It’s not very often that my work and home life collide, apart from occasional planning poker session in the pub, but last month I was sent to the National Wedding Show to use the app we built for it. I was very excited about this not just because it was my first time using a Companion app in a live situation but also because I’m getting married this year and the ‘W’ subject is never far from my mind. I’m sure the development team are loving that!
So off we went to London with clear objectives, get some feedback, test out all the features and try not to get distracted by all the glitter.
We arrived, switched on our various phones and tablets and got to work. As someone who would actually visit the show under my own steam I went about it as if I had done just that. The first thing I noticed was that the app looked great. The organisers had picked colours and images to tie in with the show and the result was modern and well, very pretty. I then started looking around to see how the app added to what was going on. Viewing schedule information on my phone was much more convenient than using printed media and I used it to find some of the exhibitors I was hoping to see.
There was one app feature that stood out event more than the others – offers. “Free shoes with every dress order at the show.” Everyone loves a good offer and used effectively I think this is the area where the app really shines. Exhibitor offers are often the main reason visitors go to shows and the app allows exhibitors to showcase their offer to visitors before and during the show. They could even change it half way through if their promotion strategy changed.
Whilst planning my wedding I’ve noticed my internet consumption rise a million percent, I bought a tablet and smart phone for this very reason. This is why I was struck on the journey home about just how much sense it made having exhibitor information on my devices. That’s where I do all my research, comparisons and enquiries. I haven’t since I started looking for suppliers typed in a full web address from anywhere, I just click links – search links, links emailed to me, links from promotional media and links on social networks. Having all the exhibitor information available with links after the show meant I could look through them again at my leisure without having to search the internet or type in full addresses. For exhibitors this should drive traffic to their websites and social media platforms before, during and after the event.
Overall I thought the app added to the visitor experience, made finding exhibitor information more simple and hopefully will give insight to the organisers from the feedback the app produces. I also came back with lots of ideas for new app features and tweaks to make it even better. All in all a useful day out, didn’t get distracted by the glitter at all!