How Wistia Brought Its Online
Community Face-to-Face

Aderant's online user conference & virtual event example
Industry:

Tech

Event location:

Boston

Attendify client since:

2016

Attendify products used:

Branded Event App

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).

The Backstory

WistiaFest is often the first time these professionals meet in person, even though they often know one other quite well in online circles.

“What people love about WistiaFest is that it feels like a tight-knit community. Many of our users are already connected online, and they go to each other for advice on video marketing and production. When they arrive at WistiaFest, they finally get to meet face-to-face.”

Jenny Mudarri
Social Media Coordinator at Wistia

For their third annual conference, the Wistia team decided to use an app to keep the multi-day, Boston-based event running smoothly.

The Goal

A central place to communicate important logistics about the event

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.

The Solution

An app that kept the conference moving and let the community take over their social experience

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.

“I was really surprised by how many people were using the app before the event, generating buzz and excitement. That was cool to see and the activity level during the conference and even after was also shocking. I was expecting people to participate, but not at the high numbers we had.

Jenny Mudarri
Social Media Coordinator at Wistia

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.

“People posted tons of pictures, selfies everywhere. They could ‘like’ the pictures and comment on them. That was a really big part of WistiaFest this year.

Community engagement on the app was largely self-directed. Even though I sent out push notifications, I wasn’t necessarily trying to spark conversations. Attendees kind of handled that on their own and interacted with one another without being prompted. The app was a nice safe-space for folks because they knew that only people in the app would actually see what they were posting. Attendees’ posts weren’t being broadcast all over social media, so people seemed to feel more comfortable.”

Jenny Mudarri
Social Media Coordinator at Wistia

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.

What's next

Deeper analytics and fun ideas for social engagement with next year’s WistiaFest app

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.

“We’ve done things like that in the past, and I think it’s valuable, especially because we want to keep this conference light, fun, and upbeat. I know that we are always going to have a WistiaFest app. That seems like a total no-brainer. It’s a fantastic tool to get useful information across to the people attending, and a great way to enliven the community.”

Karla Franco
Events and Marketing Lead

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