Amit Pande, Director, User Experience, at Hewlett Packard, has been drafted into this initiative

By Team YS|7th Nov 2011
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NASSCOM Product Conclave gives significant thrust to delegate experience this yearThe NASSCOM Product Conclave (Bangalore, 9 and 10 November 2011) Program Team has conceived delegate experience to be built into its agenda. Amit Pande, Director, User Experience, at Hewlett

Packard, has been drafted into this initiative. Delegate experience assumes importance in a significant industry event of this magnitude in which international speakers come to engage a cross-section of product technology landscape inIndiaand the delegate count exceeds 1000. The very intention is to give substantial inputs to product entrepreneurs and delegate experience plays a huge role in achieving this objective.

Amit Pandey is Director, User Experience at Hewlett Packard. He was formerly VP, Marketing at Spire, a Talent Intelligence platform startup. Amit has led design and product teams at Yahoo!, Oracle, PeopleSoft and worked onIndia's first rural e-governance project in Karnataka. Amit studied at the University of Minnesota & NIT,Allahabad. He is @amit_pande on Twitter.

In a brief chat with Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist, Amit shares the #NPC initiatives on delegate experience.

YourStory: What is Delegate Experience and what led #NPC to embark on this initiative?

Delegate Experience is the sum of all interactions that a delegate has with a conference. For #NPC 2011 when Sharad Sharma and the Program team approached me, our goal was to raise the bar on delegate experience to make the conference more memorable, productive, and personalized.

How does one design a better delegate experience? What process did you follow?

Great experiences do not happen by accident. Everything needs to be consciously designed including the process, the people, and experimentation towards final product. Our goal was clear: Maximize new knowledge and new networks for delegates. We followed a design process which relied on rapid concept generation, collaborative iterations and prototyping of key aspects of the experience. India has a vibrant digital design industry - we enrolled volunteers across the spectrum: Leading international designer-artists like Abhishek Hazra, design students from NID Bangalore (Amal Tiwari, Ruchika Gupta, and Kunal Singh) and IIT Kanpur (Ankit Kumar), Uday Shankar & Kishore Angani from Yahoo!, Devanand B from Spire.

What are some specific measures taken at #NPC 2011 to enhance delegate experience?

Let me share 5 key innovations:

-         Content Engagement: Ultimately, #NPC is about discovering new insights and perspectives that help delegates grow their business. This year we’ve designed a unique Program Guide that surfaces content in ways more closely to mental models of how delegates think. For example, we identified 4 delegate persona types and curated recommendations for each persona. We also tagged our sessions using multiple filters including Format, Content Type, and Speaker. For example, if you’d like to attend only Workshops, or only Investment sessions, or only sessions by say, the Founder of Flipkart.com, our Guide allows you to that quite easily

-         Schedule Management: Delegates often find it difficult to identify and remember which sessions to attend. This year we signed up with www.sched.org, an online and mobile based conference tool, which helps delegates search, filter, and add their own event schedule. Our online agenda at http://productconclave.in enables delegates to find the right sessions and speakers and see buzz/interest around each session

-         Networking with Speakers & Delegates – In this year’s ‘speaker lounge’, delegates can sign up to engage with speakers. In addition we have Tweetups with speakers, and are sharing Twitter/Web contacts in the Program Guide and http://npc.sched.org for further conversation. We also have dedicated Structured Networking and Unconferences planned for serendipitous interactions.

-         More Interactive Media. This year we’ve created a unique and entertaining Augmented Reality booth. Display screens across the event will also be visualizing tweets and social activity on our Twitter hashtag #nasscompc for delegates to discover other delegates and new content.

-         Design for all stakeholders – In addition to our focus on delegates, this year we applied a conscious process to design artifacts Speakers and Volunteers. For example, we identified Indian product sites such as www.aporv.com, www.hitplay.in, and www.chumbak.in to curate individual gifts for our marquee speakers.

What are the tangible benefits delegates can expect through this experience exercise?

Delegates can expect to discover the right sessions more productively. Delegates can also look forward to engaging with the content online and offline in a more personalized manner. Finally, we hope delegates can interact more closely with other delegates, speakers, and the Expo throughout the event space.

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