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Get Current and Cash In with a Mobile App

Get Current and Cash In with a Mobile App

U.S. users are spending more time in mobile apps and less time in mobile browsers. According to data released this year by analytics firm Flurry, the average U.S. consumer is spending 5 hours a day on mobile devices, and apps play center stage at a ratio of 92% app to 8% browser. From marathons to music festivals, mobile apps are the not the future -  they are the present your attendees expect.  “If you don’t have a mobile app – you’re not keeping up.  Social media and mobile apps go hand in hand.  In order to stay in tune and stay connected with your audience – you need a mobile app in their hand to be relevant,” says social media manager Dana Greer of California Roots Inc. and the California Roots Music Festival. “Our app is a one stop shopping experience for our fans, providing wayfinding, scheduling, and socializing at their fingertips in a seamless and engaging interface.  Fun features like photo booth help keep them socially motivated and talking to their friends about the event, creating a win/win relationship for both our music lovers and our marketing efforts.” 

Putting your Money on Mobile: What’s the ROI?

  1. Better branding and advertising produces more sponsor dollars. “Our sponsor relationships are very important to us.  Anytime we are able to offer some additional exposure for them, it helps the sponsor and our organization,” explains Dee Stathis, COO and Director of Marketing & Operations for the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R).  “Our organization, P3r, is not well known to our runners.  We have 3 signature events and the app allows us to share our main brand (P3R) and highlight our 3 signature events in a clean and concise manner without having to create 3 separate apps. We are the organizers of the events, each of which has its own personality, and the app allows our participants to better understand that these are P3R events and to help us build our brand identity.”
  1. Better analytics keep your sponsors coming back. Hartford Marathon Foundation didn’t look for their sponsor, their sponsor looked for them.  According to Sarah Roberson, HMF strategic sales and marketing representative, analytics showed the 2016 version of the mobile app saw significant engagement from spectators and runners in the tracking and results features.  “One of our key sponsors of another HMF event saw that their employees, and other runners and spectators, were using this feature throughout the race day.  They later inquired about, then secured a 3-year sponsorship of this feature on the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon mobile app.”


  1. Better wayfinding gets and keeps your attendees where you want them to be.  No one likes being lost, and mapping puts you and your attendees on track for a better event. “Maps are great for events and they really help to reduce the number of calls, emails and social media posts from participants trying to find out where things are located,” says Stathis.


  1. Better event information maximizes your event potential. Mobile apps provide both topical and up to date information, allowing last minute changes and announcements through the easy to use backend and push notifications.Greer explains, “During our event, connectivity is vital for reaching our fans, the app works great and we still have complete control over the information our users see. Our fan base is very engaged and expects timely and accurate information. Throughout the year from ticket sale announcements to surprise “pop up” performances during the festival, we use our push notifications to drive our fans to where we want them to be, apropos with our hashtag #itsamovement.” 


  1. Better attendee experience grows your audience.  Engage your audience with feature rich apps that provide scheduling, social media integrations and native capabilities. Include links to video, music, products and even incorporate purchasing to make your app relevant. “At the Hartford Marathon Foundation, we're doing everything we can to communicate with our runners and communities in the most convenient and thorough ways.  People want information at their fingertips. The app gives us the ability to streamline info for runners, communities and spectators,” explains Roberson.  In app surveys give organizers the information they need to improve their attendee’s experience.  According to Greer, “Our surveys have given us nothing but great feedback on our mobile app.”  Stathis likewise builds on experience and expertise to provide great race days for P3R participants, “Our partnership with AVAI Mobile has been key to building on the success of the 2016 mobile app with new, enhanced features for 2017 user experience.  Our AVAI Mobile project manager is also a major asset as she consistently provides beneficial product and category intelligence relevant to our mobile app needs and strategy.”


  1. Better company builds a better way to build and manage mobile apps.  Greer advises others shopping for a mobile provider to consider more than price when making their decision.  Customer service and the content management system (CMS) are vitally important to the long-term survival of your investment.  “Our three-year partnership with AVAI Mobile has been hugely successful for us,” according to Greer, “largely because of the responsiveness of AVAI and the very user- friendly system we manage our app content through.” Devonie Nicholas, marketing & public relations director for the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, similarly speaks of having a partnership with your mobile app firm. “AVAI Mobile works closely with us to design a mobile app platform that fits the custom needs of our Festival.  Their proactive account management sets all parties involved up for success, helping to streamline the app building process and offering creative solutions to communicate information though the app.”

Mobile Makes Cents for Your Bottom Line

Factor in the revenue potential from a mobile app and you might be surprised at what you can afford. “Good business decisions are based on ROI, not cost.  Marketing your app, making it relevant for your audience, and providing a solid feature set deliver on that ROI.”  Rand Arnold, AVAI Mobile CEO and Founder.

For more information about mobile apps, and to discover a better way to build and manage a mobile app for your event, visit us at Avai Mobile is the Official Mobile App Provider for the FFEA Convention & Tradeshow.

   Article Written by Amy Arnold, Avai Mobile

     Amy Arnold, Business Development Manager at AVAI Mobile. The AVAI Mobile Platform (AMP) is a family of technologies  that enables brands to build and manage elegant, fully-featured mobile apps, without the typical costs or complexities.

  Amy can be reached at 512.593.1040 or by email.




Meet the Member: Marcato

Name: Natasha Hillier

Organization: Marcato

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Number of Years with your current company: 6

What does your company do? We provide web-based festival and event management software to help organizers collect and track details for artists, volunteers, vendors, media and contacts. You can do everything from contracting artists to scheduling shows to reporting, all with just a few clicks!

What makes your company stand out from your competition? Our team has years of experience helping festivals and events maximize their efficiency by providing industry-leading tools to help them do so. We have developed our tools with the help of some of the world’s top festivals (Bonnaroo, Coachella & Burning Man) and not just here in North America but all over the world (Eurosonic, Iceland Airwaves, Cologne On Pop).

First Paying Job: Cleaning my Dad’s Shoe Repair Shop

First Break into your business: Started working on the sales team at Marcato in 2011 and have been here ever since!

Best Advice you have ever received: Don’t eat yellow snow. (Maybe not as important for all you Floridians, but in Canada this is important advice! Haha)

Birthday: May 15th

Spouse / Children: Kyle - Husband            

Pets: 3 Dogs! 2 Australian Cattle Dogs (Ozzie and Rosie) and a Great Pyrenees (Nyla)

College/Education: Bachelor of Commerce (McGill University – Montreal)

Favorite Sports Team(s): Go Sports! haha

What is one of your favorite quotes? “Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go” – Margaret Walker


DID YOU KNOW?  Marcato offers an exclusive FFEA Member Discount? Contact Natasha for details!

Marcato is a web-based festival and event management software designed for events of all types and sizes. Collect and track details for artists, volunteers, media, vendors and contacts. Then, schedule artists, send contracts and report on important data with a few clicks. You can even populate your website and mobile app with information stored in Marcato! We offer multiple product levels making it easy to find something that fits your needs and budget. As a member of FFEA you are now eligible for a 20% discount off any package. To learn more or check out a demo connect with us by emailing [email protected] or click here. Be sure to mention you are an FFEA member!


Meet the Member: GoDanoShow

MEET THE MEMBER: Dan Israel, GoDanoShow

Number of Years with your current company: 4

What does your company do? Bring entertainment to any event.

What makes your company stand out from your competition?  The show is 100% self-contained, Motivational message, And creating a awesome atmosphere.

First Paying Job:Landscaping

First Break into your business:2013

Best Book You Have Read:Bible

Best Advice you have ever received: Whatever you do, do it for others.

Birthday: 9-23-1994

Spouse / Children: Married!

Pets: Fish

Favorite Sports Team(s): Dallas Cowboys

What is one of your favorite quotes? If you fail under pressure your strength is too small.

Why did you join FFEA / What is the best benefit of being an FFEA Member?  To connect and build with other organizations and to give family friendly wholesome entertainment. 

What is the single most important piece of advice you would give to someone in the event industry? Be selfless and humble, but get the job done.


Meet the Member - Lanie Shapiro

Meet the Member
Lanie Shapiro, TouchPoll South Florida

Number of Years with your current company: 7 years

What does your company do? TouchPoll South Florida does on-site surveys. We work with festivals, events, tourism boards, community redevelopment associations, conferences, museums, venues and attractions all over the country to design surveys and collect data onsite so that our clients can better strategically plan their marketing, promotions and sales materials; as well as optimize sponsorships and grants, evaluate marketing efforts, and receive valuable visitor feedback.

What makes your company stand out from your competition? We are easy to work with, thorough, knowledgeable on how to create the best survey to fit our clients' needs and how to best gather the data. We also interact well with our client's visitors, and we deliver a concise report containing data that will help our clients.

First Paying Job: Selling home improvements over the phone at 16.

First Break into your business: My friend and PR Guru Shari Lynn Rothstein connected me with Lee Schrager who runs the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival--and that was my first well known large event.

Best Book You Have Read:  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - I refer to it all the time.

Best Advice you have ever received: Practice gratitude every day, bring joy to all you do and find the positive and possibility in every situation. Also, take time each day to take good care of your health and well-being.

Birthday: August 9 (I'm a true Leo!)

Spouse / Children:  Robert - married for 27 years, Jordan 23 years old

Pets: Chukkie - our 10 year old Shih Tzu

College/Education:  Associates in Graphic Arts from SUNY Farmingdale  and a Bachelor's of Business Administration from Hofstra University

Favorite Sports Team(s): I am originally from NY but with marrying into a sports-obsessed Boston family, I had to swear my allegiance to all the Boston teams! 

What is one of your favorite quotes? "You are never upset for the reason you think."

Why did you join FFEA / What is the best benefit of being an FFEA Member? I joined FFEA to meet people who value on-site visitor surveys. The best benefit of being a member are the relationships that have been created and getting to know so many wonderful and talented event professionals. Of course, it's been a tremendous benefit to my business, so mission accomplished and more!   

What is the single most important piece of advice you would give to someone in the event industry? Get measurable feedback from your event attendees--people see things that may not occur to you. It's their experience of your event that matters most