In a recent article, Dahlia El Gazzar, a well-known figure in the events industry, shares valuable insights when attending event technology conferences. She emphasizes the importance of asking the right questions when considering event tech partners and providers. Using her guidelines, event professionals can efficiently identify tech solutions that truly align with their needs. Dahlia provides a list of the best questions to ask, as well as ones to avoid, ensuring productive interactions. Additionally, she offers tips on maximizing time at event tech conferences, from organizing meetups with tech partners to brainstorming sessions on event challenges. For a deep dive into her recommendations and to make the most of your time at event tech conferences or any conversations that you have with potential event tech partners.
Rusty Williams answers Dahlia Gazzar's 12 Key Questions for Event Technology Partners
If you find it easier to skim text, here’s a full transcript of Rusty’s answers:
How does your technology solution help event professionals like me?
so we build AnswerStage around a very simple but powerful concept, and that is that the attendees of your event are your most valuable marketing asset. So our platform enables you to send them a link, have them record a video and then use that video to help promote their attendance at your event and amplify your message and increase your engagement.
What types of events is your technology solution best suited for?
AnswerStage works great for really any type of event from small scale customer councils all the way up to many tens of thousands of attendees for conferences. More often than not, it’s used to feature speakers, exhibitors, attendees, thought leaders, other people who are affiliated with the event to talk about what they’ll be doing at the event and who they look forward to meeting.
Can you provide examples of how your technology solution has been used to increase attendance?
Sure, we can provide tons of examples. That’s really one of the best things that we do. It’s, it’s nearly all public facing and so you can look at videos created by dozens and dozens of different conferences and events to help promote those events and feature people who will be attending them.
What is your company’s roadmap for future development?
So we’re going to stay committed to the goal of simplifying the process of collecting, producing and sharing videos from people who are all over the place. So, asynchronous video collection and production uh that road map really kind of comes down to how can we automate the process further? How can we simplify the process? How can we assist the people creating the questions and prompts, how can we assist the people responding? So it’s all about simplification and that’s what we’ll be investing in.
What are the key features of your technology solution that will take advantage of AI?
So we see a I as a really key tool for assisting, not for creating, but for assisting. And again, it’s all about how can we help real people provide their expertise, their personalities and their enthusiasm as a form of marketing. So we’re already using AI to help develop the kind of prompts and questions that are pertinent and most top of mind for those audiences. And then, on the flip side, we’re using AI to help coach the people who are responding to include certain topics or to help them make that an easier process.
How does your technology solution integrate with other event technology solutions?
So we have a well documented API for AnswerStage that enables our technology partners to initiate the creation of a video to initiate the production of a video to retrieve those videos after they’ve been produced so they can be distributed through a website, blog or other types of event technology. So we are working really, really hard in the direction of integration and simplifying the total number of tools that an event an event producer needs to work with.
What kind of customer support do you offer?
Well, first level is a self-serve kind of support where you can find the answers to your questions through our documentation. For many of our clients, we’ll actually start off with a kickoff call, a demo and assistance in creating the exact branding and editorial strategy that will be best suited for their event or their application. So we work, you know, a full spectrum from the self serve, you know, documentation llevel to on-call support for any type of issue that comes up.
What is the pricing model for your technology solution?
Pretty simple. If you pay monthly, it’s $199 a month. If you pay for a full year, it’s the effectively $159 a month. So it’s a very low cost, especially if you’re doing dozens and dozens of videos per month. Uh, it gets into like 10 to $15 per video essentially.
How does your technology solution address data privacy and security concerns?
Well, the primary application is marketing or public facing. So the data privacy concerns are mostly on the front end, meaning our clients are able to review what is submitted, review, who submitted the information and then after review, choose to publish that. So the data privacy really is kind of tied to how will the video be used and the editorial review that happens before that is published to be seen publicly.
Are any of your key clients that resemble my organization attending IMEX? Can you connect me to them?
So I’m sure some of our clients are at IMEX. Unfortunately, we’re not there in person. I’m responding to this list of questions that was created by our good friend Dahlia El Gazzar and we’ll be with her and several other companies at Event Tech Live in London and at Expo Expo. So hopefully we’ll get a chance to cross paths and if you get a chance to talk to Dahlia and her connections, which are quite extensive.
What is your exit strategy?
I’m not a big fan of this question. I don’t think an exit strategy should make you either more confident in or less confident in a company. In fact, saying this is our exit strategy talks about how you will leave the business eventually. We want to grow AnswerStage. We’re eager to see it become a standard for video creation for all types of companies, and so our strategy is to continue growing, and there will certainly be opportunities along the way, whether it’s IPO or acquisition or integrating with other companies. Those opportunities will come up, and they will only make sense if they help us serve our customers better, as we grow.