We were thrilled to recently work with our good friends at Virgin Holidays. CrowdComms helped them put together two great employee events; a campaign launch in Las Vegas and a sales reward event in Florida.
CrowdComms’ co-founder, Dee Brannick, chatted to Virgin Holiday’s Trading and Events Executive, Rebecca Stoner, about their experience with the first event in Las Vegas.
Q. Hi Rebecca, Thanks for spending some time with us today. Can we start by looking at your campaign event, The Peak Launch. Can you tell us a little bit about the event?
RS: Every year we take between 200-250 of our top sales staff to our annual campaign launch event. For the most recent employee event we took them overseas to Las Vegas. Essentially, the Peak Launch event launches our sales campaign for the year. We wanted to take our staff away and get them all in one place and given them the tools they needed to be able to start selling.
Q. Sounds like a fantastic trip! Where did the event app fit in with the event strategy?
RS: Rather than have lots of printed material, we wanted to give delegates everything they needed in the palm of their hand. Essentially, we wanted it be their one point of communication. The app would contain the trip itineraries, so they could see what was going on and when. Plus it would have all the delegates’ personal profiles so they could get to know each other and see who else was on the trip.
Q. So, was that the first time you’d used an event app at this event?
RS: Yes. I’ve been doing the events for the last four years with Virgin Holidays on the Peak Launch events and it’s the first time we’ve used an event app. We’ve completed a post employee event survey using Survey Monkey, but with those kinds of survey tools you don’t get the results until well after the event. With the event app we could access survey results live and in real-time – which was fantastic.
Q. That’s great to hear. Can you tell me a little more about why the real time results were so important for the event?
RS: The Live Polling and question submission worked really well for Peak Launch.
We did a four-hour conference and broke it down into sections. During each part of the conference we stopped and did a live poll. After the speaker had done his or her part, we’d quickly switch screens and ask the audience a question. The event app meant that our people were really engaged with the conference content. It was the best thing we did for the event and it’s something we will definitely do again.
Q. I’m really happy to hear that. So you got the results you were hoping for?
RS: Absolutely! The messages definitely got across and I think it was a really good interactive way to make sure people were listening and to stop to them and to say, “lets get our phones out and get involved – now it’s your turn to play your part.”
Q. How did the whole search for an app come about?
RS: We have a team of people that work on our Peak Launch event. A couple of the senior team members had been to seminars and conferences before and seen event apps in action. Someone made the recommendation to give our people an information tool where they would have everything in the palm of their hand.
Q. Obviously people in your senior management team had seen or used an event app at conferences. Did you go through the process of finding suppliers via Google?
RS: Yes, I did a bit of an analysis on Google and found two companies, one of which was CrowdComms. We also looked at an external company who has developed our internal event apps. We decided to test and trial all three and see which had the functionality we needed. It turned out that CrowdComms ticked all the boxes, from a cost base as well as functionality.
Q. In terms of the service and the experience working with the CrowdComms team, I’m interested to know how that was?
RS: So yes, the CrowdComms guys I worked with were really helpful and on hand to give me everything I needed. As an example, one intinery needed to be broken down into different views so only the suppliers could see their itinerary and the delegates could see theirs etc. Unfortunately we had the situation where everyone could see everyone else’s itinerary! I emailed support to explain the problem and within 10 mins they’d fixed it.
That’s an example of how responsive the CrowdComms’ support team were. I found that very, very useful to know they were always on hand. Even when the event was overseas I felt really well supported by the team.
Q. That’s terrific feedback – and did you find the content management system easy to use?
I felt like it was really user friendly. I’m not much of a technical whizz, so to be able to learn the system and to understand it and to able to actually use it was really nice! It’s simple and clear to understand.