Imagine attending a conference with its own mobile event app. A portable help to attendees taking on the tasks of asking questions, updating event feed, participating in polls and tons more of useful features that would have been great had it not encountered a sad case of (you guessed it!) – failure to launch.

Failure to launch? Possibly every event marketers worst nightmare – banish that thought and read on now!

The biggest obstacle was poor app promotion. The attendees didn’t know the app existed or how to download it which led to frantic organisers running around during the session attempting to load apps one attendee at a time. Total chaos. Then there was the weak Wi-Fi that gave up the ghost the second all the attendees jumped on it to download the app.

So there we sat, phones in hand eager to get the app and… nothing. It didn’t help matters either that the poor speaker on stage became more and more flustered and, when the attendees weren’t receiving her poll questions, decided to give up on technology entirely and proceeded to shout her questions out to them. If the organisers had just taken a few things into consideration their app wouldn’t have failed to get off the ground.


It’s incredibly easy to promote event apps. The good ones come with great promotion tools already built into the app, so use them. The trick is to get your attendees to download the app and start engaging with your event as soon as possible. It increases exposure for your sponsors and helps them get invested in your event before the day. A great idea would be to include a download banner on your website and in your delegate emails prior to the event. You could also put up posters at the venue to remind attendees while they are mingling before the event.


Not everyone will listen and download the app before they arrive, that’s ok. A placeholder slide is a perfect opportunity to catch your attendees’ attention and guide them through downloading the app. Create a welcome slide with the download instructions and have it on screen every time the attendees are entering sessions.


Wi-Fi is the most useful thing… when it’s working. When it’s not, it’s the worst! There is nothing more annoying than sluggish and erratic Wi-Fi that taunts you with connection but never delivers. However, the quicker the network the more reactive the app’s live features and the more satisfying the user experience. So test your Wi-Fi beforehand and make sure your network is reliable and geared for the number of attendees you expect at your event.


Explain the app and its many functions to your speakers and MC. Walk them through downloading the app to make sure they have a clear understanding of how to use it and get the speakers excited about utilising features such as Live Polling to make their presentations more interactive. If the speakers are app savvy and ready to use it to engage with the attendees then they will be better equipped to facilitate attendee participation.

The Challenger launch might be an extreme example but it’s a great reminder that it only takes one faulty part to cause disintegration. You’ve got the fantastic mobile event app, now make sure there are no potential O-Rings that could take it down on the day- follow these 4 steps to give your app the best chance at achieving lift-off.