How Event Apps Maximise Training Event Outcomes
CrowdComms was delighted to work with a major beauty brand, to help facilitate a training event for over 80 attendees. CrowdComms co-founder, Dee Brannick, talked to the event manager (EM) about her experience using the app.
About the Event
Q: Hi, Thanks for your time today. Can you start by telling us a little bit about the training event and where the app fitted in.
EM: It was a training event held in our London office for 80 employees, as well as speakers.
We mainly used the app to coordinate everyone and to help with attendee engagement. We also used it to create hype before the event.
The Journey to CrowdComms
Q: Was this the first time you decided to use an app at the training event?
EM: No, I’ve just taken over this role, but the company had previously used a different website solution. It was a hosting website that came with an event app. In support everyone was given an iPad to use.
Q: What made you switch to CrowdComms’ app based platform?
EM: The feedback I had from previous sessions was that the last one didn’t always work very well and it was very expensive. So my predecessor had already looked at using something else.
Q: How did you come across CrowdComms?
EM: I asked the department internally who puts us in touch with start-up companies if they knew of any start-ups that would have what I was looking for.
Q: Did you evaluate other options? Was it CrowdComms and a few other companies that you looked at?
EM: I did Google and I found EventMobi so it worked out well that the two were combined!
Q: You made good use of the gaming functionality within the app. Can you tell me what you were looking to achieve and how you used the game?
EM: Past session feedback told us that the iPads didn’t help attendees to engage. They’d be on their phones or they’d be doing different things on their iPads.
Putting the game on the event app made sure the attendees knew when they could use their phones and when they couldn’t. Getting rid of the iPads in favour of a mobile event app worked really well.
Q: And what sort of challenges did you set for the games?
EM: They were given pass codes for winning challenges within their training sessions. If they asked really good questions or got involved in the sessions they got extra points.
Q: That’s clever. So you gave out the points almost like the old school gold star? I haven’t seen it used that way before. What was the attendees’ reaction to the event app game? Did they like it?
EM: Yes! I was surprised because I thought everyone might be excited about the games to start with and then their engagement would wane over the four days. But we had 80% engagement for the whole four days.
Right up until the last challenge people were still competing - even if they knew they were in the bottom place! They carried on because there was a chance they could get a lot more points.
Q: So it worked really well to get everyone involved – not just those at the top?
EM: Yes, I also had some great prizes that helped maintain the participation!
Q: Tell me what prizes did you give away and how did you award people?
EM: We had first, second and third prizes and people could win an Apple Watch or a Go-Pro or a FitBit.
Q: Did you have more than one person tie for a place?
EM: We had a tie for first,, but the two people at the top worked out between them who got what so that worked out well.
Q: Great stuff. So it sounds like your event app game was a big hit?
Q: I saw that there was an emphasis on obtaining feedback. Can you tell me a bit more about what you wanted to achieve?
EM: I wanted the attendees to be able to give feedback for every session. This had been attempted previously, but because they were paper based forms not everyone that attended completed them.
Having the feedback form on the event app and accessible to everyone made sure we did get a lot of feedback. That really helps with future courses and improving areas that need more work.
Q: Were there any other aspects of the event app that you felt you couldn’t live without?
EM: Yes, having one place to put all the files! We had all the presentations and speakers notes linked together. Plus the feedback forms, the attendee profiles and the speaker profiles were all included in the agenda for the training event. Everyone had access to everything they needed.
Q: Did you post those files and documents before the event started?
EM: No, more as we went on throughout the event. We kept the agenda and contents of the session a mystery, so I just unlocked the agenda and files each day.
Q: So when they were in a session they would be able to see the documents attached to that session through the event app?
Q: Just a note on the pre training event communications. Did you send out the event app to people before the event?
EM: I sent it out a week before and I was happy to see that we had 60% engagement even before the event. That was really good.
Q: So that was just a simple email saying here’s your event app, this is what’s on it.
EM: The CrowdComms’ team gave me an email template that detailed what the event app was and how to use it. I also put a passcode for the challenge in that email.
A later email reminded everyone about where they could find details about the app and the passcode. So I sent two emails before the event.
Q: So you included passcodes for the event app game in those emails. That’s a great idea.
EM: I also said for the first day if they were at reception before 9am they’d get a passcode. We had nearly everyone there before 9am! That’s pretty unheard of for us.
Content Management System & Service
Q: That sounds fantastic. Did you load in all the content into the event app yourself or did you get help from our team?
EM: I did most of it. We had a pretty tricky situation trying to work out all the tracks in the agenda because we had lots of different groups of people - but we worked it out in the end.
Q: How did you find the CMS to use?
EM: Yes, really good. It’s really easy.
Q: What was your experience working with the team here?
EM: Ollie was at my beck and call if anything went wrong! So that was really helpful.
Q: Any other tips – if you met someone today who wanted to put a mobile event app into a training event like this one. Would you have any tips or thoughts based on your experience?
EM: Using it the first time is always going to be scary. If you’ve never used it before (and you build your own app) you can try it as many times as you like, but until someone gets hold of it and starts using it you won’t know whether everything will link up properly. Or you’ve missed something or it doesn’t work.
That can be quite daunting at first but you have to be willing to accept that.
Q: Did you have any problems?
EM: As we went along, if somebody found something I could just go straight to the CMS and just fix it. Everything was basically fixable straight away e.g. if a code didn’t work I could just update it automatically. So that was really good – the instant changes were fabulous.
I’m delighted you’ve had a positive experience working with CrowdComms at your training event. Thanks again for your time today.
Dee Brannick - CrowdComms, Co-Founder
Working in Event Tech since 2003, Dee has made thousands of events shine by incorporating market leading technology into a diverse range of events. From boardroom meetings to multi-location conferences, Dee is passionate about finding the right solution for her clients. In 2011 she co-founded CrowdComms to maximise the explosion in smart phone usage at events and now works out of the UK office in sunny Dorset.