Every year, Aptify celebrates the innovation and creativity of our user community with the Innovation Awards. This Spotlight series aims to highlight some of the best ideas and solutions we see annually and hopefully will inspire us all to be more innovative through out the year.

Dave Schrubbe at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) knows more than anyone how challenging it is to assign seating and allocate registrations at large events. Dave has created an ingenious and innovative solution to this issue in his Table Assignment Innovation. Recently the winner of the 2016 Innovation Award, find out how Dave solved this common issue. 

Video Transcription

What was The Challenge?

Dave Schrubbe: Here at EAA we have a large fundraising auction every year that takes place at our Annual Event. One thousand VIP leaders in the aviation Industry attend. We have about a 110 tables in our main room where we serve dinner and have our live auction and it’s always been a bit of a hassle trying to maintain and manage assigning people to these tables.

We created custom entities in Aptify and views in order to get by during the last couple of years, but it was a long tedious process for me to go through every record, to assign a person (or person plus one) to a specific table, seeing if there is someone else at that table that should or shouldn’t be sitting there and seeing which table had extra availability.

This last year we developed a standalone application “WPF .net 45” that uses the Aptify applications object. And we read and write directly to Aptify using this method.

This method gives a really nice graphical drag and drop interface for us to move people from one table to another, merge tables together, create new tables, do any sort of editing we need to do and it has cut down our processing time by more than half. I would almost say close to 75% reduction in time.

The Solution in Action

Here we have a list of tables on the left and a list of all the attendees for that table on the right. You see the top one is an Unassigned category, these are all the people that don’t currently have a table for the event. You see this is a quick way to go through and check each table by clicking on it and this will load a list of attendees for that table and we are able to move people around rather quickly.

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Assign Attendees to a Table

So we will start with my record, I want to move to a table, so let’s find a table. Well you know can see that this table it’s 10 out of 10.   If we did not notice, if we try to drag the person over here, it just turns red saying, “hey you can’t put somebody there, already full.”

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Let’s go down to another table and if it turns green it lets you know “it’s okay, you let go”. See I am dropped off the unassigned list here.

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Automatic Record Save

Now the nice thing about this Application is that it does the record save right away. So here you can see my registration record as it was, if I hit refresh. You see it has already saved the update for which table I am sitting at.

So you don’t have to explicitly save your changes here in the Application. As soon as you make the change it is saved in Aptify. It’s ready to go. So if you have multiple people working, you don’t have to worry about uncommitted changes. Once you know they change it, it’s there.

Group Attendees

We have a second case here where we have two people grouped together and they get this blue box around it. We have the ability to tie multiple people together in a registration record. And if we do the same thing if we move them to a table you see it’s green to have two of ten seats filled and then both records are updated.  You can pull them out, drop them back, refresh and that information is updated.

Aptify is aware of how many seats are available so if you go to another table and try to move them. It will prevent us from being able to do that.

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Create & Edit Tables

We can also edit information for the tables right here not just to assign people but if we need to rename a table, add a table information here. Say a company is no longer one of its sponsors we can just go through, wipe them out hit ok and its updates that as well. Tables also have table numbers we can assign that from here we can adjust the capacity for each table. In certain circumstances we do have an 11 seat table we can put that there, we have a couple of areas in our dining hall where its six people per table, so we can make those adjustments here. The head tables also larger so have more seats there as well.

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We can also create table records from here too. So when we are at the beginning of the registration process and we have the whole bunch of unassigned people and no tables, we can build out tables for them to just sit as well as it’s a right click, create a new table.

Check out the other Innovation Award finalists

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