360° vs Standalone: Which Event Platform Should You Go For?
The event industry is buzzing with latest trends and technology. Event planners are looking forward to incorporate more of these in their events to provide better event experience to the attendees. When it comes to event apps, they are considered as one of the essential elements of an event, which brings a huge difference.
There are basically two kinds of event management platforms in the industry. Few platforms are ‘Standalone’ and others are ‘All inclusive or 360°’. Standalone apps generally have one major feature, totally dedicated to a single task – like registration and ticketing. Whereas all-inclusive apps have a bunch of features for the variety of tasks in an event like attendee engagement, promotions, sessions and schedule.
Many event planners get confused when it comes to choosing one of the two. There are many aspects to consider to see what fits your event the best. Here are a few aspects you must lay your eyes on before choosing one.
The most important thing in an event is management. You need to look through and manage everything right from event registrations to attendee feedback. A standalone platform helps you manage some particular sections of the event like registration, ticketing and accommodation. Many event planners go for these standalone tool when they just need to manage registrations or host tickets.
Registration apps are quite efficient. You can have a paperless registration and store all the required data in your device without having a risk of losing it. They come with features like QR code scanning, onsite registrations and checkin. Also, few registration apps have accommodation related features through which you can provide the attendee with necessary details like room no, bus no, vehicle arrival and departure time, etc on their phones itself. Moreover, It becomes very easy for you to keep track of all the attendees.
When it comes to tickets, generally there are management software. You can host your tickets on these platforms and avail to your attendees. There are all sorts of features related to tickets like paid and free tickets, promo discount, categories and a lot more. Few of them also have a ticketing system with sitting arrangement through which you can allot seats to your attendees at the time of transaction only.
Now when you think of an all-inclusive platform, it works with all the sections of an event and you wouldn’t need to purchase two or three different apps for ticketing, registrations and accommodation. You get an all-in-one app. All inclusive apps works for both you and your attendees. These apps have a backend admin panel from where you can fill in all the details you need to show to your attendees on the app. And your attendees can access to all the information on the app.
You get a bunch of features like tag-based networking, one-on-one appointment, push notifications, customized branding and sponsors, and exhibitors promotions to manage every aspect of an event. You basically get to engage your attendees, provide networking opportunities and promote your sponsors. Also, you can provide and update your attendees with all the necessary information like session schedule, speaker, sessions and venues. All inclusive apps are a total package for you at a lower price in comparison to standalone apps.
Standalone apps are not very popular in terms of engagement. These are basically known to manage the tasks at the organizer’s end. You might find a few which come as part of the event management software. These apps are not dynamic rather quite static. Your attendees will be able to see and download the information but there won’t be any real time communication. You wouldn’t be able to give any real time updates to the attendees if the session venue has been changed or the session has been delayed.
On the other hand many event planners actually prefer the 360° event apps for engagement. These apps work the best for attendee engagement. You can make the attendees a part of the action, you will be able to connect, communicate and update through push notifications, one-on-one appointments and emails. Moreover, this is what attendees look forward to in an event, being a part of the event, being included.
Majority of the event planners in the industry look for customised event apps. They don’t like something very generalised. They look for apps which will fit into their event – and if not that then something they can customise according to their preferences and make it fit for their event.
Standalone apps aren’t the best option if you have this particular criteria. These apps mostly have a common theme or a few templates for all their clients. Moreover, the features are also not customisable. If you want to add or remove some features to the app that won’t be possible. You will have to go with the standard app which is available for all the clients who come on the platform.
But this is not the situation with all inclusive apps. The biggest advantage of these apps are they are fully customisable. You can build an app from scratch or customise an existing one. Also, you can add or remove any feature you like. If your event is focusing on networking and you want your attendees to interact, you can add features like live chat, private messaging, one-on-one appointments and more.
Standalone apps are definitely on the expensive side in comparison to all inclusive apps. You will need to buy separate apps for every section of the event. Especially, the apps for ticketing are very expensive. You pay for the standard app and in addition to that you pay percentages on each ticket. Whereas when you go for all inclusive apps you get everything in one app, all the sections of the event can be managed with the all inclusive apps. With these apps you get everything in a package and it is a win-win deal when you get to manage the whole event with the same amount of money. You save and get something which complements your event in every way possible.
One of the most important factors in an event is time. You really don’t have a lot of time to spend when you are on the clock. You can’t afford to spend a lot of time just on the app when you have a thousand different things to do. In such scenarios, a standalone app will take a lot of time of yours since you will need to have two to three apps for different sections of the event. But even if you are planning to go for just one standalone app then opting for an all inclusive app will make more sense. You get all the features you need in one app along with some additional features. And most importantly it saves you a lot of time.
Choices differ with every event and event planner. There are event planners who just want to let people know about their event. For them, standalone apps are the best option since they don’t look for an app for networking and attendee engagement. But then there are event planners who look forward to pre-event and post-event marketing, and they wish to have something for the attendees. For them all inclusive apps are the go to apps.