By Tara Shenson, Marketing & New Media Manager, SCAA
Technology is front and center this year at the SCAA Event with the launch of our first ever Event App! Offered as a free app download to iPhone users and as a free mobile website to Android and BlackBerry users, the app will literally put the biggest coffee show in the world in the palm of your hand.
“So, what does this app do?” you ask. Want to have an entire show schedule listing including all Skill Building Workshops, lectures and competitions? Check. How about a way to explore the show floor and find exhibitors by product category or name? Check. Want to build your own custom itinerary that includes all your classes, social events and favorite exhibitor booths? Done. When we developed this app, we wanted to ensure that it wasn’t just for show; but that it was something that was genuinely helpful and aided attendees in having the best Event experience to date. Here is a detailed list of all the app functionality available to attendees:
- Detailed show floor map with zoom-in capability
- Full listing of exhibitors—search by product type or company name
- Ability to “save” exhibitors by adding them to your favorites
- Listing of all Skill Building Workshops and free tradeshow lectures, including speaker information and digital handouts
- The hugely popular SCAA Twitter hash tag feed #SCAA2012.
- Ability to create your own schedule of classes & social events
- A local info section that has lists and links to all SCAA Portland member coffee shops, craft breweries, distilleries, and farm-to-table restaurants
- The Buzz feature that gives you up-to-date information on what’s happening at The Event (Sync regularly to be in the know)
Why We Chose This Platform
There are quite a few app developer companies out there, and we looked at several of them before deciding who to work with to develop the first ever Event App. Our major concerns were ensuring that our app would function in a way that was of the greatest value to our attendees and our exhibitors, while also making sure we kept the costs low so that we could offer this app for free. We finally landed on a company that we already worked to manage our Expo database information, which was ideal. Their app is a licensed product, currently offered as a native app for iPhone; however we expect to be able to launch native versions for Android and Tablet users for our show in Boston in 2013.
Although Droid and BlackBerry users will access our app as a mobile website in 2012, the functionality will be nearly identical.
An Easy Way to Navigate the Show Floor
The SCAA Event app not only lists every single exhibiting company by both name and product category, it also allows attendees to map out their show floor plan ahead of time and “save” their favorite exhibitors with one click. This way, you can create a saved list of all the booths you’d like to visit before you even reach Portland. Plus, if you discover a company while at the show, simply add them to your planner by clicking the green “plus” sign next to their app profile and they’ll be instantly saved alphabetically in your exhibitor folder for future reference.
Another exciting feature designed to help you find your way through our 700+ booths is the show floor map. As you zoom in, you’ll be able to see booth numbers and company names to help orient you and show you the clearest path to your next planned booth visit.
Discover Portland in the App
Portland is an amazing city with a strong affinity for culinary expertise. We wanted to make it easy for our Event attendees to be able to find incredible restaurants, craft brewers and distilleries while staying in Portland. Of course, a local section of our App wouldn’t be complete without a page devoted to our Portland SCAA member coffee houses! We encourage every Event attendee to try at least one member coffee shop over the course of The Event.
Technologically Challenged? Look for the App Squad.
If you have any trouble at all figuring out how to download and use the App, we’re here to help. We’ll have a detailed download instruction sheet available on the Event website, as well as our own app squad on-site to help everyone take advantage of the Event App features. The App Squad will be hanging out at the SCAA Event Information Booth (near registration) as well as at some of our larger social events. We’re pretty excited to offer this to our attendees and we want to make sure everyone is able to access it!
Think you’ve got what it takes to join the App Squad? It’s a new volunteer position this year, so be sure to apply if you’re interested (qualifications listed on the volunteer page of scaaevent.org).
Get Social: Making Digital Coffee Connections
We have a feeling that there’s going to be an explosion of online connections happening when we bring The Event to Portland. After all, Portland has so many amazing member coffee shops, bars and restaurants how could Tweet-Ups not be plentiful? Get in on the action early and start building up your connections now so you’ll have a list of locals and other attendees to enjoy the city with once you arrive. And don’t forget—we want to see your photos and videos live from the Expo… link, tag, tweet and post to the SCAA pages and hash tags or just drop us a note to say hi at Twitter handle @specialtycoffee!
The official SCAA twitter hash tag, #SCAA2012 will be updating on The Event starting now and continuing throughout the show. We’re sure Event sponsors, exhibitors and attendees will be filling in many more details all the way up to April 19th. Don’t wait to join the conversation, stop by today!
SCAA Twitter: @specialtycoffee
BGA Twitter: @baristaguild
Event Tweets from Everyone: #SCAA2012
Make sure you’ve said “I’m in!” on the Facebook invite page. Remote attendees, you can catch some of the expo action by following the SCAA on Facebook. And you’ve already “liked” us, right?
SCAA Expo Event Page: Search 24th Annual SCAA Event on Facebook, or go to our Events tab on our official Facebook page.
SCAA on Facebook: facebook.com/specialtycoffeeassociation
Other Places to Get Event Updates On-site:
Via the Event Smart Phone App: Sync your app and check the “Buzz” feature regularly for Event announcements and special promotions.
Be Sure to Follow our Partner Sponsors Too! They’ll be tweeting and posting updates directly from the show floor.
Bunn: @BUNN & @trifecta_
Public Domain (Coffee Bean International): @pdcoffee
Kerry Foods: @oregonchai & @CAFFEDAMORE