Driving Digital at Digital DNA Conference

Last week myself and the team attended the annual, highly acclaimed Digital DNA Conference, held in Titanic, Belfast.

Digital DNA is focused on educating businesses about leveraging technology to drive growth and boasts speakers from the world’s most successful and well known technology companies, including Twitter and Google, alongside local entrepreneurs.

Given the focus on how technology can empower businesses, for founder Gareth Quinn, Get Invited was the obvious choice of ticketing partner for this years conference –

“Having a fast and smooth experience for buying tickets and checking in attendees on the day was an incredibly important facet for this years conference, so Get Invited was the obvious ticketing partner for Digital DNA”.

At Get Invited, we’ve always focused on how technology can improve the experience of setting up and managing events for event organisers, and also for attendees buying tickets. As such, Get Invited is a 100% online solution and we’ve made the decision not to cater for traditional paper tickets. Here’s why:

1. Super fast check-ins

Event Manager blog recently published a report stating that one of the primary gripes for event attendees is waiting times for on-site registration. 

Having attended and organised a lot of events ourselves, we’ve put a great deal of effort into developing our mobile check-in application that enables event organisers to provide a fast, seamless and painless check-in process. Attendees simply present the ticket on their smartphone and the organiser uses the same app to scan the ticket and check-in the attendee. There’s no fumbling with pieces of paper or checking people off a list and the process takes only a few seconds.

We’re always seeking to optimise and improve our product and the best way to do this is to get our hands dirty solving real problems faced by event organisers. Therefore, at Digital DNA we volunteered to manage the check-in process ourselves, so that we could gain first hand experience of this process from the event organiser’s perspective. This exercise allowed us to use our own product in a real-world setting and also to engage with attendees to get valuable feedback on the their ticket purchasing experience.

2. Social Data

With over 73% of events now using social media, this enables event organisers to increase ticket sales by creating social buzz. Over 30% of ticket buyers have also stated that they’re more likely to buy a ticket if they can see user-generated content from other attendees that validates the quality of the event. [Mintel Online Ticketing and Ticket Purchasing, 2011]

We provided Digital DNA with access to our new “Social Buzz” feature which is currently in private beta. This automatically tracks all of the social conversations happening about an event on a range of social media channels and presents them on the event registration page – highlighting the social buzz around the event, and facilitating attendee engagement further, by displaying their photos, videos and comments.

Digital DNA went a step further and used this feature as a live social media feed displayed on two huge projector screens at the conference. How cool!

We also got the opportunity to hear a range of useful talks on the day that focused on how businesses can benefit from technology, with some practical takeaways, illustrating how to utilise Google Adwords and social media for promotion.

The most moving and inspiring talk of the day for me came from local businessman, John Conway – Founder of Meteor Electrical, which employed over 200 staff and sold in excess of £150k of goods every day.

In 2009, Meteor went into liquidation and John almost lost his home after haemorrhaging millions in cash. John shared his incredible story of how he embraced technology and turned his situation around re-establishing Meteor as the successful online business that it is today.

As the day drew to a close, I had the privilege of joining the Watify panel alongside 5 local entrepreneurs to share my own entrepreneurial journey with Get Invited. Watify is an online community focused on empowering would-be entrepreneurs to overcome the often paralysing self doubt and take the first steps into getting their business ideas off the ground.

panel

With so many reports from across the pond of exciting happenings in the US tech scene, we mustn’t forget that Northern Ireland has great potential to deliver real economic growth, with expertise in areas such as data science, cyber security and digital creative. Events like Digital DNA help to create awareness and motivate tech entrepreneurs by demonstrating that Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs and companies can compete on the world stage.

For myself, the two takeaways from Digital DNA were: embracing the power of technology to drive growth in businesses; and overcoming self-doubt to create new technology focused businesses. These are two very important lessons which are applicable to Northern Ireland at a very exciting time that is witnessing the rapid adoption of new technologies and growth of new technology focused startups.

I want to thank Gareth Quinn for bringing this fantastic conference to us for the second year, and look forward to Digital DNA 2015, 2016, and beyond!