The Association of Fraternal and Leadership Values (AFLV) is fueled by connection.  

At the core of AFLV is its events program, which brings together students and higher education professionals to grow, learn, and network together.  

Many associations that utilize in-person events to maintain and grow their memberships have evolved their event programs to keep up with the changing events landscape – and AFLV is no exception.  

By delivering events that foster member connection and leveraging technology to streamline the attendee experience, AFLV has learned what it takes to launch successful in-person events that delight attendees, sponsors, and speakers.  

Discover how the AFLV team transformed their annual events with technology while keeping their attendees at the center of the experience. 

AFLV: bringing the sorority and fraternity communities together  

AFLV exists to accelerate progress in fraternity and sorority communities for over 300 campuses around the United States. AFLV does this by creating change-enabling events that provide students with the tools and resources they need to make a difference in their own sorority and fraternity communities.  

AFLV hosts two major conferences every year that serve students and industry professionals, bringing together a variety of university councils and organizations.  

Group of women attending AFLV conference mingling in hallway

The organization’s Central event is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and hosts 2,500-3,000 attendees. AFLV’s West event is based in Anaheim, California, and hosts 1,000 attendees.  

“We are an experience where [students are] able to network and learn ideas from across the board and kind of broaden their horizons, more than just within their small chapter campus community or within their national organization,” Lauren Mohr, Senior Director of Engagement at AFLV, says.  

Both of AFLV’s in-person events shared common goals:  

  • Regrow the AFLV community in a post-COVID world. 
  • Reintroduce the AFLV programming to new students who have not had the opportunity to engage in in-person professional development in recent years. 
  • Streamline the delivery of information to attendees through a robust mobile event app experience. 

The power of in-person experiences for AFLV 

AFLV moved their events to a virtual format in 2021 but returned to in-person experiences in 2022.  

Before working with AFLV in a professional capacity, Kim Davison, Communications Consultant with AFLV, was a member of AFLV during college and experienced AFLV events before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It was really amazing to see all of the students and how it seems like they were aching for something like this – to come back in person and really have those face-to-face connections with people,” Kim says. “It was really special to be able to see what we do and how much it can impact them and really help their undergraduate experience.” 

Man helping woman check into conference via mobile event app

While there was some nervousness about returning to in-person in 2022, Lauren and Kim both felt attendees’ returned enthusiasm for AFLV’s in-person event programming.  

For AFLV Central 2023, the trepidation around hosting the event in person had vanished, and the AFLV team and attendees were excited to get back on-site and leverage the Webex Events mobile event app to power the experience.  

Selecting the right mobile event app 

The AFLV team was eager to find a new mobile event app that enabled them to easily build and customize their events. Most importantly, the team was committed to finding an app that: 

  • Enhanced attendees’ on-site experiences without distracting them from connecting with other attendees on-site.  
  • Allowed attendees to easily and independently locate the event map, agenda, and connection features. 
  • Enabled attendees to engage in networking opportunities in whatever capacity felt most comfortable for them.  

After seeing the app’s drag-and-drop event builder and seamless user experience, AFLV was confident that Webex Events was the right mobile event app to power its Central and West events. 

Achieving a 99% mobile app adoption rate 

Leading up to both events, the AFLV team strategized on how to increase user adoption of the mobile app.  

Kim created a short video tutorial that introduced the app and showcased different features that attendees could use throughout the Central event. 

In past years, AFLV provided a printed program book that contained the event agenda. For both the Central and West 2023 events, AFLV only provided the agenda in the app which helped boost user adoption and reduce printing costs.  

“It’s just not super effective to have [the agenda] in two places when the app is the most up-to-date thing. People had to use the app to view the schedule and see what sessions they could go to,” Kim says. 

Additionally, AFLV opened access to the event apps two weeks before the events began and sent a series of three emails to attendees that encouraged them to log in and explore the app experience.   

Large auditorium of people attend speaker session at AFLV conference

The AFLV’s team mission to boost user adoption continued throughout the event. They included QR codes at registration and during the opening keynote which allowed attendees to quickly scan and download the app directly to their mobile devices. 

AFLV’s efforts certainly paid off, as AFLV’s Central event achieved a 95% app adoption rate, and the West event achieved a 99.7% app adoption rate. 

Sponsor engagement and promotion 

To connect with students, AFLV’s sponsors used the event app’s Shake & Connect feature which allowed them to easily capture attendee information for post-event follow-ups.  

One of AFLV’s sponsors ran a sponsored banner ad in the event which resulted in 21k views.  

“[The sponsor is] someone who traditionally sponsored our physical book, so I think that they enjoyed transitioning to the digital space and being present there,” Lauren says.  

This specific sponsor put a QR code on a card at their on-site booth which directed attendees directly to their sponsor profile in the app.  

“They were actually able to get real analytics from how many people clicked through our app and how many people saw it specifically from there, so the ROI story was a little bit clearer for them,” Lauren says. 

AFLV anticipates that after the successful app adoption at both Central and West, more sponsors will sign up to have a digital-only presence in the app for future AFLV events. This will also allow sponsor organizations to save on costs associated with traveling to the event.  

Powering a career wall with the social wall feature 

AFLV events serve as a great opportunity for university students to network and explore future career opportunities.  

To facilitate career networking at the West event, AFLV transformed the Webex Events social wall feature into a career wall, where industry professionals at the event could post job openings.  

“We saw people take advantage of it, which was really special to facilitate that extra part of this experience,” Kim says. 

For AFLV’s central event, Kim created a dedicated photo wall where attendees could participate in a photo challenge or post about their event experience.  

“I think that people used it more than I thought they would, and [they] had fun with it. We had people introduce themselves there with a little selfie so that was a fun element,” Kim says. 

In-session feedback forms eliminate unnecessary paper and printing costs  

To capture real-time feedback from attendees at the Central Event, AFLV enabled feedback forms that prompted students to rate the sessions they attended. This allowed the AFLV team to share feedback with speakers who would be presenting a few weeks later at the West event.  

Black and white image of man speaking on stage with audience in the background at AFLV conference

The AFLV team was able to affirm that speakers’ talk tracks were resonating with attendees or give them an opportunity to improve their sessions before the next event. 

Next year, the team plans to eliminate their paper feedback forms entirely and only provide the forms through the mobile event app.  

“We’re able to eliminate another not only cost for us, but another paper source and continue on our path towards a more efficient system next year,” Lauren says.  

Making event improvements in real time with the live data dashboard 

Event organizers know that changes often need to be made on the fly, and having the data to back up those changes is key.  

By using the Webex Events live data dashboard, the AFLV team was able to see if any features or sessions had less engagement than others.  

They were even able to use real-time event metrics in Webex Events to adjust features during the event and make the experience even more intuitive for attendees.  

“The analytics in real-time were really helpful because we were able to see people’s movement while we were sitting in our staff office,” Lauren says 

Streamlining communications with the announcements feature 

To keep attendees on track with the event agenda, AFLV used the Webex Events announcements feature to remind attendees about upcoming sessions.  

For the West event, the team targeted some announcements to specific attendee groups, allowing AFLV to avoid overwhelming all attendees with information that was only relevant to certain participants. 

“There were some [announcements] where we just needed to tell all the speakers something and didn’t want them to get an email that they might miss. We could make that group and make that announcement specifically to them, which was really helpful,” Kim says,  

Accessibility feature delivers an inclusive event experience 

When the AFLV team received a request for screen reader adaptability for an attendee, it was important that they could find a solution that was as seamless as possible for the attendee.  

Lauren quickly found a Webex Events help article that walked through how to turn on the screen reader adaptability. With a click of a button, AFLV was able to deliver an accessible and inclusive experience for the attendee.  

“[The attendee] said that it was a very simple experience for them too, to connect it to their screen reader,” Lauren says. “It was just so simple… And it worked really well.” 

Positive app feedback from event attendees, speakers, and sponsors 

AFLV received feedback from attendees, speakers, and sponsors alike on their positive experiences with the mobile event app.  

“A speaker who I had never met before found out that I worked for AFLV and came up to me and really wanted me to know this was the best app experience she’d ever had. She just thought that it worked so well, and she felt really included in the experience,” Kim says. 

Driving future AFLV events forward with a mobile event app 

As AFLV looks toward the future of their event programming, they will continue leveraging the Webex Events mobile app to connect their attendees, share event updates, and update event information in real time. 

Two women use mobile event app to connect at AFLV conference.

“The app allows us to be as accurate as possible for all of our attendees. For example, the minute you print a program book, the information is outdated and incorrect, so having the app allows us to make those real-time changes,” Lauren says. “You’ve got to be able to, in real-time, produce information for the amount of people that are coming in and depending on you for that.” 

The future of successful in-person events: intuitive technology 

After the success of their Central and West events, it’s clear to the AFLV team that using robust and intuitive technology is essential to executing a thoughtful and efficient in-person event experience.  

“[If you’re hosting an in-person event], make sure that everyone [who is] there feels like they’re the center of that in-person experience. I think, for us, investing in this app was one way we wanted to do that,” Lauren says.  

Next steps for AFLV’s tech-enabled events: Lead Retrieval and gamification  

AFLV is set to launch both their Central and West events next year, and the team is excited to implement additional Webex Events solutions including Lead Retrieval and gamification to boost sponsor visibility and ROI.  

“We are looking forward to continuing down that path and creating a year-round involvement experience for our community so that they’re able to stay connected in a way that they weren’t before.” Lauren says.  

Ready to experience how Webex events can power your in-person, hybrid, and virtual events? Start your free trial today!