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Event App Case Study

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Innovative Mobile Technology for Education Conference

WCET Conference AppEach year, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Annual Conference brings together e-learning leaders and practitioners for professional development, networking, and influencing WCET initiatives. With such a tech savvy audience and the constant pressure to further its reputation as a technology organization, what could WCET add as a WOW factor for their 22nd annual event?

The organization knew that something innovative would have to be offered to engage attendees and tie in social networking directly.
“One of WCET’s focus areas was on mobile learning,” said Megan Raymond, Programs and Events Manager for WCET. “We knew that we needed to implement mobile technology for our program but it had to meet a lot of requirements and a real mobile event app that isn’t just a mobile website seemed unobtainable for us.”

I LOVE the ipod app for the conference!  It is so awesome to be able to set up the sessions I want to attend, have a map, access to the PowerPoints and everything at my fingertips!  Thanks to whomever created that!!
Mark J. Labbett, M.Ed | Curriculum & Instructional Designer Online Campus, TCS Education System

Requirements

  • No additional burden on the events planning team that was already managing registrations, speakers, exhibitors, and the venue.
  • Ease of use for the event organizer and the attendees so time is spent on the content and not on learning the conference app.
  • Intuitive and robust functionality so that staff at the registration desk is not burdened with meeting app related questions or issues.
  • Ability to easily add updates since schedules change and PowerPoint presentations aren’t always submitted on time.
  • Pricing that fit the budget and the option to sell sponsor ad placement without having to share ad revenue with the app vendor.

Solution

conference-app-session-screen-android“When Ellen Wagner, our Executive Director of WCET and internationally renowned expert in learning technologies, introduced us to ATIV Software and their products, we knew EventPilot was a must have for the conference,” said Raymond. “We chose the EventPilot Plus edition so we could integrate the speaker’s PowerPoint slides and enable attendees to take notes during the presentations or even tweet the slides and create more buzz.”

EventPilot not only met all the requirements, but far exceeded expectations. The implementation was very easy consisting of simply copying the event content into a standard spreadsheet-based backend and providing the event branded imagery for the event app. The rest was taken care of by ATIV and within a few days, the WCET conference app was built for testing and store submission. The mobile app was available for iPhone and iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and also as a web version. “The amount of work I actually put into the application was minimal compared to the overall results,” said Raymond.

Before or at the event, attendees simply downloaded the free conference app from the respective stores to instantly access meeting facility maps, session schedules, PowerPoint presentations, speaker bios, Twitter, and numerous other features.

Main Benefits of the Conference App

  • Improve reputation as technology organization
  • Communicate program changes on the fly
  • Reduce program printing cost by at least 25%
  • Tie in with social media

Unexpected Benefit

On the first morning of the event, while hundreds of attendees picked up their badges at the registration desk, the boxes with the printed conference programs still had not arrived. Instead of an event planner’s nightmare, the situation turned into the perfect opportunity to inform attendees about the paperless app.

Results

Not only did attendees connect and share ideas, they got to experience educational technology in action. Adoption was higher than expected with over 70% of attendees downloading the mobile app.

The event app was praised in the conference survey:

  • The iPhone app was a first and very useful
  • Loved the iPhone app - very nicely done
  • Loved the mobile app. All tech conferences should have one

WCET is already planning to offer the conference app at their next event.

The attendees loved the app, it was consistently one of the most highly praised aspects of the conference.

Megan Raymon, WCET