CrowdComms is extremely proud to partner with iconic print brand, Konica Minolta. From print production to leading edge optical solutions, Konica Minolta embody the notion of ‘giving shape to ideas’. CrowdComms’ co-founder, Dee Brannick, chatted to Konica Minolta’s, Employee Experience Specialist, Gillian Anderson about how the event app has changed the face of the organisation’s communication events.
Konica’s Communication Events
DB: Hi Gillian. Could you tell me a little bit about the type of events that you run for Konica Minolta and what role the event app has played?
GA: The type of events that we’ve been using the app for are predominantly communication events.
Twice a year we go around the country and our leadership team updates all our colleagues on what’s been happening in the business. We’ve used the app as key part of updating everyone on what’s going to be happening at the events. We’ve also used the event app for the Q&A section.
The app has also been a key part of specific functional area events e.g. our finance team has got together and had separate communication events and they’ve also used the event app.
DB: It sounds like the event app has become an essential part of your communications events. How did you manage communications before you started using the app?
GA: We were fairly basic with how we captured information, specifically around the Q&A sessions and getting feedback from people.
We walked around events with a microphone and got people to submit questions for the Q&A. We also got people to write questions during the event – which we then ran around trying to collect to make sure they were all answered.
Using the app has made that all a lot easier.
Event App Benefits
DB: How does the event app benefit the Q&A piece? Has it been useful and how have the speakers reacted?
GA: For the Q&A sections, we encourage people to pre-submit questions via the app. We also remind and prompt them to submit questions throughout the event.
We usually hold the Q&A section towards the end of the event. We encourage people to vote-up specific topics they want covered which we then monitor. This makes it a lot easier for our leadership team to think about the questions before answering them
It also gives them that little bit extra time to prepare and give the responses that are really going to answer the questions.
DB: Can you tell me how you moderate the questions? Do you do it in advance or do you put the questions straight up on screen?
GA: We manage the app during the event and I moderate and filter questions as they come in. This allows me to avoid duplicate questions so we really get the most from the Q&A session.
Our leadership team is also keeping an eye on questions throughout the event, either on their phones or on tablets. As the questions come in, they have time to discuss and to think of answers.
We have a moderator on stage who runs through the questions. As the questions are answered I hide them on the screen so it’s very clear what questions are left.
It allows everyone in the room to see the questions that are coming through and which ones they might vote up. It helps them to be really involved and actively participate in the Q&A, rather than being another part of the event where they just sit and listen.
DB: Sounds brilliant. How many times have you used the event app and how did you find the content upload?
GA: We’ve used the app multiple times over two years, so probably over 20 times in total now.
It works very effectively. Using the CMS system and uploading the content is very easy and straightforward. It’s always just a case of us gathering the information, and for me that’s always the tricky part! But as soon as it comes to getting it uploaded and looking great, it’s very straightforward to manage and easy to use.
Support and Service
DB: Could you tell me about your experience working with the CrowdComms team? Particularly in the lead-up to your first event using the app and how they supported you along the way.
GA: My experience of working with the CrowdComms teams has been fantastic. From day one where I met Felix and Rob at the Smile event, they have always been very engaged.
There’s always someone available and able to help – even in an emergency. For example I made a slight error at an event where I clicked a button I shouldn’t have done. I was in quite a bit of a panic but one quick phone call and it was sorted out straight away.
There have even been times at the weekend when I’ve been panicking about an event starting on Monday morning and Rob has been on the phone to me on a Saturday. The team are always going over and above and calming my fears. They are always willing to help and are very supportive. I can’t say enough good words about them!
DB: What are your future plans for developing the app?
GA: We’re constantly looking to change and update what we’re doing with our events. But continuing to use the app and being more innovative with our event technology solutions is really important.
We’ve used the app really effectively, but I think the style of our events is going to be changing. I still see the app being instrumental to our events – so having an understanding about the different things we could introduce to make our events more effective (and how to get more people engaged with them) is something I’ll be looking at next year.
A Little Advice
DB: What advice would you offer event planners considering using an event app for their event?
GA: The app has made our Q&A sessions and driving engagement so much easier.
Some key things we’ve learnt is to get people really engaged with the app before an event. Because when you actually see it working people are always brought into it. Initially you may have lots of different people in the business that are a bit more afraid to use technology than others.
To really get people engaged with it beforehand, make sure they have all the app details and that they’re comfortable with using it.
Also prompt people to use it throughout the event, because when it comes to the Q&A section you get more information and engagement.
It’s fantastic the relationship that I have with lots of people in the CrowdComms office. They are always helpful and incredibly reactive with the support that they offer us, always going over and above.