Event Apps for Alumni Events – Experiences of the Alumni Focus

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Studying is not just about knowledge, it’s also about people. During this intense time, friendships are made, some lasting only a few years and some for life. And we all like to remember the many great moments that we were allowed to experience here. The best way to do this is with fellow students from back then, that’s why there are so many alumni events. The Basel Business Economists also meet once a year for the Alumni Focus.

Raphaël Leibundgut is responsible for the organization. In 2018, not only was the program concept drastically changed, but for the first time, an event app from LineUpr was introduced. He talks about why printed program booklets and an event app can work together and how quickly and easily anyone can create an app. Have fun with this interesting story. ?

LineUpr: Hello Raphael. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself.

Raphaël: I’m a 24-year business student from Basel, Switzerland. In addition to my studies, I dedicate myself to photography and videography and sometimes I support my older neighbors in case of difficulties with technology – in other words, really a digital native.

Otherwise, I like to spend my time with my friends and in the hall playing volleyball (2nd league).

LineUpr: You are a co-organizer of the event “Alumni Focus”. Please tell us a bit more about this event.

Raphaël: The Alumni Focus is an annual event for former students of the course “Business Economics” at the School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland. The students of the 5th semester organize the event in the form of a work project. This year, for ourselves, we set the goal of launching the event in a new way.

So far, the event consisted of a few papers and a panel discussion. Because this format does not allow for much innovation and interaction, we chose a modular and flexible format. Each participant should decide for themselves what he or she wants to listen to this evening. Networking also became more intensive and manageable with the new format.

LineUpr: Which target group do you want to address and which channels do you use to reach them?

Raphaël: The event is open to the public. However, the target group consists mainly of former and current students of our degree program.

LineUpr: Surely you chose LineUpr because you wanted to reduce the consumption of paper. When comparing a printed program with an event app, which advantages and disadvantages do they both have?

Raphaël: We honestly chose both variants. People are just not ready to fully engage with the technology. Rather, there were also older people among our participants who no longer see well with their eyes. Physically, the paper is always much more tangible and warmer. The event app clearly attracted the people who were not interested in having the program booklet. Also, an event app looks more professional, as program booklets need to be continuously printed and distributed all over the place. Again, digital natives are easier to reach and they respond well to an innovation like that.

An event app looks more professional, as program booklets need to be continuously printed and distributed all over the place.

LineUpr: How did you start to create the event app?

Raphaël: The platform is very clearly arranged. I do not remember exactly what I entered when and how. My subconscious mind practically did this. I probably inserted the date, time and first program items and then added more information. And also continuously discovered the features! That was fun!

LineUpr: Did you create the event app alone or in a team?

Raphaël: Alone – my team members had different responsibilities. I only advised my team about the control.

I was able to create most of the app in less than one working day. But I would have needed much longer for the preparation of the program booklet.

LineUpr: How much did you customize the LineUpr app?

Raphaël: I tried to live up to our CI (Corporate Identity). I adapted the title image, footer image and app icon. (Pity that the logo could not be integrated into the header.) Besides, I adapted the content of menu items and the order. In the surveys, I integrated competitions and changed them for better usability.

LineUpr: Looking back, how much time did you invest in the app?

Raphaël: I do not know the exact number of hours. As already mentioned, I am a techie and so I like to sit down with technical adjustments a bit longer and in more detail. I was able to create most of the app in less than one working day. Of course, ongoing adjustments and new program points were added afterward. But I needed much longer for the preparation of the program booklet.

LineUpr: When and how did you inform the participants about the event app?

Raphaël: Firstly, the monthly newsletter drew attention to the app. The integration of the competitions was an especially good reason for the participants to participate even before the event. Of course, we promoted the app on our social media and on the website.

LineUpr: Which top three tips would you like to give to other organizers for the use of LineUpr?

Raphael: 1. Try to know the whole program to structure it well before integration.

2. Always show participants added value for using the event app. Direct the persons to the event app at an early stage. They should get to know the app before the event.

3. Be creative! Find out your own tricks! For example, I linked program items to articles or integrated links from sponsors into the competitions. So the participants remain in the event app and miss nothing!

LineUpr: Thank you Raphaël for the super nice interview. We were able to gain a good insight into your first steps with the LineUpr app. This will certainly help other organizers.

More information is available on the Alumni Focus website. There are also alumni groups on LinkedIn and XING and of course a Facebook page of their own.

We are already looking forward to your next events and to how we can support them with LineUpr.