What was the scope of their involvement?
We wanted to develop a clean, simple, online portal to drive people to the information that they needed. The more complicated challenge was putting forth the speaker series schedule where users could go in and see the content over multiple days, select certain sessions, then receive confirmation emails and instructions on how to check in. Utility was instrumental in helping us work through this challenge.
We briefed them on our vision for the program and development for the online portal, then started the initial build. There were a lot of changes during development due to trying to pull the speaker symposium together with all the stakeholders, speakers, content, bios, headshots, travel, etc. It was hard to have all that information completely prepared and ready to launch on-site at an early stage.
After the initial portal build, they started revising what we thought we originally needed in order to approach the situation a bit differently. Basically, phase two was more of a follow-up redevelopment. We then planned on moving onto information gathering and working towards the actual launch date.
We also needed to provide a scheduling tool for the 8 meeting rooms in the booth, which added an additional phase to the separate scope and acted as a landing page. Utility built the online meeting schedule tool for our clients to use for meetings, cancellations, additions to the calendar, and other functionalities. They created a seamless on-site process.
The registration portal had a reporting site, so it was important for us to see who was registered for what. It was a robust site due to its flexibility and ability to allow us to make changes, launch communications, and have an easily-viewable and manipulatable check-in sheet for the on-site process.
The portals were also optimized for mobile. The entire schedule acted like a Google Calendar, so users could go in and select the room they wanted for particular time slots, then it would be shaded out. There was also a series of drop-down menus for users to input their information, and a series of automated email notifications that provided a clean and user-friendly process.
The entire project was a collaborative effort, but Utility provided insight and creative thinking. They balanced the project with a budget and what they thought was reasonable. They may have had some experience already built that they could leverage, but for the most part, we worked through it together. We had a tight timeline, and it was a big project, so it wasn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. It was our first time handling this type of thing, so we had to really work with Utility to figure everything out.
What is the team dynamic?
We had one dedicated project manager who we worked with on the frontlines with oversight from their leadership, David [Co-Founder, Utility]. I’m not sure how many people they had on staff or what resources they kept on-call, but I believe they had to pull in some additional resources in order to execute quickly.
David provided the resources who worked on the project, so we spoke with him frequently. We had a couple of in-person meetings where he and Derek, our project manager, came to the office. David was visible and invested in the project, details, and edits with Derek, but he also worked with Derek on the project holistically and oversaw things.
After the initial build, and once we mapped out the details for the redevelopment, they had to onboard a few additional people.
How did you come to work with Utility?
They had worked on a similar account, so we knew of them from our internal practices. Aside from them being an existing client of ours, there was an existing relationship with one of their executives from a previous agency.
We’ve worked with some good companies in the past, but we like Utility because of their small size. They’re very hands-on, and make the client feel like they’re really invested in their business.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent $100,000 on the project.
What is the status of this engagement?
We engaged with them in October 2016, and the event took place in February 2017. They weren’t working constantly during that period, but there were intervals of heavy production.