There are lots of debates on the benefits and weaknesses of Web apps versus Native apps for event management and interactivity. Every company who produces one or the other has a little biased viewpoint; however, here are 3 examples when Web apps truly outperform Native apps. We will highlight other pros and cons of Web apps in another article.
Lack of control- Timing
When creating native applications, you lose the control as you rely on approval processes from the various App stores. It can be more challenging to implement last minute changes as well. You have to plan further in advance when creating a native app in order to ensure it reaches all the app stores before the event. There is a period of time during creation of a native application when you lose control of the timing, which can be scary for event organizers. Web-based apps do not face this problem and it can be easy to control the timing of the delivery of the application to the company or event organizer.
Although every event organizer hopes to have the conference participants download the app as soon as the event is publicly announced, this is rarely the case. Probably half of participants will download the app as they arrive at the event. Many native event applications are quite large, and with everyone downloading them at the same time, you might experience some issues with Wi-Fi and connectivity. Participants also have to search through large lists of applications to find the specific one for their event. For those few people still working in the corporate world without a smartphone (they do exist!), there are few solutions for utilizing native event applications. A web application with a simple URL is accessible from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and any device capable of using an Internet browser. Those people who are “behind the times” are still able to fully participate with the use of Web apps.
When using a native application, the various different platforms downloaded on different devices will not display the same features in the same way. Whether using a Windows tablet or Android phone, you will have to spend a couple minutes exploring the app. Every event app can appear and work differently and you will need some time to get used to it. When working with Web applications, some extra features may be added to a specific event, but Web event apps created by the same company will keep their easy-to-use icons and features in the same place when accessed by any device. The application will look virtually the same on a desktop computer as it would look on the latest Apple IPhone minus the scalability of images to fit the screen. Consistency across devices is not necessarily a feature of native applications; however, the degree of challenges that this creates varies depending on the app. When you have to provide separate instructions for Android vs. Apple vs. Blackberry users then you will face some frustration from users attempting to access the proper guide.
Web based applications and native applications have their pros and cons. The type of event, the type of participants, and the type of venue are all three important factors to consider when deciding between one or the other. On the plus side, if you have already planned to have a native application for your event, you can create a link directly inside a native application to a Web based app such as Beekast. That way you can enjoy the best of both worlds and still enjoy the interactivity and networking features of Beekast while also having other capabilities and logistics information in the native app. We have worked with companies that have opted for this solution and they were happy with the results.
Check out Beekast! A comprehensive web and mobile solution to promote, manage, and bring life to your events (conferences, meetings, seminars, conventions, workshops…)