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The scientific community is increasingly using our apps for conferences and meetings. So it’s time to give these types of events a bit more room on the blog. That’s why we have invited Susanne Hennig from the Center for NanoScience (CeNS) at the LMU Munich.
In 2019 she organized an event for the “Physics of Living Systems Research Network” using LineUpr. Today, Susanne tells us why she replaced the printed “Book of Abstracts” with a digital version for the first time. She tells you also what she likes about LineUpr and what she would do differently next time. Have fun with this great customer story. 😊
LineUpr: Hello Susanne. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and the Center for NanoScience of the LMU Munich.
Susanne: The Center for NanoScience (CeNS) brings together scientists in the Munich area and promotes interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of Nanoscience. In addition to support for research collaborations, training of junior staff, and technology transfer, CeNS also organizes numerous scientific events.
LineUpr: You used an event app from LineUpr for the event “Physics of Living Systems”. Please tell us more about this event.
Susanne: The “Physics of Living Systems Research Network” was developed originally in the US with the aim to train and connect young scientists in the field of biophysics. CeNS is one of the international partners of the network and so this year, for the second time, we organized the annual international meeting with 260 participants.
LineUpr: What makes the event special? Which target group do you want to address and what added value do you offer the participants?
Susanne: The special thing is that a lot of young scientists are there and present a wide range of biophysical topics. The network includes some of the top international universities, such as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc. Nearly all junior scientists present their research projects with a lecture or a poster. So you can get an excellent overview of the “hot topics” and discuss them with the specialists.
LineUpr: Do you also use printed products to market the event or distribute information on-site? If so, which and why?
Susanne: So far for all of our larger meetings, we have created printed “Books of Abstracts”. This book contains the abstracts of all lectures and posters as well as other information, such as the list of participants, the program and organizational matters. This year, we broke new ground with LineUpr and for the first time, got rid of the “Book of Abstract”. Instead, we printed only a small program booklet for those people who like to hold something in their hands or for whatever reason could not or did not want to use their smartphone. The program was at the time of the event already no longer up to date – as always, there were last minute changes. But with the app, that’s no problem!
LineUpr: How long before the event did you start creating the event app? What do you think, how much time did it take to create the app?
Susanne: I started to work on the app half a year ago and created the first version, mainly to convince our professors of the concept. Importing the participants for the line-up was very easy and so was the creation of the program. I completed it in only a few hours. In addition, we put the abstracts for each of the 68 talks in the app; this we had to do individually. We also uploaded participant pictures from our sign up tool at Xing Events, which also took a lot of time. But this makes the app much more individual, so it was worth it! All in all, I spent a lot of time on the app.
LineUpr: How do you rate the creation of the event app with LineUpr? What do you like and what can we improve?
Susanne: I thought it was great that you can get started right away and the usage is so intuitive. The app is structured so clearly that you can have an eye on everything. For scientific purposes, I would like to have an additional function to import or link abstracts as a PDF. I also found the password protection to be perfect, so that only the participants could access the app!
We also used the post function several times, for example, to provide timely information about the public transport strike that had hit us during the conference.
I was also impressed by the survey tool. We did an “Unconference” session, which we planned during the conference. Through the app, we collected suggestions for themes and then put it to a vote. It worked very well and you could also visualize it very well! Then we could directly enter the topics and the rooms in the app.
LineUpr: When and how did you inform your participants about the event app?
Susanne: We informed the participants about the app for the first time about four weeks before the event and sent the password and the link by e-mail about a week in advance. At the event itself, we set up table displays with information about the app directly at registration (see picture). That worked very well.
LineUpr: How did your visitors react to the app?
Susanne: We received a lot of positive feedback. The fact that you do not have to install the app was particularly impressive! This praise was also reflected in the final feedback survey, which we, of course, also carried out in the app. 😊
LineUpr: Now, the event is over. Would you use the app the same way the next time to communicate with your participants or is there something you would change?
Susanne: I will definitely use the app again. In fact, I would start later to import the content into the app. Now I know how fast it works! 😊 There were quite a lot of last-minute changes on the part of the participants – that would save me a lot of work.
LineUpr: If someone is thinking about using an event app for their event, what advice would you give them? When is an app useful and what are the disadvantages of an app?
Susanne: The app is really useful if there are last-minute changes to the program or if you offer parallel sessions. Actually, for everything where you have to be flexible. And besides, the app is an excellent way to connect participants and make your event more interactive!
LineUpr: Thank you, Susanne, for the great interview. I always find it enriching to talk to organizers about the use of LineUpr. More information about the Center for NanoScience of the LMU Munich can be found here.
We are already looking forward to more events with you.