Problem: Attendees of corporate and social events have no direct way to connect with speakers, engage with other attendees and quickly find event schedules.

Hypothesis: By creating an experience managed by event coordinators, attendees could make those connections and fully participate with all facets of an event.

Solution: Build a web dashboard for coordinators to populate event information and a native application for attendees to join, follow and participate in the event.

Discovery

For this project, I was fortunate enough to be partnered with a team who also worked as a production company. Meaning, they were responsible for ensuring events, big and small, went on without a hitch. This included everything from the staging and lighting to the materials and presentations shared. The majority of the discovery effort was gathering and understanding the event industry from the,. More specifically, documenting the delta between a private, board of directors with 15 attendees and a social, corporate event of 15,000 attendees. Those findings all led in to the architecture of the not only the attendee-facing experience, but the management dashboard functionality. In addition to learning directly from those who facilitated these events, we partnered with their clients, the coordinators, to ensure their wants and needs were catered to.
 

Delivery

My role in this project was UX designer, front-end developer and devil’s advocate. Because the other team members knew the industry well, I often had to question their assumptions and intuition to protect the user’s best interest. When established, I provided the design assets needed for native development and code for the engineer to connect the back-end logic.

We were a distributed team across the U.S., thus communication and expectations were key to the success of each sprint. We met quarterly in person to plan our 30, 60 and 90 day goals for the project. As work progressed, we had consistent check-ins as a team and with those client partners.

Below you’ll see the what we delivered as an “MVP” to those partners as a beta test of our capabilities and experience.

coordinator dashboard
 

Iteration

We were truly funded and operated as a bootstrap startup. This caused us to consistently refocus our alignment, pivot when necessary and wear many hats, if you will. Iteration played a pivotal role to keep our goal of a user-facing beta in reach. Removing non-crucial functionality was an ongoing battle with what we wanted to launch and what we should launch. Being a close-nit team, we were able to put ego and interests aside to limit our scope.
 

Result

Like most startups, timing is very important. We had put 12 months of effort in to this project and I was not able to pinpoint when we ready for our first user-facing test would happen. I was also on the verge of a very important promotion at my “day job”. However, unlike previous startups I had been apart of, this team was incredibly talented and enjoyable to work with and we were guided by a mentor who was unlike any other. It was an extremely difficult decision, but I chose to step away from the project. At this time, I am unable to speak to a conclusion or measurable data as a result of the work.
 

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