Like the national conference guidebook app? Use the free app for your own local conferences

Guidebook owners receive metrics galore.

Although the Guidebook app was downloaded only 35 times for Idaho’s state J-Day, it was well worth creating.

Most will recognize the app from the national JEA conferences, at which the online NHSJC Guidebook has been available for fall and spring events for years.

Although the version for the Oct. 25 2016 High School Communications Conference in Boise was not the popular choice of the 286 students who attended (the stapled 8 1/2 x 11, four-page paper schedule was), I consider the local guidebook a success.

Although this professional program costs $1,700 for a basic plan, the free version was substantial enough for my uses.

The learning curve was a bit steep, and most would not deem the time spent on it worth the 35 downloads, but I haven’t regretted a moment spent on the program.

The most time-consuming aspect was getting speaker and session times aligned, which is a simple drag-and-drop in the speakers module but a more painstaking method in the sessions one (think of ways one can title sessions so that they fall in the necessary order).

The staff at guidebook was ready to help, even though I was using the free version.  Often, my questions involved simple fixes that I might have figured out on my own, but that I needed to complete on deadline.

The only problem was my own marketing of the app.  I thought given the choice between a cheaply copied paper schedule and a mobile app, most would go to the app.  Either this assumption was wrong, or I was wrong about the attendees comfort with an online guide.  I made the link available by Facebook and Twitter, and placed a QR code on the schedule and on TV monitors throughout the conference, so I was really surprised by the small number of downloads.

However, I was really pleased by all the metrics available:

  • Guide sessions
  • Schedule Session Views
  • Menu Item Launches
  • List Item Views
  • Total Time Spent in Guide
  • Web Sessions
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Chick-ins
  • Guide Downloads
  • Average Per-User Guide Sessions
  • Top Viewed Custom List Items
  • Guide Downloads by Acquisition Method
  • Top Menu Items Launched
  • Top List Items Added To-Do List
  • Guide Downloads by OS
  • Top Viewed Events
  • Guide Downloads by Location
  • Top Scheduled Events
  • Sponsor Impressions
  • Sponsor Taps


Michelle Harmon

Michelle Harmon is in her 13th year of teaching and advising the school newspaper at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. She is state director of Idaho JEA and President of the Idaho Student Journalism Association.

Michelle Harmon has 102 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Harmon

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