Meet #EventProf of the Month, Ariana Solis Gomez, of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, and read as she shares her DoubleDutch success story and how she is making a difference in the lives of Hispanic Americans.
BL: How long have you been involved with event marketing?
ASG: For about six years now. I was born and raised in Queretaro, and attending college in Mexico City, where I received my undergraduate degree from Universidad del Valle. After graduation, I landed a marketing a design internship with Grupo Egor, where I was introduced to design and campaigns through working on a few pretty large projects, including: IHOP, Carl’s Jr., Medica Ebor, and Italian Coffee. I moved to the United States and took an internship at HACR, where I have worked my way up the past four and a half years to the position I’m in now as Communications Manager.
BL: Tell me about your most recent event success where DoubleDutch was involved.
ASG: The 2016 Annual HACR Programs and Symposium were the most recent events we powered with DoubleDutch. It’s a set of four leadership programs; the HACR Corporate Directors Summit™, the Corporate Executives Forum™, the Corporate Achievers Summit™, and the Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™. In conjunction with our Annual Symposium, we educate on Hispanic inclusion and diversity in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. This year represents our 30th Anniversary, and it’s a huge milestone given the improvements we have made in three decades! Attendance was also amazing. Participants included corporate leaders, community leaders, and diversity and inclusion experts; we had over 500 people at our event – all of them had the DoubleDutch app in hand! Adoption was incredible.
BL: How did people receive the app this year?
ASG: Internally; ever since we started using it, it's been considered the brightest idea I’ve had! As a nonprofit, budget was something we thought about of course, and we had to fight for it, but eventually committed because we want to provide the best experience out there for our attendees, and it's definitely paid off! I gave my team a training before the event so they were prepped with answers during the conference. They all used it and loved it! At the end of the day, our team is the face of the organization, so we have to practice what we preach and use the app.
Externally, feedback was amazing as well! For example, I recommended DoubleDutch to our friend and sponsor over at Chevron who in turn recommended it to the nonprofit board he sits on. It’s really exceeding everyone’s expectations, and it’s nice to see other organizations succeed as well in using DoubleDutch!
BL: That’s great to hear! What features were you a big fan of? What about attendees?
ASG: Internally, We have always struggled with event surveys in the past. Now being able to leverage the DoubleDutch built in surveys to collect feedback and reviews is huge for us. We also love the push notifications. As any #EventProf knows, the agenda can change by the minute, but thankfully we can push notifications so easily and keep our attendees and staff updated in real time. Speaker changes, sessions shifting - life happens! I’m looking forward to using polls during our November event, and our attendees love 1:1 messaging for networking!
BL: How was the setup of the app? Did it go smoothly for you in the Live Engagement Studio (formerly named, the CMS).
ASG: I LOVE the Studio: I manage our websites too, the app, and social media, so I am a bit familiar with HTML - however, you don’t need to know HTML to get started. In fact, I am 100% self taught, I just used YouTube to learn HTML basics! The updates are so fast when making changes in the Studio, so I love that.
BL: How did you promote the app before the event? How did you get players excited?
ASG: I actually pre-populated all participants so they don't have to worry about it and the details, including uploading their headshots and bios. All they needed to do was login and start enjoying it! We used the Welcome Letter that the DoubleDutch Studio provides plus our own emails one and two weeks leading up to the event. We promoted the app on social media and used print signage that looks like smartphones to promote the app.
BL: Switching gears a bit; What’s something you wish people knew more of - doesn’t need to be DoubleDutch related:
ASG: Ah, that’s so easy and we covered this a lot at our event. I wish people considered diversity and inclusion more often. Being a minority myself, I am passionate about diversity in the boardroom, and not because it's just “the right thing to do.” We are a multicultural world, we can't be so divided in our approach to business and community. There is a lot of discussion taking place, and HACR helps facilitate it, but we are not there yet, and have more work to do. I want our message to spread. Not just at the corporate level but in the community. That's what makes us rich - when we learn about each other, that's what makes us special.
BL: I know the whole DoubleDutch team is behind you in your mission! What would you say you motto is?
ASG: Never forget where you came from… oh, and always work hard!
BL: When you’re traveling for work, what can you not leave home without?’
ASG: I travel for events often and back home to Mexico twice a year - the only thing I can truly not live without is my phone - everything else is replaceable.