Irina Shateeva is PR Manager at ExpoFP, an interactive floor provider that saves time on event management, increases revenue and makes navigation easier with digital wayfinding. She has more than six years of experience in PR and organization of business events worldwide, including her role as conference producer at RX.
9 Most Common Event App Issues and How to Avoid Them
It's impossible to imagine even a mid-sized event without the support of an event management platform or app. However, the tools designed to enhance customer experience can sometimes lead to headaches for event organizers and overall dissatisfaction by exhibitors and attendees. Let’s explore the nine most common event tech problems and how to solve them.
1. Poor Networking Opportunities
People attend business events primarily for the chance to network with industry peers, decision-makers and fellow professionals, so make sure your event app has a powerful networking tool. Features such as secure live chat, one-on-one appointments or being able to make a private social community are vital. Include a filter feature for attendees to help them find people relevant to them. Think of it as a personalized search engine for their networking requirements.
2. Device Compatibility
Attendees expect a frictionless experience across various devices. Be sure the app works perfectly on Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac. Cross-device compatibility is key to keeping engagement levels high.
3. User Interface and Formatting Issues
Check for alignment problems or font choices that clash with your brand and glitches in features, such as session scheduling or interactive maps. A smooth and cohesive user interface is crucial for a positive event experience.
4. Internet Challenges
In an era where connectivity is king, a faltering internet connection can throw a wrench into your event. To avoid these challenges, determine the number of people at the event who will need WiFi, the number of devices you are servicing, what attendees will use WiFi for and how much bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transmitted over an internet connection in a given period) is needed.
5. Choosing the Wrong Tech Partner
The success of your event tech hinges on selecting the right provider. Take the time to choose a partner that aligns precisely with the functionality you need. Read reviews and interview your colleagues to understand who is really a reliable provider. Look at their clients — don’t choose a provider who works only with small events if you expect 8,000 or more attendees at your show.
6. Long Sign-Up Processes
Keep the sign-up process fast and simple. People don’t like to fill out long forms; three steps or less to sign up is enough.
7. Bad Customer Support
Read customer support reviews, and opt for providers with positive feedback. A responsive support team can be a game-changer, as they will always be there for you and are able to explain technical things in simple terms. Start with a free trial to assess their support.
8. Ignoring Offline Usability
Crucial features like maps, schedules and speaker profiles should remain functional even without an internet connection – this is especially true for outdoor events. We have experienced working with large outdoor events with poor or no internet connection. Our latest was a JetLAG music festival, where we made sure that 2,500 visitors wouldn't miss concerts and events using digital wayfinding in a place with limited internet access.
9. Security Concerns
Dive into the app's security protocol, encryption standard and compliance with data protection regulations. Implement passwords and two-factor authentication to safeguard attendees' information.
Tips on Avoiding Tech Issues
Test Before the Event
Conduct comprehensive testing before the event to identify and address issues in advance, ensuring a seamless experience. This piece of advice seems to be the most obvious, but it is the most effective one. Let’s take the wayfinding feature. Some booths/stages/lounges can be walkable in reality, but the wayfinding provider doesn’t know about it if they’re not on-site. However, event organizers have a chance to review the floor plans before the show and give their feedback so the tech provider can make sure all the paths are correct.
Train Your Staff
Trained staff should be adept at troubleshooting and problem-solving, establishing an internal support network that can swiftly address minor issues before they escalate. Provide manuals and demos on how to use and fix tech issues. Distribute roles and responsibilities among your team members, with a designated tech leader overseeing and managing the technical aspects of your event.
Stay Connected with Service Providers
Maintain open communication with service providers. If you have an event on Saturday or Sunday, ask for their availability for these days. Be sure you have the contact info of someone who can help you with any issues regardless of the time zone.
Evaluate and examine the data and feedback gathered from your event, including attendance, engagement and satisfaction. You can also include a question on event tech to help you understand what were the strengths and what can be improved. Document the results and leverage them to enhance your future event planning.