Wistia is a video marketing platform that hosts an annual conference, Wistia for all things video marketing. Digital marketers, CEOs, and videographers convene to discuss the tools they use and learn the latest tips and tricks in the industry (some of them Wistia customers, some not).
WistiaFest is often the first time these professionals meet in person, even though they often know one other quite well in online circles.
For their third annual conference, the Wistia team decided to use an app to keep the multi-day, Boston-based event running smoothly.
The main goal of the WistiaFest event app was to create a central place to communicate logistical information before, during, and after the event.
They decided not to put engineering resources toward a custom app, so they looked for a pre-built solution that would be easy for a busy non-technical conference planner to use. At the same time, it had to be customizable to fit the Wistia brand.
Wistia’s Events and Marketing lead, Karla Franco, took over the role
of entering the conference programming into the app, while Jenny Mudarri was responsible for social features and push notifications. A Wistia designer customized the app to match the WistiaFest branding. And before they knew it, the app was live and ready to download as the event approached.
Approximately a week before the conference began, people started engaging with the app. Attendees posted that they were flying in to Boston from all over the globe -- Belgium, Spain, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, and more.
Once the conference kicked off, attendees posted photographs to the news feed, updated their status, and connected 1:1 to get post-session drinks and share carpools to evening events.
The app’s other important function was to inform and guide people, and even communicate sponsor information (for example, a coffee break was sponsored by Moz so Wistia posted about it). Franco and Mudarri planned push notifications in advance to keep people moving -- reminding them of a session starting in 15 minutes, telling them the buses are leaving, encouraging them to get on a boat cruise. There were about 5 or 6 push notifications per day spaced over 12 hours, and they kept the tone light and fun.
Mudarri and Franco used the analytics dashboard to see which sessions got traction on the app, what features people engaged with, and which attendees were most active on the app. Mudarri plans to follow up with these people through Wistia’s social channels and engage with them there to keep the relationships and momentum going.
Now that the event is over, Wistia plans to follow up with attendee surveys and plug the insights into their broader marketing strategy. In future years, they hope to take advantage of more analytics features, like pushing for people to rate speakers in the app.
They also plan to gamify features, like encouraging people to take a selfie with a stranger.