COVID has led to the massive adoption of virtual events to bring people together instead of in-person events. However, the quality and orchestration of these digital events is not on par with their in-person counterpart. Vinicius (Vinni) Neris, Pedro GÃ³es and Mauricio Giordano saw an opportunity to create event management software that could improve the facilitation of digital events by launching InEvent. InEvent is an âanalytics platform to generate more customer relationships and personalized event experiencesâ. The Y Combinator-backed startup is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
FrÃ©dÃ©ric Daso: What are the challenges in creating viral experiences as engaging as their physical counterparts?
Pedro Goes: I think once you add a virtual component to your marketing strategy, you need to understand its limitations and benefits. A simple copy and paste will not work well. When online stores first appeared, users did not buy online because of its seven-day delivery time but because of a series of other benefits (convenience, price, etc.). The same thing happens with a virtual experience; customers need to define their KPIs and understand how virtual or in-person tools will help them deliver them.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been forced to accept the virtual “AS IS”. In the future, as customers re-establish their choices, we’ll see that virtual platforms that deliver more leads, or more efficient lead / implementation costs, or more customer service channels. effective, will be the winners of the marketing teams.
Daso: How has COVID-19 accelerated the growth of the virtual events market? Before COVID, what were virtual events primarily used for?
Goes: COVID-19 forced a time slot where customers had their options limited to virtual event-only platforms. From March 2020 to September 2021, we saw a huge spike in virtual event usage, but now more and more customers are returning to the InEvent in-person event tools. Prior to COVID-19, the main virtual event was for webinars and lead generation. With the great tools added to the InEvent Experience platform, we’ve extended the use case to customer conferences, product launches, association symposia, and more. These can be combined with a hybrid approach, where the speaker can be online and everyone in person, or everyone online and the speaker in person or even a mix of in-person and online attendees.
Daso: What prompted you to create InEvent as an end-to-end platform to create, manage and facilitate a virtual event from start to finish?
Goes: We’ve seen over the years how events can provide an engaging experience for customers and use it as an engaging tool for marketing teams. InEvent was built on networking events when Vinni and Mauricio connected with leads and prospects when we were very early days. Events are a great tool when used effectively, but we found that most of these experiences generate more leads when meeting with event planners. So our goal was to create an experience platform, the creative platform for event marketers with over 80 features that allow unlimited customizations and different event experiences. Our Business Suite, the most powerful AI-powered tool for predicting sales and marketing ROI for executives and vice presidents, using direct marketing as a key part of their annual growth.
Daso: How is your focus on customer service as important as the technology itself has helped InEvent stand out from the competition in this crowded space?
Goes: Around 2017, as we researched the main criteria and benefits we could offer our current customers, we realized that instant live support was one of the most sought-after features. Traditionally, this was an advisory service, where you paid someone by the hour, and the person performed during your event. This is a challenge in two ways: first, it is usually a very expensive service that only large companies or large event companies can afford. The second thing is that this support is only available during the event hour (s). Our experience shows that 95% of the event creation work takes place before the day of the live event, and one pending task is blocking your entire workflow. We wanted to offer a scalable and affordable solution to our customers with 24/7 human support with very fast response, which we delivered in March of this year.
Daso: How has InEvent’s go-to-market strategy evolved as face-to-face events began to make a comeback?
Goes: Our Business Suite and EventMarket products have recently garnered a lot of interest as customers reinstated their meeting options. As they no longer have to use just one type of tool, understanding their main KPIs for lead generation, job training, or membership management is the key new driver. In addition, customers turn to InEvent with the intention of delivering a consistent event strategy for the whole year. Our newest platform, EventMarket, is a marketplace that allows clients to select partners offering over 30 services (like event management, audiovisual production, software integrations, etc.) throughout of the year. In addition, customers can choose from certified partners who know how to offer differentiated programs for the objectives of the organization.
Daso: How did you alleviate personal or team burnout at InEvent during our pandemic-accelerated remote working era?
Goes: That’s an excellent question. Throughout the pandemic, I struggled to spend long hours sitting at a computer desk (I used to use my daily subway ride as a great opportunity to exercise ) and started having back and neck pain. I recently posted on LinkedIn about this and got a lot of engagement. I think this is a topic that interests a lot of people. The key for me was to establish times when I would log out. I don’t mean working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and doing nothing the rest of the time. I believe you control your schedule and define that when you want to experience something (like going on a hike) you can have a moment to disconnect and understand that you can manage your time instead of managing yourself.