Developing Customer-Focused Event Tech

Skift Take

Pedro Góes, CEO at InEvent, joins this episode of the Event Manager Podcast to discuss event tech innovation.

Góes started InEvent whilst still in college alongside two other co-founders. Góes explains that coming from a Latino background, they had access to limited funding, an issue experienced by many minority founders. To combat this, they applied to some investors and one of these was Y Combinator based in San Francisco. Góes explains some of the stages of investment such as seed funding, as well as the amounts that they received between 2019-2020 and what this allowed the company to do.

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One of the company’s key developments was with integrations, which took place with companies such as Salesforce, Adobe and others based in Silicon Valley. When they joined Y Combinator they had a staff of around 30, which grew at its peak to 280 and is now at 140, with the growth being thanks to the investment which allowed them to scale.

Góes discusses the importance of identifying where to focus your development efforts. He notes that after receiving investment they wanted to build a product that was accessible to everyone and for a specific cost. However, after taking the product to market and discovering what customers wanted, he realized that this wasn’t necessarily the most realistic goal. The requirements of the clients were different and the associated cost would have to change. Since then, the focus has become ‘addressing the customer requirements’. He explains what this has meant for InEvent today, including the pitfalls of focusing too much on one specific area. 

When considering the video elements of the business, Góes and his team realized that certain platforms didn’t stream to certain countries, had latency issues or didn’t comply with government regulations, therefore in order to service the needs of a global audience and client base, InEvent integrated with seven providers and clients can select which one(s) they require. Góes explains the various layers involved in the backend, which allow the video to be streamed to an audience. 

Góes explains the pricing structures at InEvent, in particular diving into the difference between a one off partnership and a subscription, noting that his main goal is to ensure that it is straightforward for customers to understand. Góes goes on to explain that for single events, there is a single price which is based on the number of registrants, and whilst he notes that this may not be perfect it is scalable. For subscriptions, he acknowledges that the client spends more time with InEvent and therefore this can be more customizable and there can be additional charges for add-on features. He also touches on variable costs, the pros and cons of outsourcing.

The discussion also touches on the topic of software as a service (SaaS). Having a SaaS solution would remove some of the support and human elements from InEvent, something the company realized it had to do during the pandemic in order to scale. To combat this they created two plans which fell into the SaaS model and provided minimal support to the client compared to other plans. However, Góes notes that these are the two plans which have the greatest customer dissatisfaction, therefore they decided to drop these plans and have ensured that human support is available on every plan, explaining his reasoning for this. 

We also discuss what the return of face-to-face meetings means for event tech, the customer journey, the merging of event and travel technology and more.

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