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How to Build an Event Planning App?

The market for event management software is growing rapidly. A MarketsandMarkets report estimates that this market will grow from US $ 6.1 billion in 2018 to US $ 10.57 billion in 2023, at a ’Compound Annual Growth Rate‘ (CAGR) of 11.6%.

Within this growing market, event planning apps are becoming ever more important. 46% of event planners already use such apps, whereas 26% are considering using one. Read more about this and other relevant statistics in “100 event statistics (2018 edition)”.

If you are an entrepreneur, you can certainly tap into this growing market with your own event planning app. I will explain how to build in event planning app, in this article.

Contents

Benefits and features of event planning apps
Examples of event planning apps
How to make an event planning app without coding
Custom mobile event planning app development
Key tools for the event planning app development project
The project management approach
The cost to make an event planning app

Benefits and features of event planning apps

An event planning app can offer several benefits, for e.g.:

  • Users can coordinate with various stakeholders using one platform. The larger an event, the more stakeholders are involved. A one-stop platform is advantageous.
  • Event planning apps provide granular-level visibility to your event. This helps keep the costs within your budget.
  • Top event planning apps provide a comprehensive workflow therefore, you can remain in control of the entire event lifecycle.
  • Large events invariably have a large set of data elements. Event planning apps with their databases can help manage this.

Following are the desired features in an event planning app:

  • The app should provide end-to-end coverage of an event lifecycle.
  • Users should be able to add custom forms, fields, etc.
  • Scheduling feature is very important since it enables one to check real-time availability. Rescheduling can become necessary in some cases, and the app should support it.
  • If the event is an online one, then web conferencing assumes importance. The app should provide for it.
  • Users should be able to handle ticketing using this app.
  • Some events require a high degree of engagement from the audience. A live polling feature can help here, therefore, the app should provide that.

Read more about it in “What is event management software? Analysis of features, pricing, types, and benefits”.

Examples of event planning apps

Your event planning app should be competitive in the market, both at the time of the initial launch and in the future. It should have the key features, additionally, an appealing design is needed. I recommend you review the following popular event planning apps for that.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite covers the entire event lifecycle. It allows users to manage the event end-to-end. The app provides tools to automate registration, badge printing, reporting. The social media integration in the app makes the marketing easier. Online payments, polling, etc. are some of the other features. The app is available on both Android and iOS.

Cvent

Cvent is a comprehensive solution that caters to multiple use cases. The features vary by industry and role, additionally, there are features specifically for 3rd party event planners. Finding the venue that best suits your requirement, tracking expenses, calculating the ’Return on Investment‘ (RoI) are some of its‘ features.

Email marketing, badge printing, event registration, online payment, etc. are some of the other features. The “Cvent Event” Android app on ’Google Play‘ can be accessed here. The iOS app can be downloaded from here.

XING Events

XING Events can work for small events as well as large programs. Users will likely find their professional management helpful. Their large network can give a boost to the ticket-sale prospects. The company employs automated processes to make event planning easier. XING Events can cover the entire event lifecycle.

This includes the pre-event legwork, activities during the event, and the post-event follow-through activities. Event marketing, ticketing, entry management, staying in touch with the attendees are just some of the key features they offer. You can access their Android app here, whereas the iOS app can be downloaded here.

How to make an event planning app without coding

If you are an entrepreneur without access to a skilled mobile app development team, you can still launch your event planning app. Appy Pie provides app builders for various use cases. Event planning app is one such use case.

You can incorporate the following features with the Appy Pie event app builder:

  • Reach out to a wider audience.
  • Accept payments for tickets in a secure manner.
  • Incorporate push notifications to increase the user engagement.
  • Integrate 3rd party services like Eventbrite.
  • Calendar listings from social media platforms can be integrated with the app.

Sign-up for the Appy Pie app builder here. The app builder requires no coding skills, and you can follow a step-by-step intuitive process to build your app.

Note that Appy Pie manages the cloud hosting. Check out their pricing plans here, however, remember that only their premium plan allows you to use your own branding. You need to know the ’Google Play‘ and ’Apple App Store‘ publishing guidelines. You can access the respective guidelines here, and here.

Custom mobile event planning app development

While the app-builder approach can be suitable for entrepreneurs in a hurry and without a development team, differentiated features require custom development. I will now explain how to build an event planning app with custom coding.

The approach for developing an event planning app

In this custom development track, I recommend the following:

  1. Design and build the ’User Interface‘ (UI) and the mobile front-end.
  2. Use ’Software Development Kits‘ (SDKs) or ’Application Programming Interfaces‘ (APIs) for common event planning functions.
  3. Use a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ (MBaaS) provider for mobile backend management.
  4. Manage the project as an Agile project, which is suitable for mobile app development, due to its‘ iterative nature. I had earlier explained “How to build an Agile development team”, check it out for more details.

Assemble a team to create a mobile app for events

Your development project needs a team with the following skills:

  • Business analysts;
  • UI/UX designers;
  • Android and iOS developers;
  • Testers;
  • A Project manager (PM).

The custom development approach requires a competent PM, for e.g., the PM should know project management best practices. You don‘t need to hire mobile backend developers since I recommend using an MBaaS provider.

UI/UX design considerations

In the competitive landscape of mobile event planning apps, you need to offer features as well as an engaging UI. Your UI designers should be well-versed with trendy mobile navigation menu examples.

I had earlier explained how to design the perfect icon for your mobile app, you can consult this guide in your UI design phase. Using the right color schemes is also important, hence, review our guide “8 Trends in Mobile App Color Scheme”.

API options to create an event planning app

I will now take you through a few API options to build an event planning app. This will reduce some of your development efforts since APIs handle quite a few common functions.

Explara APIs: option #1

The next-gen events platform Explara offers a set of event planning and management APIs. You can incorporate the following features with the help of these:

  • Ticketing;
  • Event management workflow;
  • Event registration;
  • End-to-end event management;
  • Membership management;
  • Badge design;
  • Event entry management.

Visit their developer portal for more details. API documentation can be accessed here. You can schedule a demo with them here. Their pricing plans can be accessed here. The company also offers a mobile app builder, you can check it out here.

Attendify APIs: Option #2

Attendify, the event management technology provider offers their APIs for building event planning apps. You can avail the following benefits from using it:

  • The app will be able to automatically synchronize content with other event management systems including ’Content Management Systems‘ (CMSs).
  • Synchronization with the associates’ management system is also possible.

This eliminates the need for manually copying event planning and management data from other CMSs into the mobile app. APIs do that work. Find out more about their APIs here.

Sign-up for the Attendify APIs here. You can incorporate key event management app features, for e.g.:

  • Schedule management;
  • Enlisting speakers;
  • Reaching out to the event sponsors;
  • Registration & ticketing;
  • Tracking audience response.

You can access their API documentation here. Visit their pricing page to get their detailed pricing plans.

Grenadine event management APIs: Option #3

Grenadine, a technology platform provider for event management software has their APIs and you can use them in your event planning app. Their APIs let you incorporate the following features in your app:

  • Event venue reservations;
  • Scheduling of events;
  • Calendar booking for events;
  • Registering participants;
  • Collect registration and participation data.

Access their APIs here. Check out their pricing details here, and you can contact them here.

Key tools for the event planning app development project

This is a full-fledged development project, and you need to execute it effectively. You need appropriate tools for that. I recommend the following tools:

  1. For test automation, consider using ’TestComplete‘. A mobile app will undergo several changes, and you will use an iterative development process. Test automation is very important in this context.
  2. You also need a good build and deployment management tool to handle the frequent releases. Consider Jenkins for this purpose, it‘s a reputed tool.
  3. Finally, you need a good project management tool that‘s suitable for Agile development. I recommend Trello, it‘s a well-known and robust tool. Our guide “The 10 best Agile project management tools in 2018” has some examples, therefore, you can check that for more information.

Select an MBaaS provider for the mobile backend

So far, I have mostly concentrated on the mobile app front-end development. You need to address your mobile backend requirements. Developing a mobile backend and the ongoing management of it can take a significant amount of time.

A mobile backend includes several key aspects, as follows:

  1. Infrastructure configuration and management;
  2. Database provisioning and ongoing management of it;
  3. Handling persistent storage;
  4. Ensuring scalability of the app;
  5. User authentication and management;
  6. Security for the mobile app;
  7. Integration with various APIs.

Not surprisingly, managing the above is time-consuming. To gain a quick ’Time to Market‘, I recommend that you engage an MBaaS provider, who will handle all of it. This helps you to focus on your business logic and front-end development. There are several reputed MBaaS providers like Google Firebase, AWS Mobile, Kinvey, and SashiDo. Our comparison guide “How to choose the best mobile backend as a service (MBaaS)?” can provide you with more information.

The project management approach

I recommend the popular Agile technique called ’Scrum‘. This is well-known for facilitating iterative development. As you might imagine, you will first launch a ’Minimum Viable Product‘ (MVP) of your mobile app, which will enable you to get valuable market feedback.

Depending on the feedback, you will likely need to enhance your event planning mobile app. For e.g., you might need to add more features. This process goes on in many iterations. In the scrum technique, we call these iterations ’Sprints‘.

A scrum team is a small cross-functional team, i.e., business analysts, designers, developers, and testers work together in one team. The PM performs the role of a ’Scrum master‘. There is also a ’Product owner‘ (PO), who provides the features, i.e., requirements for the project. You should ideally co-locate this small team.

The PO provides the features in a document called the ’Product backlog‘. The scrum team then estimates the features. Depending on the priority and estimation of the features, the team then slots requirements into more than one sprints. The team then takes up each sprint one after the other.

The team conducts a few meetings along the way, as follows:

  1. A ’Daily stand-up meeting‘ is a status meeting. Everyone reports their status. The scrum master notes down the project issues and resolves them.
  2. A ’Sprint review meeting‘ takes place at the end of a sprint, where the completed features are demonstrated. The features must be ready for demonstration by this time. The project stakeholders approve the sprint if the features are working.
  3. A ’Sprint retrospective meeting‘ is a form of a lessons-learned exercise, and the scrum team conducts it after the sprint is over.

I had written about the Scrum technique in “How to build a Scrum development team”, you can get more information from this guide.

The cost to make an event planning app

API providers, MBaaS providers, and the tool providers either publish their price on their website or provide it to you upon request. However, estimating the development manpower depends on your requirements. The hourly labor rate also depends on the geography.

This is an end-to-end development project therefore, you might need professional help. If you engage a software development company, do so after due diligence. You can read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” to know how you should select a reliable development partner.