Yesterday kicked off our first CrowdCompass + Cvent webinar featuring our new all-in-one solution for events. Alaina Schulner, Marketing Manager of Seattle Science Festival, joined us to talk about her experience with the native app we created for her event. The 2012 Seattle Science Festival was a first-time regional event with over 70 collaborating organizations and 50,000 attendees. Not only was there a large demographic, there was also a lot of space to cover. The solution? A CrowdCompass app.
Alaina decided to use a mobile event app because of her team’s dedication to cutting-edge technology and using less paper. Since this was a first-time event for Seattle, she wanted a clean, professional app that would show they took this seriously and were committed to their purpose. The age of attendees ranged from 25-65, so an easy-to-use app was also important.
Other useful features included the QR code reader, which helped promote scientific content by linking to videos for further engagement beyond the booths. The map function made it easier for people to navigate the area and find different events they wanted to attend. During the festival's expo day, 25,000 attendees used the app to leverage all the other events that took place. Without it, they would have had an entirely different experience. Attendees saw, heard, and experienced so much more while using the app.
Though using a mobile app helped her cut down on planning time, the biggest challenges she faced with using a mobile app for a first-time festival were getting people on board and committed, understanding the full scope of the app, and getting info into the backend while trying to do all the other work that comes with planning on a tight timeline. She suggested event planners use a mobile app for the first time with regular, ongoing events where the schedule and timeline are already set.
Another thing to think about is how to best utilize push notifications. “We’re planners, we’re busy, we’re working with caterers, vendors, etc.,” she said. If you want to increase interactions and engagement, it takes time and dedication. You really have to think about how push notifications will work the day of so you can increase the interactivity of the app.
Instead of selling the app to sponsors, Alaina wanted to dedicate their first mobile app to lead sponsor JP Morgan Chase. After she showed JP Morgan Chase the comps CrowdCompass created for her, they decided to invest their money and sponsor the app. “We couldn’t have done it without CrowdCompass,” Alaina said. “The app sells itself and sponsors will pay for it.”
Hearing Alaina say she was impressed with our professionalism and staff, dedication to our product, and great customer service really made our day--and reconfirms why we do what we do. And since she had experience utilizing Cvent’s online registration for her event, Alaina was the perfect person to let us know how she felt about our latest news. “We’re really excited to continue our partnership with Cvent and CrowdCompass.” Thanks, Alaina—so are we!