The Top 3 Event App Mistakes

And How to Avoid Them

We all know there are a million moving parts to every event. And sure, the pressure of having things go exactly right on the day of the event is enormous. Despite a generally-amazing attention to detail, many event planners make some common mistakes when providing an event app for their attendees. This post will identify the top three errors and serve up some ideas on how to avoid them.

We cornered some our Customer Success Managers – the pros who create 100’s of event apps every week – to uncover some of the most common pitfalls they see event organizers make frequently. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, so here goes:


1. Promote the Event App

One of the most important metrics for event planners is app adoption rate, which is the percentage of attendees who installed the app. It is a KPI that helps answer the question “Was the event app worth it? Did anyone actually use it?”.

In order to boost that metric, event planners must encourage the download and install of the app with vigor and persistence. Attendees will simply not see the value of the event app investment if they don’t get over the biggest obstacle to event app adoption – the download and installation.

While this seems pretty obvious, it is surprising how often event planners completely sacrifice event app marketing for event marketing. Before your event, the website, the email communications, the registration page and social media posts should all prominently feature the event app install.

Note: once the event app is installed on an attendee’s device, the event planner has a dedicated and uninterrupted marketing channel direct with those who matter. Failure to promote the event app is a failure to maximize return on event technology.


2. The Slippery Slopes of Push Messaging

I have yet to meet an event planner whose eyes didn’t beam with excitement when they were first told they could send a message to every attendee’s device whenever they want! Push messaging is a powerful communication tool that grabs attention and makes an impact.

Despite this, many planners underestimate the organization and work needed to make the event communications shine. There is definitely an art to push messaging as it borders between a missed opportunity and spam.

Tip: Don’t wait too late to plan all your announcements and push messages – be strategic in your communications but definitely don’t overdo it. How much is too much? The right mix will depend on your event objectives, your attendees and your sponsor obligations.


3. Prep the Players

This is really key to engagement features that may have some additional stakeholders in the mix. For example, if a presenter is going to hold a live poll during the session, make sure they are aware of how it functions. They need to be coached on the attendee process of pulling out their phones, opening the app and activating the poll. Otherwise, attendees get rushed through the poll and end up abandoning the engagement opportunity altogether.

Gamification is another area that typically needs a short discussion with event staff and sponsors. If the game includes some sort of interaction between attendees and certain individuals and groups, then everyone involved needs to know what game mechanics are in place and what are the expectations. I have seen exhibitors who found QR codes on their tables one day without a single clue that they were an integral part of the event’s gamification! A flood of attendees soon enlightened them, and the game went on painfully.

Takeaway: Make sure that event app features and intentions are clearly communicated in your pre-event briefings.


So that wraps up the top three mistakes that we see, share your own – shall we call them observations – in the comments section below. For more event app discussions like this, consider subscribing to our blog!