Let me preface this by saying there is certainly value in having a printed agenda at your event. Yours may serve a dual role as a magazine; you may use it to distribute printed coupons for members (looking at you, chambers!); you may want to showcase your design chops.
But…that said, the advantages to using a mobile event app instead (or in support) of a printed agenda — besides saving on printing costs — are pretty hard to argue with:
1. Printed agendas are dated the second they print.
That may sound overly dramatic, but think about it: how many times have you had to communicate a room change? Or that a session was canceled? Or that you’d be delaying due to rain? Or that the Wi-Fi password was printed wrong?
You get where I’m going. Last-minute changes are extremely common in the event world (too common, some may say…) and the push notification function in a mobile app is incredibly helpful when you’re in a bind and need to get the word out quickly. Bonus: any app updates you do make will happen in real-time, so if they happen to miss the notification, at least the in-app information will be accurate.
2. It’s harder to provide attendee value with a printed agenda.
Coupons, pages to write notes, and activities like a scavenger hunt are all great tactics for giving attendees some engagement out of a printed agenda…but that doesn’t bring a ton of value to the attendee, in terms of their experience with the heart of your event. (AKA, the most important parts.)
With a mobile event app, on the other hand, attendees can curate the most important part of their event experience by creating a custom itinerary. (And, in many cases, you can execute other engagement tactics out of an app, too!)
3. Printed agendas come with constraints.
The more information and imagery you want to include, the more pages you’ll need…and the more pages you’ll need, the more expensive your printed agenda will be. And then when you start talking about the size of the paper, the weight, the binding…it adds up quickly!
You know what you can build out as large as you want, and the price will stay the same? Yep, a mobile event app.
See? Hard to argue with!
If you’re starting to think that a mobile event app is the way to go, consider MemberClicks’ solution. It’ll let you do all of the above and more — and it even ties into your membership database (MC Trade AND MC Professional!) so your roster will automatically update!