Clara de Soto from Event Farm
Named one of The Next Web’s 100 Tech & Business Women Speakers, Clara heads up Event Farm’s experiential division, EFx, as SVP of Business and Product Development. Prior to being acquired by Event Farm in 2015, Clara co-created the viral hit, KillSwitch App, and co-founded ClearHart Tech, an innovation agency that leveraged emerging tech and non-traditional marketing solutions to bridge online and offline. Featured on Bloomberg TV and named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2013, Clara’s work as a Creative Technologist has ranged from leading edge Tech Startups to Fortune 500 companies in North and South America. Clara started her career as a Creative at McCann Erickson, overseeing creative direction for clients such as L’Oreal, Mastercard, Dentyne, and others. Clara graduated from Boston College with a major in English, loves Star Wars, and lives in WeLive.
Check out this recent webinar, featuring yours truly, about tech tools that can boost your event ROI here
James Spellos from Meeting U
James Spellos is the President of Meeting U., whose mission is to help people become more productive and comfortable with technology. Jim delivers over 150 seminars annually on how to use technology more efficiently. In 2015, Jim was named one of the Meeting Industry’s trendsetters by Meetings Focus magazine. He is a faculty member at New York University, teaching in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies since 1990. He has been honored with both their Award for Teaching Excellence and their Outstanding Service Award. In 2014, Jim joined the Board of Directors for Rock and Wrap It Up, an anti-poverty/hunger think tank, which supports over 43,000 agencies in North America. Jim co-created for them the Whole Earth Calculator app, which helps organizations to identify the quantity of food donated and carbon footprint reduced from food recovered at meetings and events. He also speaks about food recovery and sustainability in the industry.
Outside of the meetings industry, Jim is an accomplished musician and songwriter, playing guitar, keyboards and singing for the New York City rock band Contraband. They released their first CD, “Welcome to the Neighborhood” in late 2008, and is back in the studio recording new songs for a new release.
The Event Guys Launches “Integration Platform as a Service” for the Meeting & Event Industry @Builtio
Powered by Built.io Flow, Meeting and Event Planners Can Now Connect Disparate Systems into Complete EndtoEnd Solutions
For immediate release
July 6, 2016, Portland, Oregon
In the 2015 study “The State of Event Technology Adoption” conducted by MPI and PSAV, 69% of respondents were found to use manual processes (information tracked through Word documents, email or spreadsheets) to ensure that programming, sessions, speaker lists and session details are consistent across the web, print directories, digital signs and the mobile app.
This same study concluded that “the manual data management—using Word documents, emails, handwritten notes or spreadsheets—used by a large numbers of event professionals to align both attendee and program databases means that they are precluded from the wide range of benefits that come from automated data synchronization and integration. This lack of technology adoption has the potential to increase staffing costs, decrease operational efficiency, decrease data accuracy and deprive organizations of the insights that comes from the advanced computing capabilities of automated systems.”
To help planners overcome these barriers, The Event Guys, in a strategic partnership with Built.io, has launched an Integration Platform as a Service to help planners connect their separate systems into complete end-to-end solutions. Planners can use the platform to integrate their existing systems, or select “best of breed” platforms from the EventTechGuide Marketplace to connect together into technology stacks. Dozens of other mainstream business applications such as email, CRM, marketing automation, project management tools and accounting systems are already available for integration through the Built platform. Planners can also incorporate data provided by smart badges, wearables, sensors, beacons and any other connected device with a digital heartbeat to spark innovation with the “Internet of Things” to enable new experiences.
This new platform will help planners increase productivity by eliminating manual and double entry and improving workflow through automation. It will also help small emerging technology companies with innovative products compete for market share with larger legacy systems by bundling and connecting their platforms with other products.
“This platform has the potential to be a gamechanger for the events industry,” shared Eric Kingstad, CEO of The Event Guys. “The lack of integration between systems is a very real pain point and obstacle. Planners are busy people that just want technology to work, so that they can focus on improving engagement and experience. Integration of data between systems and automatic workflow enables them to get to the next level of strategic planning and to maximize ROI from their meetings and events.”
“We are thrilled to partner with The Event Guys,” said Kurt Collins, director of partnerships at Built.io. “The event and meeting industry is ripe with opportunities for digital innovation. By combining their extensive knowhow and industry experience with Built.io Flow’s ability to quickly and easily integrate systems, The Event Guys are able to reimagine the event experience and deliver truly transformative solutions for attendees and organizers alike.”
Built.io Flow is a new kind of integration platform for connecting separate systems of many kinds, ranging from cloudbased services to legacy IT systems. Its draganddrop, iconbased UI is simple enough that business managers can connect a couple of applications. In addition, the Flow cloud integration platform also serves veteran software developers and architects who create sophisticated integrations between extremely different systems.
The Event Guys is a consulting group formed in 2010 that specializes in meeting and event technology integration. In February 2016, The Event Guys launched the EventTechGuide Marketplace, a resource for meeting planners that makes it easier to discover, compare and purchase technology for meetings and events.
For more information contact Eric Kingstad at email@example.com or phone 503.539.1215.
1. Reduces Negative Environmental Impact
Take a relatively small event with just 1,000 attendees and 100 sheets of paper distributed per attendee. The damage to the environment and to our planet is:
- 12 trees wasted
- 75 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere
- 1 million liters of water wasted
Simply put, mobile event apps are Earth-friendly.
2. Cost Savings
For an event with 100,000 printed pages, it can cost $20,000 just in printing costs (at 20 cents per page). Additionally, there are costs for shipping, packaging and preparation pushing the costs into thousands of dollars depending on the event. Eliminating paper can result in incredible savings after going mobile.
3. Updated Information for Attendees
Ever been at a workshop where you showed up a minute late and saw a sign on the door redirecting you to a new location a five-minute run away? Yes, us too. It’s embarrassing and preventable due to a mobile app feature called “instant publish.” It allows organizers to publish any changes they make to their event app to the attendees’ phones instantly.
4. Headache and Hassle Reduction
Spending too many hours stuffing agendas into totes, running to the printers and constantly updating confusing spreadsheets or documents? Superhero app to the rescue! Develop an app in minutes, continue to update it with details as they flow in, and finalize the app as late as the day of the event if you’d like.
How to go mobile at your next event
You can easily transition your event programs from print to mobile. To learn how, get a free eBook filled with tips, tricks and best practices to convert even the naysayers at your event into mobile event app fans.
As a guest blogger for Elitemeetings.com, I shared my thoughts on the best new social media platforms for event planners.
It seems that every time we get caught up with the “latest and greatest”, the masses have moved to a new social network and we are left confused and feeling behind again. Thankfully, the influencers in our industry are taking the reins and trying out new platforms before they even become popular. If we look to their success, we should be able to figure out which platforms are best for us to leverage in the coming months.
I suppose you can say it’s a good sign if you feel a bit behind– at least it that you are aware that the trends are moving. We are all busy so we don’t necessarily have tons of time to start a new account on every social network that pops up or even to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news. So, to help you out, here is a quick primer on a few social platforms you definitely should be trying for your events.
INSTAGRAM AND PINTEREST
While these social platforms certainly aren’t anything new, there are many event brands who should be doing much more to leverage these networks. I think much of the events industry is still focused on Twitter, and while that is a great platform for exchanging information, it seems that the community building and engagement has left the building as far as Twitter is concerned. Instead, we are seeing brands finding huge engagement on more image-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. You should be sharing your event images through Pinterest boards, showing behind the scenes footage of your events on Instagram, and leveraging images more and more to engage your audience.
PERISCOPE AND MEERKAT
Video is the next frontier and it is taking the events industry by storm. Not only should you be collecting more videos from your events and sharing them on the various social networks, but you should leverage video-driven live stream platforms like Periscope and Meerkat as well. These simple platforms allow users to share video live streamed from their phone and are a great way to engage your audience. Let’s say you’re hosting a conference. You can assign one of your staff members to interview people behind the scenes on Periscope, take questions from the audience for one of your sessions via Meerkat and archive the videos for later use. I think we can use these platforms strategically to share portions of our conferences and events to entice new attendees to attend the event next time. Think of it as a marketing and engagement tool.
For those of you looking to engage with your audience more personally and more regularly then say, an annual conference, this new platform is very interesting. Think of it like a better form of Google hangouts with more engagement and easier social media sharing tools. I think this is a great tool for regular chats with your audience throughout the year or even interviews with speakers for your upcoming conference to help you market and sell tickets. There is a high level engagement on these video chats and I think it’s a great way to leverage a Twitter audience you’ve already built and engage more people across other social networks.
Photo credits: Soze Soze / Shutterstock.com, Shutterstock.com, Meerkat
You’re spending hours giving demos and sending out mass emails, but just not getting the right clients you need. What are you missing? Here are five tips from my experience on how you can have more success winning over your ideal event planning clients. I get inquiries every week from companies looking to share their product with me and through many trials and tribulations, here are five things that I know to be true.
Know your ideal audience
Of course, the first step in winning business from your ideal client is to know who they are. What type of events is your product best for? You need to know the exact market you’re trying to reach. Does your product have a bigger impact in special events or corporate? Festivals, meetings or concerts? What size event is the best fit for your product? What is the ideal team that you work with? I guarantee you there is a lot of competition in the event technology space that you occupy so knowing your ideal audience and the specific aspects of your product that differentiate you from your competitors is critical. If your product is ideal for meetings that have between 50-100 participants, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pitch other categories of events. However, you have to know what the differences are and make sure you were speaking to a planner from the right perspective. If your product isn’t the perfect fit, be prepared to explain why you still think it will work for that particular client. If you have no idea where to start identifying your target market, talk to planners. Learn about the work they do, the solutions they are looking for and the challenges they face. Talk to as many planners as you possibly can so you get a wide perspective on the industry.
While I know that your product does a lot for the planner on the other side of the demo, you have to remember that event planners have very busy schedules. I’ve sat through so many demos that were an hour or longer. All of them could have been under 30 minutes. If you were customizing your demo to the planner you’re talking to, cut out all the things that don’t relate. You can always show them additional features and functions at a later time. The goal isn’t to show how massive of your product is and all the problems that it solves – your goal is to make sure that you provide value to the planner. And, that you respect their time.
One of the main reasons why event planners hire event technology companies is because they are not tech experts. They know what they want to achieve with their events and most of the time, they know what type of product will help them get there. But from a technical perspective, they certainly don’t feel like the expert in the room. They count on you to walk them through the set up process, come up with new ways your platform can help their event that they wouldn’t have thought of, and to be there as a support throughout the entire process. Make sure you’re supporting the planners you work with and that you’re clear from the beginning on how much support you will offer.
Peter Poehle from SponsorMyEvent
I’m an entrepreneur: the co-founder and CEO of SponsorMyEvent.com. I’m also the founder and director of media65 europe s.ar.l., a video-production company in Luxembourg, specialized in corporate videos, institutional films an commercials.
Prior to that I studied Digitale Medien (Media-informatics) and Law and obtained a Master in Computer-Science (Diplom-Informatiker).
Over the years I’ve gained lots of experience in management, finance but also project management and technical skills.
Specialties: Is it appropriate to say, that I’m versatile? Let’s try it:
I love management just as much as grabbing a camera and shooting a movie.
Even though many people are much better in coding than me, I’m able to write some decent lines of code (that’s why i’m a Dipl. Inf.) or at least to understand what’s going on in a developers brain.
I got used to understand the concepts of funding, investments and company valuation.
And after all sales and communication are a must in my business and I enjoy to be out and deal with (potential) clients.
Besides all that business stuff I love music and was composing myself a lot. But time is limited and so my studio doesn’t see me often these days. It happens more often that I cook and I feel that I’ve gained some decent skills in pleasing my family or friends with the dishes I prepare for them.
I’m a guest blogger on Elitemeetings.com. Check out this article that I shared about being productive on the go.
As event planners, we are always on the go. We’re traveling from airport to airport, taking site visits at random locations and working in the closest Starbucks we can find. It’s easy to feel like we aren’t being as productive as we are when we are in the office. But, while there is nothing like sitting in front of your desk at the office, there are a lot of tools that can help you while you’re traveling. Imagine if you could be nearly as productive on the go as you are in the office. Here are my top five apps for event planners on the go!
One of my biggest frustrations as I’m traveling is that I can never get access to reliable Wi-Fi. My client needs a document uploaded and it could take me hours just to try and find a place that will have a strong enough signal to upload the document needed. With Karma, I can take my hotspot on the go. And, the best part is that you pay for only the data you use. Rather then find a package through my mobile provider that gives me 2GB a month, I can pay only when I needed it. Let’s say I am working mostly from the office this month, I don’t pay anything. If I’m really busy and traveling a lot next month, I can use as much data as I need. It’s really flexible and reliable.
Dropbox is my favorite file storage platform. It allows me to upload the documents that I need on the go and share them, as needed. Their mobile app is great as well and I can access the documents I need, make changes, and re-share them with the appropriate people.
The Pages App
One app that I’m sure we all have is the Facebook app, but I would bet that many people have not downloaded the Pages app. For those of us who are managing our brand pages on Facebook, this app is a really great tool for checking notifications, responding to messages and making sure that we are engaging on a regular basis with our Facebook audience. I have found the general Facebook app to be incredibly underwhelming when it comes to brand management, so rather than waiting until you get back to your desktop to deal with a comment on your Facebook page, you can now do it while you are waiting for the train or sitting on the bus.
Slack is a new team communication tool and I love the ability to filter feeds, create conversations and eliminate email. This tool is designed for collaborating as teams so it’s a great option to use for your employees. It manages their conversations and keeps them in this platform instead of everything being in your email. And, their mobile app makes it easy to stay connected and updated on the go.
Alas, I must admit that there are simply times where a mobile app has not been designed for one of the things that we need to do on our desktop. This app is great because it will allow us to log into our desktop from our mobile and access files that we need. Sometimes, there’s simply no greater answer then having direct access to your desktop.