Project: Giving Event Planners the tools they need to be omniscient at their event
Role: Product Designer
Year: 2018 (In Progress)
While event staff man the check-in desk and mark attendance at sessions, admin planners are overseeing the event as a whole, ensuring that everything is going as planned and filling in any gaps or needs that arise. If anything goes wrong—and there’s always something—admin planners need to be aware and react quickly.
OnArrival is the planner’s main tool while onsite, but its primary function has been to cater to the role of the ‘checker-inner’ and doesn’t serve the admin planner well. Some needs are met, such as the ability to see check-ins for multiple session at once in the Session List, but overall the admin planner doesn’t get much insight into what’s going on at their event provided by OnArrival.
I observed that planners universally seem to utilize messaging apps like Whatsapp for group messages between event staff and fill a communication gap. While we weren’t keen on the idea of replacing a messaging app (dedicated messaging apps did the job very well already), these messages seemed like a rich source to understand painpoints and product opportunities.
We found that planners all share a fairly consistent core set of communication needs, and many of those involve data that OnArrival already deals with! Common needs included status updates for key sessions (“how many are checked in”, “are the doors open yet”, etc), calls for help when there are surges (especially at check-in for the event itself), and notification of any unexpected problems (jammed printers, dying batteries, etc). Another insight was how much pressure admin planners are under from their bosses; they are constantly being asked for updates about check-in counts, capacity, “how many VIPs are in this session?”, and similar.
It seemed like admin planners needed their own interface, separate from the check-in part of the app, which would be dedicated to a high-level overview of everything happening at once. This Admin Dashboard would show all current sessions and highlight any potential problems. Planners can select a high-value session to highlight, which would surface in-depth information about who’s present and the rate of check-ins. Lastly, there would be an alert system that would send automated alerts to common problems, like scanning devices with low batteries or printer jams.
This project is still in the oven, and exists as a concept and UX brief right now. We’re confident that we deliver proactive information that will let a planner know about issues before they would otherwise be aware, which turns them into rockstars at their events.