Mobile event apps don’t follow one basic model. Depending on the value you want to provide to the customers and your vision of the end product, you’ll have to define the project’s scope on your own. Thus, it will be up to you what features your local events app will include and how to put them into effect. This step-by-step guide offers some insights on how to do that.
Get down to the essentials
As with any application, the first thing you do is to ask yourself what kind of product you want. The answer always lies in your target audience. Figure out who they are, what’s their pain point, and how you can cater to their requirements. Then finalize your business strategy to secure a position on the market.
Know your target audience
When developing a local events app you should put a spotlight on two groups of clients: attendees and organizers. That means you need to create two different buyer personas.
- When working on a portrait of your ideal event-goer, get to know their age, gender, occupation, family status, hobbies, interests, and entertainment preferences. Learn how they usually get information about the upcoming local happenings. It’s also important to take account of the communication channels that work best for them, as this will later help you to direct your marketing effort to where your customers will see it.
- As you meet with local event planners, first of all, find out what solutions they are currently using and ask if there are any features they are missing. That will give you a valuable insight on what tech stack they expect to find in your event planner application. It’s also wise to find out how they promote their products and services, reach out to their audience, and collect the attendee’s feedback.
Analyze the market for local events apps
The event app industry is a pretty saturated market. Thus, to create a truly outstanding social events application, you have to know your potential competitors and what they do to win the hearts of their users. In order to get your piece of the pie, you have to be aware of your rivals’ strong sides and be ready to play on their weak points.
Before you set the ball rolling, check out these renowned local events apps, to get an idea of what this field looks like.
Eventbrite is the world’s biggest events-near-me service, where people can discover a plethora of things to keep themselves entertained. It has everything. You name it – from a dinner party next door to a musical festival half-way across the world. The app allows people to check out where their friends are going and get recommendations from other users. It also sends notifications if a spot for an event they are interested in opens up.
The app is known for its exquisite event organizing software, that helps users to create, promote, and manage their gatherings. It offers online ticketing, social media integration, as well as data collection and analytics tools.
In the wake of the global pandemic, the app became a massive online event aggregator. The platform hosted over one million virtual meetings in 2020, engaging communities from far-reaching corners of the globe and bringing the world together. Most Eventbrite users chose to reconnect with others by signing up for well-being classes such as yoga or meditation or attending professional training, lectures, and workshops.
These days nearly everyone uses Facebook. Even museums, theaters, concert halls, restaurants, and activity groups do maintain a social media profile. With hundreds of options available, the platform is definitely a place to check for those looking for last-minute date ideas or making plans for a Friday night entertainment.
If you are not really a Facebook adept, you could just download their dedicated application for discovering new happenings in your area. Both Facebook Local and the web version allow you to filter the event search by category, date, and venue type. Using this app you can also follow your friends’ check-ins and read other people’s reviews of local businesses.
True to its name, this event discovery platform amasses more than 200 million trending events happening in 30,000+ cities around the world. From art and fashion to adventures and sports, you can find just the right one for you.
The app enables you to select your interests and then offers personalized recommendations on what you can do in your area. The service gives you detailed information about the events, including date, location, and maps with instructions on how to get there. You can add the meet-ups you’re interested in or those you’re attending to your Google Calendar, share it with the friends, and see where they are going.
Define your app’s functional specs
As the competition is sufficiently strong and there are more apps released every day you should seize the opportunity to enter the market as soon as possible. Developing a fully functional product is a complex and lasting process that might take months and years to complete. If you want to build a local events app like Eventbrite it is better to start with a few elements, which would be enough to acquire early bird sign-ups and obtain feedback.
Basic functionality of local events app
The set of core functions that allows you to test your product concept is known as a minimum viable product. MVP serves as a guarantee that your team won’t be wasting time creating an app no one needs. It also gives you the opportunity to experiment and hone your platform’s characteristics to perfection. So when it comes to local events application you should consider including these features:
Users should sign up to be able to view the full app’s content. They can join the community using their Facebook or Google account, or authorize via email or phone number.
People come to your platform to discover the best local gatherings that match their interests. So you should create a convenient interface that will display all the upcoming special occasions and provide the necessary info about them. That includes such details as the meeting’s name, type, time, and location. You can also add an event description field and the organizer’s contact info.
Help your users find out everything they want to know. Let them browse the listings by category, artist/speaker, venue, date, duration, price, and popularity.
Offer your clients a safe and reliable way to purchase the tickets and manage their bookings right in your app. You can use a trusted international payment gateway, such as PayPal, or partner with the preferred local online payment service provider.
People can’t keep all the details of events they plan to attend in their heads. That’s why it’s good to send reminders to keep them posted. Plus, you can integrate your app with Google Calendar, so that your event-goers have all the info available right in their personal schedule.
When building a local events app, geolocation is one of the essential features. It helps users to automatically sort out the events happening in their city or area. You can also incorporate interactive maps, such as Google Maps service, into your application, so people can easily find their way around.
Extra features for event organizer app
The above features are relevant only to the attendee-oriented apps, and to balance your app’s functionality you have to address the needs of local event planners as well. Here are some tools you can provide for them:
The organizers’ team has to take care of the place, find necessary equipment, hire a catering company, and do tons of other activities to have the thing up and running. Thus, the event planner application could become a means of efficient communication, staff coordination, and task management.
Your app will be the first meeting point for the local event planners and their guests, so help organizers to make a nice first impression. Develop an intuitive and easy-to-follow procedure for setting up an event profile and offer some ready-made templates to make this task easier for them.
Social media integration
If it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen. And if people already have their noses buried in smartphones, why not encourage them to share the info from your app to other social networks. Social media synchronization features will not only make your app grow but will also open new channels for organizers to promote their events and services.
Data collection and analytics
Collecting user feedback is a good practice to evaluate the event’s results and further improve the organization’s process. You can add quests, polls, surveys, and in-app discussions to help planners establish a connection with their audience. It will also allow event promoters to track their guests’ behavior before, during, and after the social gathering to save that information for future use.
Local event app development milestones
Once the research and planning are done, and you have determined your goals, the scope of work, and user expectations you can move on to building the actual app. While the process itself is quite generic, there are a few things to keep in mind when working on an application like Eventbrite:
Create a visual prototype to check how all your design ideas, navigation features, page layout schemes, buttons, and icons look together. Let your potential users engage with that interim product to identify any design flaws and to shape the app’s final UI/UX.
Technology specs available today allow you to choose from three main implementation options. You can create a native, hybrid, and web-based solution. Though mobile apps augur well for unparalleled performance and user experience, web applications are a much more feasible and cost-efficient choice.
The marketing campaign should start long before you make the app readily accessible to the public. You can start growing your community by offering bonuses, ticket discounts, or special terms to early adopters. Let people know about your product through your company’s website, engaging promo content, blog posts on partner platforms, and cooperation with industry influencers.
Since people will always be eager to connect and socialize, the event app market is simply doomed to thrive. To gain your footing in this field, you need to know exactly what kind of meeting platform your potential customers are looking for and develop a clear and precise plan how to build a product that will cater to their needs.