The industry of event planning is fierce. You need to keep your exhibitors satisfied and visitors happy, engaged, and deliver more every year.
On that note, let’s talk about Compass Fairs, one of the biggest event logistics companies in Scandinavia. They hold different events in cities all around Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany (most of these events are held simultaneously!), apart from that, they are one of the biggest technical contractors in the field, supporting different events around Scandinavia.
They are famous for their home fair Boligmesse (or Bomassa/Boligdage/Bauen Wohnen Lifestyle, depending on your country) and we have worked with them in the past to develop different solutions that help them manage bigger and better fairs every year.
Build a scalable plugin for 800k users? Easy.
We talked once more to discuss their Email marketing. They needed a solution to connect to the huge email list they have amassed over the years.
The company used an email marketing service called APSIS that took the business’s marketing side and simplified it for them; however, that was not enough. They needed a custom-made plugin that created mailing lists for exhibitors and visitors on each new event.
This plugin, initially simple in its nature, needed to connect to their platform and there was not a ready-made solution that solved what Compass Fairs wanted to do.
This plugin needed to work flawlessly for the now over 800k users that their events hold yearly in the region. It needed to be scalable to add more functions and more users. And to add fuel to the fire, the documentation for APSIS was in Norwegian. This project was no easy feat.
Let’s get to work
We started by learning APSIS’ API. Unluckily we don’t speak native Norwegian (yet), so it became a bit more complicated. Aside from the language barrier, the platform was easy to use and develop. We needed to learn how to create lists for visitors and exhibitors once the marketing team created a new event on the website.
We received massive help from Norwegian colleagues who were kind enough to translate the most important parts of the documentation.
After every sprint meeting with Compass Fairs, we started to test new callbacks (a function passed into another function as an argument, which is then invoked inside the outer function to complete some kind of routine) and implement the features they wanted. For example, we made it easy to add a new subscriber and add it to a list right on the platform.
A feature with this huge audience is usually a small target to hit. As sprints went by, we made a very thorough testing phase to ensure that the target was larger.
At the beginning of 2020, the company switched from APSIS to Moosend for their email marketing. Adapting the plugin for this new service was more straightforward. We read the new set of docs (that were in English this time) and changing the functions to connect to the new API.
It was as easy as changing the endpoint (separate URLs that define what resources are available, which operations can be done on them, and what information is required when making a request.) from APSIS’ to Moosend’s.
These changes led to a shift in how the plugin was used by the folks at Compass Fairs, and how the system interprets data. Moosend handles data different from APSIS’. If for example, APSIS’ has a field for first name and last name, Moosend only has one field for the full name.
We made sure to not get caught in these pitfalls and to deliver a product that exceeded expectations.
We built a scalable plugin that is focused on Compass Fairs’ business goals and gives them peace of mind when they want to contact their users.
Over the past five years, we have added features that the client requested and some of our own. For example, exhibitors can create personalized lists to invite their own customer base and other people by sending out custom emails.
Today, Compass Fairs considers this project a tool that enables them to be event planning leaders in Scandinavia. We couldn’t be happier for them and the result of this plugin.