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Finally… A Full Guide To Survive Apple’s Ban On Branded Event Apps

Ultimate Guide To Survive Apple's Ban On Branded Event Apps - Socio Blog

[UPDATE] Check out our new blog on this topic to get the latest news regarding Apple’s banning policies of white label event apps.


In our previous blog post, we discussed Apple’s new guidelines affecting branded event apps. There are two rules that Apple is preparing to enforce in December of 2017.


  • Rule 4.2.6: Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.
  • Rule 4.3: Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app…


When Apple first announced these new policies they were very vague. They made it clear that they wanted to “clean up” their app store as they thought it was becoming overcrowded.  In fact, they were actually targeting the spam apps that were cloned from their respective original versions (Like Flappy Bird 2 where the only difference in the game is that the bird is purple). These apps eventually created a huge clutter and made it really hard for iPhone users to find the apps that they were looking for.


As the company that is not only know for building great event apps for households names like Google, Harvard, and Questex, but also smaller associations and non-profits across the globe, these changes were very important to us.


After the news broke, seemingly every vendor said something different.  Everyone skewed the news in a way that they thought would most benefit them. Event planners were confused and had a hard time distinguishing the facts from companies trying to push their own agenda.


Our app submission team that oversees thousands of event apps spent over 4 months to dig deeper into these policy changes and countless hours communicating with Apple App Store specialists. The ultimate goal of this research was to clarify the uncertainty over branded event app’s future with Apple.


In conclusion, Apple really is blocking branded event apps from their App Store… but they are introducing other ways to push branded event apps (and we are already offering those options to our clients). So branded event apps are not dead, in fact, there are many possible options for your next event app. To make things crystal clear, we have prepared an Ultimate Guide for you that talks about how you can publish your next event app through a Container Event App, Apple VPP for Branded Event App, Apple Enterprise Program for Branded Event App, or Custom Development. In this guide, you will find Descriptions, Pros and Cons, and Step by Step Instructions of each possible option.

Possible Solutions For Your Next Event App

I know that you would be curious to see what you will have in this Ultimate Guide, so I went ahead and prepared a brief sneak peak for you. If you would like to see a much more comprehensive version of this sneak peak, go ahead and get your copy of the Ultimate Guide To Survive Apple’s Ban On Branded Event Apps.


Container Event Apps


Container event apps has been an emerging trend among event app vendors since Apple has announced its new guidelines.
Socio’s event hub has been available in the App Store for over 2 years now and it has been serving thousands of event planners every year. The ultimate container app has been designed having one thing in mind: Branding and Full Customization for our event planners. Here are the main differences between the Socio Event App and and the branded event app:

  • Your attendees will search for Socio Event App on the App Store instead of searching for your brand.
  • They will than go ahead and search for your conferences name inside Socio Event App, and join your event.
  • Once they join the event, the entire attendee experience will be no different compared to the branded event app. The colors of the Socio Event App will change to your brand’s colors, as well as the name and icon of Socio on the home screen.


Apple VPP For Branded Event Apps


This one is an interesting option that I personally haven’t seen mentioned by our competitors. VPP here stands for Volume Purchase ProgramThis option allows event planners to distribute their own conference app rather than the Socio Event App. So, as an end product, attendees will have, for example, “Personalization Summit” app on their phones, instead of “Socio”. From a high level standpoint, as an event planner you are purchasing the app from an app developer and distributing it through a link. As far as the attendee experience goes, attendees will click on the link that was sent to them by the event planner, and they will be able to start the download  process after entering their Apple IDs. Event planners will have to generate unique links per attendee since that specific link will only be valid for one Apple ID.


The attendee experience is pretty smooth in this program, however the process of getting the app on your attendees phones’ is a little more meticulous and more expensive compared to the Socio Event App. If you would like to see how this process works with resources, images, and full explanations in detail, go ahead and receive your Ultimate Guide To Survive Apple’s Ban On Branded Event Apps.

Apple Enterprise Program For Branded Event Apps


A similar option to the Apple VPP for Branded Event Apps is the Apple Enterprise Program for Branded Event Apps. While this option also allows event planners to distribute their own apps to their attendees, there are a couple things to pay attention to. The first point being that this method is meant for employees of your organization. This is a very important point. It is possible that Apple might revoke the “certificate” that they provide you and shut down your app if you are distributing your app outside of your organization. For this reason (in addition to others), we do not recommend this method. Again if you would like to see how this process works with resources, images and full explanations in details, go ahead and receive your Ultimate Guide To Survive Apple’s Ban On Branded Event Apps.


Custom Development


This is the least popular option for our event planners. The reason why is; yes you can get an event app built as you like by a mobile app development agency, but it will be costly, time-consuming and in the end it will not perform anywhere close to how the Socio Event App or Socio’s Branded Apps would perform. No software is perfect when its first built. It improves and evolves over time as people use it. Mobile app development agencies pump out so many products every single month, where as the Socio Team is purely focused on providing the best event app to our event planners.


Is your event app getting affected by this? Schedule a free consultation now.

Alihan Özbayrak
Alihan Özbayrak
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