TIPS
Case: The 2Meet app at Translation Forum Russia. How push notifications save organizers time
PREFACE

Translation Forum Russia, a massive international conference for members of the translation and localization industry, recently took place in St. Petersburg. Conference participants and guests used the 2Meet mobile app as a platform for communicating and scheduling meetings.

We spoke with Alexey Kislov, technical director of the Business-Bureau of the Association of Interpreters and one of the organizers of Translation Forum Russia. He told us about the process of working with a conference app and the challenges that arose in implementing it.

OBJECTIVES

Translation Forum Russia was attended by a total of 726 guests, speakers, and attendees. It featured a variety of presentations, workshops, and training sessions. The complex objectives that the organizers faced included:

1
Сreating an ecosystem for the conference and connecting all guests in an easy and effective way;
2
Facilitating networking and arranging for targeted meetings at the event;
3
Creating an interactive environment;
4
Providing users with easy access to the event program and map.
We had tried working with online conference and event apps before, but, unfortunately, we didn't see much of an effect. I think back then, a few years ago, these services weren't very relevant yet.

This year, our colleagues on the program committee decided to use an event app for Translation Forum Russia. After studying the market, we chose to go with 2Meet because its functionality fit our needs. Besides, we were able to come to an agreement with the developers on the terms of our partnership.

Alexey Kislov
Technical director of the Business-Bureau of the Association of Interpreters and one of the organizers of Translation Forum Russia.
IMPLEMENTATION

App implementation began a month before the conference started. Anna Mikhailova, a project manager at 2Meet, took the lead in this process and got the job done.
She faced several major challenges:


— creating navigation sections so that every visitor could find the lecture hall or exhibitor booth they were looking for;

— loading the event program for four different streams, including a list of presentations, workshops, and language sections;

— filling in the sponsor section with all the clickable logos provided by the conference's partners.
During the event, Anna was in charge of sending out push notifications, messages, and announcements on behalf of the organizers, as well as actively providing support to users.

During the three-day event, she answered questions about topics such as:
problems downloading the app and registering;
shuttling participants to the hotel and other transportation;
sending audience contact information to speakers after presentations and workshops.
In addition, two navigation options were added to the app. Thanks to the map that was uploaded in advance, Translation Forum Russia participants didn't have any difficulty getting to the event venue.
Floorplan for the building where the conference took place
As the organizers acknowledged, the data that had to be entered into the app was in various places and formats, and it had to all be put together piece by piece. This made the job more complicated, but there is a plus side too: now all the promo materials, contact info, and email databases are located in one place.
— We specifically did not include the app in the sponsor package: it would have been strange to offer sponsors the opportunity to purchase a spot in the app after the contracts were already signed and the arrangements were already made. I think we have to allot more time to app implementation in the future.
LAUNCH

The app became available to download a week before the conference began. During the event, organizers used push notifications and wrote messages about changes in the program and exchanging contact information. This spared them from having to make audio announcements or hang up information about the changes on the walls
The app is always at hand, whereas paper handouts have a tendency to get lost. People are constantly asking for copies of the program, even if they have received it already.
Alexey Kislov, organizer of Translation Forum Russia
Experience has shown that push notifications through the 2Meet app are less controversial than mass emails. When there are urgent changes to the program, push notifications are quicker and don't cause a negative reaction. They don't clutter email inboxes or make people feel like they are getting spammed.
Here is a real example of how push notifications are used:
After one of the presentations, the moderator was not able to collect contact information from all the attendees to send out an informational email. Instead of posting announcements and broadcasting it over the loudspeakers, the organizers made use of the app: they wrote a message asking people to share their contact information and sent it to all users.
During the event, 2Meet ensured full project support for the app. Users were able to ask a manager any question they wanted.
Over the course of the three-day conference, 182 people used the app. According to the statistics, the interactive program came in handy most often: participants added 339 events to their planners. Push notifications also proved useful for the organizers to announce program changes and send out other messages. Users also stayed in contact with organizers through the 'message the administrator' feature.
Anna Mikhailova, 2Meet Project Manager
RESULTS

Overall, fewer than 50% of conference attendees used the app. 182 people registered for the service and sent each other 1,215 messages. In addition, 3 targeted meetings were scheduled and 339 events were added to the planner.
I think the event's format is the reason why few meetings were scheduled. Translation Forum Russia is primarily geared toward education and presentations, and the program ended up being pretty busy, so visitors simply may not have had time for individual meetings.

Anna Mikhailova
2Meet Project Manager

Alexey Kislov
Technical director of the Business-Bureau of the Association of Interpreters and one of the organizers of Translation Forum Russia.
I now understand that information must be added to the app earlier and messaging needs to be started sooner. A month for implementation was not enough. We have to inform attendees any way we can: posting on social media, sending emails to our mailing lists, and distributing instructions about installing and using the app at the event itself. I think doing all these things will ultimately increase the number of conference-goers using the app
Nonetheless, those who did register for the app actively added events from the program to their planner and corresponded with one another. The organizers used the service to instantly deliver messages about program changes and other announcements without spamming up the inboxes of their guests and partners.

As for how well the app worked at the conference, results from the user survey say it best.
TFR is a big, dynamic event. Big because of the several streams it offers, and dynamic because of the inevitable changes. The 2Meet app was a very convenient tool for keeping track of the changes and putting together my personal program schedule. I wish the conference organizers were more proactive in updating information, such as changes to a session's start time or location (one such notification arrived late). In other words, the shell of the app works well — it's just the contents that need work. I didn't use the meeting scheduling function, since there are many other ways to get in touch with people I know.

Pavel Dunayev
head of the translation department at Sportmaster, Russia
The 2Meet team will keep telling you about our work, sharing our successful cases, and informing you about new trends in the event industry. You can read more about how mobile apps help eliminate paper materials and about top 10 tools for event networking in our previous articles.

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