Tips for Creating the Best Brand Experience for your Event App

May 17, 2018

Jay Tokosch

Jay Tokosch is the CEO of Core-Apps, a technology provider and mobile software company for the trade show and events industry.

This is the third in a series of articles by Core-apps about Event Tech Trends

Event organizers know the event app landscape continues to evolve. From changes in the Apple App Store to a continuous flood of startups, products and services penetrating the marketplace. Event organizers have no shortage of options to get an app out there, but one element of event app creation that should be consistent regardless of the platform is the user experience and the creative execution. 

Here are some tips event organizers should consider as they work with their app team on the best possible UX (user-experience) and UI (user-interface) and why that matters for the entire branded experience. 

Pump the brakes...what’s the difference?

User Experience: The practice and discipline of crafting a strategic workflow for any digital product like a website, landing page, app or even a kiosk. It has very little to do with the actual visual layer of the product. In fact, some of the best UX designers, are not visual designers at all. They’re practitioners of a multi-disciplined effort to best organize content for both ease of use and influence. User Experience design comes before user interface design, as the experience influences the look and feel of the visual interface. Form follows function!

User Interface: This is the visual layer of any digital product. It’s where the look and feel, branding selections, colors and fonts are put together, to bring the User Experience, and content, to life. You might call this the “make it pretty” part of the process. 

Here’s how these two disciplines can work together to create the best possible event app for your audience. 


How does your brand fit?

Your event app is an extension of your brand and your show. Slapping a logo on a template rarely translates to reflecting the brand strategy your organization has so carefully developed. Here are some things to consider about branding, as you craft your event app strategy:

  • Do you have a brand style guide? If so, share it with your event app developers. They will be grateful that you did! 
  • From icon selection to images and video, there are many multimedia options that you can add to your app, but ensuring these components work together should be the goal. 
  • Getting found. Consider your app store presence – this may seem like a minor detail but it’s actually one of the entry points of your event app experience. Your brand can be present from the title you select to get found in the App Store, to the images you display in the preview. Also, consider a dedicated landing page experience to promote your event app on your website. This should be clear and concise and sync with the rest of your event collateral. 


What types of content will your audience most connect with? 

  • First Timers: Consider adding a First Timers section right in your app. We know that having a good first experience at an event goes a long way in getting an attendee to the next one. Consider how your event app can help support that first timer user journey.  
  • Special Features: Audio Tours, Treasure Hunts, Networking and more. Your special functionality should fit with your show and audience. For example, if you suspect your audience is not using social media, don’t make that a key feature.


Creating a path for the best way for your unique audience to interact with your event app.

  • Your event app should be second nature to use, in fact, it should be invisible! It’s there to help guide your users, not interrupt and distract them. Make sure the kind of user flow you’re putting together enhances their journey with your event versus distracts them.
  • Your most digitally sophisticated attendees are the ones using your app. Make sure they’re seeing the value in using it by providing instant gratification like alerts, targeted messages and for expos, powerful mapping and routing.
  • Are your attendees older or less tech-savvy? Make the event app easy to use by including a tutorial that dynamically walks your users through how to use the app. 


  • Promoting the App:The more users you have, the better. Seems simple, but having a game plan to promote your app on the front end will help drive users and engagement. This will help you show the value for the sponsors that invested in the app and further expose your overall digital brand activation efforts.
  • Sponsorship: Providing guidance to exhibitors in terms of the best type of promotional ads to put together for your event app is also something to consider. If your show is highlighting a certain destination or annual initiative, consider baking that type of event-specific content into your exhibitor’s in-app promotion. It only furthers the relevancy of the show and brings exhibitors into the fold of the brand. 


Creating a data-driven ecosystem to support the metrics that matter to you most.

  • Decide in advance what metrics will make the most sense to tell the story of your ROI before you start creating your app. That way the analytics outcome is baked into the build. 
  • What other data sources are you using that can show a more complete picture of your audience’s digital journey with your brand? Consider how you can use one of the many tools available to shape an analytics reporting dashboard that showcases brand touchpoints like the app and beyond.

Overall, your event is an often overlooked touchpoint for extending your brand experience. Consider talking with your supplier about the best ways to customize your event app experience for your users, your organization and your brand. 


Don’t miss any event news! Sign up for any (or all) of our e-newsletters HERE and engage with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn & Instagram! 

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.