The following is a guest post from Cheryl Lawson, the owner and founder of event planning and marketing firm, Party Aficionado, and creator of the Event Planning Tools mobile app.
As an event professional, educator, and self proclaimed geek, it seemed a natural progression to try my hand at creating a smartphone app, targeted to event planners.
I instruct Event and Meeting Management and have had the opportunity to see the tools to which my students gravitate. Most of them are drawn to ‘make my life easier tools.’ When I asked them to create a budget, they would download the same Microsoft template.
One of my ‘make my life easier tools’ is the meeting space calculator. So I decided to create it into an app.
I’ve created a list of steps to help other event professionals create their own apps.
The event planning tools app is a budget and cost per person calculator and a meeting space calculator. Decide what your app will do, or which problem it will solve. This is a good time to determine if you will offer your app for free or charge for it.
Each mobile platform has it’s own language called, application programming interface or API. Apple, Google Android, and Blackberry each offer their API to registered developers. There are also APIs for applications like Twitter, Foursquare, and Facebook to help you add additional functionality to your mobile app.
There are a number of agencies and coders offering app building service. More recently, there are simple WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) app creators that require little to no coding expertise.
Create the functionality for your app.
Note: Just because you have a good coder, does not always mean you have a good designer. It may be necessary to hire someone else to create the artwork for your app.
Make sure your app works. Try both landscape and portrait, and different keyboard configurations. Test your app using low signal, 3G, 4G, and wifi as appropriate.
Upload your app to the platform’s website and wait for the app to be approved. Tell people about your new app.
Your app going live is just the beginning. Pay attention to comments. Use the feedback to connect with your customers and make improvements.
Party Aficionado helps companies develop social marketing strategies both online and Face to Face, using full event coordinating capabilities, and coaching to help companies cultivate their audience before, during, and after events. To learn more, visit Party Aficionado.