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AMLD: building a web app for managing an AI event with hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees

How we leveraged the full power of Ruby on Rails and created an event management web app with a complex admin panel.


  • Client




  • Project scope and technology

    Web Development, Ruby on Rails Development, Software Consultancy, active admin library


    Education, Event

  • Team Composition

    2 Ruby on Rails Developers, 1 Project Manager

    Work duration

    8 months (ongoing)

Applied Machine Learning Days is one of the biggest European conferences on the topic of AI and Machine Learning organized by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The event sees 66 percent year-to-year growth and the 2020 edition attracted 470 speakers and over 4,000 attendees from all over the globe, with five days of lectures, sessions and 29 different tracks.


The biggest challenge for the project was the need for a very complex admin panel. The app was supposed to be used by the various parties participating in the conference: event team, speakers, moderators and attendees with different levels of admin access and different features available. We knew this part would take most of our time.

Another challenge we faced was that the vision for the app and the functions were not were clarified at the beginning. App usage requirements weren’t defined and we had to help the AMLD team evaluate and select all the features needed for a flawless user experience.

Time was a factor as well - we had to get the front-end working as soon as possible, so it wouldn’t stop us from focusing on a complex admin panel.

Luckily, the AMLD team provided us with designs so we could start working on the front end of the application.


We started with the design implementation right away. We chose Ruby on Rails because of its efficiency and abundance of ready-to-use community-proven solutions. We managed to quickly implement the designs in an RoR application using Slim, WebPacker and other libraries. The whole process took us only two weeks.

After having the front end in order, it was time to create the admin panel. We decided to leverage the active admin library, which allows the administrator can easily modify all content appearing in the portal.

Using this solution accelerated the process of creating the administration panel significantly, saving precious time and resources for the client. We finished with active admin configuration so it suits the event team's needs perfectly.

Thanks to choosing fast-implementable solutions, we were able to deliver the whole project before the scheduled deadline. As a result, AMLD could launch their marketing campaign earlier and bring even more attendees to the event.

During the whole process, we also helped the AMLD team to clarify the vision for the product and all the final features. We maintained active communication: every day, we were defining and proposing new solutions and modifications, so the AMLD team had full access to the development process.

As a result, they were able to verify all the proposed solutions on the way. We minimized the potential for misunderstandings and maintained a high level of client satisfaction, along with saving a substantial amount of precious time.


We created a consistent system that allows for creating many individual conference pages and easy speaker registration.

The web app gave the final users the ability to buy tickets in one place, find information about speakers and the agenda, allowed for easy contact with the organization and gave users the ability to create accompanying events, talks and paths. From the organizer's standpoint, we fully automated the process of scheduling the speakers' appointments.

As for the tech side, we used the newest version of Ruby on Rails with all the updates on libraries and will be providing constant maintenance to the code to ensure its security. 

We have also introduced a testing process to the organization - the AMLD team was able to test whether requirements compiled in the way they wanted, which they usually do not do.

We are also continued with the collaboration - AMLD asked us to scale the operation up and build similar solutions for all the different events organized by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

  • 10 days for RoR implementation
  • 470 speakers
  • 4000 attendees

Their team meets tight deadlines, including some that only give them a few hours to do the work.

Sylvain Bernard

Event Manager, EPFL

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