Trade Show and Event Tips

Six Ways to “Mobilize” Attendees

It was inevitable that the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses™ (WOCN®) Society would implement a mobile app for its annual conference. The rationale around using mobile apps was becoming clearer and mobile platforms were developing into efficient ways to deliver on conference objectives.

Nevertheless, conference attendees weren’t exactly in love with technology and planners had to devise ways to help them let go of the traditional ways to navigate, network and learn during the event.

Aside from the fact that nearly everyone who attends the WOCN conference brings a mobile device with her, there was another reason why a mobile platform was an obvious next step for planners.

The ChirpE mobile app already was bundled with the event management software they were using. “Because the app was already included in the a2z package, we didn’t have to go to another provider,” says Brooke Bilofsky, associate meeting manager at WOCN.

With the decision to go mobile behind them, Bilofsky’s team set about working on an implementation plan for her less-than-tech-savvy audience:

  1. Start with the basic features. The first year that WOCN used a mobile app (2012), planners stayed with ChirpE Basic (mobile website), which included a real-time floor plan, exhibitor and product search, session directory and My Itinerary (personalized calendar). Because the app linked to the web, no downloading was required.
  1. Enhance the app as attendees buy in. The mobile app was so popular the first year, organizers upgraded to ChirpE Premium (native app) the following year. The upgraded version added MyWOCN (enhanced matchmaking and appointment setting), an interactive floor plan (clicks on the map highlighted where conference rooms were located), in-app conference evaluations, presentation handouts and social media tools to the feature set.

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