DCCCA is a nonprofit organization with the mission to provide social and community services that improve the safety, health and well-being of those we serve. An important way they do that is by supporting and strengthening foster families, as well as making sure foster families have the tools that they need to support kids in the difficult journey of foster care. Each year, DCCCA (pronounced "DECK-uh") hosts a foster family conference with over 600 attendees that provides time for families to gather together for family fun, training, and connection with others.
In previous years, organizing this event required hundreds of hours of manual planning using a variety of single-purpose tools, such as email, online survey forms and spreadsheets to send out invitations, track attendance, track survey responses, manage hotel accommodations, assign roles to event staff, and check-in attendees at various stages throughout the event. The event organizers at DCCCA were looking for a better organizational tool to help them manage this year's conference.
DCCCA discovered and adopted Eventene to help them plan and execute their annual foster family conference and other smaller events during the year. They started by learning the system and defining each phase of the event into Eventene, including creating the event website, building the agenda, importing their contacts, setting up separate registration pathways for staff and families, sending out invitations via email, tracking responses, assigning hotel attendees into hotel rooms, assigning staff and volunteers into specific roles, and finally configuring the Eventene mobile app for the event staff to check in guests throughout the two-day event.
The event website provided families with all the information they needed to know about the event, including the full schedule, descriptions of individual sessions, speaker bios, location details with navigation links, specific meal ingredients, maps of the venues, sponsor lists, and evaluation forms.
DCCCA's requirements for registrations were complex and required different forms for the event staff, speakers, sponsors, and all the family members. Using Eventene, they were able to ask different sets of questions for each type of participant. For example, event staff were asked what hours they could work and what roles they preferred. Family members were asked about t-shirt sizes, dietary restrictions, allergies, special needs, and signing a waiver. Any single family member could use a single Eventene account to add other family members and register them separately, without the need to create separate accounts for each guest.
After sending out the invitations to the event from within Eventene, the organizers could easily track guest responses with summaries of the attendance figures and survey results. Each tracking page features an overview summary view of each part of the event, as well as a more detailed data view in rows and columns, like a spreadsheet but managed within a full database. They created a series of custom shared filters and column sets to generate and download reports for other teammates and for deeper analysis.
Staff and Volunteer Role Assignments
The event included 120 staff and volunteers, each with specific roles and tasks to perform. The event organizers used Eventene's assignment capabilities to create a section of 45 specific roles, into which they could drag/drop each of the event staff. They duplicated the process to handle both days of the conference, since some of the staff worked in different roles on the different days. Using Eventene for these assignments allowed the team to coordinate their efforts, trust a single source of record for the assignments, distribute the roles directly to the staff and volunteers via email, and make last minute changes that rippled across the entire event.
Hotel Room Assignments
Using the same assignments feature in Eventene as with the staff and volunteer role coordination, the organizers were able to assign staff members and whole families into specific hotel rooms at the resort, over 140 different rooms. They created a custom section of hotel rooms, including cabins, dens, rooms, and suites, and included specific capacities and unique characteristics about each room.
Check Ins and Check Outs
On the day of the event, the event staff used the Eventene mobile app to check in family guests as they arrived, including checking in individual children within the family. They also printed up name badges for parents attending sessions. At the door of each session, the event staff used the app to scan their QR code or check them in by name if they did not have a code.
The event staff said that using Eventene as their event management system significantly streamlined the entire planning and check-in process this year over previously years using manual methods.