Swapcard is an event networking app with a strong focus on better connections and encounters. Here is our review.
Swapcard: What Is It?
Swapcard is a freemium solution and can also be used to generate revenue by selling services and visibility to sponsors and lead retrieval to exhibitors. It integrates directly with some CRMs to make following up on leads more streamlined. As highlighted in the Event App Bible, good networking opportunities can create loyal attendees and being able to prove a positive return is essential to keeping exhibitors and sponsors coming back and increasing event revenues.
The app isn’t just limited to a specific event, it can be used at multiple events or even just as a standalone tool to record the people you meet. Swapcard includes a neat business card scanner which detects and stores the contact details from a paper business card.
Let’s delve a little deeper.
The Main Categories of Features Are:
Networking. A matchmaking algorithm identifies the best matches and suggests who to meet, giving a percentage score to rank the top matches.
Event App. A branded app allows attendees to see and network with other participants interested in the same sessions.
Sponsors and Exhibitor ROI. Lead retrieval and a business card reader can allow stakeholders to get the most from their investment by recording all their interactions and even syncing data with their CRM system.
Organizer Tools. Real-time analytics of the event to measure attendee networking success and the ROI achieved by exhibitors and sponsors.
Event organizers increasingly have a struggle getting attendees to download single-use event apps. The approach that Swapcard uses should be applauded. Participants can access the web version directly simply by clicking a web link directly onto the event page and taking a look around and networking with other attendees. Once they have seen the web version in action and are satisfied that it will be of value to them they can choose to download the app to their mobile device and access further benefits that that brings.
Swapcard is also a multi-use app. It is designed to be used for multiple events and the more you use it, the more you get out of it as it learns your preferences. Features such as the business card scanner can even be used in general for networking, and not specifically just for events using Swapcard. We know that as the app market matures and often phone storage is precious some individuals will choose not to download a single use app so this is another selling point to encourage adoption. It also means that event planners are able to send notifications to anyone still using the app ahead of the next event, inviting them to come along.
Swapcard is an off-the-shelf, self-service platform and everything can be set up in less than an hour, including changing icons, colours and the order of the buttons. They provide free online support if you need it. You can customize the app for your event, but you can’t create a dedicated app for your event. Swapcard is firmly focused on networking and the main information attendees need. Any integration available via a URL can be added to the app directly by the event organizer (e.g. Slido and other engagement tools). If you want to build your own dedicated event mobile app with their services they will however happily provide their API.
Swapcard is about the quality of the connections, rather than the quantity. It has almost a Tinder interface, which allows you to swipe and see details of contacts that have been matched to you, based on topics and job titles. It calculates a percentage score to evaluate how good the match is and highlights in green the elements which are in line with your preferences. The app uses machine learning to build a history of networking matches, which means that user satisfaction will grow the more someone uses an app and their preferences are taken into account.
The business card scanner is intelligent enough to recognize the field data type and pull the relevant information. You confirm it is correct and it adds the details, meaning you don’t have to keep hundreds of paper business cards.
The global attendee list can be viewed, including any social media information they have completed, and connection requests sent. When connections are accepted you can then see their full contact details. When attendees are connected to people they can add further tags and notes for their reference. Data can be exported via a CSV file and synced with Salesforce CRM system. Integrations with other CRMs will be added in the future.
The chat function allows users to see if a message has been read and to block anyone you don’t want to hear from. Group channels can also be created, like Whatsapp, to create group chats with up to 250 members.
The organizer can customize the schedule, for instance, color coding groups of sessions, or content within different tracks. The schedule can be embedded onto the event website via a widget (a piece of simple code). The app shows other attendees that have bookmarked sessions you are interested in, which is handy for connecting with others that share interests in the same topics. All attendees that have shown an interest in a specific session will receive a push notifications 5 minutes before that session begins.
If a speaker provides their email address attendees can connect and interact with them. If however, a speaker doesn’t want to be contacted if they do not add their email address then no interaction is possible to respect their privacy.
Sponsors and Exhibitors
The organizer can change the order sponsors and exhibitors appear. Detailed information can be given including booth location, information, contact details, social media handles, and so forth. It is possible for sponsors and exhibitors to add all the team members attending the event to encourage attendees to reach out to them and schedule appointments or request further information.
For lead retrieval the system can add barcodes or QR codes, or even work with your own ticketing solution, working via the Swapcard API. This allows badges to be printed and leads to be scanned. Event organizers are encouraged to re-sell the lead retrieval onto their exhibitors and partners, which gives them an easy opportunity to generate additional revenue. Only $49 is paid to Swapcard per organization so the event planner can charge whatever rate is viable for their event and keep the difference.
The metrics dashboard shares rich data, such as logins, devices used, downloads, connections accepted/denied and Twitter keywords. It gives hourly views of overall event interactions. The networking peak generally starts about a week before an event and during the event, it shows minute by minute data. Organizers can also see who connected with who and when for every sponsors and exhibitor.
- The matchmaking algorithm matches profiles intelligently to help each participant identify whom they should meet.
- Attendees can chat before, during and after the event, and plan a meeting at their convenience.
- Browse the attendee list by name, company, position or keyword.
- Customize the whole app with your brand image, add features and third-party services.
- Customize communication through email and push notification.
- Provide attendees with an interactive program to schedule their own agenda.
- Discover and connect with attendees who share the same interests.
- Highlight speakers and allow them to grow their audience on Twitter and to interact with attendees if they wish.
- Twitter feed to view activity and share tweets.
- Integrate tools accessed via a URL.
- Integrate other tools using the Swapcard API.
Sponsors and Exhibitor ROI
- List sponsors within the app, with their logo, description, useful links, booth number.
- Sponsors and exhibitors can list the staff who will be available at the event.
- Badges can be scanned and the business card reader can be used to collect and qualify leads.
- Integration with Salesforce CRM enables all contacts to be gathered and synced with their system.
- Real-time metrics from your event.
- Measure attendee networking success and exhibitor ROI.
- Enrich your database using attendee profiles and data added to the app.
- Easy to set up in less than an hour.
- Free support offline and onsite if needed.
- Integration with tools for engagement (Slido) and ticketing (Eventbrite).
Who Is It For?
Swapcard is business-orientated, aimed at B2B events. It is suitable for any event organizer who would like to boost networking among participants and ROI of exhibitors.
Swapcard is available in English, French and Spanish.
Pros and Cons
- The Swapcard matchmaking algorithm is always getting better thanks to machine learning.
- The service is available in a web version so there is no barrier to use. Attendees can use the web version first, which will often encourage them to download the app.
- Integration with major ticketing tools.
- Attendees can use the app at several events, it isn’t just a single use event app.
- Swapcard is an off-the-shelf platform. They do not offer bespoke app development so other providers would be more relevant if this is what you need.
- You can customize the app for your event, but you can’t create a dedicated app for your event.
- Limited native features. The focus is on networking and the event basics (interactive program, sponsors, push notifications, Twitter feed, etc.). If you’d like other features such as interactivity, live streaming, maps, chatbots, geolocation, etc. these need to be integrated from other providers via a URL or built around their API.
- Some countries and regions and sectors are using Swapcard more actively than others.
Pricing and Plans
Swapcard is a freemium solution and networking services including attendee networking, chat, the business card scanner, QR code reader and Twitter feed are free of charge.
To access other features organizers can choose a package priced between $1,490 to $2,990. Alternatively, you can pick the specific features they are interested in for a tailored solution. The most loved feature is the metrics dashboard at $990.
Organizers can also generate more event revenues through the platform by selling sponsor visibility opportunities and lead retrieval. Event organizers pay Swapcard $49 per company for using lead retrieval and so this allows a profit to be made by reselling to exhibitors at a higher price.
Swapcard are offering EventMB readers a 30% discount via this link.
Networking is the raison d'être for many events and Swapcard is firmly focused on more effective connections and encounters. The multi-use long term approach of the app will encourage more skeptical attendees to download it as it moves away from the disposable nature of many single-use event apps. Although it doesn’t offer a suite of complex features if you are looking for an AI-powered event app focused on matchmaking and lead retrieval you need to take a closer look at Swapcard.
Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.