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Co-creating a new kind of guest experience for Nordic Business Forum

Written by:
Kauri Salonen

Eficode was approached by the Nordic Business Forum to come together and think about a possible future partnership between the two parties. A mutual standpoint was quickly found.

Eficode was approached by the management of the Nordic Business Forum to come together and think about a possible AI-enabled mobile application to help take the Nordic Business Forum guest experience to even new heights. A mutual standpoint was quickly found and a plan was drawn as to how to co-create a new kind of guest experience for the Nordic Business Forum ecosystem.

Quite often, the deepest understanding of a customers wishes, needs and service experience can be attained through conducting user-interviews and, user-interviews are most effective when done face-to-face.  

Thus, it was decided to kick-off the project by carrying out short user-interviews during the NBF Sweden ‘Lead Lean’ event in Stockholm, January 2018. The aim was to gain experience from real NBF guests and to establish their genuine needs and challenges. Additionally, it was hoped that we could obtain ideas for the app’s future features.

During the planning phase of the research we applied a certain amount of bias towards event attendance and hence, wanted to come up with enough open-ended questions that would hopefully spark the creativity of the interviewees and obtain some true insight. Face-to-face interviews are especially suited for open-ended questions and acquiring qualitative information.

Our main research themes were:

- Current event participation challenges

- First thoughts and reactions to the events assistance

- Feelings towards AR present in the event application

When arriving at the Waterfront Congress Center we were blown away by the look and feel of the event. The atmosphere was vibrant, the audience seemed to fit the picture and the staff were readily available to help with every need. The initial feeling was that it would be a huge, interesting challenge for us to lift the customer experience one level higher. We quickly located a nice spot close to the entrance of the partner-networking area and, together with Sofi, set up our interview equipment, made a plan for who to target and were off.

We managed to carry out 19 interviews throughout the day, which we felt was a good achievement considering the tightly-timed schedule and all of the interesting and engaging things the event audience provided. There was a lot of similar feedback regarding the attendance of events overall, for example, “It’s hard to really find out if events are really for me. The Return of Investment is hard to scope, as the event organizers need to speak to an audience with a very diverse background.”

One interviewee said that, “I would like to see which of my LinkedIn 1sts are at the event.” This was certainly an interesting comment and sparked a lot of thoughts about different features via integration.

The question, “Would you be willing to let other event guests know that you are interested in networking, learning, presenting innovative solutions or, searching for innovative solutions? This could be presented as a sign on top of your head, when looking at the event area through an AR-tracker,” aroused a lot of interesting comments and thoughts from the interviewees. 17 out of the 19 people said they would really enjoy a feature of this sort.

The next step in this project is to run an larger, online survey extending this research phase to encompass the project better. The qualitative information gained through the face-to-face interviews will then be accompanied by quantitative data to develop more enriched insights.

Having these kind of opportunities to co-design something completely new and innovative is what keeps me motivated as a designer. We shall share more notes and thoughts along the way, before the big reveal during the Nordic Business Forum 2018, in Helsinki.