SMARTDEVCON EVENT MANAGEMENT APP
FOR IOS, WINDOWS PHONE, IOS AND ANDROID
The conference SmartDevCon is aimed at companies and professionals connected with software solutions for modern devices that have redefined and dominated the mobile market segment over the last few years. As the conference itself is focused on innovative smart and mobile solutions, the event organizers deemed it desirable provide a multi-platform conference management application which would be a valuable event resource, connecting attendees, speakers and sponsors. The application was meant to augment the event experience and engage the audience by means of mobile devices. Many participants are into Android, iOS, Windows Phone and other systems development and they often come to extend their specialised knowledge in such areas as tablets, smartphones, game consoles or smart TVs. The audience was thus fairly demanding in terms of their expectations to be met with the app.
The conference management mobile application is to digitally connect participants, organizers and sponsors before they actually gather during the event. The solution enables the organizers to update the conference agenda on-the-fly, gather feedback and share information about the speakers. Fitted up with an interactive map, social media features and the capacity to create and manage multiple conference tracks, this cross-platform mobile application creates a comprehensive digital environment for all the event stakeholders to engage with the event.
The Steering Committee of SmartDevCon have gathered a great deal of experience in the organisation of IT-related events; they are behind some such annual events as Linux Autumn (from 2003), PyCon PL (from 2008) and PHPCon Poland (from 2010). SmartDevCon – held annually from 2012 – is an international conference for smart device developers and enthusiasts. The aim of the conference is to create a platform for the exchange of knowledge and business contacts in the widely-understood field of smart devices and mobile solutions. The event participants are provided with an opportunity to talk to smart devices experts and find out about the current trends in smart/mobile software development. The SmartDevCon is an event, where to explore some such areas as:
- mobile platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BB 10, Firefox OS, Tizen, Ubuntu Touch;
- mobile user interface design and UX;
- mobile web standards and payment solutions (eg. NFC);
- innovative applications and their usage in different social and commercial contexts;
- new types of smart devices (e.g., smartwatches, Google Glass);
- free and open solutions on smart devices.
The SmartDevCon conference is geared towards technology and business people active in the mobile and smart fields. With the vast majority of stakeholders closely associated and familiar with the latest mobile solutions, the client needed an application which would improve the participants’ experience as well as their perception of the event. Such an app was thus supposed to provide great user interfaces, sleek design and superior UX.
Selleo was commissioned by the SmartDevCon orginzers to design and develop a mobile app and a web cms system, which would allow them to go green and shift all the contents (agenda, speakers and sponsors content) form print to digital as well as gather real-time feedback and event metrics.
APPROACH AND PROCESS
We started collaboration with the SmartDevCon Steering Committee by delivering technology consulting services on the tech stack and the architecture to be applied to develop a suite of mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices and a web content management system.
Selleo – a Xamarin Authorized Consulting Partner – suggested to use this cross-platform solution to speed-up the development process and provide mobile experiences for all the targeted platforms. Using an agile/iterative approach, Selleo took about a week to create the Android, iOS and Windows Phone app versions of the solution.
The SmartDevCon conference application is an event management mobile platform which takes the event to the next level of participant engagement and enhances sponsorship opportunities. An easy to use web CMS platform built with Ruby on Rails is equipped with analytics features which enable the organizers to gather and review behavioral data as well as event performance metrics to create and deliver a more-targeted conference agenda in the future.
The mobile apps allow participants to review the information about the event, rate presentations and provide feedback about speeches and workshops, thus helping the organizers to understand their event better and identify room for improvements in the future. Sponsorship badges and sponsor showcasing in the applications provide a bright new way of exposure, which offers added value to potential sponsors.
MODULES AND FEATURES
The features of the web and mobile conference management platform can be grouped into those meant for specific stakeholders, e.g. participants and organizers. The participants equipped with mobile Android, iOS or Windows Phone 8 devices can access various event information and share the latter via social media. They can also post comments on specific presentations, use geotargeting, navigate with google maps and build their own personalized agenda. The web CMS system – connected with the suite of mobile apps – is fitted up with analytical features to track and measure user behaviour in the application, gather their feedback and keep the data updated in real time.
The cross-platform mobile solution provides a dynamic experience of the conference and enables the conference organizers to effectively manage their event.
The use of the Xamarin technology enabled a fast and cost-effective development and deployment of the mobile apps on the most popular mobile platforms. The approach also enables the client to fairly easily expand its reach to Smart TVs in the future. Last but not least, a wide range of supported mobile devices and operating systems provided new exposure opportunities for sponsors.