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Case Study
The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) wanted to create a true mobile experience that would allow its attendees to enjoy all aspects of the conference from the palm of their hand. They partnered with CrowdCompass by Cvent to offer attendees the app features that would matter most to them. Ultimately, the event app was a huge success with a strong adoption rate and an over-the-top ROI.

As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of professional excellence, health and wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines and cultures through education research, and conferences. The CIA’s Worlds of Flavor® International Conference and Festival (WOF) is widely acknowledged as the country’s most influential professional forum on world cuisines, food cultures, and flavor trends.


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of app users created a CrowdCompass account


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The Issue

The CIA wanted to deliver on the theme of its conference—Kitchens Connected, how informational and operational technologies connect chefs globally—by giving attendees a mobile event app to use. The CIA came to CrowdCompass with the hopes of creating an app that would feature every aspect of the real-life conference—minus the tastes and smells.

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Why CrowdCompass

The CIA had a strong partnership with Cvent, and they were eager to launch a mobile app with features that would make the digital experience as vibrant as possible, including:

  • Interactive maps
  • Attendee lists and presenter and sponsor profiles
  • Schedule details
  • Culinary demo recipes, and more
Beyond the printed program

Beyond the printed program

The CIA was determined to give attendees as much supplemental conference information as possible without overwhelming them. The college wanted to provide maps, attendee lists, schedules, sponsor profiles, recipes and additional content designed to help attendees experience the conference to its fullest. However, putting everything the CIA wanted to include in a printed program would have been way too much content for attendees. Instead, the institute opted to put all of the information into the event app. The interactive map of the exhibition hall featured links to sponsor and presenter profiles, and made it easy for attendees to learn more without being overloaded by information in a paper map.

Spreading the word

Spreading the word

The CIA didn’t miss a beat in getting the word out to attendees about its dynamic event app. From social media posts to e-blasts and posters with QR codes, the CIA made it simple for attendees to learn about the app and download it. Since the app made it easy for users to add profiles and connect with attendees, the CIA decided to host a raffle for everyone who made a public profile. The winner scored a free Kindle Fire.

"Our conference app successfully met our objectives for creating a more engaging and technologically enhanced experience for our attendees,"

– Jacquelyn Chi, Manager, Strategic Initiatives
A success all around

Success all around

The CIA was thrilled to have several sponsors purchase app advertising opportunities to more than cover the app costs. The sponsor banner ads were so successful they received more than 77,000 views. But the CIA found the app to be more than just a financial success story. “Our conference app successfully met our objectives for creating a more engaging and technologically enhanced experience for our attendees,” Jacquelyn Chi, Manager, Strategic Initiatives said. On top of that, senior leadership was impressed and eager to expand mobile technology by launching future event apps.

The Culinary Institute of America App

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