Event Management Tools
The DG Enterprise team had a winning formula for creating and holding successful events but it required a lot of manual processes. The team needed dozens of employees just for mundane tasks and organizational efforts. If they had an app for managing this process they might be able to accomplish their goals with fewer people.
Our approach for building them a workhorse app was to learn all the processes they used for creating a successful event and to see which of these could be automated or streamlined in some form. Everything from task management to customer acquisition was tackled from a technical approach. In the end we landed on building them a hybrid app using Framework 7 so we could submit the app to the app stores and also provide a web version.
The DG Enterprise team had perfected the art of holding large in-person and virtual events. Their specialty was launching and running successful real estate training seminars that earned millions. However, their processes were tedious and manually done. To help streamline their efforts they hired myself and the Torchlight Software team to build a mobile application for creating, managing and launching in-person or virtual events. The goal was to dogfood the app internally and if it proved useful then launch it to the public.
I began collaborating with the DG team and within two months I had brokered a deal to have Torchlight Software (one of my freelancing teams) build the app and I would provide all the design work (UI/UX, research, branding, marketing materials, etc.). At one point during the project we had over 15 developers working on the app. I also functioned as the project manager for a few months and did much of the QA on the MVP.
After six months we were able to successfully launch a beta product internally that was used by several hundred members of their staff and outside affiliates. The response was immensely positive and out of this came a collaboration with Tony Robbins to build a version 2.0 and launch it under a new product line (see Mastermind).
During the first week of working with the team, I sat down the CEO and core facilitators to get a sense of what goes into running an event. I made a list of key tasks they perform each time and organized them by what stage in the process they fall under.
In my interviews with the stakeholders my main goal was to extract from them the key value propositions that they believed they could offer in an event planning app. Some of their concepts were similar to other offerings on the market and others were completely unique, such as:
Wisdom Extraction tools. The DG team had a proprietary process for extracting knowledge from a field expert.
Funnel Marketing Systems. In the weeks and months leading up to an event the team had an intricate series of marketing practices that guaranteed they would fill all the attendee openings.
Agenda Building. The day of the event was planned down to the very minutes, and the team had a unique system and series of worksheets for making the event engaging making the attendees feel like they got real value out of attending.
1. Repetitive, time-consuming manual tasks
2. Lacking core organizational tools that are specific to event management
3. Inconsistent payment collection methods across attendees
The main competitor that the DG team often compared themselves to was Clickfunnels. They wanted their product to feel like Clickfunnels but tailored to their needs. In order to better understand what made Clickfunnels successful I went through their platform and built several funnels to see what the experience was like. I made notes of this process to help inform our MVP feature set.
Using the information we had collected from the interviews and competitive research, we organized the data based on the derived priorities.
We determined that there were three main user groups that existed: the event facilitator, the expert, and the attendee. The facilitator(s) help drive all activities leading up to the event and make sure to fill the seats with attendees. The facilitator can be the expert but they are often separate users, so we broke them up. As for the attendees, they are vital to the process but will have no direct contact with the software so we left them off our focus group.
How might we....
"...help the facilitator manager pre-event tasks and stay organized?
"...assist the event expert in building an engaging and thoughtful day-of agenda?
"...create communication channels for the event team and vendors to collaborate?
To get started I did several quick iterations with the DG team on a whiteboard and on paper. Once we felt good about the user flows and information architecture I built out some lo-fi wireframes and a quick prototype to see how the app might flow. I used a simple generic design system to layout the screens in two days to help us test and validate our assumptions.
One of the biggest challenges I had working on this this project was understanding how the various pieces worked together. Therefore, I built a services flowchart that was used internally to illustrate the relationships of all the facets of this complicated app we were building.
Mobile Hi-Fi Wireframes
Desktop Hi-Fi Wireframes
We launched the MVP and the DG team used it to organize and hold several events successfully. With this proof of concept validated the team decided to team up with Tony Robbins to release it to a larger public audience. For more on this, visit the Mastermind section.