Our Guest Today: Roman Mastalir
Roman Mastalir is the CEO and founder of Eventee, the most user friendly app for events.
Eventee is a minimalistic yet powerful event management tool for you to organize hybrid, virtual or in-person events in a few moments. Engage your audience with the most user-friendly event app.
My recent video on why Eventee is a great and much cheaper alternative to Hopin
So hi, everyone. This is Fei from Feisworld Media. I will be offline to say this is a prerecorded content, but I’m just so thrilled that Roman is here with me. Roman is the CEO of Evente, one of my current favorite online virtual platforms. In fact, we’re using it for the upcoming June 18 Inside Timers big event. It’s actually their first summit ever. And Maddie, the event organizer at Inside Timer, and I have done extensive research. We’ve tried different platforms, we settled on Evente, and we’re really happy with it. So, Roman, welcome to the show. Welcome to Phase world, Podcast.
Thank you for the invitation. It’s a pleasure to be here.
It is my pleasure. And before I say your last name incorrectly, I would love for you to be able to say your full name correctly for our audience.
Okay, so without check pronunciation, my name is Roman Masterlier, but if you’d like to be brave, it’s Arman mastali.
Oh, wow. It’s that different.
Wow. And what is your native tongue? What is your mother language?
I’m Czech. It’s Slavic language.
Wow. The twist to all of this, as I mentioned that I’m so intrigued to talk to you, is that there’s so many virtual event companies, platforms based in basically the US and UK mostly. I can start navigating them, but I love the fact that it was kind of a surprise to Maddie and myself to discover that you guys are not based in those countries. So there’s a lot to uncover about your creative entrepreneurship. The fact that the company is so young was kind of stemmed out of the pandemic. Yeah, absolutely. Looking forward to catch up on all of that. So first I would love to maybe catch up with you just a little bit on where you are so people can imagine what is the environment that you’re in? Which part of Czech Republic do you live in in general? I would love to know.
Okay, so this is quite my question. I will try to be as short as possible. So we are not here till tomorrow. Basically, I live in Burnout, which is the second biggest city, Inch Republic, next to Prague, which is quite famous, I would say, even in the United States. Our city is really close to Vienna. That’s just fun fact. Basically we have some tradition of event management. Even in Czech Republic, there is quite a lot of tech events and small meetups for entrepreneurs, and we enjoyed the democracy for not that long. So it’s very nice environment to be in with other young entrepreneurs. So that’s basically where we started. The beginning of Avanti itself was in 2015. It was just a PR stunt because back then we had development agency for mobile app development, and this was literally just a PR stunt for small tech event here in Bernoull because they had some pain points, especially when something the agenda changed. All the attendees, they received the paper agenda. And the biggest struggle was that when the speaker canceled the attention or his speech, all the part timers, they had to overnight redo the whole agenda because it was already printed.
So they used just pen, you know, redo the whole agenda. So us attendee would know when session. And we said like, hey guys, we love your events. It’s like annual event, so let us do this super cool small application for you. And so they read and eventually event organizer love the idea, they love the application. Even attend these days, they fall in love with that as well. And in very few days, I think it was like two days after that, avast really big check company, like security company, they called me that they have some event themselves and they saw our application, they would like to use it. And to me, that was the first signal that maybe we could try to continue with the development. Maybe sometime there will be something out of it. And that’s how we started basically in 2015. But back then we were just development agency and it was just part time project, let’s say. Wow.
So there’s a lot to break down there. So, as you know, a lot of my current listeners and viewers on YouTube and podcasts are, I would say mostly parttime creators and some fulltime entrepreneurs as well. I think everybody’s dream, more or less. I know that the dream could also hunt you too. Do you want to do this full time work part time? What is more feasible? The work never stops when you’re an entrepreneur, as you know, is that in 2015 you saw this opportunity, you kind of stepped in and realized that a big security company reached out and they showed some interest. I think a lot of people didn’t realize the feasibility of events until I think around 2019. I think you guys have this huge takeoff, but I’m kind of interested in learning even before the pandemic, like just say before 2019, what was it like running a company? Did you grow rapidly? What happens after the big company started to pay attention to you? What are some of the ups and downs you may have experienced that comes to mind right now?
Yeah, you’re correct. The big takeoff started in 2019 and back then we realized that we don’t want to do the agency business anymore. So we closed the agency and we continued only with Avanti. To be honest, at the beginning and even now, we are still like newbies. We still try to find our way through the sea and try to not beaten by those sharks. But back then, we didn’t have enough money to proper marketing and do those really expensive advertisement campaigns and everything. So we started with all the free stuff, let’s call it that way. We focused mainly on SEO content, so on multiple keywords. We are very first on Google and we still are, which are those keywords.
It doesn’t have to be accurate. I was just wondering and they changed all the time.
Back then it was eventmobile application for mobile, application for events and free event. I think because we have freemium business model, I think one of the only one who does that. So that was those keywords. And we are looking around things like we are looking into communities on LinkedIn, Facebook, we try to answer questions on Quora, things like this. At the beginning, that was enough to move the snowball, let’s say. And we started to have first really good customers. One of them was, I don’t remember Exact agency, but it was a government agency in California in 2019, SAP, which is a really big software company, companies like this without any active sales and prospecting, it was all generic traffic.
There’s so many hidden gems here because sometimes in retrospect sorry to interrupt you, is that we look at it, it’s like the story is told this way, but how did you know? S, AP and some of the other bigger companies find you not through ads in this case, but did you ever ask, did you ever uncover what that was back then?
I really tried to ask. Not all of them replied, to be honest, but mainly it was through our blog articles or simply by Googling.
Yes, we started with content, basically because that was the only one which we could afford back then. So it was mainly Content wow.
And I’m thinking along the line of, you know, if I have my listeners right here, what type of questions would they ask? A lot of us have tried, many of us. I have been in digital marketing now for, oh my God, almost 20 years. I would say 15, depending on how you look at the age of I was a computer programmer, graduate from college in 2006, so have been working in tech pretty much ever since and especially the past ten years. As you know. There’s so many things in the market. Facebook ads. Instagram. TikTok ads. Blogging. Different types of SEO strategies. Cora like you mentioned. Facebook groups. But a lot of and then I’m very active on YouTube. For instance. And I see YouTube for me at least is one of the best ways to reach out to different customers like Proactively. But it’s also without being salesy at all. So I was just curious, what are some of the things that you tried that did work versus didn’t work as well? Like from the organic side of things.
Probably the worst experiment, let’s call it experiment, was Facebook. Advertisement.
Sorry, please continue.
Yes, no, I do believe that Facebook is great for ecommerce. They attract you and the short attention span, it’s highly emotional purchase. But we realized eventually that when anyone picked a venti, they always do their homework, they do the research and we are one of multiple choices on their list. Luckily enough for us we mainly, mostly won’t but Facebook I would say is the worst option to find new customers. What partially worked for us was trying to share content through advertisement. So we were not sharing itself to Avanti Homepage for example, or some special landing page, we were sharing blog articles or we created we created one ebook but that wasn’t successful at all. It was as well experiment. So I would say this is probably the worst but the best works for us content overall. So you know. Especially now we are at the top positions on Google for keywords like how to get sponsors to my event and so on and all those keywords are going to our blog article and through that we try to capture attention of the reader but overall that I would say is basically Google advertisement on Google Search on Google Search and try to work to start as I said a few moments ago.
We realized that buying a vent is not something you do immediately. It’s not impulsive purchase. So basically thanks to this we realize that it’s best for us to be part of those lists like top ten event mobile apps. It’s good to be on G two crowd, good to be on Capture those two are probably the biggest one and I truly recommend if you to be SaaS, be there, try to ask your users and customers to provide you with the review. That’s one of the best strategy and on Google we try to attack keywords like alternative to something. So for example, the biggest buzzword right now is hoping. So when somebody is looking for alternative to hoping, we should be one of the first advertisements for these keyboards and our goal currently is not to convince you to immediately purchase an empty we try to convince you to not even convince you we’d like to be present, we’d like to show you that we exist and ask you for consideration for your event. That’s what we do and that’s probably what currently works the best.
I love so many hidden gems here. Isn’t it interesting when you talk to someone who has experimented with different things they can share a real story and yes, everybody’s experience may be different but until you actually have done the work including some of the successes to celebrate but also some of the pains that you live through and it’s hard. I’ve been an entrepreneur for quite a while now and I feel the pain. What do you mean? This is execution. That’s perfect. How could it not work? One of the things you’ve brought up is finding that audience and knowing the intention of ventee. By the way, pricing wise it’s very competitive compared to its competitors hoping being one of them hula you guys have positioned yourself pricing wise to be way more affordable than some of the competitors. So I guess my first question is why that decision and how were you able to do it?
Well, we have this small advantage. Originally we were development studio so we have really like wide and deep technological knowledge of all those things so I would say that at least with the set of features we do have now the cost of running the servers and cost of the features for us it’s way cheaper than our competitors. That’s the first thing. Of course we try to be aggressive on the market and I would say from what I was doing as a research I found that we are probably the only one who is offering subscription based plan for Event management tool. Usually you pay per feature or you pay per event but what we try to do. We try to be a typical sized business with subscription based business model if you do multiple events a year it’s better for us to attract you to choose the higher tier of Eventee because the cost for the servers and everything is very similar but we can offer you more features and we can offer you multiple events a year. That’s how we try to position ourselves on the market to be on one side more aggressive and on the other side we try to be as pro custom as possible and by the way.
Who came up with the name Evente? It’s like attendee evente.
That’s a good question to be honest I think that we were brainstorming for multiple days back in 2015 we didn’t have even name when we released the application at the beginning and I think to be honest that this was my colleague’s idea makes you the original iOS developer he came up with the name and we are just brainstorming random names and this is basically based from Events not attendee but Event. And we tried to find free domain at the same time so eventually yeah beautiful.
How many people are there? I think people are still imagining like you have to manage and host multiple events working for these big companies. How big is eventee?
You would be surprised. We are still startup in mind and even in size we are a small team of twelve people twelve people?
Yes. Fantastic. Is everybody located in the same place or anybody remote outside of Czech Republic?
Both basically we are like half of the team is in the office, half of the team is remote and we meet here once a week or so.
So both wow, this is so cool. You mentioned earlier about B to B and sometimes when it comes to positioning of products. I get it there are certain things that are clearly B to C. Even CTO C. Some are clearly B to B and sometimes I think a lot some of my clients. Some of my followers they are selling. They’re working on something that’s kind of like a little bit of both there’s like that and I see Event T to be potentially for both as well. There are in the case of the inside timer. It’s clearly a business. But I could also see some of the creative entrepreneurs, creators or people might want to teach people how to make a cupcake or something like that. There could be individual creators leveraging events as a platform. So my question is where do you think the split is? And as a company, should someone or should you guys, or should people who are watching right now kind of move the focus the majority of their attention on, let’s say, business customers or consumers or both? How do you guys make that decision?
That’s a really difficult question. I think it depends for you in business perspective, the answer is like where is the smoke? There is fire and you should go that direction. That’s very, very difficult question. Like with a ventee. We do not have to describe it. It to me doesn’t matter if you as a customer are sole entrepreneur or big enterprise. I would try to provide both of you with the best possible service I can do. I think that the positioning may solve itself. Like over time. We are not doing any big changes in short time. We try to listen to our customers, listen to our users, how they imagine to use Avanti, what features are missing. And then over the time, Avanti is evolving. So my recommendation is like do what you love, listen to your customers and evolve with your customers. It’s hard to cut the rope, but probably if your future is with sole entrepreneurs, you may cut those two big companies which are most requesting new features, but you would like to focus on those rest 1000 customers or the other way around. For us, we didn’t make this decision yet, but most of our customers are bigger companies.
Yeah. Is it better to work with bigger companies? There’s always a debate, like even for my business overall, I’ve always liked working with creators or smaller entities. There is a flexibility when I say small used to be really small, like individuals who are mom and pop shops. But the challenge is that they don’t always have the budget to support the dream or the vision that they have. And then there are big companies, a lot of red tape, there’s a lot of politics. And so right now I feel like the medium sized companies I think of inside timer being one of them. And the other client of mine is Elcod Global focus on supply chain. These are medium sized companies that I absolutely love working with. I think the term is like SME small and medium sized businesses or enterprises that I absolutely love. So finding that, like you said, I think it’s really important and to know not just feedback from anyone, but who do you want to have to nurture as future customers and really pay attention to what they’re saying?
If I can follow up on this, I would say my life experience, it’s not about companies. It’s not about rules, it’s all about people. You can always have really big client with awesome person on the other side and you can have very small company or sole entrepreneur who is the most demanding person in your life and he would like to just provide refunds. So this really depends. To me personally, it’s not about size of the company. To me personally it’s about the person on the other side. What we overall try to achieve is we try to provide our customers with best possible user experience. That’s probably our biggest differentiator to our competitors and as long as our customers appreciate this, I’m satisfied.
Yeah, so true. I was nodding. And for anybody who’s watching right now, my goodness, the person or the people, the team you’re working with is essential. I noticed that from my years of working at a fulltime job. People always say, oh, you worked on all of these shiny Fortune 500 clients. No, it’s really about the consulting team that I’m working with, the client team. If the people are fantastic and frankly, it doesn’t matter how boring the project is, it could be, I don’t know, it could be a spreadsheet project, I don’t care. You’re going to end up having a good time because you love the people you’re interacting with on a regular basis. So I love the fact that we get to talk about eventee. We have a related video to actually focus on features, so people want to check that out. I’m going to include a link in the description below and I do want to kind of dive in a little bit on the international multicultural side of the business a bit. As I mentioned before we started recording, I have so much pride in terms of my content since releasing the podcast in 2014, it’s been eight years now and focusing on diversity, a diverse very group of people, their voices.
I love accents. I think accents are relative really. You know, it’s like in America, people say oh, this is a British accent, but then is it really number one, there are multiple accents within the United States and then my stuff included. I’m an immigrant but I go somewhere else. I clearly have an accent speaking American English. So it’s a very relative. And I wonder, I think, what is it like to run a company? What are some of the misconceptions of running a company that is growing, that’s getting more popular, but outside of the United States and UK and some of the other very, very popular wellknown areas? So what is it like for you and your team?
I would say there is no change comparing trying to run this company from the United States. We had this rule at the very beginning that Aventi will be developed first as an English product and then we translate it to our home language. So everything down, marketing, the product itself, even communication within the company, even though currently, all developers are checking slowbox and we understand each other. We try to document everything in English and then we try to translate all the marketing, communication and so on to other languages, even to check. So to our American customers and to our British customers, I think that they feel like we are American company, even though we are here in small country in Europe, so there is no change for us, to be honest, maybe, I don’t know, lower cost compared to trying to run this business from New York, I would say, but overall, it’s pretty soon. We do have one foreign colleague currently, Constantine. He’s from Spain. So that’s currently the only one. I hope I answered your question. Not sure.
I’ve already spoken with him once. I had no idea he’s from Spain. And that’s kind of the beauty of the moment that you step outside of the US and UK. You kind of assume that people from this one place, but as it turned out, people from all over. And I just want to say that especially during the Pandemic, my business has kind of transformed itself in a very natural way that I think about my projects right now. Literally yesterday I was on this call and everybody’s originally from somewhere from India, from Romania, from the Philippines, I’m originally from Beijing, and I’m now based in Boston. Four people on a call. Not two people were born and raised in the same place. And that is kind of I think that’s a really beautiful thing, I think, for you guys. Whenever you hop on a call, your customers are from, I assume, all over the world. Do you have a sense of yes, right. Where are most of your customers from? I would assume the US or North America, but everywhere else too.
Yeah. Currently, like, almost 50% of all our customers are from the United States. The second biggest market, I think, is still Czech Republic, but it’s going lower and lower because all the rest is much bigger. But you’re correct, we have customers all over the world, and I love it as well. It’s so nice to see that from a small city in Europe, we can provide incredible tool to anyone in the world. That’s really nice feeling. It’s very difficult to describe when you have some service and you can sell it or provide it to anyone in the world without any issue.
Yeah. Do you think most of the companies or businesses or software companies like yours that are based in Czech are operating in this way in a sense that they expect a lot of their customers to be international? Or do you think some of them are very local, hyperfocused on local customers? I don’t know. I never even thought about it.
Both. Both. I know a lot of super exciting startups here, even here in Bernoull maybe, I’m not sure they are yet not that famous over Ocean, but for example, smartlook it’s one of our friends and they do some marketing tools for marketing management and they are growing like crazy. And the tool is in English and they have employees even in the United States now and all over the world. Smart look.
Okay. Smart look. I haven’t heard of them, but I certainly will.
Yeah, you should take a look. I think it’s similar to Hajjar and they do really, really well.
Wow. Analyze user behavior in ways never possible before. Fantastic.
Analytics. Wow, look at all those clients. Great.
Czech Republic tries to have those startups which are more international, let’s say similar to Smart Look or Fancy. But of course we do have local startups like food delivery companies and so on, you know, things similar to Walt or some other brands.
Wow. Okay, so my next question, kind of related to local international is that as your company is growing and by the way, thanks for reminding me that started off in 2015, so it’s been going on for seven years already at this point, going on 8th year. And to a lot of people it’s a pretty long time. But I love the fact that it’s something that you can continue to do and to build on. Now, a lot of people may be wondering, what about investors? And I think, you know, Hop In is a good example. I think Hop In is overrated and it’s over valued and all that. I think it’s all over the news. And you know, I actually had a personal experience using Hop In and I was kind of felt underwhelmed by some of the features and how it worked, but the intention was there. With that said, what is your positioning or thinking around hyper growth with investors versus staying, you know, lean and mean? Which I’m just going to say that kind of has always been my approach, like making my own decisions, having full creative control. So where are you on that and how do you make those decisions?
Well, to be honest, I’venty already had an investor and I would position myself somewhere in the middle. Like I like to grow really fast, but this hyper grow like hoping or similar product is, to my opinion, unsustainable. And I cannot imagine myself to be able to manage the company in such a fast pace because this is just my personal point of view. But I love what I do. I really love working on Avanti, I love working with our customers. I always love to think about new features and everything. Imagine that you are growing ten X a year, maybe more. You as a CEO, your whole business would be just dealing with investors. You lose touch with the company, you basically do not care about the product anymore. You are just politician. You need to go to the VCs, to all the funds. And I’m not sure that I’m prepared to be politician so far. I love working on the product so I like I’m not saying no to investors. We are currently looking for an investment to support our growth. But I like to keep the pace in some sustainable way. Basically keep growing in, I don’t know, three extra a year or something like that, which is more sustainable and manageable rather than 1020 X.
Don’t tell this to our investors.
Yeah. And I think angel investors, I’ve heard a lot of really good experience from different entrepreneurs about angel investing. Working with angel investors. Very, very different approach compared to VCs or venture capital, venture capitalists or, you know, choosing investments that are too big. Frankly, it always sounds like something that sounds so cool, that something you can brag to your friends, to whoever, but it always is about taking the right amount of money that people can end up benefiting. Like you said, going back to choosing the right people, angel investors are people. And if those people are the ones that you cannot trust and then it’s just going to be a disaster waiting to happen.
You are 100% correct. Our angel investor, actually, it’s a long story, but short. We have to angel investors over time. Both of them were like it’s called smart money. Both of them are so nice and they are so much skilled in specific field. Like the first one, he’s very skilled in product management or product design. And he has one successful SaaS company here in Chic Republic. So basically he was mentoring me how to do the whole process of acquiring customers, how to change things and tweak the administration and so on. The second one is a really good marketer, so he’s helping us with marketing. So both of them were really like smart decisions and I love meeting them, I love having lunch with them and just chatting about Avanti. How can we grow even faster? And that’s my basically base position when we will be choosing VC. I don’t want to convince the VC that we are the right fit for them. There has to be some connection. They need to see something in advantage in order to be on the same page. It’s very difficult to explain, but I don’t want to be the salesperson and trying to sell events to somebody who will not be satisfied with that investment.
Does it make any sense?
Yes, it does. I’m also working on a product I’m really excited about, but at a much smaller scale. Who knows, maybe in a week or two can talk to you guys about it. But it’s interesting. So I’m working on Pod intelligence, which is a way of either taking 1 hour or 50 hours of podcasts or webinar content and then running, basically applying artificial intelligence and looking at the keywords, building out themes that they’re Aigenerated automatically generated, video and audio clips. And the funny thing is we decided to reach out to some of the pretty prolific creators and companies, event companies who. Wanted to know more about what we actually, you know, what we did. We hire these people for 5100 thousand dollars to be keynote speakers. What can we do more with the content? How can we monetize it? I just thought it was such a sweet spot for me to work with event companies like yourself. But whenever I approach customers or even, you know, prospects, I agree with you. I never want to feel like I’m selling something. I’m forcing, I’m convincing them into believing something. And I love it’s. Interesting. We got to this point of the conversation that I learned so much of selling a product versus selling myself as a consultant to selling myself.
But selling a product is so important to sell it to the right people. And you have to experiment and learn and summarize from those lessons. Because when something is new or feels too good to be true, this is something that a lot of creators have always wanted. Companies especially because they’re like, really? AI can solve these problems how? And there are a lot of skeptics out there. It’s like trying to shut it down. It’s like, no, this will never work. And it’s just really interesting for us to be in those conversations and trying to tell an authentic story, what it does, what it doesn’t do, and then let other people decide. It’s like, take your time, you can decide.
Yeah, I remember when I was a teenager, I was a sales rep in Apple retail store here in Burnout and there was this customer and he told me like, roman, you are really good. You sold me the computer. And I was like, I didn’t try to sell you anything. I just described to you how it works. So it has to be on that level. Like, hey, this is an auntie. This is what it does. And it’s up to you if it’s the best option for you. There is no reason to have unsatisfied customers. Why?
Yeah, so true. And you have to refund them. They’re going to suck up all the energy and like you said, 90% of your time and still be completely dissatisfied. And it’s so true that people always have to be you have to know where your point A is. You need to know what your customers need to have and possess originally. Not someone you have to like we call like kicking and dragging them through the finish line to run the event of like, oh, that’s so much headache. They need to be creative, independent and responsible, flexible, willing to learn and adapt. It’s so interesting that so much of this we don’t learn in school. Nobody told us how to run a business, how to identify a good customer. You just learn. You have to kind of learn on the job. So that’s fascinating.
You are correct. You are correct. I remember. I just wanted to mention that I went to New York for three months to one business accelerator to be accelerated with Aventi back in 2018 and all those mentors, everything we learned there. I felt like, guys, I learned more in these three months than during my whole college study because it was so practical. I had the product and all those awesome people were advising me how to improve the product, how to improve marketing, how to improve sales. And it was so real, you could literally touch it and see the results. That’s why I think about it this way, that I literally learned more in those three months regarding business and marketing than in my five years of study at the university.
I could have saved all the time and money. I know it’s from 2018. If I could just, like, run over a few minutes for our conversation here. Roman, what are some of the things that still that you can still remember? You probably can remember a lot. Can remember a lot because it was such a prolific experience, a memorable experience. What are some of the marketing or marketing sales or product things that come to mind? I bet some of those may even seem counterintuitive than many of us think should work.
That’s a really tough question, to be honest. It’s a really long time ago. And even though back then it was huge push forward, we overgrow. Since then, we overgrow all those advices. So I don’t remember that much, but we tried. For example, one advice which was really nice, was start with Quora answering those questions on Quora in the name of the company. So in our case, there is somebody asking about some advice regarding event management. So my colleague Ian, she just tried to find those questions. She replied very nicely, politely and formally to the question. And at the bottom of the message is like, I’m Ian from Avanti. If you need anything more, just let me know. So that’s something we learned in New York. At the same time, advertising on Quora, I’m not sure about today, but back then it was way cheaper than anything else. So we tried a few campaigns and it was quite successful. Like, for just a few bucks, we had a lot of sign ups. So that’s my recommendation to try, for example, this not regular media like Google Search or Facebook. Try quora try reddit. Try. Maybe Twitter.
We even tried LinkedIn back then. But after two, maybe three clicks, we burnt our budget like $20. It’s super expensive.
It’s so expensive. It’s so expensive on LinkedIn. It’s true.
Yeah. And there was this awesome mentor teaching us how to do sales in the United States. But the result of all these classes is that it’s very difficult and you need to hire American to be able to sell anything in the United States. So it’s very difficult to do because we have very different mentality. I would say, for example, here, I would say in general in Europe, it’s not that common to call, right? In the United States you are mainly in a hurry and it’s very natural for you to have a call. But here you try to exchange emails, you try to use any other way to reach the person, but you are not calling that much. Calling is considered something really bad and there is very small chance that you will basically win the lead at the end because they would think that you are a scammer or something like that. In the United States, when we were trying to teach how to do the proper sales, we were mainly calling which to me as somebody who didn’t have any experience before, was very uncomfortable. You know, you are not native and you know what if the person on the other side would be mad and things like this.
So that was really different and I think that maybe it’s based on the personality as well. But overall having good salesperson in the United States I think could be better than good person in Europe.
These are such incredible lessons learned. A lot of people, I think outside of the US. Don’t get to hear this and one of the recent webinars that I did in front of an Israeli startup group was all about how to penetrate the US market, how to really work on, even influence our programs, how to understand all this. What you said was actually also very helpful on top of that. So I’ve taken up more time than I booked. Is there anything else, Roman, that you like to share with our audience before we wrap up?
So one big advice to you or any entrepreneur, what really works great for us, constantin, he’s a really awesome person, he’s really good, he’s chatty, let’s say, and really nice guy. But what he does is that when he has a demo with clients showing how event he works and so on, what he does eventually he uses Loom, the tool for recording your screen and at the same time there is a small bubble with camera so your client can see at the same time desktop and you. And after each demo he basically asks the customer or lead if they are interested in such a video. So what he does is that he records the video top 5 minutes about all the things he was showing during the demo because not always the person on the demo is the decision maker. And we got really really good feedback on this from our leads and customers. And one number I would love to share with you is that 40% of all people who book them of if evente are our customers and this is one of the reasons, one of them is because of Constantin, of course, but the second one is because of the video.
We have great feedback on this one. So my recommendation you save so much time and money if somebody, your customer, your client asks you for some feedback or some support. The easiest way how to do it is record very short video rather than answering with super long email like, hey, step one, you need to click this, then do this, then do this.
Record the video and they will be super amazed.
Yeah. And then I agree with you. I only recently it was so silly of me, I only recently started turning on the video and not that I didn’t know the feature existed, I just always assumed, like, why would they want to see me? Sometimes I’m doing it at 1130 at night. I’m just all kind of tired. And it just made a huge difference of people feeling that they could see you, that you don’t have you don’t need makeup on, you don’t need to be overly perky. But the fact that you show your face, that boom. The instant connection. We think about when you meet someone on Zoom, right, versus you’re just talking to someone on the phone, you’re multitasking. It’s so funny. Like in Paris, I learned that there’s such thing as like people watching all the little tables outside the restaurants and you’re eating this, I don’t know, average salad, but you’re watching people walk by, you’re watching the dogs. We just have the tendency, we like to actually look at another person. It just makes the experience way more alive as opposed to talking to a robot. So I love that fear.
We are social species.
Yeah. Especially during the pandemic. Like seeing another person to explain something to you that’s actually about you, your project, it’s phenomenal.
That’s another topic I’d like to open, please. I run the data at Aventi and I saw eventually at the beginning event, he was just in person for in person events with the mobile application. And because of coverage, we almost went bankrupt. And we had to people to the whole business to work hybrid and virtual events. But now nobody cares about virtual events. That’s why I think that hopping is overvalued. Nobody cares in the system. I see that till end of this year, every single customer is planning just in present events. And very few of them are planning hybrid events.
I always considered hybrid as the way out, as the way how to make extra bucks, let’s say. But our customers mostly, they tell me, hey, this is just too much work. We’d rather have less money doing just in person event. Because having hybrid event, we would have to have this audio video company here, the whole crew, I don’t know, the computer to be recorded and everything. It’s so much hustle for a few bucks. So, you know, everyone is so happy that Cobbit is finally over. I hope so. And everyone can go back to in person events. So maybe the future will be still the same. Nothing happened. No hybrid, no virtual, just few virtual events. Something extra to webinars and zoom. But overall in person will lead the way.
Interesting. I think hybrid okay. My observation of some of the things that themes I’m seeing now is I agree with you, hybrid is really a pain. Whether it’s a regular meeting or it’s a big event, it’s hard to pay attention to both people online or in the room. And it actually takes a lot of skills that way. I have a feeling I’m hearing a little bit of a mixed feedback. People really want to see each other now. But the travel and I know companies who are sending their employees from all over the United States to Colorado. That’s where most people are and it’s just a pain. A lot of people just they want to be in person. But traveling and all that with the restriction is still very real. Recently I was at a wedding that could have been a virtual whatever. My cousin absolutely played for the whole thing for a year. We went and obviously was high risk and we loved seeing each other. So I have a feeling that hybrid is maybe strange at times but I have a feeling there’s probably going to be more of a combination of like in person.
But I do believe virtual will still be there depending on what it is, depending on the event. Even way before cobid I’ve seen that whether this event is 3000, $5,000, but hey, if you pay $500 we’ll send you the recording after. But then people were saying like I want to access sooner. I want to have sort of that in person experience, what do we do? So I would be interested in seeing what happens at the end of this year and into 2023.
You are 100% correct. It’s not all just in person events. Definitely there will be use cases as you mentioned. But those semibic events, let’s say 1000 to 2000 attendees. I really do believe that they will be mainly in person. Maybe a little bit hybrid.
But I always try to ask questions to myself as I would be attendee. Why? To try to attend event. Virtually I can watch a YouTube video with the same content from the same speaker for example. And for example, few days ago we went to Prague to one big tech event in Prague, web Expo. And for us it was like team building. It’s totally different flow, totally different moods. Like we enjoyed ourselves. It was like the whole team team building. We saw a few speakers in person. I saw many friends from other companies in person. I wouldn’t be able before. So I’m not saying no to virtual events, I’m not saying no to hybrid events. It was just interesting to me that most of our customers, what they do, they organize mostly in person events. That was interesting feedback.
Wow. Are most of your customers you’re referring to base in check or all over the world?
No, all over the world. I basically looked into our database and I checked all the Event dates till end of this year and I was able to see I did this in April, I think, and I was able to see like in April there is like 10% of virtual events and it’s getting lower and lower and through the summer and till end of the year, it’s just in person events. Few of them are hybrid.
Are people able to use Evente for in person events as well?
That’s another thing we didn’t talk about.
Right, exactly. Evente was originally for in person events. And we do have really good mobile application because as a back shop, we were mobile developer agency back then. So that was what we started with, just mobile application. And because of COVID we had to add this virtual event support.
This is the addon. Virtual is the add on out.
A lot of apps, I mean, before you guys only, eventbrite has been around for a long time and they certainly don’t do a lot of the things that you’re able to do. People are able to do with Event, obviously, but they were also very focused on in person events. Even generating QR code that you print on a piece of paper, you walk into the Event, you can scan it. Interesting. I forgot to ask my last question related to the companies you’re seeing now trending towards a lot towards in person events. What kind of industries are they in? Are they software, retail or hospitality? What are the themes?
To be honest, I try to study the ICP and even the persona, but it’s so wide. Yeah, it’s very difficult to narrow it down. There is no niche market. Basically. Give you an example. Like the most common customers are these Semitic events. One maximum, two events per year. Then universities. We have Stanford, Oxford and other really big universities all around the world. Then big companies like TomTom is our customer, ford is our customer, not the American one.
For the car company, Forbes. Okay, got you.
So it’s there is no exact industry. It’s from being a magazine, doing events for entrepreneurs through universities to technological companies. So we cover this. All good.
Actually, I would like to leave people on the note of Event, especially people who follow me here thinking about running when they think about like medium size to larger size conferences, virtual events, a lot of you guys are really stuck on zoom. Zoom webinar. You know, it’s convenient. Everybody knows how to use zoom, but zoom webinar, zoom events are getting even more expensive with a lot of limitations. And I just want to say with Evente, again, Evente is one of several options. But eventes, I think the beauty is the price point is very reasonable and you’re able to build out your own agenda. So you could literally be running events for 24 hours, whatever it may be. Having 15 speakers, you’re able to give each other a slot. You’re able to build out BIOS links. You can attach additional resources. You can have sponsors. All those things just cannot be achieved with Zoom event. So I think for that reason, I encourage people to check it out to see if it’s right for you. And with that said, Roman, thank you so much for joining me, and I hope to chat with you again.
Thank you for the invitation.
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