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10 Reasons Why Mobile Event Apps Fail


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If you want to plan a successful event, mobile event apps are a critical piece of the puzzle. A user-friendly app with fun, engaging features is a powerful tool. But on the flip side, an app with clunky software, irrelevant content or an overwhelming interface can sink an event. Avoid these 10 common event planning mistakes to ensure a smooth, successful app experience. 

1. Poor pre-event marketing

Low pre-event marketingCommunication is key. Why should your attendees download your app? How will they benefit? It’s important to share info about the app with your attendees before the event as well as onsite. Include some specifics. For example, remind your audience that you recognize the importance of networking. Highlight your matchmaking feature and the fact that it’ll make connecting easy and fun. Include a link on your event page, social media and in your email blasts. Be sure to include any necessary direction to download the app.

2. Too Much Technology

Event Planning Mistakes: Too much technology

Streamlined technology is a beautiful thing. But we’ve found that when an app creates too much work for the user, there won’t be any users. This includes too many unnecessary steps within one app as well as having to bounce back and forth between multiple apps. You can and should use one app for everything. Social media walls, leaderboards, announcements, gamification, wayfinding and beyond—everything should be housed within one app with a smooth and efficient user experience.

3. App doesn’t align with brand/theme

An app that doesn’t reflect your overall brand or event theme will create a disconnect as well as confusion, which will lead to lack of use. Designing an app that matches your brand will make for a cohesive and clear experience. Read more about what to consider when designing your app, here

4. App has too many bugs and glitches

Studies show that only 16% of app users will try a failing or faulty app more than twice. This means if an event app is launched with any errors or glitches, event professionals are at risk of having their event apps be unused and poorly reviewed.

5. App doesn't work across platforms

Common Event Mistakes: Not working apps in platformsNo two attendees are alike; nor are their devices. Using an app that works on only one specific device or operating system will exclude those attendees who are using a different device. Exclusion of any kind creates a bad reputation, low morale and less engaging experience. It’s crucial that your mobile event app works across as many platforms as possible. 

6. No WiFi

As you scout venu locations, put WiFi at the top of your list. It’s one of the essential aspects to a successful event, and surprisingly, one of the most easily forgotten. No WiFi, or a poor connection, can quickly make any event a miserable one. Talk to your venue manager about your WiFi options and regardless of using an in-house connection or outside vendor, make sure that you have enough coverage to handle a large group downloading and using the app all at once. 

7. No real-time reporting

Real-time reporting is especially useful when something goes awry. Otherwise, if there is an issue, you may not know until it’s too late. MeetingPlay is one of many event apps that offers real-time analytics, tracking and reporting, allowing event professionals to know how the event app is being used and if there are any issues at any given moment. We also suggest taking advantage of live surveys to gather real-time data. 

8. No incentives to use the event app

Event Planning Mistakes: No incentivesAs mentioned, communication is critical. If your attendees understand the purpose of your mobile event app, they’ll have the incentive to use it. Do you plan to use real-time polling during a session? Maybe you’ll include a Powerpoint presentation they can follow while listening to a guest speaker. The more an attendee can understand why the app will benefit them, the more likely they are to use it. 

9. No initial conversation in the app

What better way to encourage participation than to lead by example. Prior to the event, initiate conversation within the app. Ask questions, conduct surveys or even contests. Suggest pre-event registration in the app if applicable. Start the conversation before the actual event and use these additional tips to boost pre-event engagement. 

10. Missed opportunity with guest speaker

Event Planning Mistakes: Guest speaker missed opportunityTread lightly with this one. If you’ve established a strong rapport with your guest speaker and want to ask them to familiarize themselves with your app, fantastic! Their participation could add valuable content to the app and may encourage their followers to do the same. However, remember that their purpose is to speak or present at your event. Don’t burden them with additional asks if it doesn’t seem appropriate. 

How can MeetingPlay help?

Mobile event apps come with a host of powerful benefits. Avoid these common event mistakes and focus on connecting attendees with compelling, consistent and cohesive incentives and content. Doing so will drive app downloads and ensure engagement before, during and after the event. For more tips and insights for planners, subscribe to the MeetingPlay Blog and get regular updates!

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MeetingPlay Mobile Event AppAbout MeetingPlay

MeetingPlay is a mobile event app provider who develops intuitive, engaging and information-rich solutions infused with innovative technology, providing experiences that everyone will be talking about.

Contact us today to find out how you can tap into the power of meaningful connections.

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