Money 20/20’s recipe for success: how to improve networking and get more attendees engaged at an annual flagship event.
Creating the Industry's Most Important Gathering
Coming off its third and most successful year, Money 20/20 is well entrenched as the world’s most important gathering for companies and executives in the global payments and commerce sector. Attracting delegates from more than 3,000 companies in more than 65 countries, the annual event is the place to be to catch up on emerging trends and strategies through keynotes, breakout sessions and networking opportunities.
7,500+ attendees from more than 65 countries
1,380+ C-level attendees, including 760 CEOs
Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd, which is one way of explaining the success of Money 20/20 after just three years on the event circuit. Highly effective event marketing and consistently delivering on expectations are what got the ball rolling in the first place. But audiences have a short memory, and the Money 20/20 team doesn’t rest on its laurels. Which is why for 2014, they sought to up their game with a better speaker list and improved networking. The former was made possible by the event’s growing reputation, which allows Money 20/20 to attract the top visionaries and thought leaders in the industry. For the latter, the event team knew they had to work smarter to help delegates make the most of their time on site. They knew the mobile app they offered for the first time in 2013 held the key.
“2013 was a great success for our event app, but we wanted to go even bigger,” says David Rand, Money 20/20 creative director. “We knew our audience would be larger, and we knew they would be expecting even more from the app than they got last year. The success of our event all comes down to the networking, to the relationships that get established or expanded. We wanted to tap into the power of mobile to strengthen event networking even more.”
How do you improve on the success the conference app earned last year – a 90% adoption rate and more than 3,550 downloads? You build on what you know, and seek guidance from the experts.
In 2013, the Money 20/20 team, led by creative director David Rand, executed a tremendously successful pre-event email campaign that put the mobile app front and center at every stage. This effort led to extremely high awareness of the app, which in turn led to high activations and usage. So they did more of that for 2014, kicking off pre-event communications even earlier to reach an even wider audience. The first email pushing the app went out three weeks before the event, and from that point on, every piece of communication gave exposure to the app. Once on site, signage at the registration desk and every other appropriate location throughout the venue encouraged attendees to download the app, and included a QR code for easy, instant access.
In 2013, the Money 20/20 conference app was available on Apple and Android devices only. For 2014, Rand added a mobile web version so attendees with other device types could access event content.
“While iPhones and Androids covered 85% or more of our attendees, that wasn’t good enough,” recalls Rand. “You can’t tell the CEO of a Fortune 100 company that uses BlackBerry that he can’t use the app. For this audience, at this level, investing in a mobile web version of our app was a non-starter.”
- Higher content value
- Near 100% app adoption
- Stronger user experience
Rand and team were thrilled to see even their most daunting event app expectations surpassed. Adoption reached nearly 100%. “There were literally no more than a few dozen people who didn’t use the app,” Rand says. “Our audience is highly technical, and we knew coming out of last year’s event that we were going to get high adoption. We didn’t really expect this high though.”
Rand attributes the app’s success to three key elements: early and consistent promotion, high content value, and a strong user experience. “We learned a lot the previous year – what do to, and what not to do,” says Rand. “We did more of the former, and less of the latter.” In an example of valuable content, attendees are able to access video recordings of every single breakout session through the app – for as long as they keep the app on their devices. These videos continue to draw traffic, even months after the live event. In fact, Rand even noticed that new app activations continued after the event, likely due to the availability of the video content.
“The app added tremendous value to our event, and it really helped elevate the overall event experience for our attendees.”“It sounds simple, but when you come in with a plan, and with clear expectations, you give yourself something to strive for and measure against,” said Rand. “We could not have achieved this without QuickMobile’s technology, and just as importantly, the guidance and expertise of the QuickMobile team. We are already working together to up our game even further in 2015.”