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Style Dots

Event portal for virtual conference during COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adapt to the changing times, and things were no different for Style Dots, a company that sells customizable jewelry through their network of Boutique Partners. Style Dots hosts an annual conference to celebrate the success of team members, launch new products and provide valuable training. With large gatherings banned due to the pandemic, they had to get creative.

Services

Front-end Development
User Experience
Design

Drupal 7

Project Brief

Because they could no longer hold their annual conference in-person, Style Dots needed a new way to hold their annual conference. Initial research showed that using a dedicated virtual conference service could be costly. Instead, we suggested using Zoom to host the sessions and a landing page on their website to direct traffic to the correct Zoom meeting room. Additionally, hosing the conference on-site allowed us to leverage the existing eCommerce framework and user accounts to handle event registration and to provide access to exclusive on-site sale events for attendees. In order for the 3-day virtual conference to be successful, we knew that the website should:

  1. Clearly and prominently display the event schedule and link each event to its corresponding Zoom session
  2. Allow users to save events to their personal calendars so they can be notified before a session begins
  3. Educate users who are technology-averse on how to use the event website and Zoom together
Dot Fest is Going Virtual

What We Did

We built a new landing page within the existing Style Dots website that would serve as a "portal" to the appropriate Zoom meeting for each session. This page was sub-branded for the conference to make it stand out from the rest of the website. To make it easy for any attendee to navigate through the virtual conference, we provided both a digital and printable version of the event schedule. We also allowed attendees to add events (or the full schedule) to their Google and iCal calendars in order to receive push notifications and a direct link to each session before the start time. We also set up a private conference sale space where attendees could purchase limited edition products and access exclusive sales.

Challenge

Can't host in-person gatherings due to COVID-19

Solution

Host all conference events over Zoom

It's no secret that Zoom has been a powerhouse throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Because it's so widely-used and accessible to all, we suggested that Style Dots use the app to host their conference sessions. This would not only cut down on costs of hosting on a dedicated virtual conference website, but it would also make it easier for users since many people had already used Zoom for work or virtual family gatherings.
Challenge

Getting users to the right place at the right time

Solution

Integrate Google and iCal for event notifications

It's much easier for conference attendees to find their way around an in-person event. During a virtual conference, however, users must keep track of dates, times, and locations all on their own. That's why we wanted to allow users to add individual sessions (or the full schedule) to their personal Google or iCal calendars. Doing so allowed users to receive push notifications for each session, and each event also displayed a link directly to the Zoom meeting room.
Conference event schedule on desktop
Conference event schedule on mobile
Add to calendar modal

Record-Setting Numbers

The 2020 virtual conference surpassed expectations in many ways— most notably in registrations and participation. Because the virtual conference eliminated the time and expense of traveling to a convention center, attendance doubled that of prior years, and engagement by boutique partners was way up during conference and in the critical fall selling season that followed.

Instructions on how to get the most out of the virtual experience

Hosting a virtual conference during COVID-19?

We'd love to help you strategize your digital conference experience. Contact us today to get the conversation started!