Event apps are no longer a nice-to-have for big events. Tech-savvy attendees expect them, while sponsors and partners love the granular data they yield on what’s most interesting to your fans.

When integrated seamlessly with your conference, event apps can help you deliver a personalized experience at scale. But with so many apps out there all boasting similar features, how do you choose the right one?

Ultimately, it’s about ease of use and which apps have earned serious engagement at similar events to yours. Here’s a list of the best mobile event apps, broken down by event type.

The best event apps for conferences

Conferences boil down to two essentials for attendees: speakers and networking. The right conference app makes it simple for conference-goers to bookmark sessions, read about speakers, and participate in discussions online.

The more opportunities for natural networking you can provide, the better. And the easier it is for attendees to navigate your speaker lineup and tailor their experience to their needs, the more likely they’ll be to recommend it to a friend.

1. Pathable

Pathable helps you connect your attendees before, during, and after your event. The app offers features like community forums, private meeting scheduling, personalized agendas, exhibitor listings, trade show floor maps, and attendee profiles.

Who uses it: Yahoo!, SAP, Microsoft, TechCrunch, LinkShare, Social Capital Markets, and more.

2. Guidebook

Built with ease of use and design in mind, Guidebook lets you create event apps through a simple drag-and-drop interface. It’s got all the bells and whistles as the other guys, but a bit more straightforward and intuitive for builders and users alike.

Who uses it: Amazon, Youtube, Coca-cola, ADP, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Google, and more.

3. Eventbrite Onsite powered by Entegy

Wow attendees at first entry with a custom event app that showcases your unique brand.  You can share event information with attendees through your event app by publishing real-time updates to your entire community or send targeted notifications to specific attendee types.

Plus, drive active participation during your event through forums, live polls, and gamification within your event app, and allow exhibitors and sponsors to maximize their ROI by capturing attendee information on the spot.

The best event apps for networking and B2B events

Business events are all about networking — in fact, one of the biggest reasons attendees go to these kinds of events is to make connections. An event app that can help you facilitate networking before, during, and after your conference is key.

Many apps offer social media integration as well as mini social networks, in addition to other features that foster networking. Knowing what will most likely spur conversations (whether in person on or online) can help guide your choice.

4. Attendify

Offering simple, do-it-yourself tools, Attendify allows you to create a private social network unique to your event with features like a social timeline, photo sharing, messaging, likes, comments, and personal profiles.

Who uses it: Autodesk, Google, The Washington Post, PepsiCo, Subaru, Harvard University, Sephora, American Airlines, and more.

5. Whova

An app built with Whova enables attendees to plan their experience around a focus of their choice, so they can participate in the right panels and sessions. A mobile agenda and attendee bios (with social media links) make networking a breeze for professionals.

Who’s using it: TEDxAmericasFinestCity, EmTech, Spring North East Expo, and more.

The best event apps for festivals and consumer events

Attendees and fans of consumer events and festivals are enjoying personalized experiences as never before. One way to ensure you deliver that unique experience at your own event is by offering an app that allows people to customize their schedule.

For example, you can use an event app that offers a calendar integration and the ability to send push notifications when a performer they’re interested in is about to go on stage.

Whether your event or festival’s focused on food, music, or beverages, an event app can help you better connect with your fans and deliver the personalized experience they crave. An event app that allows attendees to create their own lineup, drop pins on your map to bookmark important locations, and check lineup times can upgrade the whole experience.

6. FestApp by Aloompa

Boasting an a-la-carte menu of features including schedule sharing, festival map GPS localization, beacon usage, and offline data availability, FestApp is great for food, music, and other community-focused events.

Who uses it: Governors Ball, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Ultra, Electric Daisy Carnival, Boston Calling, Outside Lands, and more.

7. Eventbase

A feature-rich app with full-screen commercials and branded placements opportunities, Eventbase can help you meet both your and your sponsors’ goals. Eventbase features include custom fonts and advanced theming, as well as time and location-based systems.

Who’s using it: SxSW, Sundance Film Festival, Montana Folk Festival, SAP, Adobe, ComicCon, and more.

Integrating the whole experience

An event app is just one element of upgrading your event experience. Learn how to uplevel every element of your event in How to Craft the Ultimate Event Experience.

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