Apps for Craft Beer Events and Festivals

We all love our beer events, but what can make these events better?

The answer? Event centric mobile apps. In this post, we are going to take a look at ways in which apps can make events more fun for attendees and more successful for event organizers.

Smartphone Use
Over half of consumers now have a smartphone and that number is growing rapidly. Smartphones are hugely popular among people who are likely to drink craft beer if you look at the core demographics and their overlap. Just take a look around you during your next beer event and count the number of people tapping away on their iPhones or Android devices. People hurriedly instagramming, facebooking, tweeting and checking in on untappd in between tastes. Wanting to capture every moment of their experience and share it with the world.

We are increasingly becoming a mobile society. An average of 94 minutes per day is spent consuming information in mobile apps and only 74 minutes in a mobile browser.

This means that habits are changing and people want to digest information in a format that is designed for a mobile device. As event organizers, you would want to deliver information to attendees in a way that makes their lives easier and makes their event experience better.

Mobile apps are not simply attractive tools to make a beer event seem forward-thinking (although they certainly can help with that), but are real value-enhancers that attendees are beginning to expect based upon their daily use of apps in other facets of their daily life.

Mobile is a good fit for the “on-the-go” nature of beer event attendees and a properly done app can be an integral part of the event experience. Beer event mobile apps are a win for everybody: the organizers, the attendees, the brewers, the sponsors and the exhibitors. Besides the general reasons frequently cited as to why your beer event should be going mobile, here are some that apply specifically:

Added Value
You can easily enhance the visibility of participants and sponsors by providing rich content in the app. Sponsors love mobile because their exposure is highly measurable on mobile.

Additional Revenue
By selling exclusive sponsor placement inside the mobile app. Chances are that one (or several) of your current sponsors or brewers would gladly shell out some extra cash to have their logo appear everywhere in the app (splash page, landing page, banner ads, etc.). Mobile provides a fantastic opportunity for sponsors to literally be in the hands of all event attendees.

Increased Attendance
The more information you provide, the more people will likely attend your event and the more likely they’ll be satisfied with the whole experience. Use the app to communicate key event info such as the schedule, pricing, hotel and contact information are just a few of the options you can include. Having a dynamic schedule ahead-of-time where they can add specific events to their personal calendar will help them plan out the event.

Make it easy for attendees to see what beers are being served by their favorite brewers. You can provide details about the beer, even including things like pairing notes, brewer’s notes, video from the brewer – the possibilities are endless. You can even allow users to mark favorites and add their own tasting notes. This is beneficial to both the brewer and the attendee allowing the users to go back after the event is over and seek out some of their favorite beers that they tasted.

Provide Directions
mza_6353163682982295993Help your attendees get real-time walking, public transit, or driving directions to your event’s location. This also helps for long events that have off-site offerings such as tap takeovers at a local bar, brewery tours, tastings at a local bottle shop or a beer dinner. The more information you provide to a user the more likely they are to participate in these other events.

Send Important Updates
Use push notifications or in-app display banners to communicate last-minute changes. Perhaps there’s a change in schedule, a new brewery has been added, some brewery is able to pour a rare beer. This same type of mechanism can be used to do contests as well.

Highlight The Brewers
By including detailed brewery information in the app such as their bio, list of beers being poured, awards won and website. Not only is this information useful to attendees, but it makes the breweries more accessible. Attendees can reach out to brewers find out other festivals and events that they might be pouring at or where locally they can find their beers.

Enable Conversations
mza_7266407531616058876Conversations during events typically happen over Twitter. By providing the event’s #hashtag and Twitter stream directly in the app, attendees will easily be able to join in and follow the conversation. Instagram is also very popular among craft beer drinkers, include a #hashtag stream from Instagram so attendees can see what other people are drinking and what kind of fun others are having. Also include Brewer’s Facebook and other social media profiles to connect with attendees long after the event is over.

If you would like to talk about how an event app might benefit your beer event or festival drop us a line or stop by booth #5107 at the Brewer’s Association Craft Brewers Conference (you might win an iPad mini and a craft beer digital makeover if you do!)