Glastonbury Demonstrates the Power of Event Apps

Apps improve the guest experience, but how do you successfully measure the ROI?

Glastonbury is next weekend and again, they have released an app for the event. The app is available to download on iPhone and Android devices, featuring a map, clashfinder and a competition to win tickets, along with much more. They have also made a function for people not attending, but who will be watching the BBC coverage, to increase the number of app downloads and users.

An interesting feature has been developed this year to encourage more usage. When attending festivals, many guests worry about the battery life on their phone and use it sparingly to ensure they have access for taking photos and videos, contacting friends and most importantly, for emergencies. This year, the app has a new ‘power saving mode’, changing the app into a bright-green theme with dark backgrounds – useful for navigating the festival’s late-night shows!

Why apps?

No print needed

Good for the environment, allows quick updates/last minute changes and eliminates challenging decisions such as what to do with the programmes? How should they be distributed? How many units to print?


Improves the experience by providing information at guests fingertips including directions around the venue, push notifications, local travel information and discounts/promotions sent directly to visitors phones.

The Glastonbury app’s clashfinder tool allows users to ‘star’ performances to build their own personal schedule.


Keep attendees up to date before the event with any updates and changes to the itinerary and create a real buzz on the run-up. During the event, the app can send live updates and conduct polls during presentations to gather data. After the event, a large proportion of app downloads remain on devices, allowing event management teams to target a prime audience!

Many apps include personal schedules so attendees can select specific presentations and get notified before they begin. They can also access the full programme, videos, exhibitor information and speaker bios quickly and easily.


Apps are a fantastic way to generate additional sponsorship. Rather than just one print with the hope adverts will be seen, sponsors can choose what content to appear and when, who they want to target and what articles they want to be associated with.

For the event/venue, it means additional revenue as they can sell sponsorship opportunities before, during and after the event rather than just one print run!

Why don’t all events have apps?

Event apps have grown in popularity massively over recent years and are quickly becoming expected by attendees, but some event management companies and venues are yet to invest.

Why the delay?

  • Expensive
  • Time and effort to launch
  • Concern over adoption rate
  • Measuring results

All the above reasons are valid, but there is an increasing number of ways to measure ROI.

  • Offering exclusive offers for people redeem – much like O2 priority.
  • Heat mapping and push notifications – monitor the increase in sales or footfall numbers.
  • Track clicks and engagement of certain advertisements.
  • Gather data to generate future sales.
  • Offer a promotional discount code and analyse the number of sales.

Mobile apps have revolutionised events and venues. They are enhancing the experience for guests, simplifying tasks, providing invaluable data and lucrative marketing opportunities. Apps engage with visitors, increase interaction, improve the experience and support the development of future events and decision-making processes.

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