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Evans & Chambers Increases Engagement at Broccoli City Festival via iOS App

by Cedric Craig May 11th, 2016 Business Mobile Software Technology

On April 30th, 2016, the fifth annual Broccoli City Festival was held at the Gateway DC in SE Washington, DC. This is the first year that Evans & Chambers has had the privilege to partner with the Broccoli City Festival, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to highlight accessible ways that people can live healthier lifestyles in an environmentally sustainable way. As the organizers of the festival explain it, Broccoli City Festival is more than just a music festival, but it is a unique experience where pop culture, health and environmental sustainability are celebrated together.

IMG_2058 This year Evans & Chambers was able to further Broccoli City’s mission of attendee engagement by developing and deploying the official Broccoli City Festival app which was available as a free download for iOS from the Apple App Store. The app was able to add an additional layer of interaction to the festival as festival goers now had the ability to receive exclusive information on the performing musical artists, locate food trucks and vendors, view a unified social media feed that aggregate fan posts to Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud via the #BCFEST hashtag, and many more features.

When Evans & Chambers was approached to create this app exclusively for the festival, we proposed a multi-phased approach to delivering the Broccoli City Festival app in time for the April 2016 festival with additional features to be released during the rest of the 2016 calendar year. The codebase for the app was developed as an iOS-only application on the Xamarin Studio (recently acquired by Microsoft) with a custom API back-end coded in ASP.NET and hosted the Microsoft Azure cloud network.

During the days leading up to the festival and on the day of the festival, the app received a good amount of traffic from users. As of May 2, 2016 the app received 2,018 downloads, with 594 downloads occurring on the day of the festival. As of May 3, 2016 the app also received 3,014 views, with 1,009 views occurring on the day of the festival. With over 13,000 people in attendance at the festival, these numbers account for almost 10% of the entire crowd.

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EC Labs is Building a Mobile App

by Jamil Evans Jan 31st, 2012 EC Labs Mobile Software

Bookbook ScreenshotIt’s official.  Our EC Labs team is building a mobile app, and we’re really excited about it.  Our first mobile app project is currently called “Bookbook.”  A company called Twelve South already picked this name for their unique MacBook and iPad cases, so it’s not that unique of a name after-all and will probably be changed.  Who knew?  On top of that, Facebook’s legal policy won’t allow me to register this app for the Facebook API because Bookbook sounds a little too close to Facebook:

You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.

We’re so not interested in fighting that battle with Facebook.  Moving on.

What does Bookbook do, you ask?  Bookbook is the brainchild of our marketing analyst and social media puppet master, Nicole Tripodi.  Being an avid reader, Nicole dreamed up a Foursquare-style app allowing her to keep tabs on what her sister is currently reading, and vice-versa.  An app like this enables that interaction via the concept of “virtual book clubs,” making the act of reading a very social activity for readers across the world.  Think about it: for generations, readers have enjoyed reading books, discussing books, arguing about themes and ideas, criticizing books, recommending great books, and even fraternizing over a common love of reading. But it hasn’t always been easy to convince your friends to read the books you want to read (The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith? Anyone?), or to find tailored recommendations for books you’d really enjoy.

As the first step of project planning, we felt it was extremely important to follow agile methodology precepts by defining a product vision statement.  A clear and strong vision statement will help us focus on delivering the best product, minimizing scope creep and analysis paralysis.  Here’s the vision statement we came up with:

Develop a mobile app for avid readers who want to share their perspectives on books, gather perspectives of others on books they are reading, and find new books to read through shared experiences. Bookbook is a social media app for tablets that connects readers.  Unlike other mobile check-in applications, our product focuses solely on checking into books with a delightful user experience that is above the competition.

We’re excited about kicking off the first sprint in this month.  Stay tuned for updates on the project!

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