Behind the Scenes of Kansas City’s Best Passport-Style Event Apps


P3 Staff | Apr 22, 2024

In honor of The Parade of Hearts recently revealing their 2024 Hearts, we thought it would only be fitting to discuss a fascinating app format that has come naturally to us over the years at Propaganda3: what we call the Passport-Style App.

So, What’s a Passport-Style App?

What’s a Passport-Style App, you ask? It’s a mobile app that assists and elevates the overall experience of a real-world activity, particularly those that involve people visiting multiple locations or stops as part of a collective tentpole event or cultural outing. Take Boulevardia's Taps & Tastes Beer Tracker function, Firestone Walker’s Invitational Beer Fest, KC Restaurant Week, or Parade of Hearts app's Parade Routes function (new this year!) for example.

In the evolving landscape of event planning and good old-fashioned “IRL” participation, Passport-Style Apps can become a powerful tool for engaging audiences and branching the digital divide between an in-person and virtual user experience. These digital toolkits enhance how visitors can experience and navigate events while providing developers and event planners with valuable insights and analytics.

Enhancing Visitor Engagement

At the core of these apps is the gamification of attendance and participation. By adding value to users’ inherent behaviors to explore various event aspects—be it different brewers’ tables at a tasting event, restaurants around the city, or KC Hearts around the metro—planners can encourage more engagement with the event’s programming.

These apps welcome users with friendly and intuitive interfaces. They make the most vital information readily available while guiding users to navigate the event and tailor their experiences based on personal interests. Whether it's creating a custom festival lineup itinerary, must-see KC Hearts, or the ultimate beer-tasting wishlist, Passport-Style apps empower users to make the most of their attendance.

These apps can also leverage the social nature of events, enabling users to share their in-app achievements, photos, and experiences directly on social media. This amplifies the event's earned reach and fosters a sense of community among participants, enhancing the collective experience.

Collecting Event Feedback

One of the most significant benefits for event organizers is the rich data these apps can provide if built with an investment in measurement in mind. Tracking user movements through the app, engagement on its screens and functions, user preferences, and any other engagement levels offers actionable insights, enabling organizers to fine-tune current and future events. Are users taking shortcuts to functions we didn’t expect? Are they “rage tapping” in frustration with a function (or non-function) that they expect from the app? 

This kind of data can be crucial for enhancing user experience and interface design. It helps prioritize optimizing and developing new features, shape marketing strategies, and most importantly, ensure that resources are allocated effectively, delivering maximum value to the app's users.

Engaging Sponsorships and Partnerships

Incorporating sponsors and local businesses into the app can greatly increase the value of sponsorships, turning the app into a powerful marketing tool.

By providing digital stamps, rewards, or challenges tied to sponsors, organizers can create a more engaging and interactive experience. This directly connects sponsor visibility and engagement with user participation.

Boosting App Adoption

Despite their advantages, user adoption of Passport-Style apps can be challenging. Obstacles such as reluctance to download another app, perceived lack of value, insufficient promotion and awareness of the app's benefits, or a preference for unplugged experiences at events can hinder downloads and usage. 

Addressing these issues requires a collaborative effort from developers and event organizers, creating decisive and accessible messaging around what the app does, how it will enhance the experience of those who download it, and making sure that people who stand to benefit from it the most hear about it on the channels most relevant to them.

Digital tools should enhance, not detract from, real-world events. The app should foster participation without becoming a distraction, balancing engagement with immersion. The key is to identify when users naturally use their devices and design the app to enhance these moments.

What’s Next for Passport-Style Apps?

As large-scale events fully return to the public sphere following a brief COVID-caused hiatus, the integration of Passport-style apps represents a significant opportunity in how events can be planned, experienced, and remembered. 

These apps provide event planners with powerful tools for enhancing user engagement, gaining insights and sponsorships. For developers, there's a clear path to innovate, test, and optimize new features and user experiences. Meanwhile, attendees benefit from more personalized and interactive experiences that make each event unforgettable. Truly, it’s a win-win-win!

About Propaganda3

With over 5,000 digital products launched and over 100 years of combined development experience under our roof, Propaganda3 has been a premier partner for clients with development needs and ideas beyond the capabilities of an average development shop. 

Advertising agencies, design boutiques, in-house marketing departments and technical development firms from a wide range of industries have relied on us as an adept ally for their website and app development and maintenance needs since 2001.

Have an idea of your own? Drop us a line!

P3 Staff
P3 Staff,

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