NFL FLAG Summit: Success Story with Whova

Executive Summary

NFL FLAG partnered with Whova for their 2021 NFL FLAG Summit to increase audience engagement and create more networking opportunities for the attendees. The in-person event, held in Nevada from July 15-18, saw attendees come together from all over the nation. Attendees used the Whova mobile and desktop/laptop app to connect with each other and participate in the event, leading to a high level of attendee engagement and networking.

Interview with the Organizer

About NFL FLAG Summit

July 2021 was the 25th anniversary of the NFL FLAG Summit, which brings together NFL FLAG leagues and their leaders from around the country. NFL FLAG leagues are a non-contact football program for kids aged 5-17, which instructs young athletes in the fundamentals of the sport and promotes community involvement. The goal of the Summit was to connect attendees and discuss initiatives that both support and expand the organization

The four day event was packed with speaker sessions, networking opportunities, and more. Speakers included RCX President Izell Reese, NFL Football Development VP Roman Omen, and the co-founder and Executive Director of National Flag Football, Bryan Ledin. 

92%

Download Rate

91%

Loved Whova

1,000+

Community Board Messages

1,000+

Photos Shared

800+

Messages Exchanged

70+

Discussion Topics

Challenges

NFL FLAG Summit’s organizers did a great job building a strategy to engage the audience both leading up to the event and during the in-person Summit. Some of the areas they focused on included:

1. Building a connection between attendees: The team spent a lot of time considering ways they could build rapport among the 400 attendees. They wanted to find a way to make each individual feel special.

2. Effectively managing the event: They were also looking for the best event management tools, such as ensuring everyone had up-to-date information with the announcement feature. If there were any changes to the lineup or special exhibitor announcements, they were able to send it out through the app and be confident that all attendees were informed. Whova’s app also lets you share vital information such as parking details and ticketing information for attendees.

3. Creating interactive sessions for participants: Another challenge was hosting quality Q&A sessions with speakers after a presentation. They wanted to ensure that participants were able to get the most out of each session. 

4. Encouraging attendees to download the app: There are so many apps out there that smartphones are becoming cluttered with them. The organizers knew convincing attendees they needed the Whova event app might not be easy. The organizers wanted to find an easy way for attendees to get the full experience and benefits of the event. Knowing there are a wide array of features on the app, the organizers wanted to ensure attendees were downloading and actively using it. 

5. Increasing attendee networking and engagement: With hundreds of attendees, the Summit was an ideal networking opportunity for participants. But, creating meaningful, one-on-one connections can be difficult with so many new faces to meet.

App features like the Community Board, business card scan and exchange, and Matchmaking and the meeting scheduler allowed attendees to virtually discover others they wanted to get to know better. 

Attendees could submit questions and even vote on which ones they wanted answered

Attendees could submit questions and even vote on which ones they wanted answered

Solutions

As event partners, the NFL FLAG Summit organizers leveraged Whova to overcome their challenges.

1. The app proved to be a robust networking tool for Summit attendees. Using the app, attendees were able to share photos with others within the event, and also post them directly to social media. Attendees also used the app’s Community Board, an event wide forum, to start discussions, join in on existing ones, and discover or organize meet-ups. They also used features like Whova’s 1-1 messaging, video calls, and group chat, to further connections through the app.

Attendees used the Community Board to connect across the event and discuss important topics

Attendees used the Community Board to connect across the event and discuss important topics

100+

Photos Submitted

70+

Discussion Topics

1,000+

Community Board Messages

2. The Whova app made it easy for Summit organizers to effectively manage the event, keeping everyone updated and informed by sending over 20 announcements through the app. They also designed over 300 name badges with the app’s tool. Attendees reported a high satisfaction rate, with 92% using the app and 91% who said they loved it. To make attendees feel welcome, Summit organizers created ticket discounts through Whova’s registration feature.

Organizers could choose from over a dozen templates to design unique name badges for their event

Organizers could choose from over a dozen templates to design unique name badges for their event

“We used discount codes for different sales representatives on our team to be able to invite different people and make them feel special,” Danielle Summers from RCXSports explained. “We had Brandon, who is one of our sales representatives, give out a discount code with Brandon with 25% off. So, if I am an attendee who is now invited, I know I was invited by Brandon, and I get to use his discount code for getting 25% off discount for my ticket, which just really made individuals feel special and feel invited beyond just ‘here’s a way to sign up and get a ticket.”

92%

Download Rate

91%

Loved Whova

300+

Name Badges Generated

3. The Summit organizers organized a live Q&A session with speakers and presenters. Attendees used the app to submit their questions, and a moderator selected some of the top questions at the end of their session. To boost engagement, attendees were also able to vote for their favorite question. 

“What really picked up a lot of the traffic was actually at the event when we had our speaker speaking to the group,” Danielle explained. “The only way to get your question answered for the live Q&A was if you submitted your question via Whova. We had a moderator who went over those questions at the end. That really produced a lot of engagement in the app right away because people knew that was their only option.”

4. The Summit marketing team decided they wanted all attendees to communicate through the app during the event. To encourage participants to download the app, the marketing team used the announcement feature to send an email to ticket holders explaining how it would let them engage with speakers and fellow attendees at the conference. 

5. The team was able to cultivate connections between over 100 attendees with Whova’s networking. Attendees could customize their profiles with information on their background and interests, and could find the best connections with the app’s Matchmaking feature.

Whova matched attendees based on their background and interests so they could find the best networking opportunities

Whova matched attendees based on their background and interests so they could find the best networking opportunities

Attendees were able to send messages, start one-on-one video calls, or use the app’s Let’s Meet feature to arrange a meet-up for coffee or lunch during the event.

100+

Attendees Matched By Interests

800+

Messages Exchanged

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