Tag Archives: event-startups

Event Discovery Is on Fire

One of the most visible trends in event consumption is Discovery. Despite it may look as a tool for attendees, event discovery poses terrific opportunities for event marketers.

Event Discovery Apps

Let me start this post with a question: where do you search for events to attend?

I believe that the answer to this question will change the way we market events. While in, say, 2004 we headed to Google and entered our keywords, the scenario is quite different nowadays.

In fact event search turned into discovery. Discovery means a much richer experience. A smart quest made of serendipity, geolocation and relationships.

The urge to socialize and attend an event needs to be satisfied quickly and with relevancy. This is what event discovery is offering to those looking for the next event to attend.

A main difference between event search and event discovery is the role of the prospective attendees. While on search, she is bothered with adding keywords, filtering and adjusting results, whereas event discovery offers results to the user without any action. In fact potentially relevant events are worked out by the platform on the basis of elaborate algorithms.

The flip side of the coin is that event professionals and especially event marketers are now faced with the opportunity to optimize their event for discovery. As we follow SEO predicaments to better rank in Google, we are faced with new requirements to make sure we are discovered in what I like to call Event Discovery Optimization (EDO).

How Does Event Discovery Work?

Event Discovery is the fruit of cool geeks playing with data. In fact the human element is minimized to extremes.

Each platform features its algorithm to make the possible suggestion. Some common elements of discovery engines are:

– Organizers or attendees can submit an event
– APIs of popular platforms such as Eventbrite or Meetup are fetched to enrich listings
– Facebook is the social network of choice to make personalised recommendations
– There is a growing tendency in curation, some apps feature editorial teams to select the best gigs
– Location plays a crucial role for entertainment and leisure events
– Ticketing is also being incorporated by some apps either with their native system or by integrating with established vendors
– The most recurrent verticals are music events and conferences

Get to Know the Players

There is an incredible number of players in the sector. The most frequently mentioned on this blog are Lanyrd and Plancast, recently acquired and redesigned by Active Network.

These guys were the firs to grasp the power of the social graph applied to events, thus offering very relevant recommendations.

Lanyrd was also the first not to focus on Facebook, by leveraging mostly on Twitter and recently LinkedIn. That being quite a smart move for business events and conferences.

Also worth mentioning long time players such as ConferenceHound, very strong in the conference vertical.

The ‘new wave’ is made mostly by apps. The emphasis on geolocation is enormous and the use of Facebook+Mobile is gigantic when in entertainment verticals.

Therefore apps such as Gemster, Tonight or All Events in are those that attract most attention.

The new wave is also made of pretty cool competitors to the old guard. Among others I particularly liked Stublisher, lokalite, Vitapeeps (targeted at Meetups), but also interesting takes such as WannaDo (another project of Active Network) that introduces a bucket list component.

How to Optimize Your Event for Discovery: Become an EDO Master

Event Discovery Optimization (EDO) will be a quite in demand skill going forward. It should be a task for the event social media person/team.

EDO involves understanding how event discovery works to make sure that your event is more discoverable. In the same way you’d optimize your event website to be found on Google, there is a set of actions that need to be taken to ensure maximum visibility on the growing number of apps.

If you consider the above list of common traits I made, your task is to make sure your event responds to logic of how these apps were created.


– Commit to post your event at least in the above apps.
– Wherever possible use platforms with popular APIs as they will be fetched by these applications
– Encourage RSVP on Facebook. In fact this could be one of the most crucial action you would want from your attendees.
– Perform outreach activities to editorial teams of popular apps
– Localise your event. Add the location of your event on as many platforms as possible.
– Set up a short and sweet hashtag

While it is tough to predict a definite impact of the above practices, reverse engineering would confirm some for positive impact.

A good approach would be to try one platform at the time and analyse results. This is often a good practice to test our audience response.

In Conclusion

Event discovery is a new wave of technology giving the attendees the power to make educated decision on the burning question “what event should I attend?”.

While the benefits may seem to be mostly on the attendee side, there are substantial opportunities to increase our event discoverability.

The wise event professional should familiarise with Event Discovery Optimization (EDO) and understand what actions need to be taken in order to increase the chances of being found.

© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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Event Startups: Keep an Eye on These Up-and-Comers

What’s new in the event startup scene? Things are moving fast. Here are some of the cool kids changing the industry.

Event Startups Rising Stars

By looking at Twitter, it feels like a new event startup is born every day. That is a great feeling.

It is also the reason why we are supporting Event Tech Circus, the first event in Europe specifically designed for event professionals and startups.

This feeling of new ideas, new solutions and tools is a breath of fresh air to our industry.

I’ve celebrated innovation in the event and meeting industry multiple times and I am by no means tired.

I’ve collected a few interesting products and services that can help you run a better event. In the end, it is all about that. If a startup does not help easing your tough job, it’s worthless.

Here they are.


Volunteer management is not an easy one. There are a lot of dynamics involved in managing those who decide to work for free. Medium sized and large events need to structure motivation and make it become a mechanism that works.

VolunteerLocal solves the issue of signing up and managing communication with volunteers. Interesting features include volunteer check-in, a custom sign up website to register and easy job and shift allocation.

VolunteerLocal price is zero for small events with straight forward requirements. The pricing for larger events is flexible and based on a per-event basis, a good choice for our industry.


I’ve got a thing for to-do and calendar apps. Zime made me want to replace my iPhone with an Android based phone, just to try it out.

OK, features are not revolutionary. I simply loved the 3D visualization of tasks and schedule.

When it gets to productivity apps, the design significantly impacts on the actual effectiveness of the app. At least for me that is. I am a fan of the eye candy and Zime creates a new visual experience. If you are on Android, test it out. I am envious.


Speakeasy is a marketplace that matches party organizers and party goers. The service is definitely invading the Facebook Events arena and we are quite supportive of the David/Goliath battle.

The site looks slick and the features are intriguing for both, hosts and attendees.

What makes a difference in these services is adoption and it looks like Kevin and team are doing great with 200+ events, 2000 registered users and a seed funding round back in August. Let’s see what happens.


Imagine a large screen at a festival or large event. Now imagine a game being displayed on the screen. Think about attendees playing the game with their smartphones, competing against each other.

If you can’t imagine it, watch it.

This is what Buzzy.Io can recreate for your event and I love it.


Flowh is the Twitter of Events. Flowh also looks like Twitter. And that can be a good thing.

The concept is very simple. You can follow and share events. Once again the concept is not incredibly new but I like the way it has been implemented. Putting too much into a platform can in fact impact on adoption and effectiveness.

As a Twitter junkie, I immediately get what Flowh is about. I am curious to see if more events will start to use it.


Eventholler does ticketing. I usually do not include ticketing providers in these round-ups. What I liked about them is the link with promoters.

In fact they count on a network of “hundreds of promoters in your city”. Despite the generic claim, the ideas is really good. Effectively Eventholler offers a platform for promoters to register and advertise events in their networks.

This affiliate system is very promising and definitely attractive in time of crisis. Also loved how they allow access to the promoters network for free to non-profit events.


Sonsorhive is a maretplace for sponsors. In 10 Event Trends for 2013, I told you that this is the year when Sponsors look for Events.

Sponosrhive is a new player in the sponsor marketplace arena. Still in private beta, it asks for 10% cut on all sponsorship generated to the host. It promises full control to brands looking for event sponsorship opportunities.

Ohanah App

This is an amazing Joomla extension for event management. Created by Beyounic and Nick Balestra, Ohanah impressed me for the caliber of the features available and slick design.

If you decide to use Joomla as your Content Management System, look no further. Ohanah ticks all the boxes. You have everything you need, from venue management to registration.

Super cool!


The idea is simple. This is already a great premise. QuickTapLead is a tablet application for iOS and Android that lets you collect leads at tradeshows and exhibitions.

It works offline and it features integration with Salesforce, automatic emails and customizable interface. QuickTapLead is an easy solutions for all those willing to save some money while presenting prospects a slick interface.

Prices are based on a per lead basis and start at $0.25 for a 100 lead credit top up.


It’s been some time since I covered Twitter visualization services. Tweetwall is not a new startup. It’s actually been around since 2008 and with a quite impressive client portfolio.

The reason why I am mentioning it here is the slick design but also innovative features such as leaderboards. In fact with Tweetwall helps you to identify in real-time users tweeting about your event, ranked by influence, number of tweets or engagement.

Prices are not disclosed, which usually means we are on the expensive side of the river. Get in touch with them to find out more.


Startup does not necessarily mean apps and software. The kickstarter founded Sphericam is definitely a nice piece of equipment I can see at different events.

It is a 360 degree recording camera. It combines 4 HD cameras that record in high definition. This is an amazing piece of equipment to record your event and then upload it to your Youtube channel or for amazing live stream .

See it in action:


Event Manager Blog is a startup itself. Therefore with no shame for a plug to my company, we introduced Januas last week. Januas is a WordPress Theme built to feature multiple events in one website.

As biased as it may sound, it is quite a remarkable effort and I am very proud of it. Adoption is great and customers are loving it. Check it out.

In Conclusion

The event startup scene is hotter than ever. The above services and products deserve your attention and definitely help the way you plan, manage and sell events.

As always, if your startup has been left out, hit me up on Twitter or use the contact section.

If you are an event professional, support these bright ideas by sharing this article. It can make a big difference.

Photo by Thomas Hawk

© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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Event Tech Circus: The Event for Startups and #Eventprofs

We are happy to be Media Partner of Event Tech Circus, a unique event for startups, event organizers and investors to be held in Amsterdam on the 7th of May 2013.

Event Tech Circus Amsterdam

While I was at IMEX last May, I had a pressing thought.

What about connecting startups and investors in the event industry? I was there with Derrick, Jasper and William and we discussed how it could become reality.

William took the idea forward and suggested that event professionals would love to participate and get to know about the latest technology for events.

Derrick and Jasper, two seasoned event startup professionals, confirmed that startups would appreciate to have feedback from event professionals and investors.

Event Tech Circus was born.

A Unique Opportunity for Event Technology Professionals

William together with Derrick and Jasper took the lead and coordinated what is going to be a unique gathering for event technology. Especially here in good old Europe.

Event Tech Circus will take place in Amsterdam, at Amsterdam RAI, one of the most popular exhibition spaces in Europe, at the forefront of innovation in the industry.

The event will take place on the 7th of May. All the information is available on the website (proudly powered by Event Manager Theme)

Who Should Attend and Why?

From the website:

Event Organisers. We will curate our audience. If we are to achieve our rather grand designs for this event it is exceptionally important that we have not just the right number but the right people in the room. We will be selecting the right Event Organisers from across Europe. We are after the thought leaders: the influencers. We want those not too shy to say, no DEMAND, exactly what it is they want from event technology. We expect 50 – 100 organisers to attend. Attending Event Tech Circus AMSTERDAM is initially by invitation only. Once we have selected and filled our slots we will open up the event to other attendees.

Technology start-ups have to be at a particular stage in their development to qualify. They also have to bring something to the circus. Every start-up will be asked to offer their product or service for free (if appropriate) to our attendees for a select period of time. We expect 20 start ups to take part.

Investors will have a proven track record in investing in start-up companies or at least a passion and a purse. We expect 20 investors to be part of Event Tech Circus Amsterdam.

If you are at within a couple of hours flight away from Amsterdam, I would invest the money to attend.

Conference Programme

Together with the above terrific opportunities, there is a quite significant conference programme.

I am happy to confirm I will be there with Event Manager Blog team and present about event technology and social media.

William is putting together an amazing line up. This alone is worth your investment in the reasonably priced ticket.

In Conclusion

This is not your average event industry gathering we are used to. Event Tech Circus is something new, an event that needs to be supported by the whole #eventprofs community.

If you believe technology is making an impact on our beloved industry, you need to attend. I will be happy to see you in Amsterdam and to listen to your experience. Can’t wait.

Head to Event Tech Circus website and share it with your colleagues. I am sure they will be thankful.

If you want to give it a tweet , you can do so with the following event official hashtag
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© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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