Case Study: CSAE Achieves 90% Attendee Engagement Through Their Mobile Event App

CSAE Customer Success Story banner, with two event attendees smiling and taking a selfie.

About CSAE

The Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) is Canada’s premiere association advocate. The organization provides tools, resources, and education to help association professionals and volunteers succeed.

The CSAE Annual National Conference

CSAE holds their national conference in a different Canadian city every October. The event is three days long and focuses primarily on educational topics that equip attendees with the skills to be leaders in the not-for-profit sector. The conference is a mix of speaker sessions, networking, exhibitor booths, and evening social events. Attendees include mid to senior management of associations and suppliers to the sector.

Meet the Person Behind the Magic

Rachel Lyon is a member of the planning team for all of CSAE’s conferences and events, including the development and execution of their event app technology.

As a primary business user, she has extensive experience and knowledge in developing strategies to maximize the benefits of using an event app.

A professional headshot of Rachel Lyon, the Manager of Conference and Events at CSAE.

The Challenge

Much of CSAE’s event revenue and overall event experience revolves around their sponsors and exhibitors, so it’s crucial that they provide a variety of creative technology options.

In addition, attendees now expect a seamless event experience, where they can access information whenever they want, network with other attendees and vendors, and provide feedback to session speakers and event organizers.

This made finding a mobile Event App provider who could help CSAE increase attendee engagement a key priority for the Events team.

“We were searching for a flexible, robust mobile Event App that would meet our unique needs and could enhance our attendees’ experience.” — Rachel Lyon

“I used it a lot more this year than previous years. I liked having immediate access to the schedule and being able to ping attendees I met.”

— Attendee Feedback


CSAE has used EventMobi’s mobile Event App in previous years for their annual national conference. Their mobile Event App makes use of basic features such as an agenda section, speaker bios, and a document manager for handout uploads.

A poster at the CSAE conference describing the CSAE challenge and how to win amazing prizes.

But in order to create an impactful experience and increase attendee engagement, CSAE decided to utilize the following unique EventMobi features at their 2017 conference:

Gamification: The CSAE Challenge

The gamification feature was built using trivia questions provided by sponsors, exhibitors, and CSAE staff members. In order to win points, attendees were encouraged to connect with sponsor and exhibitor representatives at the event to get the answers. Sponsors and showcase exhibitors donated 25 prizes, which acted as motivation for attendees to play the game and collect points. In order to acquire points, many of the tasks involved networking with sponsors and exhibitors and visiting their booths.

“The CSAE Challenge was the best update to the conference. Relevant and fun.” — Attendee Feedback

Recommended Read: Learn how to increase attendee engagement at your next event with The Ultimate Guide to Gamification

Feedback Surveys

CSAE used session and overall event feedback surveys to get real-time feedback and insight. Speakers and moderators promoted the feedback surveys in the mobile Event App during their sessions, and event organizers sent notifications for overall event feedback. This provided valuable information that could be leveraged by the CSAE team to address things they may have missed during the planning stage of the event. Ultimately, the team gained ideas for quick hits that would help increase attendee engagement.

A CSAE event attendee's phone screen that displays a session feedback survey.

Prior to using EventMobi, CSAE used to send out their evaluations through email. But since using the EventMobi mobile Event App feature, attendee feedback has increased.

“It’s easier for attendees to use the mobile Event App onsite to evaluate a session in real time. They’re going to so many sessions throughout the day and will forget by the end of the day. I like the way the session evaluations can be pulled from the mobile Event App, too. It’s a clean format and really easy to read. We can just send that straight off to our speakers without having to modify anything.” — Rachel Lyon

Recommended Watch: This video reveals how Live Polling can help you gain valuable insights into what your attendees want in their event experience.

Interactive Trade Show Floor Plan

The interactive trade show floor plan provided a quick and easy way for attendees to visually find sponsors and exhibitors on the trade show floor. Attendees were able to see exactly where booths were located within the trade show area, and make the most of their time speaking to vendors throughout the event.

“We really liked the interactive trade show floor plan. To be able to click on an exhibitor profile and have the interface take you to a pinpoint on the map so you knew where their booth was located – that was really cool! Little things like that make a difference to the overall attendee experience.”

— Rachel Lyon


Key metrics from the CSAE conference, including that over 90% of attendees used the app, 97% found the app useful, and two thirds of respondents claimed that the game helped them connected with other attendees.

Attendee Engagement Success

Overall, CSAE was able to increase attendee engagement by leveraging unique features in EventMobi’s mobile Event App, specifically gamification in the form of the CSAE Challenge. CSAE achieved their event goal and expectations were exceeded, with almost 20% of attendees having participated in the CSAE Challenge throughout the conference.

Since updating to the EventMobi mobile Event App, CSAE’s mobile Event App engagement at their annual national conference has grown every year.

Top 5 Reasons Why Attendees Thought the mobile Event App Was Useful:

A screenshot of event tweets under the #IAMCSAE hashtag.
  1. 90% of attendees thought the mobile Event App was an easy and convenient way to find out what was happening and where, all in one place.
  2. The online agenda and schedule made it easy to learn about each session and speaker, and helped users create their own personalized schedules with sessions and events they wanted to attend.
  3. Notifications were helpful in learning about promotions and getting information on session details, for example if a session was moved to a different room.
  4. The networking functionality allowed attendees to message and connect with other attendees, which helped when playing the CSAE Challenge game.
  5. The mobile Event App was easy to use and navigate, even for those who are typically challenged with technology.

“The CSAE Challenge really helped with engaging our attendees. We designed it in a way that encouraged attendees to interact with each other in order to collect points. We had over 80 people playing the game throughout the conference, which went way beyond my expectations.

We got amazing feedback from attendees. Someone wrote that the mobile Event App was the best update to our conference this year, and that the CSAE Challenge was the biggest conversation starter.” — Rachel Lyon

User Experience

CSAE found the overall experience in designing and implementing the mobile Event App to be very positive. The platform was user-friendly and easy to navigate.

“I felt like I didn’t even need any training on the back end of the mobile Event App. It’s super easy to use. No real glitches or anything like that. Some platforms can be temperamental but I found it really straightforward. I have no complaints. I like the feature that allowed me to upload session info all at once, versus setting up each session individually. That takes a lot of time when you’ve got 40 sessions!”

— Rachel Lyon

CSAE also found it really easy to get user analytics and session feedback through the EventMobi mobile Event App.

“I like how all the session evaluations can be pulled from the mobile Event App at once. The import/export feature where you can import the data into an excel sheet makes it really convenient. It’s a very clean format that I can send off to our speakers after the event. So much easier than doing it all manually for each session.” — Rachel Lyon

Customer Experience

CSAE found that the biggest advantage to using EventMobi was the customer service.

“I would say the biggest benefit of using EventMobi is the support. Kate (Event Specialist at EventMobi) was really awesome in helping us with anything that came up. She was really knowledgeable and quick. A lot of things are time-sensitive if something goes wrong, and she was there every time.

She was also a great resource for creative ideas on how to best use the mobile Event App to achieve our event goals. She came into our office and we sat down over coffee, and she said, “This would be a really good idea…” or “You could do this with the game…”, so it was really helpful to have that kind of support.” — Rachel Lyon

Learnings for Next Year

CSAE has seen success year over year in increasing their attendee engagement, and is constantly looking for new ways to improve upon their mobile Event App performance.

“We’ve had a good experience working with EventMobi. I would definitely like to continue to use the gamification feature and see how else we can get attendees to interact with each other and vendors.”

— Rachel Lyon

CSAE will also be exploring mobile Event App features that will enhance their sponsorship package offerings, including adding increased brand awareness and lead generation opportunities.

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