Business News

Everybody Agrees: Event Apps are Alive and Well

Skift Take

Following our feature from yesterday on Event Apps and Apple policing templated apps, it's time to make one thing clear, event apps are alive and well.

Our article yesterday on the Appageddon and Apple current policy against templated apps is causing quite a stir. A lot of confusion still dominates an environment where Apple is staying silent. We are trying to service the industry with updates from suppliers and from event professionals.

Our objective is to clear up confusion, not to create more. This is why we are putting out an extra article with the mere facts, so you can be informed about what is going on and make educated decisions about your business.

Before we start though, let me make clear that it is stupid to think event apps are dead or even compromised. The policy that Apple is enforcing is impacting some apps. There is no universal rule, no communication about it from Apple, and different experiences among developers.

In fact I just received some emails from suppliers that are not affected at all. Life goes on for them but also for those affected. Many providers have a plan B and are working with it.

If you are an event planner with an app in the pipeline, what you should do now, and what we invited you to do since day one of the rumours spreading, is to check with your app provider. Get in touch with them and ask if and how they are going to be affected. You may well find out that what Apple is doing has nothing to do with them.

We are not in the business of panic making, specially in a subset of event technology very dear to us, such as event apps.

Yet something is happening and many planners and providers have contacted us signalling problems and concerns about the given policy. Some providers have actually announced it themselves, very publicly, that Apple is enforcing such policy.

Therefore it is key to make sense of all this mess, without sensationalism and just look at the facts.

Let’s Look At These Facts Then

– We got contacted by a planner in mid July saying that a major app provider was not accepting white label, templated apps anymore because Apple was enforcing a policy against templated apps. This is the first time we heard about the problem.

– A few providers go public with articles about the policy change and how it affects their clients.

– Still nothing happens on the App Store, apps are accepted as usual.

– Last week, two providers come forward saying their apps are starting to be rejected. They ask us to put a call out to raise awareness and lobby Apple.

– We publish this article.

– Two more providers connect with us saying they are experiencing the same rejection problems.

– One provider contacts us saying they are not affected at all.

There you go. Here is what we know about the Appageddon or the demise of white label templated apps.

What Everybody Seems To Miss

In both articles we published, we tried to be as clear as possible that this policy will impact a fraction of apps and many, many alternatives are still available, most of the times within the same app provider. It seems that currently even some white label apps are being accepted without problem.

Here is a refresher on alternative options:

  • Container apps. As the name suggests, these apps provide the end user with a single point of entry for many events. Many apps already use this model.
  • Web apps. Event applications which run in the mobile web browser with no need to download a native app.
  • Hybrid apps. These are a mix of native and web apps. The entry point is a native app but the content is provided via an integral web browser.
  • Completely unique, bespoke apps. Although white labeling may no longer be possible, apps built from the ground up with the unique interests of the client may still be in with a shot of approval.

Apple is silent

All the anger we are feeling is mostly due to the lack of communication from Apple’s side. In fact, there does not seem to be a standard on how they are policing templates.

We received a message from a provider saying that their templated apps are doing well and only low quality apps are being impacted.

Once again though, this is one truth (one to believe of course) in a super confused environment.

That is why I am reinforcing to check with your app provider whether such policy is affecting them and your upcoming app.

At EventMB, we are on the planner’s side, but we also love suppliers. We have offered to connect providers that are being impacted because we respect entrepreneurs and businesses doing event tech. Even if a fraction of their business is being impacted, we feel we need to support them. This is one of the main reasons behind our reporting until now.

If you had a feeling of sensationalism or panic from our previous articles, I apologize. We had immense positive feedback by the CEOs of most companies but even if one or two are upset, we still need to voice these concerns and discuss the potential impact.

In Conclusion

Apps are alive and well. They are changing. We announced in our Event App Bible Reboot that 2017 was going to be a year to remember. Well there you go!

No panic, no sensationalism, just informed decisions when it comes to event technology. Read the facts, contact your supplier and make the best possible decision for your event.