Case study: 7th ABSL Conference

7th ABSL Conference, Katowice, 2016. It was a huge international event attended by nearly 1,000 participants and accompanied by sky-high expectations. How did we handle such an event?

Case study: 7th ABSL Conference

ABSL – Business Leaders

Before answering the questions above, let's take a closer look at the very basic aspect – the profile of the organiser. The ABSL acronym stands for the Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland. It is a leading industry organisation representing the sector of modern services for Polish businesses.

Currently, ABSL is a union of more than 170 global investors, including Accenture, Arvato Services, Capgemini, Carlsberg, Geoban, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Infosys, JLL, Luxoft, MAN, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Shell, Sony, Thomson Reuters, UBS, and Xerox.

You will find information about ABSL under the following address: absl.pl

CONREGO and ABSL

It was no coincidence that they chose CONREGO to support the event. Our cooperation with ABSL started in 2013, when we worked on the 4th edition of the conference, and it has lasted to this very day. However, it has never before been done on such a big scale. In 2016, for the very first time in our history, we implemented the system on a global scale, starting from registration of participants, handling of payments, mailings, and passes, to handling the reception desk and access control. The CONREGO system was implemented to support the 7th ABSL Conference, in its entirety. Needless to say, it was a big challenge for us. And there was no room for even the slightest of mistakes.

Phase I – The beginning

How did we approach the challenge? We used the same strategy, as always. The first step when handling an event with the CONREGO event management software is activating the module responsible for registering of participants. The level of automation offered by the system enables fast and efficient operation from the very start. There are many advantages of the system, but the fact that the system sets a path along which we then move is certainly its supreme advantage that cannot be overestimated. In other words, it becomes a template that we apply to a particular event and handle it with. This way, even the people who are not familiar with the art of organising events can rest assured that they will know what to do.

As for the 7th ABSL Conference, CONREGO assisted in handling the event that was – in fact – organised with the system. Our efforts were appreciated with the words that every organiser would love to hear. But let us not be too hasty!

The registration process for participants was divided into two segments, i.e. paid and free. And since the system enables supporting discounts, accompanying events, and booking accommodation, they were quickly included in the event we were handling, in a fast and efficient manner. This way, each participant is just a few clicks away from choosing the appropriate price option, additional events, and also a place to stay. When registration was complete, it was automatically confirmed by a message. The first phase was carried out smoothly and as planned. However, that was just the beginning.

Phase II – Communication with guests

Each event organiser knows that communication is extremely important in the process of organising a conference. That is one of the most important aspects, regarding supporting of an event, which takes places long before the event actually starts. We used CONREGO to open the sending of mailings and text messages to registered participants. With that module, we knew there would be no surprises up the sleeve for us. We provided each participant with a message containing essential information, and if they had any doubts or questions – we had an information centre ready to assist them. We left nothing to chance. Phase two was a total success.

Phase III – Right before the conference

There was little time left before the start of the 7th ABSL Conference. The atmosphere of excitement and anticipation clearly affected us, and we considered ourselves veterans of event organisation, after all. As assistants to that unique conference, we still had many things to do. And nothing escaped our control, though. The CONREGO system created tickets and sent them to participants, as it supports bar and QR codes, by default. Thanks to that simple and at the same time very efficient solution, the handling of guests was much faster than it would have taken, if manual data verification had been in place.

What’s important, the system also made it possible to create ID badges that we could use to provide additional information, including, among others, the name of a company a particular participant represented. CONREGO created reports on all phases of the registration process, strictly following the criteria required by organisers. Again, there was nothing that took us by surprise. CONREGO did its job with flying colours. But that was not the end of our work, by all means.

Phase IV – The Conference

The long-awaited conference was finally started. Everybody was more than ready. All reception desks were handled by hostesses trained by the CONREGO Team. Participants were handled with lightning speed, by scanning QR codes, and the system automatically reported that a particular person attended the event.

The module enabling controlling access to closed events was another component of the CONREGO system that passed the test with flying colours. The reception areas supported by hostesses needed only a few seconds to verify, whether a particular participant had been registered for the event, in other words – whether they were authorised to participate. In the case of that conference, we did not come across any falsified passes, but CONREGO would display an appropriate warning message, should we have.

CONREGO not only provides a template to support events, but it is much more – a modifiable template. So, it was all the easier for us to use the access control function for a different, non-standard purpose: to issue translation packages. Hostesses scanned codes embedded in ID badges, while the system reported the time of collecting a package. That way, hostesses knew exactly who they were supposed to take the packages back from, at the end of the conference, when the system had been switched to the “exit” mode. If any person failed to return their package, such information remained in the system next to contact details, so it was possible to contact a particular participant at any time.

Summary

What else can we say about the organisation of the 7th ABSL Conference? The best answer is to let the ABSL Management speak for themselves:

„We are very grateful for (…) the flexibility and willingness to help that made the cooperation with you pure pleasure. Had it not been for you, our Conference would not have been so magnificent.”

And we are very grateful too!

Tomasz Chrościechowski

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