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Success Story

North American YMCA Development Organization

North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO) was grappling with the effects of a faulty mobile app: disengaged attendees, dismal adoption rates and wasted planner resources. After carefully vetting mobile app options, NAYDO partnered with CrowdCompass to offer their attendees a reliable, intuitive digital solution and save their busy planners a tremendous amount of time.

“We wanted something that was hassle-free and simple, not only for our attendees, but also for us as the planners. CrowdCompass provided that and more. ”

- Pam Havlick Hearn, Director of Membership and Education

The Issue

After relying on a web-based mobile event app that lacked necessary functionality, the NAYDO planning team and its members were losing patience. Their loyal attendees became so frustrated by the short-term solution that they didn’t bother downloading the app in its second year. The NAYDO team knew that the right mobile tool would solve this problem. It was important to them to offer a seamless digital experience in order to increase attendee engagement. Instead of risking further alienating their member base, NAYDO began to vet other app providers in search of a solutions-oriented partner.

Pam Havlick Hearn, the NAYDO Director of Membership and Education, knew they needed an intuitive, straightforward mobile solution. The mobile event app had to benefit attendees and planners equally, and they wanted to make a long-term investment with an event app partner that could smooth the planning and launch processes.

Why CrowdCompass?

After narrowing their search down to four providers, the team at NAYDO chose CrowdCompass based on two key factors:

1. Technical support before, during, and after the event was crucial to internal stakeholders. With CrowdCompass offering round-the-clock support that concern was almost instantly alleviated.

2. The team valued the app’s accessibility and ease of use. To be successful, they needed an app that was hassle free and simple.

NAYDO planners were able to use the simple EventCenter templates and design to manage their events with increased visibility and efficiency. Instead of manually inputting attendees, speakers, sessions and exhibitors, organizers imported all the information in one step, saving time and reducing errors. Mary Zoller, NAYDO Operations and Conference Director, noted, “we never designed a mobile app before, but the solution was super intuitive with tons of support.” After two years of poor adoption using a web-based event guide, they were determined to make the most of their new tool.

Event attendees were excited to be able to filter and search content by category, helping them get the most of the event by being able to quickly locate content, exhibitors and sessions related to their interests. Push notifications were another big win onsite, because Hearn and her team could directly alert attendees with event updates and reminders. In their post-event feedback, attendees noted that they appreciated the intermittent messages and loved that they had everything they needed right in the app. NAYDO saw that these features promoted greater engagement, which led to greater attendee satisfaction and a seamless event experience for all.


The NAYDO team reached out to registrants before the event to encourage and assist with early downloads. They were so confident in the app that they gave out their personal contact information to attendees. The end result? 900 pre-event downloads and minimal attendee questions.

On the day of the event, presenters and attendees were more prepared, informed, and free to explore the conference, knowing they had access to all the content they needed throughout every session. Planners saved time because all their info was on their phone, and speakers embraced the switch to digital materials. At the end of the conference, NAYDO used integrated surveys to capture real-time insights from their satisfied (and quite impressed) attendees.

Innovative App Download Strategy

To achieve stellar adoption rates, NAYDO set up a Download Day prior to the event, during which they asked attendees to download the app. The best part: one lucky downloader would have his or her entrance fee fully refunded! A well-timed backup email reminded those who missed Download Day that there was still time to download the app. The staff offered help online and onsite so that everyone could easily download. “We were there to walk them through the process,” Pam commented, “even though it was so intuitive that people didn’t need much help.” Download Day resulted in stellar adoption rates; by the first day of the event, over 900 attendees had already downloaded the app.

“Switching tools is the best thing we’ve ever done. It’s easy to use, and our attendees really love it. People are already looking forward to using the app at our next conference. ”

- Mary Zoller, Operations and Conference Director

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