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Event Startups: Movers and Shakers

By Julius Solaris

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New startups with bold ideas are popping up all over the place. Here are some interesting services you may or may not have heard of.

I wrote a couple of posts (one and two) about innovative event startups. The results were quite amazing.

- Lots of people shared the posts, commented and reacted on social networks
- Even more startups contacted me to appear on the next roundup

Therefore I decided to make movers and shakers posts more frequent. The aim is to keep you posted with developments in the event technology industry.

My objective is to stimulate a "Didn't know that!" or "That can be useful" reaction. I hope I won't let you down.

As always, if your startup hasn't been included, do not take it personally. It's likely I lost your contact message, you haven't contacted me or I'll make more specific roundups to include your service.

Let's have a look at some new business and tech ideas that want to rock the industry:

Social Tables

I am a fan of Social Tables. They provide a great service to those freaking out about seating arrangements for events such as weddings or gala dinners.

With more than 4500 events using it, Social Tables is becoming the de facto choice for smart seating arrangements. The Ball version of the product features open graph integration, meaning you can see how your guests are connected online to make a more informed decision.

With the Pro version you can assign seating arrangement control to your sponsors, another feature I particularly liked.

Event Rater

Event Rater is a platform where attendees rate events. The concept is very similar to the previously mentioned Hubb.it. I think the concept of a Tripadvisor for events is very relevant and appropriate to the industry.

Events are obviously not hotels. They tend to be more volatile and intangible. However a permanent and public community of reviewers for events that happen every year makes me feel good.

I'd love to see the reaction of event managers reading a negative (or positive) review. The potential dynamics are stimulating to say the least.

With Event Rater you can rate using your mobile phone, which makes it very easy.

à la Reg

I am often accused not to talk enough about no-profit and fundraising event tech or tools. I must admit I agree. To make it up to you guys throwing amazing 'events for a cause', I'll introduce you to à la Reg.

Built by longtime e-friend Rose Lanham, à la Reg is a registration system. Nothing new there. The charity focus is what makes it different.

There are also volunteers management options, Facebook integration and Spanish language conversion in one click - starting at $5 a month.


It's not tough to wonder what this service does. Maybe because the name is way too simple or way too effective. Eventstagram displays live Instagram feeds for your event.

Events attendees love Instagram, that's a pretty much a fact. Instagram is enjoying amazing popularity peaks, rivalling giants such as Twitter.

If your social media tactics involve using Instagram, you can use this service to display 100 Instagram pics for 1 hour for free. More unlimited options are coming.

I particularly liked the ability to moderate pics to be displayed via a mobile interface. This service is pretty much a no brainer for small events, weddings and conferences.


EventOrb has been around for quite a while now. Launched in 2008 it provides registration, RSVP management, venue management, content aggregation and many more features.

They just redesigned the platform and launched some cool new features such as Youtube and Facebook integration, ticket selling (by invite only at the time of writing), ability to follow or claim venues among others.

To make it simple EventOrb aims to be an Eventbrite+Lanyrd+Eventful. Let's see if they'll succeed.


This is a very simple countdown and pacing app for your event. Kronos. This is a great app to manage speakers slots.

You can use it to pace rehearsals and have a list of the timings of each speakers.

Very interesting the ability to push messages to speakers.


We talked about how cool the newly released Apple Passbook is going to be for the event industry.

Passdock is a service that helps event professionals to generate tickets, passes or coupons for Passbook.

There is no sign of pricing on the website which means that the service does come with a cost. But if you feel your perspective attendees purchase via iPhone, this service may offer quite interesting marketing opportunities.

Event Check-in

Checking in your guests with iPads is becoming a popular time and cost saving practice. Event Ckeck-in is an iPad app to help you create lists and check in guests.

The standard version of the app comes for free for your first event. Therefore worth a try.

There is also an interesting pro version with a bluetooth scanner, that scans a QR code in 0.5 seconds. That carries an impact on large events with crowds waiting to get in.

I like the idea and the implementation.


It's unclear to me why I haven't covered SponsorHub yet. The guys behind it know that sponsorship is the second most important topic for event professionals after registration.

While registering guests online is mostly an operational needs, getting sponsors means revenue and, oh dear, do we not need revenue these days?!

Brands can use this service to easily find relevant events to sponsors. Event can increase their revenue by finding unexpected sponsorship opportunities.

Sponsorhub helps brands making their decision with very helpful metrics such as expected attendees, Twitter followers, Klout score, etc. You can see an example for the upcoming Web Summit in Dublin.


Atendy is quite an interesting concept offering, what I call, Event Enterprise Solutions (EES). I believe there is a new breed of services trying to supply a comprehensive product/service that covers the most pressing issues for event professionals.

Atendy provides ticketing, promotion, networking and in the future mobile interfacing.

Ultimately their revenue model gets down to charging a percentage over each ticket sold (a pricing strategy I do not agree with given the service they provide).

Setting up your event and enjoying the benefits of the service is free. Give it a go.


OneLobby is in private beta but their mission is quite interesting. They are a serendipity engine specifically targeted to conferences.

They also aim to improve networking and session scheduling.

I am envisioning a Plancast meet Sched.org. Let's wait and see.


Gemster is an event discovery engine for attendees. Social networks learn everyday more about our preferences and where our friends will be next. As a result, predicting where should we go tonight is becoming an interesting business.

Gemster scans all Facebook public events to suggest what is going on around you. Public scanning means privacy is ensured. Alas small events organizers can expose their event to a larger audience in their relevant location.

Wrapping It Up

I believe that one of the reasons you, my dear reader, subscribed to this blog is to get the latest trends and anticipations in technology, social media and design for the event industry.

I hope this post satisfied your thirst for innovation and that your event is going to be little better by using one of the above tools.

As always, if you liked it, share it. I'd be grateful.



about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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