EdCampers Put Event Tech to the Test
YOY AdoptionAfter doing away with a paper program, EdCamp Ukraine attendees increased their adoption of the Attendify App from 45 percent in 2018 to 85 percent in 2019.
InteractionsEdCampers were keen to add photos, likes and comments to the app’s activity stream in 2019. The average user added nine photos, made 57 comments and liked 114 posts!
Adopting tech for both ICT training and event communications
Founded as part of the global EdCamp movement in 2014, the EdCamp Ukraine community is united behind one paramount belief: Best practices in teaching are crucial for “growing good humans,” which is the ultimate goal of education. As such, the organization is dedicated to building and maintaining a community of responsible teachers by providing them with accessible professional development opportunities.
The highlight of EdCamp’s training program is its unique national “unconference.” This event’s secret recipe is threefold:
It’s produced by a team of educational stakeholders for educational stakeholders. And while the basic event schedule is mapped out in advance, core content is not defined by attendees until the first day.
It leverages the theory of “horizontal connections.” The goal is for the professional relationships made at EdCamp to be continued for life, and the knowledge gained by event attendees to be passed along to other members of the educational community.
It’s built upon an open exchange of ideas. Attendees are encouraged to discuss different opinions, theories and approaches in an environment of connected and participatory learning.
So, what does this have to do with event technology? Quite a lot, it turns out.
EdCamp Ukraine’s event organizers quickly realized that the unique unconference format — where large swaths of the agenda were not determined until attendees arrived — was ripe for technological optimization. A digital event app would allow event producers to easily add new schedule components as they were created and inform people of the updates in real time.
“We decided an event app would not only bring an ICT aspect to the event, it would also be a very useful connection instrument before, during and after the unconference.”
What’s more, when it comes to Ukrainian educational reform, information and communications technology (ICT) is particularly important. “There is an ICT gap between teachers and kids,” says Oleksandr Elkin, head of the board of EdCamp Ukraine. “We are always looking for ways to boost teachers’ professional development in computer competence, and I’m a strong believer that you’ll have more success getting people to adopt something if you show them how it can be useful in their everyday lives. We decided an event app would not only bring an ICT aspect to the event, it would also be a very useful connection instrument before, during and after the unconference.”
With a generous donation from the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA Ukraine, EdCamp was able to fund their mobile event app. All that was left was to choose the best solution.
Choosing an event app that made personalized connections easy
After vetting other event tech developers, the EdCamp Ukraine team chose the Attendify platform for a variety of reasons. First up: it’s feature set and support offerings. “We decided to work with Attendify because the platform’s features are much more powerful, and the Support Team is much more organized than the competition,” says Elkin.
Another big win for EdCamp organizers? The Attendify app’s intuitive platform. “We needed a solution where we could easily add new components to our agenda and inform people,” Elkin says. “Attendify has a very well-designed and easy-to-understand content import and export feature. It’s simple to add new agenda items to the schedule and then use the notification feature to let participants know there are new sessions available.”
The ability to craft a personalized and detailed event agenda was also a key decision-making factor for Elkin. In 2019 the event hosted more than 250 sessions, 226 speakers from 20 countries, and 90 event partners. So being able to create tailored descriptions, bios and contact listings was imperative to building lasting engagement.
Other Attendify app features EdCamp Ukraine took advantage of included:
EdCamp built tailored maps into their app, so attendees could easily find keynotes, sessions, partners and other venue highlights.
Elkin and team used the app’s push notification tool to proactively message attendees as new sessions were added to the agenda. Actually, they built an entire push-notification campaign — 37 notifications informed participants of real-time changes during the event on the app’s Activity Stream.
The content created and shared during EdCamp was not limited to the unconference attendees alone. Any educator could use the app, download documents, videos and other information, and participate before, during and after the event.
Increasing attendance by 3x and event tech adoption by 2x
When EdCamp Ukraine began in 2015, it hosted 325 national attendees. By 2019, event organizers were welcoming 1000-plus attendees from 20 different countries, including teachers, administrators, government officials, business leaders and celebrities. They also stopped offering a paper event agenda in addition to the event app, and went completely digital.
“We always say that there is a need for individualization in education. The Attendify event tech platform is set up in a way that mirrors how EdCamp is teaching educational best practices. It’s completely personalizable.”
The results were staggering. Event app adoption almost doubled, from 45 percent in 2018 to 85 percent in 2019. Event attendees initiated close to 150,000 app interactions, posting and liking an average of 172 comments per user. Meanwhile, EdCamp saved money by not printing programs, boosted the event’s sustainability footprint and showed educators how using ICT can have multiplicative effects. “When teachers see that there is a very clear need for this type of software, they start using it,” Elkin says. “[Using an event app] is a very new experience for our group. It’s about the agenda. It’s about navigation. It’s about opportunities. It’s about being in touch with each other. It’s like a warehouse where you store all of your content.”
In fact, the Attendify interface is in step with some of the leading philosophies being taught by education experts today, Elkin explains. “We always say that there is a need for individualization in education. We have to support students in their very personal groups in gaining knowledge and skills. The Attendify event tech platform is set up in a way that mirrors how EdCamp is teaching educational best practices. It’s completely personalizable.”
The next steps
Taking the EdCamp app one step further with hyper-personalization
Elkin and his team plan to take EdCamp Ukraine to the next level in 2020 by utilizing the Attendify app’s ability to lock up specific agenda items that are only relevant to certain attendees. Doing so will allow event organizers to communicate details of the main unconference as well as private programs limited to particular participants.
They’re also looking to branch out beyond their national event and start using the Attendify platform for their regional professional development forums.
As for Team Attendify, we’re thrilled to watch EdCamp Ukraine grow, and committed to partnering with the organization to provide “best-in-class” event technology. 😊