This series is dedicated to learning from event experts on various topics. We cover event technology, meeting design, and much, more more! Today, we are pleased to interview Lawrence Coburn, CEO at DoubleDutch.
First of all, please tell our readers about DoubleDutch – what is the company all about?
DoubleDutch builds mobile applications for events, tradeshows and conferences that harness the power of social networking to drive event participation, connect exhibitors to qualified leads, and give organizers insight into event ROI. The apps use built-in social features that let attendees participate in event content by checking-in to sessions, sharing photos, talking to other attendees, and generally helping people feel like they’re more connected.
Besides providing a platform for people to get more involved with events, DoubleDutch’s apps capture social interactions to provide a powerful source of data for event organizers to analyze their events and improve them in the future. Examining the context of posts, such as when and where attendees were commenting and interacting the most, can give organizers insights into which speakers were the most impactful at their events, which networking events were the most fun, and what exhibitors organizers should ask back for next year.
What were the 3 keys to getting the company off the ground – where did you invest your time?
An obsession with data, a commitment to innovation, and a focus on social and mobile platforms have all been central to our success at DoubleDutch. We’ve been committed to working closely with marketers and event organizers to provide the solutions that they need for their events, and building a flexible app that works with all of the events an organizer puts on in the course of a year was crucial to our early success. Similarly, we’ve anticipated the rise of mobile and the enduring value of social platforms to direct the development of our products. Tapping into the growth of the mobile market early and completely helped us build the most dominant product on the platform
Above all else, however, is our focus on providing actionable, quantitative information for event organizers to analyze and improve their events. In a crowded event app marketplace, our commitment to data is a unique value proposition that our customers love.
What kind of clients do you serve?
DoubleDutch works with companies of every shape, size, and industry, powering of events from massive tradeshows to internal sales conferences. The beauty of the DoubleDutch platform is that the same app can be used for multiple events for the same company, from smaller internal meetings to yearly expos.
To date, we’ve worked with companies like SAP, UBM, Ralph Lauren, 3M, Georgetown University, American Hospital Association, and more.
How do you use events to expand the reach of your brand?
Every event that we work is an incredibly powerful demonstration of our technology, and a good-sized portion of our business opportunities come from people who have used – and loved – one of our apps at a show they attended. In addition to this organic outreach, we try to have a physical presence at the shows that organizers are attending–we regularly power applications for tradeshow industry events and show off the power of our apps whenever we can.
What is the coolest use of technology you’ve ever done for your brand or events?
For Content Marketing World, our app was used to set up a scavenger hunt for event attendees. The event organizers used the app’s built-in social features and picture sharing functionality to create a fun opportunity for attendees to engage with the show floor and the event itself, getting people more involved in the show and adding a dash of fun to the conference’s schedule.
I know you are all about integration and collaboration. Can you tell us about some of the companies you collaborate with to make the event planning process more seamless?
We believe strongly that the future of event technology is the open sharing of data. As a result, we’ve integrated DoubleDutch’s technology with more than 60 different event technology systems. From registration software to attendance tracking and tickets, we believe that data belongs to organizers, and we want organizers to have free and open access to that data.
As such, we’ve worked with almost every major event management software platform on the market, including A to Z, Active Networks, EEG, eTouches, RegOnline, and SignUp4.
Finally, what is your favorite app?
Besides our own apps, of course, we’re big fans of Uber and Lyft for quick transportation at a moment’s notice and Square for easy payment processing.
Lawrence Coburn is the CEO and co-founder of DoubleDutch, a company that is embracing mobile and social to transform the event landscape. DoubleDutch offers the only mobile event application that is truly social with seamless lead surfacing capabilities. He has worked directly with customers like Cisco, Dell, 3M, Nationwide, Masco, Wells Fargo, and many others to maximize ROI for event marketing by reimagining what is possible with event technology.
When he’s not working, at conferences, or spending time with his family, Lawrence can be found on the basketball court. Despite his advanced years, Lawrence qualified for the Red Bull, King of the Rock, national one-on-one championship in 2010, a point he brings up frequently.
Lawrence lives in San Francisco’s Mission District with his entrepreneur wife Lilia, and his daughter Lucia. Follow him @lawrencecoburn