A Lively Festival With A Dynamic App
How the Festival of Marketing used Guidebook to Support a High-Powered Atmosphere
When was the last time you attended a conference so alive and exciting that you would be compelled to describe it as a ‘festival?’ You may not associate professional development with fun and dynamism, but that’s probably because you haven’t attended the annual Festival of Marketing from Econsultancy, Marketing Week, Creative Review, Design Week and Celebrity Intelligence.
According to Laura Wall, Group Marketing Manager for Econsultancy, the Festival of Marketing grew out of their ‘Modern Marketing Manifesto’ – a set of guiding principles being widely adopted by digital age marketers across the globe. At the Festival, anyone in the marketing community or with a marketing responsibility can come together to network, learn from one another and be a part of moving the industry forward with the tenants of the manifesto at the core of it all.
Laura says, “We wanted the experience to come to life a little more than your average conference or exhibition.” With 10 interactive stages, a Digital Transformation Hub and a Marketing Cabinet of Curiosities, the Festival of Marketing may be the most energetic and spirited conference in existence.
Innovate and Evolve
At an event like this, innovation abounds. It’s promoted by the organizers, and the Festival’s attendees are the movers and shakers of the marketing world. For that reason, the Festival knew it could do better than the previous year’s printed program. “The first year we did a big printed guide that just goes out of date and it’s heavy for people to carry around,” Laura said. “It’s a marketing event where a good portion of the audience is digital and we felt like we needed to be innovative and push our boundaries.”
An event app seemed like the perfect solution. There’s no printing, it can be updated instantly, and the audience is primed for digital content already. When it came time to choose the best event app, Guidebook was the clear choice. Laura said, “We did an RFP for different app providers, and going through that process Guidebook stood head and shoulders above the other people we were looking to work with.”
“Guidebook stood head and shoulders above the other people we were looking to work with.”
Improving Event Features
When an event has a lot to offer, it usually also has a fairly daunting schedule to look at. Festival of Marketing had 10 different stages with their own focuses, or tracks, along with other content streams outside of those offerings. Their Guidebook guide was able to organise all of these into an easy-to-read format where attendees could see everything running parallel, or drill down to their specific interests.
“We had a really complicated schedule to communicate. We tried to deliver it in as many ways as people would want to digest it, so I think it was really great that we could work with Guidebook to figure out a way that makes it as easy as possible for everyone to understand,” said Laura.
A significant aspect of the Festival is the personal and professional connections that participants make while they’re there. The Festival team wanted to ensure that people could use the app as a tool to make those connections – but on their own terms.
“As a person using Guidebook, you have more choice as to who sees your information,” said Laura. With optional sign in and the ability to choose when you trade contact cards, the Festival’s influential and largely senior audience didn’t have to worry about unwanted approaches or information swaps.
App Company as Event Partner
With Guidebook’s professional services, Festival of Marketing was also able to take advantage of its unique customisation features. They were assigned an account-specific Guidebuilder who worked with them to populate the content and take full advantage of the guide’s features. From colorful, eye-catching custom icons to rich speaker bios and session descriptions, the Festival’s guide took on a life of its own and reflected the brand’s vibrant personality.
In addition to advising the Festival on the construction of the app, the Guidebook team also supported them when it came to best practices for promoting the app and increasing the download rates. “I really appreciated Guidebook’s suggestions, especially when it came to the marketing. Their advice helped make us as successful as possible.
“The feedback that we got was all extremely positive. We got lots of compliments.”
As far as the app’s reception, Laura said, “Everyone was really pleased and impressed with the it. The feedback that we got was all extremely positive. We got lots of compliments.” In addition to next year’s Festival, the Econsultancy team is already investigating ways that Guidebook could be rolled out across their other events and the company itself.
The bottom line? Laura says, “The interface is really simple, the team’s great, and the product is amazing.”