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Case Study CanGift

Toronto, Ontario
Associations

Web-based solution simplifies all administrative activities

The Canadian Gift Association (CanGift) is a national not-for-profit association dedicated to improving members' competitive capability and business effectiveness locally, nationally, and globally. The association offers its members (giftware wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, importers, and exporters) a portfolio of services that reduce the cost of doing business. In addition, CanGift owns and operates the CanGift Gift Fair, which is Canada's largest and North America's second largest gift show.

CanGift needed to provide online registration services for returning show visitors, interested first-time visitors, and exhibitors. FD Solutions was approached by CanGift to design and develop a web-based system to centralize all registration data. In addition, CanGift required a newly developed database system that would integrate with the registration system. The database, a highly valued secured information source, would store historical data and have a fully accessible administrative side for custom reporting.

Read Details

Challenge accepted

Develop and implement a versatile online registration system with an integrated database to provide comprehensive registration services for Gift Show visitors, and custom reporting capabilities for CanGift administrative personnel.

Solution delivered

First Derivatives Canada created a web-based registration system that manages over 100,000 Gift Show attendees, and developed a new database system that centralizes all registration data and provides administrators with extensive custom capabilities.

Technologies

  • ASP.NET Forms (C#)
  • SQL Server 2008
  • JavaScript
  • Crystal Reports
  • ASP.NET Forms (C#)
  • SQL Server 2008
  • JavaScript
  • Crystal Reports
  • ASP.NET Forms (C#)
  • SQL Server 2008
  • JavaScript
  • Crystal Reports
  • ASP.NET Forms (C#)
  • SQL Server 2008
  • JavaScript
  • Crystal Reports

Benefits of deliverable

Web-based solution.

Centralizes management of different shows and allows for addition of new shows in other locations.

Administers shows throughout their lifecycle (creates new shows, closes old ones).

Provides custom reporting functionality.

Enables users to register online for badges, hotel rooms, and events.

Incorporates an automated e mail notification system (including initial registration broadcasts, subsequent confirmations, etc.).

Monitors show registrations, event bookings, and hotel room inventory.

Imports data from third-party applications.

Solution details

FD Solutions developed a solution that involved the creation of a web-based application to manage trade shows, attendee and exhibitor registrations, as well as hotel and event bookings. The solution was designed to make all aspects of administration easy — from sending initial registration broadcasts, to final analysis of attendee data.

Data from various sources, including MySQL where the main website's data was stored, was extracted and migrated to SQL Server. The system and the new database not only centralized all registration data, but allowed administrators to generate custom reports and to extract and analyze historical data in ways that were not possible before. Integration of Crystal Reports enabled administrators to produce reports at various milestones of the registration process.

FD's solution included building a custom Content Management System. A custom Notification Service was also created which was eventually partially replaced by integration to MailChimp, used for E-mail campaigns and sending newsletters. Our solution also integrates with many other third-party applications. Subscriber information is periodically sent to the CanGift partner that's responsible for sending out digital versions of their magazine. All payments are securely processed through Moneris and the payment data is stored securely.

Onsite at the Gift Fair, a third-party application is used to scan attendee tickets and provide informational kiosks. All data collected onsite by this application (such as, which buildings did each attendee enter that day) is imported into the GSOR system for every show. This information, along with demographic data collected via CanGift surveys and attendee profiles, is used to create detailed reports for stakeholders.

FD Solutions continues to support and enhance this application. Since going live, registration for Alberta and Quebec has been added and several other enhancements have been implemented and deployed.

CanGift was formerly known as the Canadian Gift & Tableware Association (CGTA).

A few words about the project

Feedback

Our online registration system is a complex system which streamlines the pre-registration process for our customers and staff. It is easy to manage the sizeable database with the built in tools supplied. We have enjoyed working with you on several projects over the past 10 years and plan to continue to evolve our online systems with your help.

— Vice President, Operations and Information Systems at CanGift

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