Technology and Conferences, finally some good

Last week was Ignite Denver 7. You can read all about Ignite Denver on the blog, but among all the numerous new things we did to reboot Ignite Denver, we used technology.

It worked awesome!

There were two things we used, Eventbrite’s iPhone app and the Square reader and iPhone app.

First eventbrite’s app

The Upside

It worked really well. We loaded the Ignite Denver account onto Nicole and Shelly’s phones and as people came for Ignite, we were able to to check them off. It was great not needing printed lists, and sharpies to cross off names, etc.

It was great that one phone could see who the other had checked off.

The downside

I doesn’t show “will call” people. Or rather it shows them but doesn’t indicate that they still need to pay. The printed check in lists, put an orange highlight with a note about needing to pay at the door. The iPone app doesn’t do that so folks who don’t remember or choose not to remember that they need to pay, slide right in. Not a really big deal, since there’s ever only a few of those types of tickets at Ignite Denver, but I can see that being a problem for other events.

Square Reader

When I first got my Square at WWDC, I figured I’d have little to no use for it. Maybe we’d be the only garage sale around that took credit cards, but otherwise I couldn’t see many uses. Until we decided that to continue existing, Ignite Denver had to charge $5.

We used Eventbrite, to sell tickets, but always (unless we sell out) sell tickets at the door. Normally it’s cash (or check) only.

This time we could take credit cards, and it rocked!!  I actually wish we used the iPad app, which supports custom “items” but it was still easy to use the iPhone version.

I will say this, the android version. SUCKS. We tried to use it first and got nothing. No user feedback, etc. switched to the iPhone version and it was cake. “swipe faster, bad read” Etc. it was easy to get it figured out.

We didn’t sell a bunch of at the door tickets, but it was nice to just be able to accept credit cards and be done with it.

The app worked great, as did the service. We might have even convinced the theater to look into using Square vs. their existing, expensive POS system.

Over all I’m very very happy with our use of technology, and look forward to using these tools at our larger events. Especially Eventbrite’s app.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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