Rapid App Werks Streamlines Oklahoma Research Day with Innovative Platform

For 25 years, Oklahoma Research Day has been the state’s premier academic event, a vibrant showcase of groundbreaking research from hundreds of students and professors. This year, the event was held at the University of Central Oklahoma on March 8th, 2024, attracting over a thousand participants and featuring a variety of unique poster presentations. However, even the crown jewel needs a polish sometimes—the state’s biggest celebration of academic achievement was finally ripe for a tech upgrade!

Responding to this challenge, certified Mendix partner Rapid App Werks, stepped in to transform the experience for everyone. The rapid application development company created the official website and user-friendly registration portal, streamlining the entire experience.

About Oklahoma Research Day 2024

Oklahoma Research Day fosters collaboration not just within the state, but also with national and international academic and research institutions. This event has continuously served as a platform to celebrate the research, creative endeavors, and scholarly activities of students and faculty across all Oklahoma higher education institutions.

While the spirit of collaboration and innovation filled the air, the pre-event experience for both participants and organizers wasn’t exactly cutting-edge. Like in any academic conference in the past, the reliance on traditional data management and slower apps could mean missed deadlines, misplaced paperwork, and information overload – a situation that called for a tech solution to streamline the process and create a smoother experience for the universities and participants involved.

A Faster and Simpler Registration Process

Gone were the days of scrambling with deadlines and slower registration processes. Daniel Parkhurst , co-founder and partner at Rapid App Werks, explained, “We partnered with the University of Central Oklahoma to build the application for the Research Day registration and event.” Coordinating with the University’s Assistant Vice President for the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, Gregory Wilson, Ph.D., Rapid Werks created a fast and easy-to-use application through the Mendix platform to streamline the process for everyone involved.

Participants from various Oklahoma colleges could now easily register online, submit their research abstracts, and upload their posters – all through a user-friendly portal. “There was a deadline to do your login and submission of your research to be displayed the day of the event.” Parkhurst explained. “We also built a portal that they could click, log in, add their profile information, research abstract, and even upload an image of their research poster. It was designed as a simple, self-explanatory user experience.”

A Faster and Simpler Registration Process

A Unique Platform Catering to Students and Organizers

Planning an event like Oklahoma Research Day used to be a juggling act. While digital forms and platforms were available in the past, students today needed an easy way to submit their research and posters, while organizers needed a simpler and faster way to manage registrations, track submissions, and share event details. With previous technology, this challenge often meant a confusing mess of different tools and processes, creating headaches for everyone involved.

Parkhurst explains that the key was creating a solution that catered to both students and event organizers. “It’s important to have a solution that’s tailored to capturing the needs of the students to be able to input the abstracts and upload a poster, but then also, at the same time, allow event staff to be able to see the information on the research, and which student completed their required submission, all in one locations” he says.

The solution? A unique platform that combines a user-friendly website with a secure registration portal. “It wasn’t just a website to talk about the conference,” Parkhurst clarifies. “It was a registration portal as well. The ability for the students to put in their own content, as well as the ability for the event to be able to put in their content to explain what the event was.”

A Unique Platform Catering to Students and Organizers

This innovative approach offered several advantages for institutions considering hosting similar events. “The main advantage is they are using software that’s already been built that’s highly customizable to their particular event,” Parkhurst explains about Mendix, the platform in which the portal was made. “The software was purpose-built to be easy for them [event staff] to be able to adapt to their event.  But it was also secure.  It required the students to log in with their account and with every use they received a multi-factor authentication code, so it was very secure, and met the information security requirement from the university.”

With a better platform to host all information needed for Oklahoma Research Day, both participants and administrators were able to enjoy the following benefits:

Streamlined Registration

No more panicking over tight deadlines. The user-friendly portal allowed participants to register online, submit abstracts, and upload posters – all in one place. This saved time and reduced stress for everyone involved.

Streamlined Registration

Improved Communication

The platform also acted as a central hub for all event information. Participants could easily access details about the program schedule, featured speakers, and participating universities. This helped improve communication, so everyone involved was on the same page.

Improved Communication

Enhanced User Experience

Everything was user-friendly and straightforward for both students and organizers. Uploading posters and adding content was simple, while the secure registration process ensured everyone’s information was protected.

Increased Efficiency

The platform was also a game-changer for the organizers as it automated many of the administrative tasks associated with running the event. This freed up valuable time for organizers to focus on other important aspects of Oklahoma Research Day.

Mendix vs Traditional App Development: What’s the difference?

The success of the Oklahoma Research Day platform hinges on the power of Mendix, the low-code development platform Rapid App Werks utilizes. But how does Mendix differ from traditional app development methods?

Traditional app development is often a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. It requires a team of highly skilled programmers to write code from scratch, leading to longer development cycles and higher costs. Traditional development can also be inflexible, making it challenging to adapt applications to changing needs.

Mendix, on the other hand, offers a faster and more agile approach. By utilizing pre-built components and a visual development interface, Mendix allows Rapid App Werks to develop custom applications like the Oklahoma Research Day platform in a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional methods. This translates to significant benefits for their clients such as:

Reduced Development Time

Rapid prototyping and development cycles ensure your event platform is ready to go well before the big day.


Lower development costs leave more room in your budget for other event priorities.

Scalability and Customization

The platform’s adaptability allows you to tailor the app or platform to your specific event needs for a perfect fit.

Streamlined Maintenance

Mendix applications are easier to maintain and update, saving you time and resources in the long run.

By leveraging the power of Mendix, Rapid App Werks empowers organizations like the University of Central Oklahoma to embrace innovation and create a seamless event experience for all their participants.  In 2025 and 2026, Oklahoma Research Day will be held at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.

Oklahoma Research Day and Rapid App Werks Pave the Way for Streamlined Events

Oklahoma Research Day 2024 marked a turning point. This longstanding celebration of academic achievement embraced innovation by incorporating a user-friendly platform developed by Rapid App Werks. The good news is this wasn’t just a one-time success story.

Looking beyond Oklahoma Research Day, Rapid App Werks sees the potential for wider application. In fact, the platform’s adaptability and user-friendliness make it a valuable tool for similar research conferences across the country. This positions Rapid App Werks as a leader in creating tech solutions that empower the academic community and other industries with the same needs.

As a certified Mendix ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partner, Rapid App Werks leverages the power of this low-code development platform to create custom applications that perfectly fit the needs of any organization. Their team of Mendix developers can design, develop, and deploy solutions in record time for a seamless and successful event experience.

Are you looking to streamline your next conference or event?

Don’t let outdated technology hold back your next academic event. Build faster and smarter platforms for your events with Rapid App Werks. Contact Rapid App Werks today to book a demo or to discuss and explore how they can customize a platform to fit your event’s needs.