With a year-round events program and an attendee base spread across the globe, Defence Leaders needed a single event management solution to simplify event management. That’s why the organization partnered with Webex Events to run its ninth annual Combat Engineering & Logistics conference in Warsaw, Poland. The fully in-person event brought together 600 attendees over three days in January 2023. 

The primary event goals were: 

  • Run the event (and future events) from a single, branded event app. 
  • Integrate registration with the event app. 
  • Facilitate networking between exhibitors and attendees. 
  • Enable attendees to curate their own agendas. 

See how Defence Leaders used the Webex Events mobile event app to streamline event management and create an engaging in-person conference. 

About Defence Leaders 

Aiden Hall serves as marketing executive for Defence Leaders, a UK-based organization that brings together government representatives, international military personnel, research and development, academics, and the engineering and logistics communities for multiple engagements each year. 

“We serve global military communities with insights, debates, and peer-to-peer engagement opportunities via our portfolio of best-in-class events,” Hall says. “Our role is to foster collaboration and facilitate highly curated networking between those charged with ensuring NATO and its partners have the capabilities to meet their current and future needs.” 

Centralized event management 

Hall says it was highly important to use a single, user-friendly solution to run and manage the Combat Engineering & Logistics Conference, as well as future Defence Leaders events. 

“We host five events a year for thousands of people,” Hall says. “It’s important for us to have one app to host them all, so that attendees aren’t constantly downloading multiple apps.” 

The Webex Events app includes advanced features like gamification and video chat, but Hall says he was more focused on leveraging the app to simplify event management. 

“Our events cater to straightforward people in very serious roles,” Hall says. “We weren’t really looking for novelties, but rather to streamline as many processes as possible and make it easy for attendees to register and gain the information they need from the app.” 

Hall says having all events under a single app and the option to customize the look of the event app added credibility to a group that prioritizes security. 

“The app really helped us build brand recognition,” Hall says. “It also reassured our participants that they were downloading an official platform for the event. We have a lot of crossover between our events, and people can download one app and use it for all of our events throughout the year.” 

Integrated registration and dynamic ticketing 

Prior to using the Webex Events mobile app, Hall says Defence Leaders didn’t have a registration system. Instead, they asked attendees to enter information into a spreadsheet, and the Defence Leaders team manually created attendee badges in Microsoft Word.  

“Webex [Events] has been a big step up for us,” Hall says. “We saved a lot of time and eliminated manual processes, giving our staff more time to help guests rather than entering their badge details manually.” 

The Webex Events integrated registration system also enabled Hall and his team to assign different ticket types for their attendee groups and personalize registration questions for each audience.   

“We have our military tickets, governmental tickets, press tickets, and our industry tickets,” Hall says. “This allows us to differentiate between each group, ask different questions, and create connections to make networking a whole lot easier. And we also use the questions to gain information on where we should steer the event in the upcoming years, so we can create more targeted marketing and make future events even better.” 

Connecting exhibitors and attendees 

As Defence Leaders’ events have grown in size in recent years, Hall says it has become more difficult for their sponsors and exhibitors to network with the right people.  

“We usually work one-on-one with our exhibitors to help them meet the people they want to. The app gives them the ability to do it themselves while making it easier on our end too,” Hall says. “We really pushed the app onto our exhibitors, to let them know it’s a new tool they can use to create lead generation.” 

Hall promoted the event app to Defence Leaders’ exhibitors and partners more than a month before the event to give them time to acclimate, make connections, and schedule meetings. Once inside the app, users could tap an icon to watch a how-to video that walked them through all of the key app features. 

“The introduction video helped our participants use the app more efficiently and utilize all of the tools available to them,” Hall says. “We found that it had a high click-rate, so people definitely found value in the video.” 

Post-event metrics show the in-app exhibitor banners generated 61,000 views, while attendees made over 3,000 connections. 

Simplified agenda management 

Combat Engineering & Logistics 2023 featured 100 speakers and 126 sessions over the three days. Hall used the bulk import capabilities within the app to quickly populate speaker profiles and session details, and the internal linking feature allowed him to connect speaker profiles to each session in the agenda.  

“Uploading our agenda to the app was very slick,” Hall says. “The import feature made it extremely easy to get all our sessions up quickly.” 

Hall says it was also important for attendees to plan their own agendas as well as discover and locate the conference exhibitors.  

“We found Webex [Events] extremely useful for our attendees, especially when it comes to designing their day with the My Agenda tool,” Hall says. “They’re able to select the sessions they wish to attend and create their own agenda within the app’s calendar.”  

Webex Events provides flexibility to pivot between events of all sizes 

Hall and the Defence Leaders event team have used the Webex Events app for a handful of events, and plan to continue leveraging the mobile event app for future conferences. Rather than starting from scratch for each of his annual events, Hall says he can easily clone existing events within the platform. The Webex Events app gives him the flexibility to plan events of all shapes and sizes, and ultimately streamlines the event planning process. 

“As we’ve scaled our events, our venues have become larger, making it more difficult to find your way around and find the people you want to meet,” Hall says. “The event app makes it much easier for our attendees to find different exhibitors and network with peers. It’s a tough and tricky market, but we’re experts in creating those connections, and the event app allows us to improve the event experience.”