CRHA is a nonprofit HR association with 11,000 members. Each year, Ordre des CRHA sets up human resources professionals across Canada for success through its annual Congrès RH event.

The challenge

Connect members, ditch paper, and improve sponsor visibility.

1. Ignite networking & engagement

“Our Congrès RH event is about learning, networking, and helping our members make a difference in their organization,” said Julie Carrière, Organizing Member at Ordre des CRHA.

Networking is critical because it’s how CRHA’s members share knowledge, best practices, and resources with each other.

2. Go paperless

As an HR organization, CRHA understands its members are standard-bearers where they work. That includes leading the charge on going green.

“Every year, we print the schedule for our attendees,” Carrière said. “We decided this year to not print the schedule for environmental concerns.”

With more than 1,000 members expected at Congrès RH, whatever solution CRHA chose had to deliver a clean, simple, user-friendly experience to every attendee.

3. Drive value to sponsors

Going paperless is great for the planet, but it creates a business dilemma. Event sponsors might feel they won’t get as many impressions from attendees.

To ditch paper, CRHA had to make sure its Congrès RH sponsors still got the visibility they deserved.

Our Congrès RH event is about learning, networking, and helping our members make a difference in their organization.

Julie Carrière, Organizing Member @ Ordre des CRHA

The solution

For the first time, CRHA utilized an event app for Congrès RH.

Carrière saw strong potential in an event app, particularly for connecting CRHA’s members. “To help them network, we decided to use an app that offers this option,” she said.

CRHA Congrès RH event

But Carrière had more than networking to think about. “I searched for an app that offers different options,” she said. For instance, she had to be confident an app could replace CRHA’s printed agendas, and that it could drive more sponsor value.

Shake & Connect

With tools like Shake & Connect, the Congrès RH event app made networking fun. Every time constituents shared a digital handshake, they also shared their attendee profiles via the app. From there, they could message each other and schedule meetings in a snap.

CRHA Congrès RH mobile app

Digital agenda

CRHA wanted to go paperless. That meant it needed a digital agenda that could update in real time so attendees always have the right information.

But CRHA needed to do more than show information. It also needed to show interactive maps so attendees knew where to go. It also had to do things like showcase speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors to help them connect with attendees.

CRHA Congrès RH panel

Banner ads and push notifications

Like many member-based organizations, CRHA needs to show its sponsors strong ROI. With banner ads, sponsors had a premium placement on the home screen of the Congrès RH app.

Push notifications also gave CRHA another outlet to drive sponsor engagement, in addition to communicating last-minute changes.

The results

A reinvigorated event experience for Congrès RH attendees and sponsors.

89% event app adoption

Out of 1,034 attendees, 922 downloaded and used CRHA’s app. “People were talking a lot about it at our Congrès RH event,” said Carrière.

Part of that high adoption speaks to the nature of associations, where members have lots of common ground. But Carrière gave CRHA’s event app a strong head start by promoting it ahead of the event.

“We sent many emails to remind them to use the app,” she said. “We also prepared a guide on how to use it. A week before the event, 50% of attendees had downloaded and started using the app.”

2,154 new connections

That’s an average of 2.33 new connections per attendee.

“We think that networking was easier for our members with the app,” said Carrière. “They also appreciated the ‘Shake & Connect’ networking option.”

223:46 average app usage time

Why did CRHA’s members appreciate Shake & Connect for networking? Because it flowed seamlessly as part of the app experience. “Our members appreciated that they could find all the information at their fingertips,” said Carrière.

The fact that everything (schedule, notes, networking, trade show, etc) was at the same place was part of Congrès RH’s success.

Julie Carrière, Organizing Member @ Ordre des CRHA

13 Push notifications

Even the most well-planned events have to manage and communicate last-minute changes. By sending push notifications through the app, CRHA could make and announce last-minute changes on the fly.

“Push notifications were very useful to inform our attendees about changes in the schedule, or to send some information that we used to print in the schedule,” said Carrière.

I wasn’t sure that our attendees would respond to the push notifications. I was very skeptical. But I sent a notification inviting them to visit us at our kiosk, and many of them told me that they came because of that.

Julie Carrière, Organizing Member @ Ordre des CRHA

Not only did the push notifications keep the event running on time, they also drove engagement with sponsors and exhibitors.

4 Sponsor banner ads

To showcase their Diamond and Platinum sponsors, CRHA chose a banner ads layout. That gave top sponsors a prominent place on the homepage. It also gave them strong link opportunities for directing attendees to the most relevant landing pages.

Our partners were very satisfied that we had their logos in the app. It was a visibility that we had for them.

Julie Carrière, Organizing Member @ Ordre des CRHA

How to connect your members with an event app

Make your members feel included and listened to, then enable them to succeed.

CRHA Congrès RH event

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s awesome for Julie and CRHA, but I’m not sure an app can help me and my organization with our member events.”

That’s fair. But remember what Julie said at the beginning of her story.

To invest in an event app was the best choice because it was ready to use. It was simple to add the information. No need to have a lot of knowledge in web integrations. And the Webex Events (formerly Socio) team was very helpful.

Julie Carrière, Organizing Member @ Ordre des CRHA