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APP-solutely

By Luke Thorogood

Blog

Technology Project Manager, Luke Thorogood, highlights how apps can help take events to new levels and the success of our recent ‘SpotMe Day’ in collaboration with our app partners – not to mention the satisfaction gained in the use of a good pun…

“App-solutely!” That’s the answer I give when clients or potential clients ask, “should we have an app?”

Here at Ashfield Meetings & Events, we are in a great position to be able to deliver the most effective event technology to our clients. The most important question we will always ask our clients is ‘what are your desired outcomes? Why do you want an app?’

When it comes to apps, we’re now in our fifth year of collaboration with SpotMe, and our offering has never been stronger or more sharply focussed on our clients' needs.

After a successful year of event app delivery, with over 10,000 attendees using an app we have built, I thought we needed to celebrate and showcase what we are doing across the business. So our Head of Technology and Compliance, Andrew Moore, and I started to think about how we achieve this. We’re a global business, our staff are busy and focused on client meetings and events, but continually educating our staff is an important objective. To share, discuss and promote how a meeting experience can be enhanced for delegates and client stakeholders alike would only further improve our service offering to our client base.

With our SpotMe Account Manager, Marine Losdyck, booked in for our quarterly visit, it was the perfect opportunity to host a ‘SpotMe Day’. After a great meeting between Andrew, Marine and I, we had developed an exciting, engaging and interactive agenda.

Our objective of the day was clear – to SPARK and engineer ideas that colleagues can take to clients to drive innovation, but also to highlight how an app’s technological capabilities could ensure we continue to deliver events with certainty and impact – the mantra that perpetually reverberates around the walls of our business. We also wanted to demonstrate how the product and its features can be used to create lasting experiences and moments for delegates – delegates that in this instance would be our own staff.

To meet these objectives, we had to make sure the sessions we delivered were impactful, creative and educational. We designed and built an event app for the day, allowing colleagues to download and experience the product first-hand, interact and find important information about the event. The app was an integral part of the day and showcased how we embed the app into an event agenda and content.

The sessions themselves were divided and conquered between us all – Marine focusing on the SpotMe products, features and its future vision, Andrew delivering some of the key findings of our most recent white paper The Science Of Healthcare Professional Meetings, detailing how HCPs can benefit from the app at their meetings and events, and I focused on showcasing the successful apps of 2018 and how we can adapt our SPARK THINKING ethos when building event apps for clients.

It is this particular session that I want to provide a bit more context to as it delivers the message we continually promote across our business. The session was called BE DIFFERENT and was designed to consider how we can look at things with a different perspective to deliver content. Rather than focussing on the ‘Return on Investment’, we encouraged our staff to think about the ‘Return of Experiences’, and how we can capture engagement and emotion to create stories that will affect change.

We were delighted when SpotMe’s CEO, Pierre Metrailler also came along to the dedicated day at our Ashby-de-la-Zouch headquarters, as we got to witness first-hand his passion for the product and hear how SpotMe’s mission mirrors our own in terms of flawless delivery for clients. Pierre also stayed with us to deliver a joint webinar with US-based market research giant, Forrester, focusing on making ‘User-generated video a strategic asset’ – taking advantage of our creative meeting room ‘Ingenuity’ which was specifically designed as a space to encourage ideas and innovation.

The day itself went better than Andrew and I could have anticipated. The levels of engagement from our colleagues was fantastic, we saw how our staff were starting to think differently, and despite a lot of our teams being on-site at the American Society for Haematology (ASH) congress in San Diego, attendance numbers for each session were high. We’d created an appetite to attend and judging by the real-time feedback shared on the in-app social feed and post-session surveys, we had returned an incredibly positive experience to our teams.

The aim of the SpotMe Day was to create a lasting legacy here at Ashfield and reiterate our SPARK THINKING mentality – our BE DIFFERENT approach – to ensure we continue to innovate for our clients through event technology. Our goal as event professionals is to produce impactful experiences that engage and create emotion for long-lasting stories, and this is something I will strive to embed and maintain in our event technology offering. By sharing knowledge and a new perspective, and by continuing to drive that message through bite-size technology sessions for our staff throughout the year, I’m confident that our SpotMe partnership will continue to blossom. Our experience and capacity to build tailored client apps will inevitably continue to grow and be enhanced as the industry-leading SpotMe technology further evolves.

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