Key questions to ask yourself and your mobile guide vendor as you begin the development process:
1. On what platforms do you want the guide: iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Windows, mobile Web?
2. What capabilities are “must-haves” for your conference and what else would you like included? (See list, page 19.)
3. How will data be imported, and how well does the developer’s system work with your current registration software?
4. How easy is it to update the mobile guide in real time? What does the conference administrator interface look like?
5. How will you market the app to exhibitors and attendees, and will the developer play a role in?
6. Does the developer send representatives on site to your meeting? Does it set up kiosks to engage attendees without smartphones?
7. How does the developer price the product, and what revenue share, if any, does it expect from sales of banner ads, sponsorships, and exhibitor listings?
8. Understand what the price does and doesn’t include. Setup fees at download sites (iTunes, Android Marketplace, etc.)? Having a developer on-site? SMS messages? Back-end reporting of attendees’ use of the system?
9. Do you have multiple meetings to include in a request for proposal, which could give you negotiating leverage?
10. Has the developer created guides for meetings that are similar to yours in size and scope? Can it provide references from those meetings?