Why Event Apps are the Must-have Tool for Event Organizers

Why Event Apps are the Must-have Tool for Event Organizers

In-person events are back in full force. As attendees return to in-person meetings and conferences, event organizers can finally turn their thoughts around to enhance the physical event experience again.

An increasingly popular tool for event organizers is event apps. These are used throughout your event to keep attendees informed, inspired, engaged, and entertained and are particularly useful for large or complex events.

What is an Event App?

Put simply, an event app is a dedicated app supporting the details of your event. A typical event app will include features such as an agenda, speaker information, venue information, and more. It is fast becoming one of the more common forms of event technology.

Apps help attendees and hosts organize and manage their events, with hosts giving access to important event information and attendees being able to plan their time, build a personalized schedule and choose how best to use their time at your event.

The Benefits of Event Apps

Event apps are a great way to keep attendees fully updated before and during your event. You can inform everyone of real-time changes such as a change to a seminar theater, an overrunning session, or a replacement speaker. Push notifications directly from the app mean that attendees don’t need to stay glued to their emails all day and they also ensure that the appropriate attendee group gets the same update at the same time. For example, registrants for a particular breakout session will all be informed of a room change through a common push notification sent directly to them.

 

Event apps are great for push notifications, and they give attendees so much information right at their fingertips. From floor plans to speaker bios, attendees can access everything they need with minimal disruption. Some event apps even allow people to join sessions remotely, allowing for late changes to scheduling and maximizing attendance.

Andrea Velasquez

Head of Technology, American Meetings, Inc. (AMI)

Another major benefit is the sustainability of event apps. “Providing all of your information digitally via an event app saves a lot of printing and paper,” says Velasquez, “making it a sustainable alternative to traditional printed agendas and event information packs.” It also means that if information changes occur last minute, it’s just a case of updating it on the app rather than replacing a bunch of printed materials.

The Drawbacks of Event Apps

Not every event will benefit from an event app. For instance, a small, informal event probably won’t require an event app, as the host can simply keep everyone informed about the schedule and any changes to the day. In this case, it will likely be an unnecessary expense, and you will likely be better off spending the budget elsewhere.

Event apps also won’t appeal to every audience. If your attendees aren’t particularly tech-savvy, they may not want to download an app onto their personal devices, meaning adoption may not be as high as you would expect.

Another consideration is the quality of the connection in your event venue. For venues commonly used for events, such as conference centers or hotel business suites, connectivity isn’t likely to be an issue, as they will have good-quality Wi-Fi that can handle a lot of users. However, if you’re choosing a smaller venue not typically used for corporate events, such as a bar or a restaurant, you may find that the Wi-Fi is patchy or non-existent. In this case, an event app will just create frustration and attendees may not be able to access the information they need when they need it.

What’s the Best Event App?

The right event app for you depends on factors such as your event budget, event complexity, the technical know-how of your attendees, and your personal preferences.

AMI, for instance, offers event app technology that makes it simple to build your event app from scratch, whether it’s for 30 people or 30,000. From building the app to pushing information to attendees and from getting virtual attendees involved to measuring engagement in real-time, you have the power to do everything from an all-in-one app.

Tips for Creating an Event App

The good news is that if you’re considering an event app, it’s a straightforward process with a great payoff. All you need is the information from your main event page (which may be your website or your event platform) and someone to keep the app updated before and during the event.

Some key tips for making your event app as successful as possible include: 

  • Branding your app – many event apps allow you to add relevant logos, colors, and imagery to ensure your app looks and feels like part of the overall event branding
  • Integrate the app into the event – conduct real-time polls through your event app for a more interactive, engaging approach, or run contests or treasure hunts through the app during the event to keep attendees interested.
  • A one-stop shop for your event – make attendees’ lives easier by allowing them to store tickets, personalized agendas, maps, and any 1-to-1 meetings in the app, making it a must-have for your event.
  • Turn on push notifications – attendees will appreciate being kept in the loop about what’s going on at the event, whether adjustments to the schedule, the arrival of a special guest, or additional speakers joining a panel.
  • Exclusive content – get your attendees intrigued with app-exclusive content, such as bonus videos from your speakers, extra downloadable resources, or information about “secret sessions.”
  • Pre-and post-event content – get attendees excited about your event with sneak peeks and preview content. And follow up after the event (before they delete the app) with an attendee survey, slides from the seminars, and social media contacts for key speakers.

If you need support with creating your event app, we’re here to help!

American Meetings, Inc. has dozens of ideas for increasing audience engagement. Our number one goal is to deliver an event that attendees find relevant, educational, and most of all memorable.

Simply get in touch with AMI today, and we will be happy to assist.

Exploring The Great American City of Washington DC with Laura Schofield

Exploring The Great American City of Washington DC with Laura Schofield



DE 305 | Washington, D.C.

 

It’s time to explore the nation’s capital, the great American city of Washington, DC! Joining Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth for today’s episode is Laura Schofield. Laura is the General Manager of Conrad Washington, DC. She is a second-generation hotelier who grew up around the industry and naturally progressed into becoming a part of it. For today’s show, she talks about the wonderful amenities of the Conrad and why it’s the place to be for guests in the area. Laura also shares her favorite things about Washington and her go-to spots for leisure. Andy and Todd also share their destination favorites, so stay tuned.

Watch the episode here.

 

Exploring The Great American City of Washington DC with Laura Schofield

Every day is different when you work in hospitality. Explore the great American city of Washington, DC, with today’s guest Laura Schofield. Laura is a second-generation hotelier and the current General Manager of Conrad Washington, DC. Growing up in the industry and seeing the wonderful environment and people allowed her to naturally progress into a career in the hotel space.

The Conrad Washington, DC

Today, Laura joins Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth to share the many attractive amenities available at the Conrad to accommodate travelers from all over.

To start, the hotel offers a beautiful meeting space that is above ground with glass walls. This feature allows for plenty of natural light and a majestic view around the city or into a beautiful park. Located right at the CityCenterDC, the area has easy access to the mixed-use development space with high-end retail stores and wonderful restaurants.

Enjoy quality dining with these options:

  • Estuary

Originally founded by James Beard Award and Top Chef finalists Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, it is the signature restaurant of the Conrad. Having been closed due to the pandemic, they are reopening with a new menu at the end of September.

  • Summit, The Rooftop

The rooftop bar and lounge offer the most amazing views of the Capitol building, and you can see the Washington monument on clear days. You can relax in the lovely pods of relaxing sofas and bask in the best sunset views in all of Washington, DC. The dining incorporates sustainability efforts with meals often cooked via solar oven. This is just one of the initiatives built into the hotel with others, including collecting rainwater to water the landscaping for the green roof, making it an urban oasis. Their green spaces stretch to two gorgeous terraces on the third floor with trees and rose bushes, perfect for small weddings.

  • Sakura Club

The floor of guestrooms and signature suites all have access to the Sakura Club, which offers a full breakfast and dinner. Inspired by the cherry blossoms gifted to Washington, DC, the space can be considered a gift of hospitality to our guests, an intimate private space for them to feel at home. A favorite feature here is the “magic refrigerator,” which they keep stocked so the guests can help themselves with snacks and beverages 24/7.

 

Laura’s Favorite Spots in Washington

One of Laura’s favorite things about Washington is that it’s a walkable city. All the buildings are created so that nothing will be taller than the Capitol building, which created such an open city with a lot of green space left. She also enjoys going to museums and accessing all these resources at her fingertips for free.

 

Todd and Andy’s Destination Favorites:

  • The Federal Museums from the Smithsonian Institution

There is something for everyone at the Smithsonian, from American historical exhibits, space displays, and the national zoo.

  • Ford’s Theatre

Infamously known as the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, it is both a historical monument and a still working theatre producing classical shows and plays.

  • United States Botanic Garden

The conservatory has incredible areas with over 65,000 plants. You can meander and bask in the experience alone or enjoy it with the whole family with exhibitions for kids and adults.

  • International Spy Museum

This is a must-visit for anyone interested in spy stories and espionage. It traces the history of espionage and offers activities such as Operation Spy, where visitors can take on the role of a covert agent and participate in a one-hour spy simulation.

  • Brunch at the Tabbard Inn

An award-winning boutique hotel and the oldest running hotel in DC, this employee-owned venue offers an incredible brunch you can enjoy.

  • Smoke and Mirrors Rooftop Bar

The space offers the most amazing views of the US Capitol with an extensive list of original cocktails and a creative menu of dishes. This is also the spot to check out if you want to rub shoulders with some politicians and power players in DC.

Also, check out the two new museums in Washington to get in-depth and immersive knowledge about history. Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 

About Laura Schofield

DE 305 | Washington, D.C.Born in London, England, Laura Schofield began her path to the hospitality industry by living in more than 15 countries spread across Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and North America as part of a hospitality family. A second-generation hotelier passionate about travel, Laura pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies at the University of Virginia while spending summers working in the hotel industry in New York City.

With both an interest in international relations and hospitality, Laura inevitably moved to Washington DC. Over the course of over two decades, Laura has held senior management roles with Ritz Carlton, the famed Watergate Hotel, and multiple Starwood properties in Washington DC. Most prominently, Laura spent eleven of her sixteen years with Starwood Hotels as General Manager of the St. Regis Hotel in Washington DC.

Over the course of her tenure at the St Regis, Laura oversaw the transition from Starwood ownership to private corporate ownership, closure of the property for a 16-month renovation, and coordination of the pre-and reopening sales and marketing and public relation activities. Laura was able to drive strong growth throughout her 11 years at the property while maintaining best-in-class associate engagement scores and garnering recognition from Trip Advisor’s Choice Hotel awards, Travel, and Leisure’s World Best Hotel List, Conde Nast’s Gold List, and consistently receiving the Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Awards.

Laura also served as the General Manager for the Westin Washington DC City Centre. She joined this 410-room property in 2015 upon completion of a major renovation. Charged with re-positioning the hotel in the market, Laura successfully led the team to record business growth and received recognition from Starwood and HEI Hotels and Resorts. In her most recent role, Laura was with Langham Hotels leading the opening team charged with opening Langham’s first lifestyle hotel.

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Kim Gustavsson On Concierge Travel And The Best Places To Take 20+ People

Kim Gustavsson On Concierge Travel And The Best Places To Take 20+ People



DE 356 | Concierge Travel

 

When doing concierge travel, you must find the right places everyone can enjoy. You will be handling huge groups and organizations, so finding a place that offers a unique experience is key. From the Haciendas of Cuernavaca to the City of New Orleans, many different places around North America can provide something unique.

Join Todd Bludworth as he talks to Kim Gustavsson about travel concierge. Kim has traveled to 86 countries, studied seven languages and worked as a consultant for Leadership Development and Organizational Transformation. He also owns one of the world’s largest LGBTQ cruise and vacation agencies. Learn more about concierge travel and where you can bring people on their next retreat.

Watch the episode here.

 

Kim Gustavsson On Concierge Travel And The Best Places To Take 20+ People.

In today’s episode, Kim Gustavsson of Concierge Travel, Inc. shares some great locations for your company retreat. Kim worked as an international concierge with organizations as big as American Heart Association. From Cuernavaca to Puerto Vallarta, there’s always a destination that offers a unique experience. Learn how to research and investigate your location before you leave. You don’t want to go to a place with nothing interesting to offer. In today’s episode, you’ll also get more info about which cruise you should book for your whole team. You need a lot of space at just the right price for your work-related retreats. So maybe Odyssey of the Seas can work out for you? Discover more about travel concierges in this episode of Destination Everywhere.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a large organization, so finding great retreat locations will always be difficult. While Kim Gustavsson was working with them as an outside contractor, not only would he find these great locations. He would also assist these doctors abroad. The location also determines how many would go. Doctors would instead bring their families to cities like New Orleans rather than Dallas or Chicago. So a great American location is always key.

What To Look For In A Location?

It just takes simple research and investigation to find the place you’re looking for. Back when there was no internet, Kim Gustavsson had to put in the time. One key thing is to find the top restaurants in that location. Look for things that make the place stand out. You want to give unique experiences to everyone, not just families.

Travel Ships And Cruises

When looking for a travel ship or cruise for your large group, you want large meeting spaces onboard. For most cruises, you can get a better rate than a full ship charge as a group.

Top Destinations For Groups Under 20 People

North America, especially around Mexico City, has some of the best and biggest places you can bring a group of 20+ people to.

  • Haciendas outside Mexico City (like Cuernavaca)
  • Puerto Vallarta

About Kim Gustavsson

DE 356 | Concierge TravelBorn and raised in Sweden, Kim lived in California, Mexico, and Texas. Traveled to 86 countries, studied seven languages and worked as a Leadership Development and Organizational Transformation consultant.

Owned the agency since 1997. We are one of the world’s largest LGBTQ Cruise and vacation agencies. Traveling and exploring different cultures is a passion of mine. I live in Houston with my Husband and our Chocolate Lab. We have homes in Fort Lauderdale, Houston and Puerto Vallarta.

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Boston

Boston



DE 303 Michele | Boston

 

MHS President Catherine Allgor Shares Their Beloved Historical Collection And The Langham Managing Director Michele Grosso On The Beauty Of A Federal Bank-Turned-Luxury Hotel

Because of its pivotal role in the American Revolution, Boston became rich in both cultural and scientific aspects. This global city is home to delicious seafood, mesmerizing culture, and colorful traditions. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth delve into the heart of Boston with Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Michele Gross, Managing Director of The Langham Hotel. Andy and Todd also share their favorite things to visit and do when visiting Boston, from trying out various dishes to seeing historical artifacts that provide a glimpse of the past.

Watch the episode here.

 

Boston

Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the country, founded by Puritan settlers in 1630. Its pivotal role during the American Revolution made it an intersection of rich cultural and scientific developments. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth go into the heart of this thriving global city, checking out its most interesting stories to tell and the most delicious cuisine to try.

Catherine Allgor, President of Massachusetts Historical Society

The nation’s first historical society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, promotes understanding of the history of Massachusetts and the United States. Founded by Jeremy Belknap in 1791, the organization collects historical materials and resources to preserve them for the next generations.

Catherine’s Favorite MHS Items

  • The sword was carried by the Massachusett’s 54th Volunteer Infantry Regimen, the first military unit of Black soldiers to be raised in the north during the Civil War.
  • All papers of the family of John Quincy Adam
  • A copy of the U.S. Constitution
  • A copy of the Declaration of Independence
  • Thomas Jefferson’s papers, more than the entire State of Virginia
  • The pen used by Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation

What To Look Forward To

  • Hold various events at the MHS’s historic building full of rare carvings
  • Join curated tours for 5-70 people and immerse yourself in an unparalleled setting that feels authentic and magical, guided by MHS’s talented and knowledgeable staff

Andy and Todd’s Boston Favorites

  1. Visit the Quincy Market, full of traditional market stalls featuring local and international specialties.
  2. See the USS Constitution Old Ironsides, the oldest commission ship in the U.S. fleet, launched in 1797.
  3. Eat lobster rolls in Neptune Oyster, known for some of the best seafood in the world.
  4. Go to Chinatown, the third-largest in the country, located on the southern edge of Boston.
  5. Appreciate the personal collection of Isabella at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, composed of priceless European, Asian, and American art.

Michele Grosso, Managing Director of The Langham Hotel

Michele became The Langham’s new Managing Director in 2019, ahead of its historic $200-million renovation. A four-star and four-diamond property located in Boston’s financial district, it is only a 10-12 minute drive from the airport. The hotel’s main structure was the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

After the renovation, most of the building’s outside façade was left intact, but the rooms inside were rebuilt and redone. It perfectly blends classic and modern architecture, giving a strong Boston vibe to every guest or traveler.

Notable Facilities

  1. Wyeth Room
  • Used to be the office of the bank president
  • Other than a new carpet and fresh drapes, the room is restored like it was in 1922
  • Features two huge murals painted by N.C. Wyeth.
  1. Grana
  • A modern Italian restaurant
  • Named after the Italian word for grain and the slang word for cash
  • Used to be the Grand Hall of the bank
  • Features the original floor from 1922 with the seal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston at the center
  1. The Fed
  • It has outdoor seating and a terrace perfect for summer
  • Very approachable and open to all locals
  • Has beers on tap outsourced from a local brewery
  • Provides an amazing cocktail program and New England fair

Places of Interest Near The Langham

  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace for shopping (8-9 minute walk)
  • North End, Boston, to grab a coffee, buy some cannoli, or have dinner (1-minute walk)
  • Seaport District to explore new restaurants (10-minute walk across the bridge)
  • Boston Common and T.D. Garden to catch a game of the Celtics or Bruins (12-minute walk)

Michele’s Boston Bucket List

  • Do the harbor and see the entire city from the water
  • Join the Freedom Trail

About Michele Grosso

DE 303 Michele | BostonMichele Grosso joined The Langham, Boston, in 2019 in advance of its historic renovation as the new Managing Director. Before joining The Langham, Boston, Grosso spent most of his career with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Over the last 28 years, he has worked at some of the most high-profile hotels and resorts within the Four Seasons brand, including Toronto, Milan, Prague, Singapore, Punta Mita in Mexico, and, most recently, Chicago.

A native of Italy, Michele spent part of his childhood living in a hotel in South Africa where his father was the general manager. After spending a summer working at the iconic Hotel George V in Paris when he was 17, he knew he wanted to join the family business and become a luxury hotelier.

About Catherine Allgor

DE 303 Michele | BostonCatherine Allgor is the president of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Previously, she had been the Nadine and Robert Skotheim Director of Education at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, and a former Professor of History and U.C. Presidential Chair at the University of California, Riverside. Allgor attended Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins Scholar and received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation received a prize as the best dissertation in American History at Yale and The Lerner-Scott Prize for the Best Dissertation in U.S. Women’s History. She began her teaching career at Simmons College and has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University.

Her first book, “Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government” (University Press of Virginia, 2000), won the James H. Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Annual Book Award. Her political biography, “A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation” (Henry Holt, 2006), was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. In 2012, she published “Dolley Madison: The Problem of National Unity” (Westview Press) and “The Queen of America: Mary Cutts’s Life of Dolley Madison” (University of Virginia Press). President Obama has appointed Allgor to a presidential commission, The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.

Catherine Allgor also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum and the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians. She is a member of the Gilder Lehrman Scholarly Advisory Board.

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Looking Back With Andy And Todd: Top 5 Unique Hotel Traditions And Events

Looking Back With Andy And Todd: Top 5 Unique Hotel Traditions And Events



DE 355 | Hotel Traditions

 

Hotels are the places to be when you need accommodation and want to immerse in the area’s rich history and culture. In this special look-back episode on one of their past spotlight discussions, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth list down their top five unique hotel traditions and events. From the Peninsula on the West Coast all the way to Dromoland Castle in Ireland, the duo discusses how each hotel showcases the extravagant things their respective regions have to offer.

Watch the episode here

 

Looking Back With Andy And Todd: Top 5 Unique Hotel Traditions And Events

In this special episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth look back on one of their spotlight discussions. This one features unique traditions and events they have encountered in some of the most famous hotels around the world.

Peninsula

Located in Beverly Hills, this is the only five-star hotel in Southern California.

Best Traditions And Events

  • The hotel implements “Peninsula Time,” a policy where guests can check in and out at any time.
  • Guest initials are monogrammed on their pillowcases, which they can take home.
  • The Le Petit Belvedere restaurant pours champagne at every table and toasts to all guests every 8:00 in the evening without fail.

Grove Park Inn

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, this historic hotel that opened in 1931 offers mesmerizing mountain views. Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed in Rooms 441 and 443 around his birthday in September. One of the rooms was used for writing while the other one for sleeping. Fitzgerald came to Grove Park Inn to cure himself of his gin addiction by drinking around 56 pony beers a day. His wife Zelda was also being treated at a nearby mental hospital at that time.

Best Traditions And Events

  • The hotel offers a room tour with a professor to backtrack Fitzgerald’s historic yet turbulent stay at Grove Park Inn.
  • During the weekends, a Fitzgerald Gin and Jazz social is held. Guests dress up in 1920’s attire and live out a Great Gatsby theme for a night.

Windsor Court Hotel

Located in New Orleans, this luxury 23-floor establishment opened in 1984 and showcases Windsor England-inspired facilities.

Best Traditions And Events

  • The hotel offers a traditional Afternoon Tea with a twist. They have special themed tea events throughout the year, such as Mardi Gras Tea, Princess Team, LGB-Tea, and Halloween Tea.
  • Guests can request assistance from the hotel to make arrangements to participate in different events in New Orleans, especially if they want to be part of a float parade. Some of these world-famous gatherings include Mardi Gras (from Epiphany to a day before Lent, features themed costumes, parades, and balls), French Quarter Fest (every April, features local artists and local food vendors), Jazz and Heritage Fest (every late April to early May, features the best jazz music in the world), and New Orleans Food and Wine Experience (every June, perfect for food and wine lovers who want to go on tasting, seminars, and tours).

May Fair Hotel

Located in the “toniest” part of London that the wealthiest and most fashionable people call home – Mayfair London. This hotel opened in 1927 and initially catered to London’s high society. Nowadays, it has a five-star rating and continues to attract the same elite people.

 

Best Traditions And Events

  • May Fair Hotel is the official venue of London Fashion Week every June, the city’s most glamorous time of the year. Guests who visit around this time have a chance to catch the biggest names in the fashion world, especially in their legendary restaurant and bar, May Fair Kitchen and May Fair Bar.

Dromoland Castle

Located in Ireland, this 450-acre property houses a 16th-century castle that has been converted into a luxury hotel since 1962.

Best Traditions And Events

  • To keep castle traditions alive, the hotel keeps falconry, a lake stocked with trout for fishing, and a clay pigeon shooting area.
  • Whiskey tasting in the hotel bar is a must-try.
  • Discover your Irish roots and ancestry by meeting Dromoland Castle’s very own genealogy expert. She will discuss her findings over tea, coffee, and scones, detailing where your family may have originated. This gives you a list of towns, castles, and graveyards to visit that may have a connection to your ancestors.

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