Why North Carolina Nurses switched from their legacy conference platform to MobileUp

The right remedy for North Carolina Nurses Association was an easy-to- manage, scalable, and cost-effective mobile event app experience for its members.

The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) first recognized the value of a mobile event app solution in 2016, making it an early adopter of mobile technology. Yet, finding the right partner that could scale with the organization at an affordable price proved a bit challenging.

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“The MobileUp solution was exactly what I was hoping to find for our organization. It’s easy to use — both for the NCNA administrators and for our members.”

Chris Cowperthwaite
Director of Communication and Outreach

After working with two different companies, NCNA Director of Communication and Outreach, Chris Cowperthwaite wanted a better solution. So, he conducted an extensive review of 12 mobile event app solution providers to find the right partner. After scoring each product against the criteria of cost, backend implementation, ease-of-use, customer service, member engagement, and scalability, Cowperthwaite selected MobileUp in November 2022 as the mobile app events solution for its 8,000-member organization.

NCNA provides its members numerous events and programs throughout the year including exceptional continuing education programs, accessible and relevant networking opportunities, and strong advocacy programs supporting the nursing population across North Carolina. The two largest events are 1) the Annual NCNA Convention each fall; and 2) the Nurse Practitioner Spring Symposium every spring. These two conferences attract 300- 500 attendees each, representing the largest revenue generators to the organization, and the greatest opportunity for active members to get involved in NCNA programming and networking. A mobile app has proven to be an essential part of the NCNA Conference experience.

Challenge: Find a more economical solution for optimizing the conference experience for NCNA members.

Cowperthwaite was 100% sold on the value of a mobile app, but he wanted a better solution. In his analysis of 12 different providers, he found the base-level product features and functionality was at parity across most solutions, so ultimately price was a deciding factor. “As a non-profit, we need to make every dollar count, so price ranked high in our final selection of MobileUp.”

Solution: Meet the member and organizational requirements of NCNA’s larger Conferences, also scaling the solution for other smaller events — all without increasing costs.

NCNA embarked on its mobile app company/product review with the primary intent to find a better, cost- effective solution for its two larger conferences. During the evaluation process, one of the biggest MobileUp advantages against other options was the ability to implement an unlimited number of events, and unlimited number of attendees, without increasing cost.

“Prior to onboarding MobileUp, we never considered a mobile solution for our smaller events, because we couldn’t justify the cost or time required,” commented Cowperthwaite. “That all changed with MobileUp,” he added. NCNA was able to test drive the MobileUp solution at a smaller, 100-person event, evaluating both the backend set-up requirements alongside the actual member experience.

“The MobileUp test-and-learn experience on the smaller event was successful and allowed us to jump in with our larger spring conference with confidence,” said Cowperthwaite.

In addition to its two major annual conferences, with dozens of events across the state throughout the year, NCNA will continue to roll out utilization of the MobileUp solution for more of these smaller events. Cowperthwaite sees multiple applications of the MobileUp solution including, for example, single-day CE credit-driven events, student-oriented events, and notification- based applications.

While NCNA members skew a bit older with variable technical competency, they have now embraced the mobile app to guide them through the conference experience. Over the years, the mobile event app has largely replaced paper-based programming collateral at the conferences. “Historically, our members relied on printed documents for session materials. Over time, our attendees have been trained to use the mobile app to guide them through the conference, so printed material has been largely eliminated,” said Cowperthwaite.

Another important advantage in comparing MobileUp to the prior two providers is the ease of content implementation. “As our team finalizes conference content with MobileUp, I can publish and upload one content item at a time, rather than wait for the full program to be finalized. The MobileUp solution allows for a much easier, less stressful workflow,” said Cowperthwaite.

“The MobileUp content approach enables others on our team to share the content management function, rather than rely on just one person to gather and publish all content.”

Results: The MobileUp mobile event app means: Streamlined workflow. Better Conferences. Satisfied members. Improving member engagement. Reputation build for NCNA.

NCNA has long embraced mobile technology in general, and a mobile event app, specifically, to maximize member value through conferences and events.

NCNA members now fully expect the NCNA- sponsored event app to guide them through the full conference experience at NCNA annual conferences, and increasingly at smaller regional and local events and programs throughout the year. Evidence of this value is the large majority of NCNA members who download the app prior to/during the conferences, are engaged with the app through the conference, and are widely satisfied.

Most importantly for NCNA leadership/staff, the organization is pleased with the cost/value of MobileUp. The solution allows NCNA to scale across to other events without additional cost and time requirements.

In addition, the MobileUp back-end, particularly regarding content management, is a workflow advantage, saving time and stress.

Finally, the true result is that NCNA members are happy with MobileUp, and so far, dissatisfaction is a non-issue. According to Cowperthwaite, “The MobileUp solution was exactly what I was hoping to find for our organization. It’s easy to use — both for the NCNA administrators and for our members. The MobileUp combination of affordability, feature richness, and intuitiveness both on the back end and for the member attendee makes it the right solution for our organization and for our members,” concluded Cowperthwaite.