For Calix, events are a crucial part of their marketing strategy and mix, driving lead generation and operating as a communicate channel to their existing customer base. Their teams run over 200 events worldwide a year with two large marquee events, the user group conference in the fall, in Las Vegas. And their road show in the spring.
Calix first tried a mobile event app provider out of the Netherlands when budget constraints were top of mind. Decided to make the switch after their attendees experienced severe connectivity issues, weren’t able to access the agenda and push notifications were not being sent. Allison Brausen, Senior Manager, Digital Campaigns and Events, needed a reliable and stable solution that she could count on. And access to a support team during those crunch event moments.
In 2014, Calix began using CrowdCompass for their annual user group conference. The first year, they had low app download rates. A possible carry-over from attendees’ unsuccessful attempts to use past apps. They knew they were wasting the investment and weren’t engaging attendees as much as they could before, during, and after the event.
Driving Adoption and Engagement
Allison built a promotion plan that began four months before the start of the event to encourage attendees to become familiar with the app. She leveraged the available CrowdCompass resources and tools to motivate attendees to log in to the app. This strategy helped to kick off the event and drive adoption of the app. The result, 75% of attendees logged in before they arrived and onsite Calix achieved 90% login rate. Calix had up to that point, offered a printed agenda in tandem with the mobile event app. There was a big hesitation internally to stop using paper at events because it was very comfortable and the way they had always done things. So, Allison gathered internal support from key stakeholders to stop providing printed agendas and start including presentations within the app. That was the push late adopter attendees needed to start using the app.
During the event Calix utilized features to engage their attendees and make it simple for attendees to actively participate in session discussions. Live Q&A was used during panel sessions which ended up being wildly successful. Allison explains, “people are sometimes shy to get up and talk in a microphone and I actually hosted a session where we had over 45 questions submitted for a 45-minute session. And so, it, it gave us the confidence to now roll that out, not only to just our panel sessions this year, but to all sessions.” They also used session surveys to collect valuable event feedback and gamified the event experience with a fun contest called Submit Your Selfie! By building a strong promotion plan and leveraging engagement features, Calix increased app adoption by 300% and app engagement by 100% YoY.
Calix needed a way to stay in contact with their customers year-round and instantly recognized the benefit of having a channel to reach their customers where they spend the majority of their time, on their phones! They use Push Notifications as a communication channel to notify customers of upcoming events, product announcements and company news.
Time and Money Savings
Like most organizations, Calix encountered several costly issues that commonly occur when providing printed materials onsite for attendees. These challenges include, getting the materials to the printer on time (rush charges are expensive), accommodating registration and schedule updates, and adding last-minute exhibitor and sponsor details. Allison recalls, “with printed materials if there was a room change or description update, there was no way to change that onsite. So, it caused a lot of confusion for attendees.” Calix enabled the Cvent to CrowdCompass integration to save time. The integration automatically syncs content from your event registration site to the app, reducing double entry of key event information – including session and speaker details. Additionally, having a mobile event app has Calix team more efficient because all of our information is stored in one source. So, it’s convenient for Allison to point internal attendees to the app where they can go to find information about sessions, appointments, about other attendees and speakers.