At the end of 2017, in an effort to clean up their app store, Apple announced restrictions to mobile app templates. This had a direct impact on the events app industry, as a huge draw for partnering with event app providers is that the development is already done — clients just add their content and branding into app template. This announcement changed the way some of our clients’ conference apps are structured and how our users access them. Now that we’ve begun our meeting season, we’ve been able to see the impact on our apps first-hand.
Here is the main result of the announcement on our client’s apps: our event apps will now be housed in a container app, but in different ways.
Multi-Show app: This essentially functions as a container app that is client-specific. It is premium-branded for the client, meaning the app still has the client’s branding from the app store to download. The client is an app developer and cannot have event-specific branding in the app store, but rather the organization’s branding. However, when you click into the app after download, the current event and all previous events are listed for the user to access, with specific branding for each event.
- The client still gets a branded app with their name on it
- Searching for the app is very clear
- Users only need to download the app once. They continue to get future event information for that organization in the app as it’s released
- Apps still to go through the Apple approval process
- Can be more expensive
Provider container app: This is different because the mobile app provider houses the client’s event apps under their generic container app in the app store. The mobile app provider is the app developer and the container app is branded with their information. The user must download the container app and then enter an event code, search for the event name, or access it via an email sent to them for easy download.
- You do not need to budget time for Apple approval as the container app has already gone through the approval process.
- It’s cost effective.
- The client loses some branding opportunities.
We are still learning how this change will impact event mobile apps, but we continue to learn more as our providers navigate the change and we build more apps for 2018 events.