You may or may not have noticed that we recently added a mobile app to our latest GA-CAN! event, and we thought some of you might have questions, like what is this app, why is Voices using it, what good is it? A few others of you maybe are more along the lines of: Why on earth would I give you my number?

So let’s start at the beginning

What Exactly is Gather?

We host, sponsor, speak at, and attend lots of events, and we’ve noticed a few things, the first of which is that email is a great communication tool before events –– for sending invitations, agendas, and directions –– and after events for sending followup materials, links to presentations, you get the idea. During an event, however, email is practically useless.

For example, if we are hosting an event and learn the day of that one of our panelists is stuck in traffic, or that we need to change venues for some reason, we could technically send all of our attendees an urgent email, but the chances that they will be actively checking their inboxes are slim to none. Email’s fast, but it’s just not NOW, and it’s just not convenient on the day of an event.
Enter Gather, or “MailChimp for SMS.”

How Gather Works

First we want to clarify that no app is required for attendees. Gather’s basically an SMS alert system for events. It’s for communication. So, nothing will change about the way we run our events, you will just now see a prompt on our event invitations asking attendees if they’d also like SMS updates.

Here is an example (provided by the app creators, MailChimp) of what the mobile opt-in form looks like:



Signing up for Gather is 100% optional for attendees, and don’t worry, when the event is over your number will automatically be deleted from the system, so your privacy is ensured.

Why To Use It?

We want to make our events as easy and interactive as we can, so you can get the most out of them as possible. Signing up for Gather will ensure you have the most up-to-date information on the day of our event. It will also mean that if you have questions or feedback about our event you can now respond directly to us!



We will be inviting attendees of our GA-CAN! panel discussion on Oct. 29 , to take part in trying out this new SMS option. If you’ve ever been to one of our GA-CAN! panels, you know that at them we normally ask the audience to fill out question cards for our Q&A sessions.

This month, attendees who also sign up for SMS alerts will be able to simply text their questions directly to us during the meeting.

So give it a try, let us know if you like it, hate it, and if you think it was a helpful addition to our event. You can sign up for our GA-CAN! panel on bullying here. If you’ve already reserved your spot you can check out the SMS opt in here.

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healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community.