Merry Christmas From The Eventility Team

Christmas_tree_baubletext

Well, it’s been a mammoth year for us here at Eventility HQ, and as the year winds down and we prepare for a period of festive hibernation, it’s time for us to recap on what we’ve been up to and what’s in-store for us in 2013.

People’s Choice Award – Vote For Us!

We’ve just been nominated for the People’s Choice Awards for The Europas. This prestigious award has previously been won by the likes of Wonga.com, Spotify and SoundCloud, so we’re thanks full to be on the long-list.

Click here to vote for us by ‘liking’ us.

Spogo

Just last month we partnered with spogo – the smart new way to find sport and fitness.  We provide sports club and activity organisers with powerful free organisational and promotional tools and update their listings immediately on spogo to give them the opportunity to connect with a whole new audience online.

We’re really excited about working with spogo and are confident that sports club and activity organisers will see real benefits in using Eventility. For more information click here.

Ju-Jitsu

A big welcome to all the new Ju-Jitsu clubs on Eventility!

Eventility joined forces with The British Ju-Jitsu Association National Governing Body (BJJAGB), who are now using Eventility to enhance engagement with their clubs and provide Ju-Jitsu club organisers with free tools to simplify the organisation and promotion of their club.

Eventility in the Google Chrome Store

Eventility is now available in the Chrome’s webstore. Click here to get a fab shortcut to Eventility whenever you open a new tab in Chrome and don’t forget to rate and review – we love 5 stars!

The year ahead

We’re making some big and exciting new changes to the website in early 2013 to make using the site even better – we’ll keep you posted!

Happy Holidays,

The Eventility Team

Advertisements

Why I Started Eventility – Robin Brattel

I often get asked why I started Eventility. Mainly because I faced the problem of friends saying we should meet up and it never happening, so I decided to start running a monthly get-together where we’d all grab some food and a beer and catch-up with what was going on in our lives.

ProfilePhoto300by300_edited

Robin Brattel, Eventility CEO and Founder.

Very quickly, it became really difficult to manage and I realised why we hadn’t managed to meet up!  I had to send emails to more than fifty friends, three, sometimes four times a month, to say where and when we were meeting, manage all the RSVPs, and then keep reminding them.  That alone was a major task and it occupied many a train journey home. Finding somewhere to go in the first place was also a huge effort.

My experience in technology as a Director of Digital meant I knew there was a better and easier way to do this.  I looked around (back in 2007) but nothing really fitted the bill so I started developing a solution – automated email reminders came first, RSVP tracking next, then the guys said “we want text reminders!” so that came next. I built and tested everything on the successful and demanding London thirty-something friends and they didn’t hold back on their constructive criticism! They still don’t, and that criticism and feedback was, and still is vital.

Pretty soon I realised that what I’d created was an answer to a genuine problem millions of organisers faced – how to simply and easily organise a group.

I found a few ways I thought it would work financially, told a friend, my co-founder  Barrie (who thought it was a great idea), I came up with a name, Eventility, from Event + Utility to describe it and then started investing time and money and taking it seriously.

Around this time Bebo was peaking and everyone was talking about Facebook, and in a way this was scary but I knew our platform would be different – less network, more social  – it’s about groups of people taking co-ordinated face-to-face action together. It’s true that Facebook has become a global phenomenon of social interaction but in the words of the social and technology evangelist, Clay Shirky, “it’s still not very good at dealing with the group pattern” – I think Eventility is!

We now live in a world where a variety of web sites have done an incredible job of connecting people together in virtual space. However, their interactions in that space tend to be fleeting, impersonal and trivial. I wanted to create a web utility which was a means to a deeper end – of people actually meeting in the real world and doing activities together, making the web a tool to enable people to have more vibrant and social ‘real’ lives.

We also realised early on that venues want to attract organisers as they bring in the business.  Whether it’s someone organising a birthday party, the football club captain organising post-game beers or someone hosting a major event, the venue wants to attract them because they bring others. That’s an opportunity to connect two groups together create value for everyone!

To prove our model and concepts to ourselves, we doubled down on one sector – pubs.  In hindsight, this could have been a mistake as the pub sector in the UK had suffered a difficult few years. But now as we look at a business that has pivoted from purely digital to digital and print and with revenues and traffic growing, it’s both proven we’re not barking mad but also that we have the experience of building a good solid business.

The challenges I’ve faced getting to where we are, have been interesting to say the least – Recruiting a team who share the vision, financing the business, building a technology platform people want to use and that can scale globally, keeping up with the fast pace of change in technology.

And despite all this, one thing hasn’t changed, the desire to build the best platform for organising and promoting groups, events and venues and at the same time, providing everyone with an amazing database of things to do and places to go.  I still look around and think that’s a wide-open space waiting to be captured.

A better way to build customer loyalty

We recently heard that well-known group coupon site Groupon was in trouble with its shares plummeting over 16%. Many would say that they saw this coming, especially if they were businesses who had used it and been disappointed by the lack of repeat business and loyalty.

Merchant’s frustration is easy to understand as Groupon and similar schemes offer small businesses a way to gain repeat business, but not necessarily a loyal customer base. Merchants generally have to offer heavily discounted loss-leading deals, great for Groupon, it’s users and consumers but it appears to be not great in building a loyal repeat customer base – precisely why many merchants offer the loss leader deal in the first place.

Indeed Robert Browne, KPMG’s Director of Pricing Strategy recently stated at a hospitality industry event that “cutting price has repeatedly been shown to not increase market share” and “offers are there to incentivize an action from a certain group of your customers.” He went on to say that discounting can drive volume but generally it damages value.

It appears that the Groupon type model of offering bulk heavily discounted deals aren’t particularly effective and that merchants often lose money providing discounts to customers who turn out to be one-time patrons only.

And that’s where the problem lies, building loyalty isn’t as simple as creating a big blunt discount – like many who’ve grown accustomed to deep discounts, people have become so obsessed with sales that they refuse to shop any place that isn’t having one. It has bred a group of ‘deal junkies’ that won’t shop unless they see serious discounts and constantly hop from one business to another, never going back twice – hardly the loyal customer base any vendor wants. And for the customer, these types of schemes biggest problem is that they promote bargains over building real value for the customer.

You can argue that the discounting model is flawed and not sustainable but is there a better way to do things? Well, we think there is.

Eventility offers businesses the ability to offer discounts and promotions directly to their own customer community on Eventility, but on their terms and to help them with their loyalty.

For a small cafe this may feel an impossible task, but with Eventility it’s not.  For example, if the cafe has a regular quiet time on a Monday afternoon they can send an offer straight to their customer base (or target part of it) for a special deal at that particular time.  Or, if they just want to reward their loyal customers by giving them 50% off the food bill, they can easily do this via their Eventility account and even send them a printable barcode voucher.

This way everyone wins – the customer feels happy that their loyalty is rewarded and is inclined to visit more regularly and the merchant gets loyal repeat business and can manage footfall peak and troughs more effectively.  The café can also use a general discount to bring customers through the door, but they are in control and can turn it off whenever they like, safe in the knowledge that all customers who’ve claimed it are now in their customer database.

Businesses can take advantage of all the tools that Eventility has to manage and promote their business, events and offers better. These include:  managing events and selling tickets, managing customers lists, customer communications, professional web pages, centralised social networking, email with tracking and much more. Plus Eventility gets places/venues, events, offers and photos on the web, on a map, on Google search, on mobiles and shared with our content partners. Now doesn’t that look like an easier way to build loyalty?

To learn more about how Eventility can help businesses have a look at what we offer you.

If you’re looking for what’s going on in your local area visit Eventility.