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How to Develop an Event App

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Event planning apps are actually one of the best ways to handle a bunch of upcoming activities. You certainly use them from time to time to control your social gatherings, but you might not have thought about their tremendous possibilities in a business sphere. Here, the general hype is stirred around Instagram and retail applications. This article will show you your business possibilities with an event application of high quality, as well as some peculiarities and pitfalls of its creation. Let’s start from the very beginning.

Business Apps: Simple but Serious

If you are an entrepreneur and an owner of a small business these days, you are likely a very energetic and busy person. Every day, you need to conduct various research, arrange meetings, offer creative solutions and organize your employees. A wide variety of business apps available nowadays can help you cope with these tasks. In general, they are easy to use and don’t require much productivity from your device. The most renowned include Slack, Pocket, and Trello. With their help, you can receive up-to-date information, manage your daily tasks and keep track of your workers’ activity.

Sometimes, such specific applications are even developed by business people themselves. For that, they need the App Inventor or AppMakr platform and minimal help from professionals. Extensions that are more sophisticated are created by a team of devoted experts. The process itself isn’t very complicated, but it certainly can be rather expensive and time-consuming.

But, wait – there’s one more important thing you have to organize. What if you want to hold a meeting? Or a conference? Or a workshop? For pure commercial and advertising reasons, your employees’ skills and qualifications ought to be the best. Your social life shouldn’t lag behind, too. Here is where business intersects with private life – but, don’t worry, you’ll like it. All business events are actually about cooperation and networking – so all you need is to find the right approach to them. And we know what will help you: an event app.

Why Should I, Anyway?

Being very simple and intuitive to use, event apps usually provide rather basic features. If you see an interesting festival in a specially designed event application, you can be sure it includes its price, the detailed agenda, and full access to social media. Within it, you can buy tickets, invite your friends, or simply mark whether you would like to visit it. It goes without saying, that you will see all the organizers’ contacts for feedback, as well as necessary addresses – most likely with geolocation.

Having all that information, you get intrigued and think of creating your own event app within your company.

At that moment you stop and start thinking it over. Why should I bother creating a new event app, if I clearly see the “Create Event” button on the web version of an event app like Eventbrite? The answer is very simple: because it is much more convenient! If you create an event app, you will be sure to engage all of your colleagues and business partners (as well as interested strangers). Besides, you will be able to manage your activity according to your own vision and, moreover, you will cut down event management costs. Your event marketing team won’t have to work so hard, as your application can help you achieve many of your goals.

This is not even the best part: you can actually earn money with your app! A wide variety of sponsorship options for this kind of application include numerous advertising methods that can help your company generate additional revenue. What is more, it often exceeds the event app development cost. Fact: even a single-event app with regularly updated content allows funders to promote their products and services. So, you can seamlessly earn money simply by advertising goods!

It’s Time to Choose

If you feel intrigued by this idea, you may start planning it and asking yourself some difficult questions, including How do you develop an event app? The answer is simple – you just need to choose an appropriate type of mobile application, gather a good team of developers, pay them, and enjoy the results. The second question is more difficult. What type of application development technology should you choose? The choice itself is not so wide, but it will heavily depend on your wishes and budget. So, we offer you three major variants, each of them having their own pros and cons:

  • Web apps. They are comparatively easy to develop, but not as popular, as they cannot be downloaded and cannot work offline in a browser. Despite this, they have one crucial advantage – they are very free and unlimited in terms of content, especially in comparison to the other two types. To be available on the AppStore or GooglePlay, your mobile application should meet certain requirements, while a web platform isn’t censored that way.

  • Hybrid apps. These are a much more widespread type of mobile app, which allow you to download them on your device. This one is normally created on an HTML and JavaScript basis, so their development is rather simple and doesn’t consume much money. They usually receive access to your device’s data, but can still restrict access to some of its components (for example, the camera). What is more, a lot of plugins are inevitably involved in a hybrid app’s normal functions. That is not exactly bad, but it can bring forward certain problems, the most challenging of which is to create similar plugins for different operating systems (you should take into regard that not all of your future customers use widespread operating platforms).

  • Native apps. These are the ones with the highest degree of functionality. They help you develop a custom set of functions and unique designs, but the disadvantage is that you need to create separate versions for each operating system. Moreover, they are quite difficult and expensive to build, as you will definitely need a strong Java, С++, Objective-C, or Swift developer to make an event app of this kind.

Depending on pricing and time restrictions, together with your own abilities, you may choose the most appropriate alternative out of these three, but we would recommend you use hybrid applications as they save your time and money and have faster development cycles.

Top Frameworks for Hybrid Apps

The top two platforms for creating hybrid apps are Ionic and React Native. Each of them has some pre-made components and can be used for launching applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Ionic actually took it even further, as you can now develop apps for Web, Desktops and PWA (Progressive Web Apps) on its basis. At the same time, its performance can be weaker, as it uses WebView, which has been really slow for Android 4.3, for example.

Ionic allows you to display HTML and perform JavaScript functions. Accordingly, when working in the application, the user works as if in a web browser. The native functions of a smartphone (for example, camera, keystore files, or GPS coordinates) are not available from the browser, which is why special plugins are used to run the application.

While Ionic is backed by Google, React Native is a platform backed by Facebook. It was developed to create native mobile applications using JavaScript. React Native uses the JavaScript API over the native components. That is, React Native uses the same standard UI blocks without using a browser or WebView/UIWebView.

The main difference between these frameworks lies in the type of mobile application, created with its help. Ionic will allow you, for example, to make an event app that performs renderings in WebView or UIWebView. If you need to use the API platform, you will have to rely on additional plugins. React Native, on the contrary, lets you create a native mobile application using standard UI blocks, like the ones written in the native language – Objective-C, Swift, or Java. The application on React Native uses certain templates specified by the platform itself.

With all that information at hand, you are free to decide what platform to use, but we would recommend you try Ionic, as its Platform Continuity will ensure your event application looks and feels normal on every device.

How Much Does It Cost?

There is no clear answer to the burning questions around event app development costs. Due to multiple factors at play, for example, different developer rates, project complexity and time consumption, the cost may vary significantly. Pricing policies for event app development depend on numerous aspects:

  • specificity of the region;

  • type of operating platform;

  • uniqueness of the app’s elements;

  • design variations (basic, individual, custom); and,

  • functions and infrastructure.

Application development fees are usually estimated according to working hours and usually range from 300 hours for the simplest programs to 600-700 hours for a complex app with many useful functions. As we have already mentioned, your developer rates may be very different but, if we are talking about average European prices, you should be ready to pay between $20 to $250 per hour. You should also think about your application’s design, as it is a rather expensive component. Its pricing policy depends on the uniqueness of your app’s components, the number of platforms it is developed for, its size, and more. In these cases, the design itself may cost anywhere between $1,500 to $4,000.

Let’s assume that you are able to spend up to $50 per hour, with a goal of creating an easy to use an app with standard components and simple features. With two developers involved in creating each platform, it will take you at least 400 hours. The average cost to make an event app will total more than $20,000, in this case, but every application is different and you cannot know the exact price without further specifications. Besides, our estimations are based on the minimum possible time and effort required to build an event app of high quality. You should always be ready to pay more to make your app really great.

How to Use an Event App

When your fabulous and highly customized event app is ready for you to test, you will probably want to know what exact actions you need to perform to make users love it.

First of all, you should keep the app’s subscribers and event attendees up to date with push and SMS notifications, notifying them of any important changes to the timetable or location of your future events. We wouldn’t recommend you rely only on email notifications here, as people do not always check these accounts in a timely manner.

Secondly, it would be a great idea to encourage social interaction and competition using gamification. This is definitely one of the best strategies for keeping your visitors engaged and focused on your information. You should remember that event engagement applications should include more than a printed program guide. With the function of some simple score-winning games added to your app, you can also improve customer connections and involvement by building out various prizes and opportunities.

We hope that this simple guide for the benefits of event applications and their development processes will help you decide what you need and how much time and money you’ll want to invest into the creation of the application, which will be designed exactly for you!

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