Reno Tahoe USA Sweetens the Pot with a Free Event App
When the 20,000 Safari Club International Convention attendees celebrated their 41st anniversary in Reno, Nev., this past January, they were able to navigate through their adventure with their smartphones and tablets. The SCI 2013 event app was made available courtesy of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA).
The RSCVA has partnered with Guidebook, a mobile app company based in Palo Alto, Calif., to provide qualifying events with a free mobile event app. Part of that qualification process is booking your meeting through the CVB.
Ben McDonald, communications manager for the RSCVA, says the app is not just for large conventions. They also are making it available to meetings, whether they have 100 attendees or 10,000.
“The app itself is just another one of the arrows we have in our quiver of offerings,” said Rick Saake, Internet marketing manager for RSCVA.
The RSCVA sees the event app as another value add their destination can provide meeting and event planners. “While we’re not the first city to offer this, we’re certainly on the cusp. We want to show meeting planners why we’re such a great destination to bring their groups,” McDonald said.
The event app is a native app available for Android, BlackBerry or Apple device. It also is available through the Web. Each individual convention or event is responsible for deciding what information they want on the app and for uploading the data. The app is completely customizable and allows for updates to be made on the fly if necessary.
Some of the features that are available on the app are:
- Photo sharing within the app
- Attendee networking
- Ability to tie in the organization’s YouTube channel
- Facebook integration
- Twitter app
- Live ratings, polling and surveys
- Schedule and personal agendas
- Exhibitor listings
Safari Club International was the first convention to use the app this past January. They had about 900 downloads this, their first year, and said they were happy with that number given their demographic. They reported the responses they received from their attendees were extremely positive.
Nelson Freeman, Safari Club spokesman, said, “I believe that location, convenience of a convention facility, and accommodating facility staff will always be the hallmark of a great venue for a large scale convention. Free apps that make an event more convenient to the attendee are added bonuses that can elevate one convention location over another of equal standards.”
Next to take advantage of the free app will be the Northern California Girls Volley Ball Association, with an expected 10,000 attendees.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.