What seems like a tiny change and small feature release can often be a journey that spans several years, many requests, and careful consideration. For this particular update, it all started in May 2018 when GDPR went into effect. As a global event management software, we took it seriously to be in compliance with how we collect, store, delete, modify and otherwise process personal data based on the guidelines put in place by the EU.

During the process, we made many changes like, setting all attendee profiles to private by default, the ability for attendees to delete their own accounts, and much more. We quickly discovered that not all of these small changes were always in line with our mission of fostering memorable events by providing tools that save time and energy. An unforeseen side effect of making all attendee profiles private by default was that now speakers couldn’t see everyone signed up for their sessions. 

With prompt and open feedback from our awesome customers, we learned about cool ways we didn’t even realize people were using our platform. It turns out, tons of schools depend on their session leaders (speakers) to take attendance. This was happening at professional learning days for teachers to flex days for students. With all the profiles set to private the session leaders didn’t have access to the complete rosters.

We were stuck in a bind. We had to comply with the law (GDPR) but saw the time and energy it saved for event organizers when they didn’t have to individually export and send out rosters. With our product roadmap filled up and workarounds to suggest, we didn’t have an immediate solution. As the months went by, requests kept piling up and we knew it was time to reevaluate. We got in touch with our lawyer and brainstormed if there was a way we could do this legally to satisfy the 20+ events that had made the request. We know with that many requests, there are even more people that didn’t take the time to let us know what they need.

Finally, we came up with a solution. It’s a little more complicated but still supports the importance of helping our customers save time and energy. Our new speaker tool control and double opt-out solution puts the power in the hands of event organizers and their speakers while respecting everyone’s right to privacy. Learn more about empowering your speakers with Sched.

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Author: Marvin McTaw

Marvin McTaw is the General Manager at Sched. He's primarily responsible for helping create exceptional experiences for the Sched team, event organizers and users. Marvin loves conferences and festivals (especially food festivals!). His favorite event is San Diego Comic-Con due to his lifelong interest in comic books and science fiction.