UFI canvasses opinion following Apple event app controversy World

UFI has launched a survey, prompted by Apple’s policy change on app approval and the potential fallout for exhibition organisers. 

Most of the event and trade show apps the industry is currently using may be rejected by Apple in the future after Apple decided to review its App Store guidelines.

One of these changes is intended to stop the proliferation of ‘clone apps’ in its store. When a very successful app hits the store, tens of cheap clones quickly appear, trying to cash in on confusion with the original app. To prevent this, Apple modified its rules.

Apple’s stated goal is to improve customer experience by keeping only relevant apps in the store and making sure that users get only original apps and not clones that will pollute their smartphone.

At the same time, this new selection principle may have a major impact on event apps. Many organisers use events and tradeshows apps that share most of their programming code, and add design and branding for separate shows on top of it. Consequently, under the new Apple rule, these apps may now be refused by the Apple App Store. Apple suggests replacing these apps with so called ‘container apps’. This means that each organiser provides exactly one app, and offers data for numerous shows within for download.

It is currently not clear if Apple has already started enforcing the new rule, as the ‘waiting time’ for getting an app accepted in the store has always been very variable. 

In order to get a clearer picture about the impact on our industry, UFI has prepared a short questionnaire, with a submission deadline of 15 September. 


Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World