How The Rank Foundation uses VeryConnect to integrate live events with online engagement


I attended The Rank Foundation’s annual conference in Blackpool in October – It was a great event with speakers from The Big Lottery FundCass Business SchoolEntrepreneurial Spark, and a range of other organisations that help increase entrepreneurship and social good all over the UK.

Here at VeryConnect we are proud to provide the software for RankNet – the Rank Foundation’s online community.

Ahead of the conference the RankNet team decided to enhance the event by providing further opportunities for online engagement. We delivered an event area integrated with RankNet for:

  • Event bookings
  • Selecting seminars
  • Accessing conference information
  • Connecting with other delegates
  • Live voting
  • Event evaluation

Here is how these features work, and my experience of using them at the conference.

Blackpool sunset
The Rank Foundation’s annual conference was held in Blackpool

Event bookings

Attendees can book tickets directly on RankNet, where they can also state dietary requirements, any special needs, and additional information.

A list of all attendees is auto-generated in the admin area to make it easy for the conference team to keep track of who has booked a ticket and how many spaces are left.

Once someone books a ticket the system sends them an automated booking confirmation. Here’s what mine looks like:

event booking confirmation, mobile screen
Event booking confirmation on mobile

Selecting seminars

Attendees can select what seminars they want to attend, including a backup option if their first choice becomes full or unavailable. All data collected during the booking process is exportable in CSV and PDF formats.

I booked myself onto the seminar What Counts? – A session on how to evaluate your projects to evidence impact by The Big Lottery Fund. My main takeaways were around innovative ways to approach collecting data and how to best present data to different stakeholders.

Accessing conference information

Attendees can access exclusive information. For the conference this included more information about the seminars and the delegate list.

For example, I was able to find out where my seminar was held and who else was attending.

Interface for selecting event seminar
Seminar information in the RankNet event area

Connecting with other delegates

The delegate list in the event area has links to attendee profiles on RankNet so that everyone attending can learn more about each other. Delegates can also access a dedicated conference chat area.

To me it was exciting to see who else was going to attend before the conference started. Other attendees agreed, my first conversation at the conference was about the range of interesting people we had seen in the delegate list on RankNet.

Live voting

The event area includes functionality for live voting. Attendees can vote for a range of options and admin can see the results as they come in and export them as a CSV file.

One of the main activities at the conference was the Rank Accelerator Event where five social enterprises pitched for £10,000 to advance their initiatives. In previous years a jury decided on a sole winner, but this time the audience awarded a second prize via RankNet.

Two very promising initiatives won. Amina won the jury’s prize, and Centre 63 won the audience’s vote. Big congratulations to both!

Event evaluation

The evaluation section lets attendees rate the event with stars and add additional comments. Administrators can enable this section when they want, for example towards the end of an event.

event evaluation form
Attendees can rate their experience in the event area

The event was a success, which was reflected in the evaluations. I left feeling inspired by the people I met and all the stories that were shared.

I believe that the event area on RankNet added to the professionalism and overall experience of the event, and from what I heard other delegates thought so too.

Can you draw inspiration from the Rank Foundation for your next event? Get in touch if you would like to learn more about the event area and our team will explain all the details.

By Anna Bjorkman, Marketing Manager at VeryConnect

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