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Elevation Church Launches App for Conference in a Month

It’s 22 days before you host a conference for 1,800 church leaders. You’ve long ago sold all the tickets. In fact, you have 3,000 people on the waiting list just begging to get into the conference.

Speakers are lined up. You’re finalizing the last details.

It’s going to be an epic conference.

But as strong as you believe the conference will be, you know it could be better. You want to take engagement to the next level. You want to provide conference information for attendees in an easy-to-access format. You want to be able to quickly communicate to guests through relevant technology.

Sounds like the job of a mobile app.

22 Days to a New Mobile App

But with one month—22 working days—before the Inside Elevation Conference, a new mobile app seemed like a tall order.

That’s where Ashley Hollingsworth and the other conference organizers found themselves when Ashley and the church’s IT director, Nick Dooley, arrived in Southern California for the 2018 Pushpay Summit.

Elevation Church had hosted three other Inside Elevation conferences since they started in 2015. The conference aim was simple: To share what we’ve learned through our ministry in hopes it will equip other churches to do the work God has called them to do. The fourth conference was just a month away.

While at Summit—a two-day conference last February designed to train church leaders in the best practices of the business world—Ashley and Nick spent two days using Summit’s mobile app to more effectively engage with what they were learning. They found speaker bios, schedules, and information on the surrounding community—and all of it was easy to access. They were even able to ask questions of platform speakers, all from the app on their phones.

So they reached out to a Pushpay contact: “Who produced your conference app?”

“We did,” they were told.

“Better yet,” they were told, “we can help you publish an app for your conference, too.”

“In a month?”

“In a month.”

Ashley was skeptical. A good mobile app, one that conference attendees will actually use and not just delete from their smartphones after three days, will take more time than a month, right?

But Ashley brought the idea back to the team at Elevation. More skepticism. To do this in a month, she was told, the church’s digital team would have to drop everything. It wasn’t possible.

One video conference with Pushpay changed everything. At the meeting, they were told Pushpay would do most of the work. They’d only need to edit what Pushpay did to fit their needs. And the Pushpay team was certain they could hit the one-month deadline.

“The teams at Pushpay made themselves so accessible, even with the crazy timeline,” Ashley said. “It was like they were willing to just shift whatever they needed to do to to be available to help us.

They did everything they could to set us up well, and they were willing to work with us on anything. We’d come up with an idea, and they’re like, ‘We can do that. Don’t worry about it. We got that.’

The experience of working with the Pushpay team was phenomenal.”

80% of Attendees Downloaded the App

Before the first attendees arrived at Inside Elevation, Pushpay delivered the completed mobile app. The conference organizers sent out an email to attendees to announce the app that would improve their conference experience. They encouraged everyone to download it. Platform speakers mentioned it. They also integrated the app into the flow of the conference by encouraging people to email questions (about the church, the conference, or anything else) to a special set of “superheroes” they called “The Insiders.”

By the end of the conference, 1,731 people had downloaded the app. Even if you take into consideration that between 100 to 150 Elevation staff members likely downloaded it, that means well over 80 percent of conference attendees did as well.

Elevation also increased engagement at the conference. Nearly 270 people submitted questions to “The Insiders.” Volunteers followed up on those questions and requests.

The app also provided a more streamlined way to communicate with guests throughout the conference. One time, when weather dictated a need to move lunch inside, the Inside Elevation team simply sent out a push notification through the app. People were notified within seconds of the change, which later feedback showed attendees appreciated.

Elevation plans on hosting another Inside Elevation conference this fall, October 89.

“We’ll definitely use the app for the fall conference,” Ashley said. “We’ll update the content, but the app was a no-brainer for us. Through the app, we’re able to provide a more relevant experience for our conference guests.”

For more information on the Inside Elevation conference, click here.