Here is a collection of the most promising startups providing technology solutions for events. Be inspired by these helpful tools.
The Event Tech scene is in turmoil. It's just news of last week that DoubleDutch closed another successful round of investment at $19.9M. Earlier in August Social Tables finalised another $8M investment.
Other startups are growing organically into full fledged businesses, hiring staff, launching new services. Event professionals are realising the potential of event technology.
Nobody is buying anymore the 'I haven't got time' or 'This is a fad' criticisms. Event tech is about making the experience better for our guests and to make our events more profitable.
So when new startups come around, we have to alert. You have to be on the lookout for that service that can make things easier, more engaging and smoother, either for yourself or your key stakeholders.
Keep your mentality open, experiment, innovate.
How This List Came Together
We keep a database of all the startups and companies creating tech for the event industry.
Startups can submit their service and we usually pick the most innovative for these roundups.
All startups are also handily collected in this Pinterest Board.
We also recently launched paid reviews for those who need a little more room than just a monthly roundup.
Enough said, here are some cool startups that will inspire you to change the way you run your event.
I've been talking a lot lately about the importance of the 'connected speaker', someone that masters content and technology alike. Live slidesharing is a trend of 2014, Prezentt is a service that does that.
Second screen for presentations is immensely cool, specially when combined with interactivity and real time analytics.
Prezentt ticks all the boxes and boasts a very interesting pricing with a very generous free version.
Who said that event technology is just for events. Technology can be used to spread information faster. This blog (and event blogs in general), Twitter chats, Facebook Groups are a prime example of that.
Enter Eventprofs.co, a platform where you can find trending articles about event planning and event tech. Everything we tag online with the #eventprofs hashtag.
The service was created by Yousef El-Dardiry with the approval of Lara McCulloch, who started the #eventprofs movement and hashtag.
Definitely a must-check daily to learn more about our industry.
I am not sure why I haven't covered Eversnap before. This great platform helps to collect all the media created at events under one roof.
Collective media is another trend for 2014. Chasing pictures all over the social web is so 2007. All event guests get to download the Eversnap app, so that all the pictures taken will be collected in your account.
Eversnap has very cool 'instruction cards' with QR codes to quickly download the app. The app works with no connection and collects also Instagram and Twitter pics or videos with hashtags.
You can display all the pics in your media wall during the event. Cool huh?
Simple to Act
Q&A sessions have traditionally been a pain point of conferences. Startuppers and geeks around the world are realising the potential of innovating in this space.
Simple to Act is an app that turns your smartphone into a mic, to engage with the speaker without the poor runner having to chase attendees around the room.
The tool comes with the option to text questions, perfect for the introvert not wanting to speak up. It also features an engage barometer, for the speaker to understand how well they engaged with the audience. Easy to implement with great value.
Trade shows are getting their fair bit of innovation in 2014. Lots of tools are changing the way exhibitors and buyers engage at booths.
Lead retrieval and generation is surely a hot space. Konduko has a product that offers all the features you would expect in a lead tool with a twist.
The tool plays a lot with data, completing the information you collected at the booth with strategic real time analytics about what products stimulate more interest. Real time analytics are big in 2014, but I am sure you already now that!
Well the name pretty much says it. Virtual Event Bags are trying to tackle another pain point of conferences and exhibitions, goody bags.
The fact is that the average swag bag is pretty unattractive, full of junk and irrelevant. Attendees inevitably throw it making both sponsors and the environment unhappy.
What about a virtual bag, filled with cool offers, brandable and relevant. Sponsors can directly upload their offers. You get a link to share and some very cool analytics to better report effectiveness to sponsors.
I've proudly undergone a lot of criticism a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned that you should pay the speakers you hire.
I also recognise a lot of event profs, specially in Europe, are struggling with budgets. Here is where SpeakerSponsor comes to the rescue. Unpaid speakers can sell 'advertising spaces' within their presentations to companies willing to support them.
Some of you may think that such practice may bring the quality level of the presentation dow, but so does not paying speakers. Definitely a viable opportunity for eventprofs with little budget to refer speakers to.
There is a lot of talk on the benefits of iBeacons and in general micro-location based services. Venovis is platform that enables the roll-out of micro-location based apps.
While that may sound as incredibly technical and somewhat boring, I promise it is not. Think about telling your audience how long their line is for or where they are on the exhibition floor.
Micro-location services will gradually change the way we experience large events. Venovis enables all of that.
Speaking about lines and reducing queues, EventXtra is a service that comes to the rescue. With Faster Check-In being one of the defining trends, Check-in apps are booming.
EventXtra lets you import a list of attendees via Excel or Eventbrite and quickly print badges on the spot.
You will know immediately who is checking in thanks to its real time analytics reports. The benefits are immense if you are still using paper guest lists.
Reviews are a great concept for events, that struggles a little bit to be adopted by attendees. EventReviews takes a different perspective at reviews by combining them with discovery.
The platform allows the users to unload reviews about their favourite event. The reviewer has only 140 characters for the review, which makes it snappier and more relevant.
The key here is adoption, only big numbers will prove the service to be effective, let's keep an eye on them.
I hope these 10 awesome startups inspired you to enough to try something new. Those events who innovate develop a reputation for success, research suggest.
If you want to support these guys, as always, share this article. It will make them proud and it will keep fuelling the virtuous circle we are experiencing in the industry.