Earlier this month, a few thousand IT, telecom, and communications professionals gathered at Cisco Live in London for training, networking, and a glimpse at the latest industry developments. In addition to the learning opportunities for attendees, Cisco Live is an opportunity for Cisco to showcase new and interesting communications technologies, as they relate to business problems. DoubleDutch was honored to be selected as a technology partner for this event. Our mission was to extend the Cisco Live experience onto the smartphones of attendees, to enable seamless participation and collaboration for both in person and virtual attendees, and to maximize the event’s engagement. Here’s how it turned out.

The App

We worked closely with the Cisco Events team in designing the mobile app for the show. Custom Cisco icons were integrated into the app’s dashboard, as were mission critical information like the program overview, a map of the venue, and an exhibitor list. Crucial to the app was the concept of a global activity feed – a single place in the app where attendees could see “check-ins,” photos, and discussion from around the show. Each activity feed story allowed for “likes” and comments to spark discussion and engagement among attendees. To accommodate the hundreds of attendees participating remotely, we also introduced the concept of the “virtual check-in” to this event. By clicking the “Cisco Events” icon, all attendees where able to pull up a list of panels and sessions, regardless of their own location.

Of course the element of location is a crucial part of facilitating serendipitous meet-ups. In the “Local Places” section, we displayed a list of nearby places and points of interest, according to the location of the user. Cisco also implemented custom game mechanics to reward engagement, and to recognize particular behaviors. The “Tweetie Bird” badge was awarded to participants who tweeted out the event’s hashtag: #CLEUR. There were also global and network based leaderboards that tracked engagement throughout the show. To our knowledge, the Cisco Events app is the most ambitious effort to date to integrate location based services and game mechanics in a business setting.

The Results

Just a few numbers for you:

  • >3,270 check ins (about 12x the check ins for this event posted to Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places combined)
  • 760 badges unlocked (215 ‘Newbies’ was the most awarded)
  • 276 different venues received a check in (‘Technical Breakout Sessions’ was the most popular with 240, Tower of London was the most popular non-Cisco related check in with 8)
  • 74 places were added by users
  • 196 comments
  • 247 shouts (added along with a check in)

Conclusion

Conceptually, it makes a lot of sense that allowing conference attendees to connect with each other around place and topic would be pretty valuable. Of course it also makes a lot of sense to move an event’s paper guide – maps, exhibitor list, agenda, etc. – to the smartphone of the attendee. The Cisco Events app successfully did both of those these things, and was rewarded with very high engagement. We are looking forward to future collaborations with Cisco and other forward looking companies as we look to deliver a next generation conference experience.