Case Study: GetWellNetwork Scores at Cost Savings & Attendee Engagement
GetWellNetwork provides patient engagement solutions, tools, and strategies to help healthcare organizations deliver individualized patient and family experiences.
The GetConnected Conference
The GetConnected Conference is GetWellNetwork’s biennial user conference and exhibition that brings together company product users for three days of community-building, education, and innovation around the future of patient engagement.
Meet the People Behind the Magic
The Event Goals
1. Educating Attendees on the Latest Industry Trends
The focus of the conference was on innovation and collaboration around the future of patient and family engagement. The events team recruited thought leaders from within GetWellNetwork and across their client base to present on these topics.
2. Showcasing New Product Launches
The innovation section of the GetConnected Conference was showcased in the exhibit hall. This is where they exhibited their product line of various patient solutions. The collaboration component was one of the biggest elements that Tanya and Bethany were tasked with. To help them facilitate community-building and attendee collaboration, the team decided to invest in an event app.
Why Invest in an Event App?
Being a technology company, GetWellNetwork knew that failing to use technology at their conference would be a miss in aligning the event brand with their corporate mission.
The events team decided that they’d best be able to achieve their event goals by making the event app the brain of the conference. It needed to replace all of their paper handouts and program guides, as well as function as a tool to increase attendee engagement with the event content and build a greater conference community.
“We needed an app that would be informational, but still innovative and engaging.”—Tanya Flores-Olney
Purchase vs. Building an Event App
This was the first year GetWellNetwork held the GetConnected Conference since switching to the biennial model, which meant that budgeting for the event was a challenge. Because of this, the events team initially wanted to build the event app internally, but ran into some issues.
“Originally, we were going to build the app in-house, but it would have been a massive undertaking for such a specialized tool. We simply didn’t have enough resources to build a brand new app while at the same time maintain focus on product innovations and our clients. It just made more sense to bring in an established expert.” — Tanya Flores-Olney
With GetWellNetwork being a tech company, they had a lot of talented folks in-house so building an event app was something they could have done fairly easily. But, in the end, they didn’t have the capacity. The company was focused on getting new products ready to roll out to the market in time for the conference, so layering on another task to build an event app would have been a big distraction.
There was also the added risk that the event app wouldn’t be finished in time for the pre-event marketing promotions. So, by deciding to leverage an event app provider, the events team had the guarantee that their timelines would be met.
Why GetWellNetwork Chose EventMobi
Budget is always a concern when it comes to purchasing event technology, and after evaluating vendor options, GetWellNetwork determined that EventMobi offered the best return on investment for the events team.
The events team had used different event app solutions in the past for their conferences, but they all lacked a seamless gamification integration.
“Gamification played a huge role in our event, so when it came to evaluating the different options that were within the price tier we were looking for, that’s one of the biggest things that made EventMobi stand out.”— Bethany Christensen
Ease of Use
With all the other priorities that required their attention and time leading up to the GetConnected Conference, the events team needed a solution that was easy to use and quick to learn.
“I was impressed with EventMobi’s interface and how easy it was to select and interact with the different widgets. The content upload feature was especially invaluable to us with the easy-to-use templates. Especially considering how short staffed we were, it helped relieve a lot of the stress!”— Bethany Christensen
How GetWellNetwork Achieved Their Event Goals
The events team was very aware of what their audience was expecting from the GetConnected Conference. Attendees included health care professionals who were constantly and highly engaged with patients, so this kind of experience and level of connection is what the team wanted to emulate. To achieve this, the team turned to event gamification.
GetWellNetwork’s 3-Step Approach to Using Event Gamification
1. Maximize Event App Adoption
In order for the event app to be successful and create an interactive attendee experience, maximum adoption was necessary. The events team developed an adoption strategy that was led by promoting gamification challenges in advance of the show.
The strategy was to reinforce the message that everything would be coming through the event app, so attendees needed to download it.
Also, in the opening session on the first day, the speaker promoted the event app and the first gamification code was revealed to the audience. This prompted people to enter the code in real-time and actually experience getting points alongside other attendees.
2. Design the Event App for Easy Participation
GetWellNetwork worked with EventMobi designers to create an event app experience that made it easy to participate in the gamification challenges. A widget highlighting the game and a leaderboard were placed on the event app home screen. All attendees had to do was tap on the widget and they could access gamification challenges and point scores.
In addition, a monitor placed in a high-traffic area at the event displayed EventMobi’s live display functionality. Attendees could see the leaderboard throughout the conference as an alternative to their mobile phones.
3. Make Gamification an Integral Part of the Event Design
The overall event goals were to educate attendees on the latest Healthcare and patient experience trends, as well as new GetWellNetwork solutions.
This meant enabling attendees to do three things:
- Attend sessions and workshops
- Network with other attendees, GetWellNetwork employees, partners, and sponsors
- Visit the exhibit hall where product demos and pitches took place
The gamification was structured so that attendees had a variety of ways to collect points. At the same time, the actions taken by attendees helped GetWellNetwork achieve their event goals. It was a win-win situation for all event stakeholders.
A few ways attendees were able to collect gamification points:
- Session Attendance: To encourage people to attend sessions, gamification codes were included on the last slide of the presentations.
- Attendee Networking: Codes were also printed on attendees’ badges so that they could use them as icebreakers to start conversations with one another.
- Visiting the Exhibit Hall: In the exhibit hall, an area called the Partner Pitch Stage was created where GetWellNetwork partners could give product talks and demos. One of the ways used to drive people there was by giving the presenters gamification codes to either display or give out verbally at the end of their pitch.
Each sponsor booth and demo station had an associated gamification code, so attendees needed to visit these areas in order to collect points. Using the event app, the events team was able to pull a report at the end of the conference to see who stopped by each demo station. Those leads were then sent to the sales team for follow-up.
“Through gamification, we were able to get our attendees to experience all of the different elements of the conference.”— Tanya Flores-Olney
Additional Product Features Used
Live polling was used during sessions where audience participation and feedback was key to creating an engaging experience. A great example of where audience participation was critical was during a Shark Tank-like event where a variety of up-and-coming health care companies presented short pitches to the audience. Afterwards, the audience voted for the winning pitch through a live poll.
“It was cool to actually be able to see the results in real-time. I’m glad we took advantage of that feature.” — Bethany Christensen
Push notifications were an easy way to highlight some of the unique activities taking place during the conference, such as the giant ferris wheel that was set up outside the venue.
Communications were sent out through the event app to advertise the ferris wheel. In order to get a ticket to ride, additional push notifications were sent out instructing attendees to visit specific sponsors or a designated area in the exhibit hall.
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A Top-Notch Engaging Attendee Experience
Designing a collaborative experience where attendees were encouraged to network, learn, and interact with product demos was the key goal for the GetConnected Conference. To evaluate the success of
the conference, the events team sent satisfaction surveys to attendees and received very positive feedback.
Because of how well GetWellNetwork was able to integrate the event app into the overall event experience, attendees said they really relied upon it throughout the conference, especially to participate in the gamification. In the end, 73% of attendees used the mobile event app. Of those attendees, 88% of event app users participated in the game and 72% of game participants redeemed items in the pop-up shop.
Creating a sense of community was important for the events team, especially since they have a variety of specialized clients who are looking to connect with colleagues.
“I think the event app helped to make things a little bit more fun and create a stronger sense of community amongst our folks, especially clients who come from more niche areas and are looking to connect with others in their field.” — Bethany Christensen
Sponsors Were Happy
Acquiring sponsors and exhibitors was necessary in order to maximize event revenue. As a way to incentivize sales, the events team took advantage of the advertising benefits offered by the event app. Included in sponsorship packages was the benefit of getting listed in the event app, where vendors could advertise their company and social media channels. But to help seal the deal, the events team offered app banner ads as an additional incentive.
Gamification challenges were also used to encourage attendees to interact with sponsors by allocating higher point values to activities like visiting their booth. Areas in the exhibit hall where people could collect game points were made very visible. Attendees were instructed to be on the lookout for little signs and cards at vendor booths that said, “Purple Points Here”.
“Sponsors really enjoyed the game and we got a lot of positive feedback. Some people said they were able to have conversations that they don’t think they would have had otherwise.”— Bethany Christensen
Increased Event Branding
The Purple Pop-Up Shop
Purple is the official color of the GetWellNetwork brand, so the events team made sure to incorporate the color into as many aspects of the conference as possible, including the gamification.
“We got to create an engaging experiencing for our attendees while building the brand and putting our logo in everyone’s pocket. And folks had a really great time collecting and redeeming points for prizes.” — Tanya Flores-Olney
To promote the brand, the team decided to create a Purple Pop-Up Shop where attendees could redeem their gamification challenge points for GetWellNetwork branded swag. The demand for event branded swag turned out to be much higher than anticipated by the events team.
“Before the event, I worried, ‘what if nobody plays the game and we have a ton of prizes left over?’ But that turned out to definitely not be a concern! Participation in the game was very high and everybody wanted to redeem their points for prizes — especially the branded sweatshirts. That was the first thing to run out.” — Bethany Christensen
The events team decided to eliminate print when building out their budget for GetConnected. Event program information and content would only be available through the EventMobi event app. The decision ended up saving the team significantly in costs, time, and design resources.
“We spent tens of thousands of dollars on printed material during the previous GetConnected conference, so the cost savings was extremely beneficial. With the extra budget, we were able to build— Tanya Flores-Olney
the Purple Pop-Up Shop.”
Words of Advice
For other event planners looking to add event tech into their experience design, Tanya and Bethany recommend the following best practices:
Align Your Event Experience with Your Event Goals
GetWellNetwork was smart to align the goals of the event app with the goals of the conference and overall mission of the company.
“We’re all about connecting and engaging with people, so by creating this tool for our attendees to interact with one another, we were able to satisfy attendee expectations while still accomplishing our own goals in representing who we are and delivering an exceptional experience.”— Tanya Flores-Olney
Don’t Let the Fear of Adoption Stop You From Innovating
A common challenge that event planners face when considering adding new event technology to their experience design is how attendees are going to (or not going to) adopt the change.
This was something that went through Tanya and Bethany’s minds when deciding to eliminate print from their budget. Naturally, they were concerned that people would still want paper printouts. But they didn’t let their fears hold them back from success.
“We jumped right in, but made sure to place ourselves in the shoes of attendees at every stage of the development process. We needed to really understand what would be the best experience for them. Added touches like including onsite support for folks who needed a bit more hand-holding with the event app made a big difference.
That’s all there is to it – just be fearless! Make a plan and move forward. Don’t let the fear of folks not adopting new technology in favor of traditional mediums, like print, get in the way of creating a more enriching experience.” — Tanya Flores-Olney