Implementing and Leveraging a Mobile App to Positively Impact Member Engagement (Part 2 of 2)

By Alexa Kade • May 11, 2022

Like many associations in 2022, your association is working to find scalable, revenue-generating options to increase member engagement with your association and peer association members. However, many associations are at the “crawl stage” on how to use an app to reach both their engagement and non-dues revenue goals. One part of identifying if an app is the right fit for your association is working through how to leverage an app to positively impact your strategic goals. 

If your association chooses to leverage an app, it creates an  opportunity for members to engage with one another and forge relationships outside their traditional, local peer networks. This, in turn, grows the overall strength of the community of members – and raises the potential for non-dues revenue and member engagement. Just like with any new technology initiative, there are pros and cons to making the decision to launch an association app and understanding the best use of an app for your association is essential.


Association App or Event App – Understanding the Difference

Association App

  • Their unique member profile
  • Content and resources
  • Messaging and forums
  • Membership updates and news
  • Certification and education content
  • Engagement and timely information
  • Event information
  • And more!

An association app is a holistic environment providing members with convenient access to your association, including:  

Core modules create unique experiences while building a custom experience for your members. It also allows your association to meet your members anytime, anywhere. Some apps also can integrate with your association management software and career center, earn non-dues revenue through advertising and advertorial sales, and integrate with your event apps seamlessly.

Event App

An event app is a single-use app opportunity, where members and event attendees can engage with one another and the event’s offerings during a specific period of time. Attendees go to an event to learn about relevant industry products and services while networking and attending educational sessions, and an event app focuses that information and provides focused updates on a single, dedicated platform. Having instant communication about an event can be important, especially if an education session is canceled at the last-minute or the location where an event is happening changes. An event app also can set up a potential stream of non-dues revenue for sponsors to get front-facing information to members at their fingertips. With an event app, your members can have convenient access to: 

  • Important event information
  • Exhibit hall floor plans
  • Scheduling capabilities with attending exhibitors
  • Real-time communication
  • Changes in the schedule 
  • Communication between attendees
  • Sponsored content
  • And more!

For many associations, an event app has been used as a “beta test” at an annual event or larger exhibition(s) to help identify if an association app is the best fit. This test run likely did well if the association had an engaged membership or use of the application was promoted prior to its launch at the live event via email, advertising, one-on-one conversations or otherwise. However, using an event app as a test for launching an association app isn’t a one-to-one comparison.  According to App Annie, approximately 99% of event apps are deleted after an association’s event. Event apps have a shelf life and, unfortunately, counting on them for anything outside of the event itself is a mistake since they simply do not help with engagement nor deliver non-dues revenue in the long term. 

However, this is where your association’s application comes in and where your event app serves as a great “test” for adoption and promotion. Association-focused mobile apps are an important arrow in the engagement quiver for associations – you just need to know how to aim them.

To learn more about how Naylor can help you develop a right-fit mobile app solution, reach out to our team today and connect with a purpose.

Statistics source: 2022 Guide to Mobile Engagement


Alexa Kade has had over seven years of experience working with associations. In her role as Clowder’s CEO, Alexa has seen it all when it comes to engagement challenges and roadblocks associations often face.  Alexa strives to be an educator in the space, pushing clients to think beyond what has traditionally been expected of membership organizations. Lover of all things wine.