. Why Integration Is the Most Important Feature of Any Event App | Northstar Meetings Group

Why Integration Is the Most Important Feature of Any Event App

Enhanced attendee data, event personalization and proven ROI are just some of the advantages.

Planners often ask me: What are the top new features for mobile event apps? Augmented reality? Chatbots? Voice search? Personal agenda auto-sync...

My take: These are all great features, but one capability outranks all the rest. Integration is everything in event technology and critical when it comes to mobile apps. Why? Because these tools provide access to a goldmine of data as attendees move in and out of sessions and across the show floor.

What happens when your app isn't in sync with the rest of your event-management software platform? That data goes missing, and you get an incomplete picture of what's happening at your event.

Are lines mounting at check-in? Is traffic light around a platinum sponsor's booth? Is networking too low to meet your goals? Lacking the data, you miss opportunities to optimize your event. 

For marketers, incomplete data presents other challenges. You invest in events because you know leads convert there. But with marketing budgets shrinking, you need to justify every dollar you spend. Now is the time to ratchet up due diligence and analyze exactly what happens at events that drives conversions. Your ability to prove a return on investment is crucial.

Where's the Data About Your Attendees?

CMOs spend one-quarter of their budgets on events. How do they assess the impact of this spend?

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They look at metrics like attendance and lead capture. Historically, marketing and event professionals didn't have the tools to measure all the other touch points of in-person events. This was a major missed opportunity.

The fact is, much of what converts customers takes place in the real world when people connect person-to-person. Yet most advertising models don't include in-person event data.

As a result, they provide an incomplete view of the customer journey. Plus, marketers get an inaccurate read on what's happening with one-quarter of their budget spend. 

Digital Transformation of Business Events

The good news is the landscape is changing. Forward-thinking organizations are starting to evaluate in-person events the same way they measure their digital marketing. But to achieve the same level of accountability, they need robust tools for collecting and measuring event data.

The fact is, much of what converts customers takes place in the real world when people connect person-to-person. Yet most advertising models don't include in-person event data.

This is where integrated event apps play a vital role. They're among the most powerful tools for capturing data. The latest apps track not just attendance, but also dwell time, digital networking, repeat visits to exhibitor booths and other activity.

Combined with the right analytics tools, event apps drive valuable insights. For example: What products do attendees like? What problems do they need to solve right now? What content do they crave and want more of?

Savvy professionals leverage this intelligence to enhance the attendee experience, prove return on investment, and strengthen sales and marketing companywide. Here's how this works…

Enhancing Event Personalization

The latest EMS platforms analyze event data in real time and create customized push notifications. Attendees receive up-to-the-minute recommendations on other sessions, exhibitors and participants to connect with based on shared interests. 

As apps capture new data throughout the event, the recommendation system keeps getting smarter. The result is a highly personalized attendee experience. 

In brief, fully integrated event apps streamline the journey and help attendees spend their time at events where it matters most.

Proven ROI for Meetings

As sales, marketing and events become more aligned, organizers have the ability to justify spend and demonstrate ROI using metrics consistent with the rest of their company's marketing efforts. 

Sophisticated organizations integrate their event data with their customer-relationship management and marketing-automation systems. This is huge for marketing attribution. At last, companies can get a comprehensive picture of the role events play in driving revenue.

Using the latest solutions, you can produce robust reports for senior leadership in mere minutes. At last, it's easy to show -- with hard data -- that events are moving the needle and driving profit growth for your company.

Missing Link for Business Event Data

The opportunity for marketers is they acquire a wealth of data points around the customer journey that they never had access to before. Modern event-intelligence platforms are taking activity in the physical world and turning it into data.

How do they do this? They organize the data on a central dashboard that's easy to read. Dashboards feature graphs, charts, colors and icons. Users get an event overview. Plus, they can drill down on data points that interest them most and quickly spot trends.

At last, marketers get keen insights into what happens at events that drives conversions. They gain a deeper understanding of how to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message. 

With help from integrated event apps, events provide the missing link in the data flow. The result is an enhanced attendee experience and a richer, fuller view of the customer journey.

As chief revenue officer of Aventri, Michael Burns brings more than 20 years of sales, marketing and event management experience to his role in leading the global go-to-market teams to deliver the best possible customer experience.