Tool/App to make it easier to contact organizers during an event


Sometimes event venues are hard to find, gates and doors are locked, etc. This can at least be very inconvenient for participants, people might even just go back home.

We are usually trying to improve this by adding precise instructions how to get there to event descriptions and sometimes even put up signs. Still, participants might not have the description handy when on their way or the sign points to a door that is locked.

Usually in these cases people try to get in touch via comments and that has worked in the past but you need to log in to for that and notifications for organizers might be unreliable.


Come up with a way to get in touch with an organizer that

  • is as accessible as possible
    • no account for some 3rd-party service necessary
    • no installation necessary
  • is easy to read and understand from a sign/piece of paper fixed to a wall
  • allows direct “real-time” (with feedback) communication


Use a Gitter channel per venue. Organizers can just join that channel while their event is going on and set up notifications.

To work around the problem that the participant would need an account we could set up a web app with a simple chat form using a pre-configured Gitter user to post to the chat room. The link to this app could be printed on the signs (shortened URL and QR code might help).

The only requirement for the participant would be to access the web (via their smart phone).

We could provide one instance of the app per venue and share it for all events in one venue.


Phone number

Although calling a phone number (or texting) might involve fees this would be most accessible and easy to understand.

Unfortunately it is not easy to use one phone number with multiple people (all organizers) in a flexible way.

Using the private phone number of one organizer might be a privacy/spam issue. Additionally the phone number would have to be changed depending on the organizer being at the event.

So, I implemented a first version:

1. Signs

Put up signs outside of Co.Up:


2. Chat Room

Join the OpenTechSchool/co.up chat room on Gitter during the time of your event at Co.Up. The room is public, open to everyone. Gitter provides a web app, desktop apps and mobile apps. Make sure you receive notifications of any activity in the room.

3. App

A simple web app is available at to send and receive messages without login. On startup it connects to the OpenTechSchool/co.up Gitter chat room as “OpenTechSchool Bot”.

Source code

My Idea
use twilo to connect a phone number to the chatroom. So the person can write a sms and dont need internet

I think @andreas once had a small heroku app, that you could just go to, then put in your (current) phone number and it would then redirect calls to a specific (always the same) number to that number given. Or short: we could print and post always the same number and remind organisers to put in their number at the start of the event to receive calls – without having to post their own, private numbers.