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Founder of evvnt.com Richard Green launched his latest venture evvnt.com on the 1st of April 2012 after 12 years spent working in the tech space with companies such as; EBay, Accenture, MIVA, Touch Local and Qype.Ā Having identified that there was a problem around how to deliver value to an events organiser when it came to marketing an event.Ā The basic problem that they are trying to fix with evvnt was that when it comes to putting an event onto an events listings site, it reduces in its value in terms of both category & location.Ā So when they looked at how to increase the value they realised that by increasing the amount of events listings sites that you put an event on to it gives you a bigger audience and also amplified into delivering a good representation in organic search. Beyond this evvnt also noticed that there were a huge amount of event listings sites in mobile Apps.Ā That is how event was borne ā they believe that through delivering events content on to multiple syndication events listings sites they could deliver value to the event organiser. So this was the journey that they went on and they have seen good traction so far from clients who are all trying to fill a room.Ā evvnt have now reached a stage where they are starting to assemble a proper team, having gone through a very fast moving 16 to 18 months start-up phase in which time they have put in place a minimal viable product with their SASS event platform and evvnt App.
Now used by 260 customers, and today have a small team in place operating in key areas such as, product, subscription sales, enterprise sales, marketing, client services and accounts. Having fundamentally worked through a lot of issues and have developing and customising the product in line with customer feedback.Ā Trialing the business in the entertainment space; in comedy, live music, nightlife and the general entertainments and events.
From here evvnt were very quickly drawn into the conferencing space. Where the same problem exists and where they have now managed to produce a global conferencing service alongside their UK entertainments service.Ā Here they can broadcast and publish an event to up to 90+ events listings sites based on genre or location of a conference, exhibition or a training course worldwide.Ā Having now finalised a stage one seed round evvnt will now put more funds into the company in order to expand both their technology and staffing.Ā Starting in September 2013 they project strong infrastructure growth and are looking forward to taking the product more aggressively to market in late 2013.
Have you suffered any sleepless nights whilst starting and growing the business?
āThey are not sleepless, I tend to go to bed with a problem and by the time I wake up I have spent a good 6/8 hours thinking about it, so when I leave for work in the morning I have normally figured out a solution to any problem. I describe it as ā progressive sleepā rather than a sleepless night.ā
In terms of evvntās tech, their technology is primarily built around understanding publishers, as Richard Green explains,Ā āFundamentally, if we can understand the events publishers space, in terms of genre & location of publishers who deliver events content. If we can understand how their business works, how their categories work, their many unique users they have per month, how they operate and how best we can serve content to their sites. Then they will have a better product for their users, therefore we are not only looking to develop a great technology, we will also be improving the events platforms and publishers that we work with.āĀ As they see it one of the most important parts of their business is to work with publishers and in tandem help them build a better business.
So what have you learned so far?
āThe most challenging part of the evvnt journey so far has been one money! I can definitely tell you today that setting up a tech start-up is not something that you do light heartedly. It will challenge every ounce of your resources. Ranging from finding developers, offices, building a product, the tech build, putting together the technology, that requires a lot of agility and flexibility in developing a new technology product and then there is also the phenomenal cost of doing that, If you take the wrong path at any point then you are literally burning money.ā
āThat is the hardest thing about this business, youāve really got to believe in your product, youāve really got to know what you are trying to achieve, youāre really got to stay focused. Every day there are new opportunities that draw you away like bright lights from what you are setting out to do, but if you keep aligned to your product belief, your company beliefs and what your customers are asking for and strive to keep supplying a product to a customer that they need and want. Then you will develop a really strong feed-back-loop, itās a tough thing to achieve, but that is what we are setting out to doā
Essentially evvnt have a very simple proposition ā they are trying to help an event organiser solve their primary issue, which is very simply to fill a room.Today an organiser will add their events onto various sites they think will do them justice, the reality of this being that they are marketing themselves to their current audience. Additionally the sites chosen tend to be a hunch, which tend not to deliver a lot of value due to the dilution of uniques down to an events product down to genre and location the traffic volume is so small that it will not deliver any credible audience.Therefore evvntās primary USP is to take an event and syndicate this to up to 50 events listings sites ā so from an event organisersā perspective evvnt can save them a huge amount of time & effort.
Today evvnt have over 1,000 event publishers mapped into the technology allowing them to deliver a product that delivers between 40 and 50 million events consumers, that will therefore be seen by approximately 1% of these due to category & location. Coming in at between 400/500 hundred thousand events consumers that will see your event through this method.