Australian Water Association
It’s just three weeks until Ozwater, the Australian Water Association’s (AWA) premier event and the largest water conference in the southern hemisphere, but National Event Manager Kirsty Blades is at ease.
“Our registrations are the highest they’ve ever been,” she says, “but it’s eerily quiet.” Unlike years past, the phones aren’t ringing off the hook nor are email inboxes full with frantic, last-minute registration issues. Blades attributes this welcome calm — and a substantially improved delegate registration experience — to the event management advancements AWA has made using Jomablue’s latest release.
Deploying end-to-end event intelligence
AWA is Australia’s largest water network, with more than 5,500 individual and organizational members spread across Australia. Members manage and provide vital drinking water and wastewater services across the country with a view to a sustainable water future. To support their work, AWA provides their members with crucial information, networking opportunities, and recognition of anyone who manages water in Australia.
Every year, AWA runs more than 100 different events around the country, from technical seminars that might draw 80 people and state conferences for up to 300 attendees, to Ozwater, the annual AWA national conference. Ozwater provides a tremendous depth of content — 250 presentations across three days for more than 4,000 registered attendees from across Australia and around the world.
AWA has been using Jomablue at Ozwater for almost a decade. Through data captured with Jomablue Insights, AWA has been able to personalize the onsite experience and gain valuable information on how delegates engage with their event. Jomablue Smart Badges, Session Attendance Management, the Mobile Event App, and other features all work seamlessly together in a single platform to deliver Live Dashboard Reporting and post event Insights. However, while AWA found success using Jomablue to help manage their onsite experience, they still needed a more efficient and effective event registration system, as they were using two databases to manage and register attendees, depending on the size of the event. When Jomablue released the advanced Jomablue Event Registration feature, which integrates seamlessly with existing Jomablue products, AWA was quick to do a complete evaluation of how they managed their events. After a six-month review of various options, AWA settled on Jomablue’s end-to-end event management solution, which offers efficient, personalized event registration, creates better attendee experiences and reduces team workloads.
Saving staff time and streamlining event logistics with registration
With registrations up and the phones quiet in the countdown to Ozwater, event staff can avoid headaches and zero in on improving other aspects of event management, instead of answering calls and solving registration queries.
“We used the Jomablue registration chat feature to ensure if someone needed our help during registration, we were able to help them instantly,” says Blades. “This move has given us more time to focus on things that are important for us in terms of event experience.”
Also, by using by using one tool across registration, event check-in, event engagement, and post-event insights, Blades estimates that her team saves hours each day leading up to the event.
For example, there is no need for pre-printed name badges or paper tickets, because registration data is automatically updated and refreshed until the attendee checks in. Participants simply show up, scan their e-tickets (which AWA sends out two hours before the event), and receive an automatically generated Smart Badge. Additionally, all of this data — from payment to the final handshake at the end of a productive event day — is seamlessly captured and analyzed in Insights.
While Blades acknowledges that long hours are the nature of major events such as Ozwater, she says using Jomablue Event Kit has helped take the pressure off of registration issues for their other smaller events throughout the year as well. “With Jomablue Event Kit, we can give our members the premium experience they have at Ozwater but now at a local level,” says
Blades. “When you go to any AWA event now, you’ll get the same professional experience, from registration to getting your e-ticket, arriving onsite, and receiving your badge.”
Driving improvements with data
The move to adopt the advanced Event Registration and Event Kit features does more than streamline customer experiences and registration processes. Understanding attendee behavior during registration provides valuable insights into how different groups of attendees behave, how engaged they are, and which demand generation methods were most successful. Furthermore, understanding how attendees engage with AWA’s entire portfolio of events throughout the year adds value far beyond just monitoring behavior from a single event.
Moreover, these new features are just the beginning. AWA has continued to learn about its delegates, thanks to the support of Jomablue’s full suite of solutions.
For example, to enhance planning decisions and optimize all their events, AWA uses the Jomablue Live Dashboard. The Live Dashboard aggregates information from across an event to provide instant, real-time access to data, which informs flow and logistics during Ozwater.
Using Jomablue Smart Badges to monitor session attendance, Blades’ team can streamline people-flow across Ozwater and quickly identify staffing needs accordingly. Blades and her team use this data to improve events by selecting the right sized room for each presentation and providing appropriate staffing according to audience and presenter needs.
Throughout Ozwater, AWA continues to engage attendees with Jomablue Touchpoints, which send preloaded content to attendees via text or email.
Touchpoints measure attendee engagement and highlight those with special interests. This feature assists with a more successful and targeted post-event conversion.
Additionally, AWA uses Insights to guide decisions regarding Ozwater’s programming. Information from last year’s event, for instance, showed that attendance during Ozwater’s keynote session precipitously dropped because it was scheduled for the end of the final day. With that valuable insight in hand, Blades switched the keynote to the morning, now confident people would remain for the rest of the day’s sessions.
Practising what they preach
It’s no exaggeration to say that AWA’s members are responsible for the health and safety of millions of Australians through the provision of clean water and sanitation. That’s why, Blades says, AWA promotes “the need to be innovative, the need to use transformative technology, the need to be disruptive, the need to adapt, and the need to be agile among its membership.” It’s also why Blades appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate that AWA’s event management does not lag in technological innovation.
“I’m always conscious that we practice what we preach to our members,” says Blades, “That’s why using Jomablue event intelligence is a no-brainer for us.”