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Interview with Julius Solaris of Event Manager Blog

Written by The Meeting Pool
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julius-solaris-about1. Julius, for those that don’t know who you are, how do you describe yourself? [ What does your mother think you do on a daily basis?]

I am someone that loves events and technology. I try to solve problems for eventprofs. My mum knows I spend a lot of hours next to a computer and somehow make a living out of it.

2. So you are pretty serious about having forward thinking event planners using WordPress for their event websites?

In March 2012 I took the plunge and created a WordPress theme (website template) for event professionals called Event Manager Theme. It was the result of the feedback of hundreds of event professionals. I asked them what they wanted in an event website and this is how the theme was born.

3. What was your inspiration when you designed the WordPress themes – especially Fudge?

Fudge is our latest theme. I love the way it looks and lots of event profs think the same. I wanted to created a ‘one-pager’ a brochure 2.0 that could sum up all the important event info in one page. One pagers have been proven to have a much stronger influence on decision making process. As I believe we all care about selling more tickets, this was a good reason to create a new theme.

fudge-feature1

4. Did you do any previous research on other sites that gave you the idea to come up with your own designs? Share with us your favorites!

I look at a lot of websites everyday and I also check dozens of startups every week. I cannot point you to a specific website, Fudge is the sum of all the nice things I’ve seen around plus the feedback of hundreds of customers of our previous themes.

5. Give us 3 solid reasons why they should do it?

Even before choosing Fudge, eventprofs should choose WordPress. It is an amazing platform to run a a modern site. And by modern I mean technologically modern.

  • It is cheaper (free sometimes).
  • Good themes – like Fudge – have very easy setup and everything is drag and drop, you just need to enter the content.
  • There is an immense community creating plugins to add the latest technology in matter of seconds – no expensive bills just to add a Youtube video.

6. Are there any limitations that they should know about? 

I wouldn’t suggest Fudge for very complex events, it is for medium sized conferences, festivals and sporting events. Multi-event is something that Fudge does not do, that is our other theme called Januas.

multiple-event-wordpress-theme-januas

7. Which clients have used them? Can you show us examples?

I can disclose only a few. Here’s two:

8. Since you are all about trends when it comes to event marketing, innovative event tech and other great ideas, what do you advise our readers to consider for 2014 when putting their event marketing plan together?

2014 is the year of audience engagement – not on paper, in practice. Every investment to stimulate audience interaction will be more welcome than fab canapes. I am a fan of canapes but I am a greater fan of happy attendees. Invest more in smart audience response systems.

9. What’s one pitfall that you see event planners or marketers encounter when they design their event websites, and what do you recommend so they don’t go there again?

The problem is usually a bad choice in terms of Content Management System (CMS). The reason why I love WP is because it is free and open source, meaning that if you grow tired of using Fudge you can turn to a new theme. No proprietary systems, no one to ask permission to and lower costs. Platform first, graphics and functionality next.

10. Anything else you can share with us?

Make sure to be brief in your website event communications. Don’t try to stuff it with info that nobody will read.

11. Will event websites be used as the ‘event app’ of future events? Any pointers you’d like to share if planners are going this route?

I believe so – boundaries are blurring. All our themes are responsive, meaning that the site is optimised in all screen resolutions from iPhones to Desktop. I believe we are going towards strong integration of all services apps, registration and websites. Exciting times ahead!

 

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