Messe Frankfurt’s mobile Navigator apps are booming

At the end of the first half of the year, Messe Frankfurt has analysed in detail the use of its Navigator apps at the eleven trade fairs from January to June 2017. The number of downloads has increased significantly and almost one out of every five visitors (18 percent) used the Navigator apps while visiting the trade fair. Thus, the proportion of visitors that use the app to gain orientation at the fair has doubled compared to the same period in 2015. A total of clearly over 100,000 trade visitors made use of the mobile information offering.

The exhibitor search and the floor plan are used most often for orientation at the trade fair. The Favorites feature was also used much more intensively than the previous year to store dates of interesting events at the fair or exhibitors that the users wished to visit. Trade visitors often use this feature to prepare for the fair in advance. The information on events, news and other services is also used by almost all trade fair attendees for their trade fair planning.

“In addition to the increased number of downloads as well as the more intensive use of services and features, we are especially pleased with the positive feedback that we have received directly from our exhibitors and trade fair visitors. This is an incentive for us to add new features and exciting services in this area,” explains Martina Bergmann, Head of Digital Business at Messe Frankfurt.

Analysis of app usage in the first half of 2017 included evaluation of user behaviour at Paperworld, Christmasworld and  Creativeworld, Heimtextil, Ambiente, Musikmesse and Prolight & Sound, Techtextil and  Texprocess, Tendence as well as Nordstil Winter.

High usage value goes against the trend

With its successful Navigator apps, Messe Frankfurt has managed to spite the tendency for special apps to offer little growth prospects. Although the number of mobile devices and thus the potential number of users worldwide continues to grow, there is a decrease in app usage in saturated markets.

According to the most recent Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) Report, app usage has decreased by more than a quarter (-28%) in the USA since 2014. The app opening rate is also stagnating on average (+4%) in Europe. Only in Germany are users remaining loyal to their mobile applications. With an increase in app usage of 13 percent, the Germans are clearly ahead of the pack. Judging by the international figures, however, this trend could soon be reversed.

New mobile apps are being downloaded to smartphones less and less. The number of new installations has decreased by 5 percent in Europe in the past two years. In the US, new app installations are even decreasing by 38 percent. According to the market research company comscore, Facebook and YouTube as well as messaging, gaming and news apps are also dominating app usage, thus indicating that special apps are having an extremely difficult time gaining a foothold in the market.

The development against this trend shows that Messe Frankfurt’s Navigator apps are offering their users clear added value. The good figures are also the result of Messe Frankfurt’s extensive and continuous advertising measures before and during its trade fairs on the exhibition grounds, in newsletters and in social networks.

Mobile marketing is gaining importance in the trade fair environment

The usage behaviour of trade fair visitors clearly underscores the still rapidly increasing use of mobile devices in the event environment. Trade fair visitors are not the only ones who are using this information more and more. Exhibitors are also increasingly seeking to directly address visitors via mobile apps and mobile content.

The two-year comparison also shows a noticeable increase in the demand for relevant advertising opportunities. After all, nowhere else can such high-quality professional clientele be reached as easily with focused information as at trade fairs.