What features should a CVB / DMO include in an iPhone and Android app?

Posted by paul on23.08.2012

What features should a CVB / DMO include in an iPhone and Android app?

Custom Maps for your City mobile App

So you want an app for your CVB / DMO? Great, now find a city app maker and have them build it.


Between figuring out that your CVB/DMO wants an app and hiring a developer, do your research on what features you should be looking for and WHY. Creating a seamless and useful experience for your visitors will engage them and give a great first impression of the city your DMO is trying to promote.

Below are tips to guide you in the thought process of what features your successful mobile app needs to have:

1. Intuitive Event Schedules and a Planner

Why: Think of it. If one were visiting a city for a certain amount of time, they would want to know of any events, festivals or fairs going on in the area.  Once that person has that information, they should be able to personalize it by creating a planner based off of the events in the city.

2. Interactive Social Elements

Why: Social Elements added to an application increases user engagement and retention rates.  In a post by our friends at Socialize, creating a social community within your app will increase usage by nearly 20%.  Smartphone users have short attention spans when dealing with mobile apps. If you can engage and give them a reason to re-engage, your DMOs investment in a mobile app will payoff.

3. Seamless Location Based Services

Why: Your CVB/DMO’s sole purpose is to drive value to your participating members and city businesses. When a visitor is visiting a city, they want to be able to route themselves to the recommendations you are giving them in the mobile app.  Native apps provide a seamless way of providing location based custom maps for a user to leverage during their visit.

4. Dynamic Content

Why: Dynamic Content means that your app should not create more work for you than it is worth. Dynamic apps like the Turlock CVB sync with your calendar widget on your website. As a result, once you update the calendar on your website, the mobile app will be updated as well. NO EXTRA WORK NEEDED.

5. Sponsorship Placement Options

Why: Apps are not a ‘cost center’ rather they are an investment that will payoff in a short amount of time because businesses and venues will want to leverage your user base to promote their products. Make sure you have multiple areas in your app that will allow you to tastefully integrate your sponsors.

6. Think End Customer and Design Accordingly

Why: If you only had 15 seconds to engage someone, how would you do it? Break your design down to the necessary features and make it seem like the user is smarter than the app.  As an end user, think about the apps you enjoy most…chances are that they are apps that were simple and intuitive.

7. Don’t Fall for the Mobile Friendly vs Native App Debate

Why: Mobile Friendly sites are useful and so are Native applications. Most major associations have both and limiting yourself to one or the other does not make sense as they serve different purposes. Check out our post about the Marketing Mistake a DMO should not make when debating about mobile friendly and Native application development

8. Analytics

Why: The beautiful thing about a mobile app for your CVB/DMO is that you can track data from app downloads to actual events happening within the application. If you realize that your discounts section has more impressions, then you can ask for and prove the increase in sponsorship rates.  Or if you a certain event is popular, you can make sure that the event should happen again the next year. A mobile app can help make marketing decisions down the road. Make sure to ask for an analytics package.

Now that you know what to features to look for, find a solid development team who can provide your CVB / DMO a great mobile app.

Base 2 Applications, LLC specializes in creating custom mobile applications for CVBs and DMOs. Contact us for a free app quote.