The Association of Government Accountants Offers Attendees a Mobile Experience that Adds Up

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) holds three major events annually ranging in size from 500 to several thousand attendees. Most participants are financial professionals who work in and with the state, local, and federal governments including accountants, directors of finance, chief financial officers, and analysts. When the association was looking for a way to integrate technology into the conferences, it called on a2z to help introduce a mobile app. When over 75% of the attendees at the most recent events used the ChirpE native app, AGA knew something was starting to add up.

The search for a better experience

AGA ChirpE Mobile AppAGA members, particularly those who attend the association’s conferences, are average technology users. They carry mobile devices including smartphones like most business professionals, but as a rule, accountants don’t have any more or less affinity toward technology than those in other industries (outside the technology field) do. When Jerome Bruce, Director of Meetings and Expositions at AGA, wanted to leverage technology and streamline the onsite attendee experience by using a mobile app, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

How to make an attendee’s job easier

Bruce, who began in the trade show industry as an exhibit manager 15 years ago, worked with a2z at a previous organization. When AGA was looking for a company to streamline speaker and session searches, facilitate attendee engagement, collect feedback, and “minimize the work onsite” with a mobile app, he called on them again. “Back then, a2z was well regarded for offering online floor plan technology. Then, they launched new solutions for conference management and mobile apps. I liked their products and platform and my relationship with their staff so I brought a2z [to AGA] with me,” he says.

ChirpE adds to the satisfaction column

a2z’s extensive pre-conference attendee marketing plan paid off. 76% of the attendees at AGA’s Professional Development Training Conference this past July used a2z’s ChirpE mobile app to engage speakers, search for sessions, and create personalized itineraries. AGA also added an audience response system to the app. “It helped attendees engage in discussions and gave speakers an opportunity to get real-time feedback through live polling and session evaluations,” Bruce explains.

Post-event survey results revealed that:

  • 92% of respondents were satisfied with the app
  • 92% found the app easy to use
  • 83% used it to engage in question and answer sessions with presenters
  • 81% agreed that it was more efficient than a printed directory

“We got rave reviews about the app. When we heard such positive comments, we knew that we were doing something right,” Bruce says.

It isn’t all about the numbers

Bruce and his team look forward to building on the success of the a2z mobile app. “We will have to offer [ChirpE] every year now because we’ve set the bar so high,” he says. The group is also looking into gamification after an offline “Meet Your Match” game instructing attendees to find others wearing the same numbers on buttons was a surprise hit with the normally shy accountants. Also, Bruce is interested in retaining ChirpE for another reason. “Happy attendees are return attendees. It’s a monetary value. If they’re happy with the experience—even the little things—they’ll come back and we’ll see a return on investment,” he explains.