Nothing comes for free in life, or so the saying goes. However, if you’re looking for an event app there are plenty of ‘free’ options available to choose from. But should ‘free’ be treated as a red flag or an unmissable opportunity? Well, it depends on what you need and what’s critical to your event experience.
Let’s take a look at how free event apps compare to event apps that attract a fee.
Free Apps – the clue here is very much in the title! Yep, you pay zero, nada, zilch for an event app. Free apps tend to be one-size-fits-all, so regardless of event size and scope you still won’t pay a cent.
Paid Apps – again, an obvious statement; paid apps carry a price tag. How much depends on a variety of factors. Event size, scope and required features will all determine the overall cost.
Features and Functionality
Free Apps – if it’s free it’s likely to have limited features and functionality. A free event app will do the basics such as attendee lists and simple event information but don’t expect sophisticated extras such as gamification.
Paid Apps – here you can and should expect a lot more scope in terms of what the app can do. Price may determine options but a paid app will generally provide additional features such as gamification, networking, real-time updates, push notifications, polling and comprehensive data analysis.
Free Apps – meaningful or comprehensive support isn’t a feature of the free app. Although there may be a decent FAQ section on an associated website, you probably won’t have access to a live support team.
Paid Apps – good quality support should be standard with paid event apps – even better if that support is available to you locally. And top marks for app suppliers who provide on-site support if you need it! However it’s packaged, a paid event app provider should give help as and when it’s needed.
Free Apps – the ability to wholly self-brand your app may be limited with a free event app. You could find that the provider’s branding is prominent and immovable across the app.
Paid Apps – paid apps offer much more branding flexibility and control. The app will effectively allow you to brand the app as your own. Any provider logos or information will be incredibly discrete or non-existent. Generally, paid apps will have a more professional and slick feel
Free Apps – read the small print and be aware of signing away your app’s data. Free event app providers may make their money from data harvesting, which is totally fine if it’s totally fine with you.
Paid Apps – all in-app data remains private and cannot be accessed or used by the provider unless through prior agreement. Data privacy and protection should come as standard with paid event apps.
Free apps can be a great cost effective option for anyone who’s running a low-key and small event. But if you need a more sophisticated, secure and professional option, it’s worth investing in a paid event app.