So, it’s the beginning of June and I am rousing myself to look at what is in the pipeline in my events workstream (one of several) for the 2H of this year.
In the next six months or so I have three tightly-focussed customer-facing events in the Maritime, Finance and Retail verticals, mostly in the M.E., followed later by a 275 delegate sales kick-off lasting close to a week, probably somewhere in Eastern Europe. That means I have to sell more sponsorship, after I have worked out which partners and suppliers are the most appropriate fit, as well as how I can deliver the maximum value to them in return for their investment. Empty promises to partners that fail to deliver do the business no favours whatsoever. I am extremely fortunate in that most of my sponsors have been happy with the results they’ve seen previously, and insist on coming back for more!
One of the things I need to get resolved quickly is a suitable event app to manage attendees/delegates, both internal and external. In the last 18 months I’ve been through two event apps – Yapp and one other that I wont name for reasons that will become clear.
Yapp is a brilliant little container app with a great committed supporting team behind it who were more than happy to work with me to develop some additional capabilities that I needed. It was fine for the event in which I used it, and indeed saved the budget a huge 8,000 euro compared to the much less capable solution that the company was already using in its other divisions. As is always the way with these things, once the users discovered its capabilities they were clamouring for more.
For the next event I moved to what, from initial investigation, appeared to be an even more capable tool with the additional capabilities that my people were looking for. It needed a little bit of app development which the supplier worked with me to do, and user testing went fine. However, when it came to the event itself it turned out that the application features didn’t scale well, and all too late it became clear that things were at a much earlier stage of development and readiness than I had been led to believe. Lesson learned! However, because of last minute adjustments in the way the app was used and advertised, we got through without the user base realising what a near catastrophe it had been!
So, for this next tranche of events I am taking those painfully learned lessons onboard and I am now talking to an interesting Canadian startup. Initial discussions have gone well; it is clear that they know exactly what they are talking about and their app is well tested and developed.
In the next few weeks I will be trying it out (with suitable dummy load testing!) and I will let you know how things go in due course…..