Event Communication Made Better: Introducing Bandcast

19 Nov

How do event organizers best communicate with attendees?  Bandwidth developers helped our marketing department solve this problem with Bandcast. Bandcast is a two way SMS Communication program for events. Bandcast allows Event Attendees and Event Organizers to communicate over a common phone number. Organizers are able to directly text users as well as message every attendee at once. Attendees are able to ask questions or provide feedback by texting the bandcast number.

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Why Use Bandcast

Bandcast was created out of necessity when Bandwidth hosted the Raleigh location of the TADHack hackathon. We needed a way to communicate with all the hackathon attendees at any point. We’re a telecom company, so we just made a SMS proxy program. At it’s heart, Bandcast is a 1 to many messaging app via a single phone number. Since it’s inception, we’ve used Bandcast to help manage:

  1. Hackathons
  2. Conferences
  3. Customer Demos

 

How Bandcast Works

Bandcast is written in NodeJS and leverages Express Framework to build the API.

Registering New Users

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Handling Known Users

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Using Bandcast

Bandcast is smart enough to figure out the intent of the message using a few keys: # & @ and the phone number of the sender. By adding a tiny bit of processing to the backend, we can add direct control

Scenario 1: Organizer wants to send message to all attendees

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To send a message to everyone, an organizer just needs to attach a “#” to the beginning of the message.

| # Pizza in 5 minutes

Scenario 2: An attendee needs help or wants to ask a question

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Attendees don’t need to do anything special. Simply texting the number will proxy out all the same message to all organizers.

| I’m locked out

Scenario 3: Organizer wants to reply directly to the last message

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By adding an “@” in front of the message, Bandcast will only send the reply to last user. It will also proxy back the response to all the other organizers to prevent duplicated responses to.

| @ I will be right there

Scenario 4: Organizer wants to message user directly

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Each attendee is assigned an anonymous user name when registering. Organizers are able message the users without knowing the phone number at all. Organizers just attach “@user3” to the beginning of the message to send a message directly to the specific attendee.

The message is again, proxied back to all organizers to prevent message duplication.

Hosting Bandcast

Bandcast is an Open Source Software from Bandwidth.

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Following the instructions on the page walks you through hosting Bandcast locally or on Heroku.

Before you get started

Before you get started you first need to create an account with Bandwidth!

Dan Tolbert
Dan Tolbert
dtolbert@bandwidth.com

Computer Nerd. Beer Snob. Music Enthusiast. Idea Machine. Developer Evangelist for Bandwidth.com. Telecommunications Expert.

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