The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak body for Australian non-government organisations involved in international development and humanitarian action. ACFID assists member organisations with governance, manages the sector's Code of Conduct, and organises a range of sector-specific learning and networking events.
"The mobile app was on par with the cost and resource saving it represented, with the ability to provide a soft copy rather than hard copy printouts of various content pieces, especially with those last-minute requests that came to us during the event which could have been really stressful for us to manage. It allowed the team to be more focused on strategic activities."
ACFID was founded in 1965 with a purpose to create an equitable and sustainable world. ACFID's aim was to hold a 'Green Conference' and reduce its carbon footprint by going paperless. Printing hard copy programs and then shipping it to the venue was not only expensive but also stressful. The team realised they had to look for alternate ways to update an ever-changing event schedule and eliminate the cost of reprinting programs. They wanted a technology that could allow them to edit content on the fly and send push notifications to its members.
In 2017, ACFID joined hands with CrowdCompass by Cvent to create a mobile event app for its 2017 Annual National Conference. The app turned the entire event program into an interactive and updateable brochure. To maximise adoption of the app, the team began promoting it the moment they signed the deal with CrowdCompass and continued it until the day of the event. The idea of a green conference became an instant hit amongst both delegates and sponsors. “As one of the organisers, I could instantly see the benefits of using an event app. The ability to update attendees instantly about additions, reminders, or changes to the program was invaluable,” says Moti.
The delegates had all the useful information like session details and speakers' bios in the palm of their hand. The app empowered them to share event-related social content in real-time, make real, personal connections and network with new people with similar interests. “The SocialWall was fantastic as it helped messages spread throughout the attendees quickly. One great example of this was a deaf speaker that gave the closing keynote speech. During the event, the 'Twitterverse' launched a movement to applaud her on the final day using the sign for applause. Standing at the back of the main hall watching 400 attendees surprise the speaker by doing the sign for clapping was such an organic and heartfelt moment culminating our event, and I'm not sure it would have been adopted by so many, had the SocialWall not been available to attendees who might not otherwise tweet.”
With sky-high engagement, seamless communication, and all the information in one place, the CrowdCompass mobile app was everything ACFID had hoped for. The team not only saved $6,000 in printing cost, but also relieved themselves of much stress from last-minute requests. “A speaker had asked us to print 450 double-sided coloured handouts two hours before their presentation, which would have been extremely stressful without the app. The app enabled us to upload the presentation and distribute it to the attendees within a few minutes,” says Moti.
The app had a 75% adoption rate, thanks to all the buzz created by the team before and during the event. The team advertised the mobile app through several news updates for at least a month prior to the event and even had signage and handouts in the delegate satchels on the day of the event. The most useful feature of the app was its ability to send push notifications to the delegates. “At one point one of the rooms in the venue had changed for a session and we were able to advise attendees of the change almost instantly,” quotes Moti.
The mobile app was also a win-win for both the exhibitors and ACFID. The app allowed the sponsors to be highlighted on interactive floor maps and upload last-minute soft copies of documentation. ACFID was able to serve as a 'green' role model for its members and ensure it reflects the positive impact they are aiming to make in the greater world.