This year's World Expo saw us again partnering with Guidebook, a rapid development application for meetings and events. Each attendee was encouraged to download the app (free) on any mobile device. We filled our Guidebook with everything we could about our event. And kept it updated as events changed, notifying attendees of these changes via "push" messages they could on their devices.Guidebook is a universal app that you feed your information. This means that you will find your event in a searchable list once you get the Guidebook base app on your device. You'll also see many events to download that aren't yours, unless the administrator of that event deems their info is private, in which case they require a passcode to download. The colorful touch-sensitive screens are attractive and easy to use without a tutorial or lesson. Here's what ours looked like in May for World Expo...
The app for Expo had the following categories -
General Expo Information - These were things that were pertinent to all attendees, i.e. our CEO Ray's Welcome Message, our keynote speaker's bio, Awards Dinner, our Dance Party details, etc.
Master Schedule - The itineraries for all 6 of our franchise brands were kept here. All of the event and location information was stored here, on a Master Schedule of the entire World Expo's activities. When a user selected a particular brand's itinerary, the app sorted just that information to display, all taken from this complete schedule listing.
Franchisee Schedule Tracks - This is the Master Schedule deliniated into our 6 brands.
Exhibitor Itinerary - This is information on the trade show, lunches and the Vendor Appreciation event we host between the two days of the trade show.
Maps - Very handy feature showing maps of the hotel and meeting space. These maps come to life when you take the time to locate each room you are using inside of the Itineraries.
Orlando - We had a "Things to do around town section with entertainment and dining tips.
Sponsors - Recognition and web links to the high-dollar sponsors of our event.
Photo Album - Collaborative photo collection bucket for anyone's Expo.
Suppliers and Booths - Probably one of the most popular links, full listing of all suppliers alphabetically with good search tool.
Very helpful were the Metrics that we as Admins could access thru the main Guidebook web portal. This gave us up to the minute details on Total number of app downloads, Number of updates and listings of user platforms. We could, from inside the Admin portal, issue updates, make changes, cancel adn add events and allow users to PUSH them to their devices. Each update afforded us the opportunity to name and describe the update and its significance. This was helpful one evening as rain moved a planned poolside event into a ballroom. Without panicking, we made the change in Guidebook, issued an update, and notified attendees that were probably in their rooms getting ready, or at the bar waiting for a meetup of friends!
This was our second time using Guidebook. Our app had to be a winner, not only because we had 800+ attendess, but some of them are event and meeting planners themselves! (www.planaheadevents.com) Guidebook is a very easy tool to use - we began populating our version less than a week before our event. Our attendees liked the interaction with the app, so we'll defintiely be employing event-specific mobile apps at our future Expos. Guidebook would be a good choice in my opinion...