How to make a killer festival app

Your festival begins in just a few weeks. With everything in the right place, your mobile app is ready to make a live debut. But will it deliver? We bring you 5 worthy pieces of advice on how to make your festival app an important part of your event, how to attract users and what to do with the app after the event is over. Yes, there’s that too!

Mobile apps for festivals are a great way to attract more people, to keep them up to date with the schedule and latest news and updates. And, of course, give them that extra feel of security when they visit your event because they can have everything they need right in their pocket. Mobile apps for events, festivals or conferences are what Shoutem does best! You choose the location, we’ll lead them there! Our Places feature lets you add custom locations and details to your event, as well as: events calendar, news, photos, videos, push notifications and much more.

First, let’s take this back to basics! Did you know that 91% of U.S. adults now own a mobile phone and 61% of those mobile phones are smartphones. Smartphones that have apps on them! With this number in the picture – try to predict how many of happy event-goers will bring a smartphone to your event. Quite a few!

Another interesting number comes from Fast Company – they say that 76% of smartphone owners aged 18-44 can’t remember the last time they didn’t have a smartphone with them. Ever. It’s a safe bet then they will bring one to your festival. So target them on the medium they like to use and make your festival app the right app for them!

With summer just around the corner, festivals and outdoor events attract us more and more. And if you ever find yourself on the organizational side of such a happening, check out these useful tips on how to make a killer festival app that will make your event the hottest thing on everybody’s mind. And phones!

1. Make the app super relevant

festival app

Remind users of upcoming acts, news or any type of festival trivia through push notifications. Make your official festival program available in the app but also remind users of the current upcoming attractions during the event.

New York’s largest hip-hop cultural event, Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, made its official app with Shoutem. The app allows you to purchase tickets, browse event videos and pictures, read artist info, and be up to date with everything that’s going on at the festival. No more crumpled paper schedules and missed events and all you need is your phone. It’s that simple.

2. Reward your users

Make the app even more popular with a reward system for your users. Put promotional codes or your very own festival loyalty program in the app and let the users claim the prizes while they are attending your event. Just imagine the face of a happy festival attendee receiving a message: Congratulations, you have checked-in at all 4 stages of our festival! You have just won a free drink!

3. Encourage check-ins

With rewards and loyalty perks, make your event more attractive and popular through numerous user check-ins. Use signs and stickers on event grounds to remind and encourage users to check-in and by doings so win some cool prizes! Who doesn’t like prizes?

4. Photo-stories

festival app

And just like with prizes, everyone likes photos, too. Make your app come alive with live updates of the latest photos from your festival – add timely pictures from the event as it unfolds!

And why stop with the photos? Keep track of everything that’s been said (tweeted, vined, instagramed…) about your festival. Another great music festival, Underground Music Showcase, has an app (built with Shoutem, of course) that uses an official hashtag to track festival mentions across various social networks. Another great example is the Höstdagarna festival app – an application that gathers Swedish speaking youth from churches all over Finland. It’s a fine example of a great addition to the ordinary festival program that people get in paper form, but this app also captured social media streams about the festival itself during the event itself.

5. Make the app useful even after the event

festival app

Your event is over but don’t let it fall into oblivion. Let your app do the promotion while your festival plans next year’s roundup. Use the power of push notifications to keep the users up to date with the latest news and updates and make them eager to come to your event in the future. And to make sure that your app stays on the phones of your users, try considering a cool and noble thing like this:

Viktor, ShoutEm CEO