Developing a highly engaging app and online community

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is among the world’s largest, most influential professional bodies for construction management and leadership. Their membership base - approximately 50,000 members in over 100 countries - lead globally in the development, conservation, and improvement of the construction industry.

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A Digital Engagement Strategy

Initially working with Cantarus as their digital partner on their Members Portal website, CIOB were looking further for opportunities to improve member engagement, deliver better value, and ultimately future-proof their business. They expressed a need for a mobile app to help them achieve their goals. 

Having successfully delivered apps for numerous leading membership bodies, we were more than happy to show CIOB what we could offer. Consultancy was fundamental to the process, and we presented the significant value that a mobile app could offer within the context of their goals and outcomes.

Upon reviewing their business needs, the project needed to include:

  • A feature-rich, branded mobile app,
  • A full online community presence as a key app engagement centre,
  • Inclusive of differentiated member and non-member experiences
  • Large-group community forums and small-group/one-to-one WhatsApp-style messaging
  • Robust integrations with CRM for both the app and online community,
  • Learning management system (LMS) integration to ease learning content access,
  • Content integration for their dedicated news feed.
Introducing: CIOB Connect

We built the CIOB Connect app using our innovative member engagement platform, MemConnect. MemConnect aggregates content from multiple existing sources and CIOB systems including CRM, CMS and more, all in one easy-to-use location. This includes an integrated login, ensuring members can log in effortlessly with their existing username and password. Authentication is required to make sure that only members who are registered with CIOB can access its content.

We made sure that the app is both intuitive to use and lightning fast; content is clearly available, relevant and personalised, and navigation is really simple too. Users can filter by category to find the right content for their unique needs.
event page for a CIOB workshop

The app is called CIOB Connect because it’s been created for exactly that. Not only connecting members, students, experts, and professionals at every stage of their career path, but also connecting CIOB with prospective members for the first time. CIOB can now attract potential new members through the adoption of this more modern technology in a way that they couldn’t before. More than that, it has become the place to go for help, sharing ideas, and engaging within the CIOB community.

The ease of delivering CIOB Connect was facilitated by:

  • The MemConnect platform anticipating CIOB’s needs,
  • Existing connectors to several leading technologies in the membership sector
  • Core features and UX challenges were well met
  • A multi-year strategy of features and future roadmap,
  • A proven methodology and seasoned team,
  • Clear differentiation of efforts which included the Cantarus team managing all aspects of Apple/Google Play App Stores.

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group of people gathering by windows

5 Stars: Great link to high-quality articles enhancing the enjoyment of construction.

App Store Review

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Other key features include:

  • Access to learning opportunities and CPD via the Video Library,
  • Keeping up to date with the latest construction news from a variety of CIOB publications,
  • The ability to connect and chat directly with other like-minded members,
  • Membership directories to find other members in your network,
  • Important updates are pushed via MemConnect’s in-built push notification dashboard,
  • Integrated ‘Policy Hub’ to help members interact with the work being led by CIOB’s policy team,
  • See a list of upcoming Events,
  • Podcasts,
  • App administrators can access data and analytics e.g., new users, time spent within the app, or most popular content to help CIOB improve its business strategy and member engagement going forward.
The Results

We delivered the app within 3 months from the initial kick-off meeting, including the full design. Since its launch, CIOB Connect has almost 6,000 total users, with 1,000 monthly active users. The app has an outstanding rating approaching a 5-star average across both app stores. Technical issues have been rare, and the carefully crafted UX means no documentation and little user support has been necessary.

Further highlights include:

  • The continued sustained engagement and reach,
  • The genuine value being delivered to CIOB members and non-members alike,
  • Superb user feedback received.

This is only the beginning for CIOB Connect. The app and its online community have truly established CIOB as a leading membership body with a modern digital presence. Future development of the app will look to include digital membership cards and an even bigger focus on personalisation, just to name a few.

Whether keeping in touch with peers, colleagues, or mentors, the world of work is changing – and with it, professional membership. We wanted an app which worked for our members and delivered real value to their experience. Cantarus has been a great partner to work with, taking us on a consultative journey – offering constructive challenges and solutions every step of the way. We’ve been pleased to see the app grow and continually improve alongside our partnership.

Tim Cawood Head of Digital

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Want to know more?

Our Head of Product Delivery, Rebecca Doran, would love to chat with you about your app and community needs.
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