Meetings Memo: Four Secrets to Conference App Success

By: Samantha Whitehorne

One association found that the third time was the charm when it came to its conference app. AAIM credits it success to a number of factors, including an easy-to-use interface and an onsite demonstration for attendees.

One association found that the third time was the charm when it came to its conference app. AAIM credits it success to a number of factors, including an easy-to-use interface and an onsite demonstration for attendees.

For AIIM's conference app, the third time was the charm.

In April, AIIM—which calls itself "the global community of information professionals"— held its third annual conference, complete with its third conference app. But this year, the app, developed by Double Dutch, was especially successful with attendees, who AIIM President John Mancini describes as "techie, but not technical." Just how successful? Total attendance was around 800, and the app had 676 active users who completed 243,656 total in-app actions.

Mancini credits the app's success to four things:

  1. Letting people interact before arriving onsite. "We opened up the app four or five days before the event began," he says. "That created and built in activity ahead of time."
  2. Showing people how it works. AIIM took time at the beginning of the meeting, before anything else, to walk all attendees through the app. "That set the tone for engagement throughout the entire event," Mancini says.
  3. Creating an easy-to-use interface. The app had a user experience and "activity feed" that was similar to Facebook, which most attendees were comfortable with. "That familiarity was key to engagement with our crowd," he says.
  4. Building in integration. AIIM displayed photos being uploaded and conversations taking place within the app on big monitors. During breaks, people could see all that activity. "That created further interest and participation," Mancini says.

Samantha Whitehorne is deputy editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:[email protected]

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Come On, Get Appy."]

Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editorial director of Associations Now in Washington, DC.