On-site tech-support staff can take care of all your attendees’ event-app questions, and even show them the most useful tips and tricks. But the set-up of the on-site support desk has a major impact on the team’s ability to help attendees.
To get the most out of your on-site app-support people, you must avoid these nine mistakes:
Mistake 1: Wrong Location
In the wrong spot, the majority of questions asked at the app-support desk will be unrelated to the meeting app. Position the app-support booth further into the event space than your general-info booth. But if the event-app booth is not close to a general-info booth, attendees are going to give it a shot and ask general questions at the app boooth anyway. So, the person at the app booth during peak show hours should be able to answer those general show questions too, or at least point an attendee to the nearest general-info booth.
Mistake 2: No Cross Training
Before the event, train general-info booth staff how to use the meeting app. If they can assist attendees with basic app questions too, that will help maximize your event-app investment.
Mistake 3: No iPads
Having iPad stations with the meeting app preinstalled can be very helpful. They allow attendees to preview the app and ask questions before installing it on their own devices, and staff can easily demo features to a group via the larger screens.
Mistake 4: Confusing Instructions
You have to make it easy for non-techies. Include step-by-step instructions for installing the app and downloading QR codes, as some attendees won’t be familiar with the latter. In the instructions, include specific search keywords to find your app in the App Store or Google Play Store.
Mistake 5: Awkward Assistance
Don’t set your people behind a desk where they can’t easily move around or stand next to the attendee. App-support staff must be able to look over a user’s shoulder. Also, have a couple of cocktail tables (each with electrical-outlet access) for people to use, but only provide one chair per table. Why? Because too many chairs will tempt passersby to simply sit and rest, crowding out attendees who come in with app-related questions.
Mistake 6: Hidden Signage
Display location banners high enough that attendees can find the app-support desk (and your other info booths) from far down the aisle, and from across a few aisles.
Mistake 7: Bad Wi-Fi
The top questions for an app-support desk (after “Where is the bathroom?”) are typically related to installing the event app. While many apps can work offline once they're downloaded, there should be dedicated high-speed Wi-Fi at the support desk for attendees who need help downloading the app. They must be able to log in without any risk of timing out due to slow connection speeds from sharing bandwidth with all other show attendees.
Mistake 8: Insufficient Power
While support staff must have access to power at each table for their own devices, they also need to be able to quickly plug in an attendee’s device if its battery is critically low.
Mistake 9: Inadequate Storage
Using an open layout might leave no space for personal belongings for your app-support staff. Set up a secure storage area for their items—and throw in a few bottles of water for them, too.
Silke Fleischer is the cofounder of ATIV Software, maker of EventPilot mobile conference guides.