Maximising App Installs at Events

Apps centered around events are rapidly becoming the norm nowadays. These apps usually have limited life-spans and typically provide the visitors to the events with a real-time guide to the happenings around them and in some cases encourage users to participate in surveys etc.

At a recent whisky festival, Evolve IT was commissioned to create the event’s mobile application. Although the app (Whizzky) is not just geared towards the event, rather an ongoing mobile application which allows Whisky lovers the ability to scan whisky labels for more information on their tipple, it needed to be actively promoted at the festival.

It’s always a tough sell getting event-goers to download an application, especially since their primary focus is on enjoying their surrounds and not necessarily playing on their phones.

In order to get things going, we enlisted the help of ten promoters who’s sole purpose was to get the attendees to download and install the Whizzky app. Over the first night of the festival, the results were far from impressive. We need to to do something to increase the numbers.

It was decided that we needed to incentivise the promoters. So we went out and bought a few shopping vouchers as prizes. The basic idea was to reward the top two promoters in terms of:

  • The most number of installs.
  • The most number of “user interactions” after the app was installed.

In a day we managed to code the system which would allow for this tracking and rolled it out during that night’s briefing to the promoters.

A real-time reporting screen was opened permanently on an iPad, which allowed us to show the promoters their current standings in the competition.

We immediately saw a huge spike in activity. The incentive system created major hype. People were using the app, scanning whiskies and even showing off their new-found mobile whisky tool with other attendees. As a developer, you simply can’t beat the feeling of seeing your creation come to life with end users!

We learnt a lot of lessons over the course of this festival, but one of the biggest was definitely how to effectively drive app downloads and user engagement at events.