How the organisers of the Society of Engineering Science (SES) Annual Meeting took advantage of the full suite of Ex Ordo’s functions. And why they loved it.
Finding the right platform to tackle the tasks at hand
In 2018, the new organising team for the SES Annual Meeting faced a dilemma. They needed to design and manage a complex review process to handle what would be a record number of submissions to their conference in the coming year. They needed to register delegates, collect payments, and monitor that process along the way. They wanted to create and present an appealing programme both online and through a mobile app. Most of all, they hoped to find all this in one integrated system that could flex when they needed it to.
The fact that Ex Ordo had all of that functionality at an affordable price for an academic institution was the deal-clincher for us. We’d looked at other systems that could manage either registration and delegates or review, but we couldn’t get them together in a way that was affordable to us. Ex Ordo's value proposition for the life cycle of an academic meeting was well beyond its competitors. We recommend without hesitation
Functionality, Flexibility, and a First-Rate Support Team
In order to plan and run their conference, the SES organising team took advantage of the full suite of functions that Ex Ordo offers.
As we went along, Ex Ordo helped us meet and troubleshoot any challenges we faced. And if they didn’t have a functionality that would work, they helped us try to find a work-around.
During the early stages, we worked with SES to help them design and manage a complex review process with varied deadlines and a diverse range of topics. The team used Ex Ordo exports to see which of their 54 topics were receiving the most submissions. This data gave an early indication of the workload coming down the line for each topic, and made designing the review and assigning reviewers to areas of expertise easier later on. Before review began, the SES team realised their committee chairs could benefit from training on both Ex Ordo and how the review process was designed. While this isn’t part of our regular support package, Ariel from our support team held a tutorial call to bring them up to speed. The chairs and reviewers also had access to the Ex Ordo knowledge base of helpful hints and how-tos.
Later, while reviewing had started, the conference received unexpected grant funding and needed to collect and manage applications for a new submission stream. Ex Ordo was able to accommodate this even though other submission deadlines had passed.
During registration, the SES team was able to use Ex Ordo to facilitate both online and on-site registrations and payments. They noted the live data and documentation as a highlight feature of the registration function.
It was amazing. To just be able to send a receipt in 10 seconds to somebody, or to be able to pull up and show them ‘No, you actually have not registered’ was really great
The organisers used Ex Ordo’s discount codes to offer varied rates to groups of delegates. The flexibility of the system allowed them to change or deactivate codes and categories as needed. They also used this feature to track registrations for events within the conference, which was pivotal in planning for demand and analysing event popularity.
Running a conference is no small task. And at Ex Ordo, we understand just how important these events are. We’ve also seen the stress that comes from managing all the moving pieces, meeting deadlines, and ensuring a top-notch experience for delegates on conference day. It’s our aim to be the best at what we do so that organisers and researchers can focus on being the best at what they do. For us, this includes providing high-quality, personal support in addition to our core system.
We cannot heap enough praise on the Ex Ordo support team. They were there for our team every step of the way, and went above and beyond to help us match their capabilities to our needs, even on short notice. The value and experience offered by Ex Ordo is first-rate!
The customer support is outstanding, and I haven’t seen the likes of it - in conferences or other software team interactions.
Strengthening the Interfaces Between Disciplines
Events play a core role in the success of the SES and achievement of the society’s goals. Scientific discussion at the annual meetings chart the expanding frontier of knowledge in engineering, science, mathematics, and related fields. Ex Ordo exists to help accelerate this knowledge by making it easier for organisers to plan and run events like these. For SES, our all-in-one system provided the functionality and flexibility that the organising team required, and our support team was there to help them work through any challenges they faced along the way.
SES Conferences are recognized as the leading forums for bringing together diverse, interdisciplinary groups of researchers to discuss advances in highly focused symposia.