James Lawrence, CTO of EventPad, answered some of our questions about their app. Learn about its roots and its features, and be sure to read to the end for a special offer for The Meeting Pool readers!
1. Why and when did your company get started? What was the inspiration?
The company was founded in 2010. We looked around at the event technology space and felt there was a serious lack of innovation and flair when it came to interactive technology for live events. The advent of the smart phone and then the iPad provided the perfect format for delivering content in a visual and engaging way. Combining this with audience response functionality was a logical next step. Our vision is to deliver innovative products to enhance any live event, be it a meeting, conference, presentation, charity fundraiser or even wedding!
2. How did you come up with the ‘name’ and concept – what’s the story behind the name?
Our first product was BidTec, which is fundraising event technology. The concept was to combine a digital brochure with a tool for running live auctions and bidding at fundraising events. It’s like being able to put eBay into your event but make it completely customized for the occasion. The event solution helps to drive bidding activity to increase our clients fundraising revenues. The name came from one of our team. We put up a prize for the best suggestion and it seemed to fit perfectly for what we were doing.
Event Pad followed shortly after. Again the concept was to combine an interactive, digital brochure with a tool for audience response. The principal is the same really: show the audience content and then open up a channel to push and pull information from them. The name was an obvious choice seeing as though it was an iPad solution for events!
3. What is your “big innovation?” What’s the coolest features of your tech?
Our big innovation is creating a platform that is so flexible it can be easily configured for any event. We are about to launch a product that can be used for anything from individual presentations, point of sale displays and trade shows to large conferences, fundraisers, weddings and even sports and hospitality.
For me the two coolest parts are the interactive homepage and pushed presentation/audience interaction functionality. It is really cool to see over a thousand iPads all doing the same thing at the same time.
Event organizers have a very stressful job with a lot of moving parts. Our technology reduces the need for many of these. It replaces printed agendas and delegate brochures, registration software, audience response tools, roaming mikes and paddles, note pads, delegate messaging software, printed feedback forms and surveys and even the amount of AV equipment required. Once we can come up with something that can make the lunch we will have it cracked!
5. Is it possible to measure ROI on your product?
Much of what we have built is designed to help quantify the value of an event and establish ROI. As such we are providing the kind of data that event organizers have never had before. Analysis of this data is allowing our clients to more effectively target prospects and market in a more focused way post event. This is vital when the event is part of a sales process. The EP software also provides sponsors and advertisers with valuable data that can be used for post event follow up. Throw in cost savings from reduced printing and the case is compelling.
6. What do your best customers love about you?
They love the fact that we care about their events as much as they do. Our project managers become part of their team and in many cases good friends. There is nothing like the intensity of a large conference to bring people together!
7. What industry trends and shifts are you following that you think are important?
From a technology perspective the evolution of HTML 5 is pretty important to us. Using this is allowing us to create products that function cross platform and open up a much larger market.
As far as the events themselves are concerned there is a definite move towards greater interaction and collaboration. This serves the joint purpose of increasing audience engagement levels and also increases data capture and insight dramatically. This trend is being driven by the technology so it is really important for us to innovate and stay ahead of the game.
8. Any lessons learned from the trenches?
Never work with children, animals or iPads!! Live events are unforgiving and you have to be ready for them. As such, testing and quality assurance form a major part of our development process.
9. Have to ask: What’s your favorite app? [Not your own]
Duolingo. I’ll need to brush up on my languages now with the opening of our new offices in Paris and Copenhagen.
10. What is your pricing structure?
Our pricing structure is designed to be completely modular, allowing our clients to pick the exact services they require. In addition to the software, other elements include, project management, Wi-Fi network installation, and hardware hire. This way we can offer the whole spectrum of services from a fully supported event to one where the client does everything themselves.
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