Using Event Technology to Elevate an Experience
Event app success story

Gainsight Pulse Conference 2015

Using Event Technology to Elevate an Experience

Gainsight Pulse logo

Gainsight is a company that provides a complete Customer Success solution that helps their customers grow faster by reducing churn, increasing upsell, and driving customer advocacy. Every year, Gainsight hosts an annual event called “Pulse”. And while the event is a great opportunity for Gainsight to get exposure and attract new customers, their main goal is to educate about the importance of Customer Success as a growing industry.

So it was only natural, as a company that puts the customer first, that they use a mobile app to both improve and better understand their own customers’ experience at Pulse. The event has grown tremendously over the past few years, starting off in 2013 with 250 attendees, and growing ten-fold to 2,040 by 2015. This was their second year using the DoubleDutch app.

“We decided to go with DoubleDutch largely because of the ease of use - both for us, as well as Pulse attendees. The CMS [Content Management System] is incredibly intuitive, allowing us to make changes and upload materials in a matter of minutes. And we didn’t even need to set up a help-desk since the app was so easy to use and navigate. Attendees loved it.”
—Sam Wheatley, Director of Brand Engagement, Gainsight

Ditch the Paper - Go Social

Gainsight decided not to use printed guides at all, so attendees had to download the app if they wanted to access the agenda. While this got people into the app, it was the social experience that kept them there. In the past, the attendee conversation was split between Twitter and the app, with slightly more activity taking place on Twitter. This year, however, the ratio flipped, with more attendees using the app to take part in the Pulse conversation.

“We work really hard to strike a balance between making Pulse an educational event, but also a fun experience for our attendees,” said Wheatley. “The app really helped us in both respects; on the one hand, it was a great resource for content, speaker information and logistical details, but on the other hand, people used it to socialize, connect, and post pictures of cool activities - like the food trucks we rented for lunch.”

PRSA app photo

The app also allowed teams from different companies that had a presence at Pulse collaborate and share information. Pulse had multiple session tracks, so teams were able to split up and attend several sessions at once - and then post about it in the app.

Amplifying One Voice to Reach Thousands of People

One thing that was especially important to the Gainsight team was the ability to communicate directly with their attendees. They wanted to use the app to build more personal connections with attendees, and to make important announcements.

Often times on event day there are last minute changes or important updates that have to be communicated in the moment. “Promoted Posts” - posts in the app that stay pinned to the top of the activity feed for a set amount of time - were crucial in helping the Gainsight team reach their attendees throughout the event. This year, Pulse was held in an empty warehouse with no infrastructure. The venue ended up being really cold and because the space was so open, the Gainsight team was having a difficult time addressing the issue immediately. Thanks to the app, they were able to use a promoted post letting attendees know that heaters were coming, and that in the meantime there were blankets and hot tea available to warm people up.

“Being able to post messages and reach everyone all at once was a real lifesaver for us. We were a small team running the event and the app amplified our voice to reach over 2,000 people.”
—Sam Wheatley, Director of Brand Engagement, Gainsight

To get attendees even more engaged and excited about the app, the Gainsight team decided to give away a “Super Sally” award, which was a 3D printed superhero. The decision was made spontaneously during the event, and they were able to notify attendees using a Promoted Post. The winner ended up being a relatively new customer, so this was a great way to increase their engagement with the Gainsight brand.


Using Data to Facilitate Better Experiences

Post event, Gainsight was able to pull actionable data from the app to help them better understand - and learn from - their attendees’ experience. For example, this was the first year Pulse included an experimental track called “Success Unplugged”, and the Gainsight team was eager to see how this track was received. The session was done workshop style, and they had attendees sit in groups of eight around a table to work together and solve a problem. People ended up really loving this activity - and this was clearly reflected in the app. Attendees gave glowing reviews both when they rated the session, and in the Activity Feed. The feedback was great validation for the Gainsight team, who will be replicating this activity in the future.

Another helpful insight from the app was discovering the most popular speakers. There were a few standout speakers at the event that were not necessarily high profile, but were rated extremely favorably in the app. Since Gainsight hosts a lot of smaller events, they are hoping to leverage these speakers’ popularity and bring them back to attract more people to these gatherings.


“The DoubleDutch app has become an integral part of the Pulse experience for both attendees - as well as the Gainsight team,” said Wheatley. “We will definitely continue using the app, and look forward to utilizing additional features like polling and surveys at Pulse 2016.”

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