Ever wish you could make chance encounters less chancy? Bizzabo’s new Event Success Platform takes the inefficiency out of event planning
Sometimes serendipity can be overrated. You hear about people who attend conferences and meet their next angel investor, or even their spouse. How come that never happens to you?
Three years ago, event app Bizzabo was founded to address this very painful pain point. It let conference-goers see who was attending before, during and after a conference, usually by connecting to their LinkedIn profile. In that way, you could arrange to meet the people you wanted to meet, or get their contact details afterward. The app ran on a freemium model with conference organizers paying $600-$1,300 per event for special add-ons and features.
In the intervening years, Bizzabo facilitated over 4,000 events around the world for organizations including VentureBeat, MediaBistro, the NOAH Conference, Forrester and NYU.
Speaking to event planners during this time, Eran Ben-Shushan, the company’s CEO, realized that the conference industry was inefficient, antiquated and crying out for disruption, and that Bizzabo was uniquely poised to move beyond mere app status.
Ben-Shushan lamented to Geektime, “This was an industry where most people were still using Excel spreadsheets. It was asking to be disrupted.”
Launching an all-in-one event planning platform
In August, the company raised $2.5 million in Series A funding, and today, the company has unveiled its Event Success Platform, which it describes as an all-in-one event planning platform.
“The Event Success Platform is the next step in the natural development of our product,” Ben-Shushan said in a statement. “After working closely with thousands of organizers, we wanted to free the industry from a reliance on multiple siloed tech solutions that increase an event organizer’s workload, minimize their ability to measure success and limit productivity.”
In other words, much as Salesforce took sales departments by storm and marketing automation is disrupting marketing departments around the globe, Bizzabo’s new product sees itself as much more than an app.
“It’s HubSpot for conferences,” Ben-Shushan told Geektime, referring to the marketing automation platform that went public last October.
For instance, an event planner can use Bizzabo’s new platform to engage potential conference goers, sell tickets, manage content, plan an agenda, create a website and mobile app, help people network and schedule meetings, send push notifications, update conference schedules in real time, and beyond that, plug all this data into a CRM.
This CRM is so powerful, he says, that conference organizers who used it have seen a 30 percent jump in ticket sales.
The platform also helps organizers measure success by generating real-time analytics on each feature, giving a snapshot of all aspects of an event’s progress as it happens. The success dashboard allows organizers to deliver on measurable ROI to stakeholders, and track how they are doing compared to their goals.
“It’s a one-stop shop for all your online digital needs,” Eran Ben-Shushan explained.
In fact, the only thing this platform doesn’t do, he said, is order food for the conference and pay for it.
Well, you can’t have everything.
Ben-Shushan said that he sees Bizzabo’s evolution as part of a trend that he calls the “consolidation of tools,” as exemplified by HubSpot and Marketo in marketing.
“We’re the first to do this in the events industry. You will see this become a major trend.”