacon, we're talking like three feet specifically. But it does require the booth or the event location, et cetera, to have those installed.So there are some folks on the market that do support some Beacon technology. But keep in mind if you run down that thought process, it's a hardware concern as well not just mobile application compatibility. 

Jessie StatesJessie: Thanks for that. So tell me this now that we're on the targetable slide. How can sponsors use mobile apps to target specific groups? That's a possibility, isn't it? 

Jim: It is. And it has to do a little bit with the backend operation and how things work the backside of everything. So personalizing event experience is important, so the target in question here. As planners, we're trying to do that for every attendee and delivering targeted messaging helps with that. So unlike traditional media, mobile applications can track user behavior and action. So what sessions did they attend? With whom were they connected? That kind of thing. So you can use the information to further refine and personalize communication to your attendees. Giving them things that are truly interested in seeing versus not. Sowhen you do that, your boosting engagement rate significantly.

And if you could help your sponsors do that too, you'll increase response rates as well. So there are platforms are specifically included that could even give you a list of conference attendees that look at that sponsor in the app. Like who opened up this Domino's Pizza piece of information, to give you an example. Well, there's these ten people that actually looked at the Domino's profile. And you can see who those are and then you can decide yourselves or the organizers whether to provide Domino's with that type of insight. So you can get really granular with that type of information if the platform you're choosing has that capability.

So targeting users and groups of people, so here's an example of what I'm describing from the Guidebook platform. So it's our users and groups dashboard where you can run reports on user behavior and create groups of similar users. So that would mean that you've got this batch of 20 people. They fit the specific criteria like maybe that's your board. You can target information to the board as opposed to having it targeted to those 20 people individually, just as an example.

Jessie StatesJessie:  So let me ask you this, Jim. If you've got a pretty large conference with a lot of different users. You could segment the audience into groups. And then you could sell those groups, for example, for push notifications. So while you're only limiting yourself to perhaps two sponsorship opportunities or time blocks, that could include multiple sponsorships where different groups are receiving different push notification.                                                                   

Jim: Exactly. Yeah. You synthesized that very specifically and very well. That's exactly the way. Our system can help you target specific groups. I think if I expanded on that, it would only complicate the way that you summarized it. So yeah, that's exactly the way it works.

Jessie StatesJessie: The next conversation we're going to have is one of my favorite conversations and it's all about data. So tell us what we can do with the metrics that we create in our meetings and events?

Jim: Yeah, great. I'm excited that you're excited about it. We worked hard to make sure the metrics on our platform are very useful for you. So feel free to interject if this is your area of interest. But it's absolutely, specifically an advantage of digital and mobile advertising. So it's trackable in a way that offline media is not. In the old world, so to speak, all you could tell sponsors is that you printed X number of programs. You placed a certain number of inserts in the local paper. Pretty dissatisfying both from you having to deliver that metric and for them because they don't really understand a true ROI.

So now, for a full app sponsors, they have a splash screen. You can tell that organization how many people downloaded the app, how many times they launched it and then seen the screen in the process. So we basically call that impression. And for those, that post content including coupons. You can show them how many times their content is interacted with. For polls and surveys, you're going to be able to share the actual responses from potential customers. And all of this can help validate 1) your event and 2) most importantly, the effectiveness of your sponsor's promotional efforts. So you're able to actually back up what you're saying.

So in my opinion personally, this is a little bit of a two-edged sword. Because you're looking at something like engagement metrics, then you actually need to do a good job. So that you're going out now with mobile application, you're going to have to answer these questions. Well, you're selling them on the fact that you're going to give them this information. So you're going to need to be a good steward of their investment because now you're going to be able to produce this information.

So what are some of the things that we're looking for? So an example from one of our customers, this is a grab straight out of one of our client dashboards. And you can see downloads, you can see session information, how many sessions per user, how long the session lasted. And when I say session, just to back up a second, I mean sessions within the application itself. So how many times did a user open your information and look at it? So 908,000 sessions, that's pretty well utilized. So how long did the session last? Meaning when they opened it up and looked at their phone, how long were they looking at it? Then also the accumulative time spent in the application. Sessions using the web version if you are also going to co-deploy a website. You can do that with our platform specifically.

So you get the idea, right. You got all this great information. It wasn't ever available to you in the past, but there is an onus now on us to ensure that people are using the mobile platform and that your metrics are going to be impressive to your sponsors year-over year. So sponsor specifically.

Here's another screen straight from the dashboard that talks specifically about including sponsor impressions. So this one specifically is from the banner ad that we saw on the screenshot earlier. How many times did it rotate? Which sponsor was it and then how many times was it seen? And then the big advantage here for you would be that this is downloadable information. You can download the charts. You could download the graph and actually share them and present them to your sponsors as a post-event sponsorship.

Us, Guidebook, having sponsored events ourselves, we've been vendors plenty of places. The post-event communication with a sponsor or vendor is typically like, "Hey, thanks for coming. Fill up the survey and let us know what you thought." But if it was more like, "Hey, we really appreciate your investment in our conference. Look at what type of exposure our app was able to give you." Then it's going to really entice me to continue to spend money with you because you've proven to me that you are able to actually expose our business to your attendees.

Jessie StatesJessie: So there's a lot of sponsorship options and a lot of data that you can share to prove the success of those sponsorship options. But can you talk to us about how this could work for sponsors or potential sponsors?

Jim:  Yeah, definitely. And the idea here that it can potentially work for any size business, so scalability being a very important part of mobile application. So whether you're launching like a completely new event or taking an existing event to a new venue, mobile app opens up a range of sponsorship opportunities just in general. And yes, almost any business can take advantage of them over advertising potential. So you can look to those traditional sponsorship targets of suppliers to your attendee base, if you're an association maybe a chapter wants to facilitate and meet up. They're targets for push messaging or ads in the social feed. If you're in a new city, then local merchants and restaurants could potentially be targeted with a coupon offer and things along those lines.So always check with the visiting bureau or the chamber of commerce in those areas to see if there are merchants they'd even suggest connecting within your prospecting process. 

Jessie StatesJessie: So I think the big question for me is how do you go about pricing these kinds of opportunities? How do you know what they're worth?

Jim: That is a question I've been specifically asked even in the field, in a conversation with clients. So I'm happy to dig into this more specifically. And the first place to start would be your pricing and packaging options. Sothere are three tiers here, one being the sole sponsorship. So maybe you just got one person that would love to buyout all of this in the application. That'd be great, right. Your job would be done, one and done. We've seen those sell for as much as $25,0000. Of course, that price is relative depending on the size of the event, the exposure of the advertising and even in my opinion, historical pricing. From print media, certainly the cost can be raised if you're going from print-only to mobile exposure. Because all of the great things that we've learned today, mobile has a higher value. But it would be up to the market that you're selling to is going to naturally determine how much more you can charge for mobile exposure and how good you are at convincing them that mobile is the new way forward. So sole sponsorship and everything.

A-la-cart, so you can price each individual little piece here that we discussed. So maybe there's a price for push notification, there's a price for banner ads, surveys, coupons, placement, all the separate products. In certain instances, some of these items can sell for just a few hundred dollars for say like a coupon or just a single push notification.

And then finally, tiered sponsorships which I think I've seen a lot more frequently, at least coming out of the education world, is the tiered scenario. So Tier 1 includes X, Y and Z. And Tier 2: A, B, C and on down the line where you're taking these items. And I'm assuming as a best practice, you would mix this in with your current tiered packages. So if you're using the tiered system, you would just take these pieces of suggestions and work them into whatever your three or four tiers are already. So that you're showing that mobile is just an integrated part of the total exposure for your sponsors or vendors or exhibitors.

Not like, "Hey, we have this one tier for all this other stuff and then we have a separate tier where you're going to get to choose all of the mobile stuff." Like that's also one way to approach it is mobile advertising Tier 1, 2, 3 and all of our other advertising Tier 1, 2, 3. So you could try that, or a potentially better approach would be integrating those two, which is we've been doing all this other stuff. Now, we're going to add mobile and we're integrating that into all of these other tiers. Does that make sense? I feel like I rambled a little bit, Jessie. Am I off the rails?

Jessie StatesJessie:  No. I think you got it. I think kind of trying to find the print equivalent, actual organization is pricing it similar to that might be helpful. So for example, if you're looking at a buyout of the app itself, look at what you might charge for a buyout of a supplement with your magazine or perhaps an entire sponsorship of an issue. So really looking at it that way and trying to figure out what your audience is going to be willing to pay.

Jim: Right. And that's a similar conversation that I had most recently with chamber of commerce. And they were really interested in moving the mobile, but it was going to rely on revenue from sponsorships. And the only previous experience and exposure they had in the past was they did a 150,000 newspaper inserts in the local newspaper. And they were frustrated by, "Hey, we don't know who's actually looking at it. We don't know where it's going, but we do know how to price this out because we've been doing it for ten years. So you can just help us price this stuff. That would be really helpful to us."     

So what we ultimately had a conversation about was what are your sponsors expecting to pay year-over-year? Have you prepared them for mobile? Are they convinced about mobile? And then what the pricing structure looks like. So we told them as just like a common denominator what would it look like if you raised your price for your different tiered packages by 25%? And then we wove these opportunities into what you've already got and then just think intelligently about how your sponsors are going to respond to that. And maybe even just try it on one or two. Get on the phone. Give it a trial run with one of your tried and true sponsors from year-over-year. See how they feel about the pricing change and whether you can get them to buy into all of the benefits that we've discussed in mobile strategy.

Jessie StatesJessie: And I think really sharing with them the value. Because you don't want to give away the farm. This is a really, really valuable tool. So I think making sure that your sponsors understand that what you are providing to them is truly very, very valuable.

Jim: Absolutely. And year one, I have seen groups that will switch completely to mobile but keep the pricing tiers the same just for year one. But let their sponsors know that in year two, it's going to be this much more expensive and we're going to prove to you why after year one because we're going to show you all of the great metrics from the engaging pieces, from the application. So that's one way to do it too is if you're really hesitant, do it the same year-over-year. Show your advertisers at the end of that first mobile year how much more exposure they've gotten. And then like, "Hey, well, this is costing us maybe a little more money. So well, it's worth more regardless. So we're going to have to change the pricing to X, Y or Z." So that's one way to do it if you don't want to rip the band aid off just in one year. You can do a sort of a balancing act in year one.

We do have a couple more slides here. One of them is about promotional strategy. So we're looking at 13 minutes left I think and we probably have some questions. So let me just gloss over a bit of a promotional strategy just to give you a timeline. So just briefly, a lot of conversations I have for folks that are going mobile for the first time, they are assuming that the mobile launch is just the day of. I've got this event. I've got this activity. I've got this specific launch date, place and time. That's when I need to have my mobile ready and exposed to the public.

We couldn't disagree more with that type of mindset because it's like mindset carryover from print. If I print, they're going to show up on day one. I'm going to put this piece of information in their hands. It's static. It's not dynamic. It's not changing and it's just floating around. But with mobile, we encourage launching at least eight to 12 weeks before your event. You're going to use the application to generate community and involvement and engagement through those social features. You're going to even possibly be changing information in and out. As it approaches, you got transportation and arrival and hotel information eight to 12 weeks in advance.

But you don't need block booking information for a hotel once the event starts. So think dynamically about the content across an entire spectrum. And in an ideal situation before you even take registration, you should have something available for download because your confirmation email should be the next step of your communication plan. Thanks for registering. We've gone mobile. Here's how to download it and start engaging, interacting and networking with your fellow attendee.

Jessie: And with that communication, Jim, if I might recommend. Including a very, very short video and some instructions on how people can take advantage of the mobile app so that they truly understand as attendees how to utilize it to not only check the schedule, but to engage with each other to create contacts, to find people who they want to meet with while they're on site. To really use that app strategically to accomplish their own personal goals and objectives. So making sure that you're communicating with them. The more value they see in the app, the more they're going to use it. So really making sure that your attendees and that's just going to make you have happy sponsors, right. So making sure your attendees understand their ability to use the app to really meet their own goals and objectives for the event.

Jim: Absolutely. Thanks for that addition, Jessie. And with about ten minutes left, and I noticed you prompted in the chat window to get any questions out. We can take the last ten minutes here as we approach the top of the hour to answer any specific questions that may have come up during the presentation.

Jessie StatesJessie: And we'll wait just a few minutes to see if anyone has any additional questions. This session is available for clock hours. So I want to make sure that you have that information. It is Domain A: Strategic Planning. We will be uploading those hours for you to your EIC transcript if you have one and if you use the EIC email address when you registered for the webinar. But if you don't and you do want to claim those clock hours, after the session is over, so after I've closed the event out, you can go to the link that I have there in the window. Click on the Evaluations tab. Take the quick evaluation that we have, and it will then prompt you to download your certificate. So if you're tracking your own clock hours and you really need that certificate to show that you attended today, that's where you're going to be able to find it.

So again, that evaluation won't be ready of available until after I close down the event today. But that's where you're going to find the evaluation that will then give you access to your certificate of completion. And just let me know if you have any additional questions about that. You all have my email address. So you very frequently email me with questions. So I know that I'll always answer those there as well. But I'm not seeing any additional questions, so I want to thank Guidebook.

Guidebook took the time to prepare this presentation for us today. They had two presenters from their organization. They're a great app organization. So if you have additional questions about Guidebook, you can direct those to Jim. Jim's going to send out a copy of today's presentation to everyone who came today. So just let him know if you want additional information about apps in general, additional education around this topic or others related to event apps. I know that they're absolutely happy to jump on the phone and talk to you about that as well. So thanks so much to them. And I'm going to go ahead and say goodbye to everyone. I'll see you guys next week.

Jim:  All right. Thanks, Jessie.

Oh, can Guidebook include their contact information with the slides? Can you do that for us, Jim? Would you be able to share your contact information?

Jim:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Matt and I will work on getting that information out as quickly as possible and we'll include contact information as well. If you're interested in chatting with me directly, you can find me via email: jim@guidebook.com. You can find me on Twitter almost as easily and that is @jim_gresham or our phone number is 650-319-7233. And Matt will obviously include all of this information with the deliverable. Yup.

Jessie StatesJessie: Brilliant. Thanks so much.


Jim: 
Thank you.

End of Audio



About the Author

Jessie States
Jessie States