Case Study: Handling Conference Abstracts With Ease

July 13, 2017

The Event

SMBE, Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. The meeting took place in July 2017 in Austin, Texas in the U.S.

SMBE 2017 will explore a diversity of topics within the interdisciplinary genomics, proteomics, molecular biology and evolution and will see over 1,500 attendees from around the world”

The Challenge

Given the complexity, diversity and sheer volume of topics, we needed to develop a solution that would allow attendees to access over 1,000 conference abstracts in one place.

An abstract is basically a piece of information. In this case the conference abstracts took the form of short mini-essays that would allow speakers and experts to present their topic and/or credentials.

For previous conferences the SMBE had printed each individual abstract to deliver in a paper brochure.

The Solution

A branded event app that housed every single abstract.

The information was easily located, clear to read, highly shareable and the digital format meant organisers (MCI) could add or amend information right up the to very start of the conference.

Not only was the digital format convenient and easy to use (no-one had to carry weighty brochures around!), the SMBE saved a significant amount of money on print costs. Plus, there was no need to spend money on an additional abstract management system.

The Logistics

The event app management is highly flexible. Event organisers can choose from 100% self-managed to 100% outsourced (and with plenty of options in between).

The SMBE meeting organisers opted for a mix of self-managed with event app support from CrowdComms. They were experienced in running event apps but hadn’t handled the number of conference abstracts needed for this event.

CrowdComms therefore handled the abstract management, including curating the data, liaising with the Society organiser and uploading the information.

Things We Loved

We were delighted with the event app’s UX. Our post event analytics were amazing. The event app had 1700 unique visitors, 100k page views and over 15k views of the abstracts.

What they Said

Some app companies don’t actually understand what really lies at the heart of association conferences.

We had been trying to work out a system to accurately put posters and abstracts on an app that is easily searchable, shareable and gives the ability to people to communicate with each other for a long time.

It’s not easy reproducing technical manuscripts from one system to another, but the team at CrowdComms went through every issue one by one, telling us exactly what we could do and – sometimes more importantly – what we couldn’t do.

The upshot was watching attendees view a poster in real life, take out their phones to find it on the app, and then message the author to meet. We used technology to connect people and their science – this is what lies at the heart of association conferences.

CrowdComms understood that and helped us bring it to life’.

Hugh Torpey, Marketing & Communications manager, MCI