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Mobile Apps vs Web Apps: What is Best for Your Next Event

Everyone is familiar with mobile apps these days. You probably have a plethora of apps installed on your own smartphone. This explosive trend started with the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, when everyone found themselves downloading mobile apps for a variety of uses, and it’s been growing ever since.


Mobile apps vs Web apps

Let’s begin by looking at some interesting statistics from on this topic:

  • In 2022, mobile apps accounted for nearly 60% of internet traffic worldwide, and will continue to grow.
  • An average person now has approximately 80 different apps installed on their phone.
  • Consumers spend 88% of their time on smartphones within apps.

Those numbers are probably higher than you expected. In the meetings & events business, we often come across another commonly used term by our partners or even clients – web app, also known as a browser app. There is often a misconception that mobile apps and web apps are the same things, although, in reality, they are two different applications.

blog - event apps and web apps - bcd meetings and events

Simply put, a web app is a website that can adapt to the viewing resolution on a smartphone. Especially in the events business, web apps should be responsive on different types of browsers and have significant interactivity features.

A mobile app is operating system specific. The user either has to download the app from iTunes or Google Play, depending on the phone’s operating system. Often, mobile apps will have access to phone system resources, such as GPS and the camera. Nowadays, well-designed web apps will also be able to access your camera. Due to similar designs and functions, this is often where confusion arises between mobile and web apps.

One of the key differences with web apps is the need for an active internet connection to run. In some mobile apps, it is possible to access certain data while being offline. Another difference is how the apps are updated. Mobile apps need to be updated regularly via the respective play stores, while web app updates are taken care of by the company managing it.

This leads to the big question…

When and how do you choose a mobile app versus a web app for your event?

To help answer the question, consider the pros and cons of each app type in the list below. Please note, this list is not exhaustive and just covers the commonly compared areas.

Mobile App



Faster Expensive to build and maintain
A wider range of functionalities Consistency to maintain between Android and iOS – any features changed on Android has to be done on iOS as well
Works offline Longer deployment time for fixes
White labeling possibilities
Uses an event code that could be easier to key in (instead of a specific URL on a web app)

Web App



Access through a browser with no downloads required – a consideration if you want to avoid overloading your attendee with another app download Cannot work offline
Easier to maintain for straightforward changes May operate slower  
Quicker updates and shorter deployment time Less advanced in terms of features
White labeling possibilities Must use a specific URL (instead of an event code on a mobile app)

With a better understanding of the differences between mobile apps and web apps, you can make a more strategic decision on which one would work best for your event specifications.

Many factors should be considered when deciding on the app type to use, including the following:

  • Need to download: Does the attendee need to download an extra app on their phone? Sometimes this can be considered a nuisance for attendees who do not want an extra phone app downloaded. If it is desired to avoid a download, a web app should be considered.
  • Network connectivity requirements: What can work offline and what can work online? If the ability to work offline is required, a mobile app should be considered.
  • One-way communication vs Two-way communication: How much interaction are you intending to do with your attendees?
  • Last-minute changes and updates: Do the attendees need to be notified of last-minute changes? Can a push notification be utilized? If so, you may have to consider the app that can support this.
  • Performance factor: Speed in using the mobile app versus the web app. If a faster interface is desired, a mobile app should be considered.
  • Seamless journey at your fingertips: Consider the ability to use QR codes for registration or networking exchanges, and integrated AR (Augmented Reality) features. If these features are desired, a robust mobile app should be considered.

Related Article: Event Tech vs Event Management Tech: The Ultimate Showdown for Meeting Success in 2023

Mobile Apps vs Web Apps

If the purpose of the app is simply an interactive resource for information, gathering, updates, or content, a web app might be the best option. If attendees need to be consistently engaged or sent notifications, a mobile app may be a better fit.

Ultimately, the tool that creates a greater buzz about your event should be chosen, but let’s conclude with some additional considerations:

  • With technological advancement, web apps now function almost like mobile apps. It is important to identify the key experience you want your attendees to have when considering which app type to use.
  • The same mobile app on an Android or an iOS operating system may experience different errors at the same time. Do not get flustered if your attendees report a bug on an iPhone which yet not on an Android. This happens sometimes!
  • Both mobile app and web app companies offer tiered packages. Always ensure the tier you choose meets your event needs!


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Originally published May 23, 2023 6:08:50 AM
Last updated on May 23, 2023 10:12:35 AM

Written by Andrew Yeo


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