5 Startup Ideas to Help the Event Industry

Whenever I present at technology events I am always asked what is the next big thing.

I don’t like that.

I don’t believe in buzzwords or fashion when it gets to tech. I am a fan of innovation and lateral thinking.

A successful entrepreneur is able to pull things together and provide a solution to real problems. The thing is that I see many problems not addressed. And that is a shame.

Several entrepreneurs or techies address the usual problems all over again. They do not look at ways to solve new issues organisers face.

This is why I decided to give away 5 ideas for those who are thinking about a product or service for the event industry.

If these startup ideas will become successful is not for me to say. I am pointing out problems that need solutions. Dear start-upper, how you solve these problems, what technology will you use or whether you will be profitable it’s up to you.

In some cases I may have missed companies who already provide such services. This is entirely possible as my reach and search capabilities are limited. If so let me know and I will amend the article.

Startup Ideas

1. Speakers Crowdsourcing Platform

In my presentation 10 Event Trends for 2013, I pointed out crowdsourcing speakers as a trend for the year.

I’ve presented those slides around the world over the past year and I asked my audience at each event to vote for their favourite trend. This was consistently the most voted around the world.

There is no dedicated platform to crowdsource speakers. Yes you could adapt existing technology, but this is not what I am saying here.

Event professionals want such platform. They want a system where registered attendees could vote for speakers. Something similar in features to SXSW panel picker.

I can’t believe there is no specific service offering a solution to this growing problem.

2. Collaborative Planning

There is much talking about involving attendees in the planning of the event. While the idea above is a good example of involving attendees, there are few providers offering tools to share bits and pieces of the planning process.

While I’ve witnessed several apps on Facebook to pick dates and share budgets, these solutions are usually targeted to informal parties.

I want a suite of tools that can help me to involve attendees in making decisions in regards to planning the event. This can be polling, but also voting, venue scoping, ticket price setting, sponsor sourcing and project management.

If there is a complete solution in this sense, point me to it!

3. VIP Check in

Whenever an influential person on social media checks in at my event, either via means of traditional desk registration or via social networks (i.e. Foursquare), I need to know.

It’s been a couple of years now I’ve talked about the strategic importance of new VIPs. If you ignore what I am talking about this article is a good starting point.

I want to know if this new breed of influencers has checked into my event. I want my staff to know if a socially important guest has checked in. That can alter my registration process, that can trigger a message to my social media team to engage with them online.

4. Social Media Monitoring for Events

I want a social media monitoring tool specifically designed for events. I don’t want a Twitter tool. I don’t want a Facebook tool. I want everything. I want it to be realtime.

I want direct engagements tools within it a la Hootsuite (workflow and bulk scheduling). I want the idea above to be embedded in it.

This is by no means new, but most implementations are geared towards marketing. The tool I have in mind is a customer service tool that event social media managers would use. It is a tool to provide a service, not to sell products.

The hospitality industry is based on providing unique service experiences. I want a tool that helps me delivering a unique experience via online customer service.

5. Your Problem

Now that I have the attention of techies, I want you, dear event pro, to tell them what is the problem you haven’t found a tech solution to.

Use the comment section to express your frustration in finding a tool that solves your challenge.

In some cases you will be helped by others if the service exists. In other cases you will give someone a good base to start up in the event tech industry.

So speak up your mind!