7th January 2010
Few companies would welcome a recession, but for one event management software company, the downturn has brought with it pleasing rewards.
Eventsforce Solutions develops web-based event management technology for both large and small businesses and according to its chief executive, George Sirius, the current demand for online presence and digital marketing has prompted a major boost in revenues.
"We have had a fantastic year," he revealed. "We have acquired many new customers and grown something like another 35 per cent so far."
"Our technology and the eventsforce platform allows people to run their businesses better, streamlining operations, reducing costs and allowing them to be more effective in what they're doing, so therefore they are coming to us to help them through the current difficult period," he suggested.
This is perhaps unsurprising given that recent research by BT Business and the British Chambers of Commerce found that 73 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises are looking at starting a website or some other form of online presence.
Mr Sirius said that the most fundamental technologies that the eventsforce platform offers have been extremely popular with customers, such as the functions that allow businesses to set up online registration for events, for example.
The platform can also be used for marketing campaigns, to send out communications via email to people who may want to attend the event as well as those who have already signed up.
"That's where people can make a lot of savings by using online technology - a lot of the traditional printing and mailing costs just disappear," Mr Sirius explained.
"We are seeing more and more people using the web and online technologies to cover a lot of the event management lifecycle," he continued.
"With our system you can make email templates, branded the way you want them, and with the click of a button send thousands of invitations which you know will, in a few minutes, drop into the recipients' email inboxes."
Another popular option in the eventsforce system is the ability to create branded, attractive and informative micro-websites for events, Mr Sirius added, suggesting that all of these internet-based solutions are a draw for clients.
"This is a major trend in the events industry that will continue to grow and the eventsforce platform will develop to support this trend and lead the market."
He forecasts that the events industry as a whole will pick up next year, as the sector comes out of recession.
"The reason for our optimism is that we strongly believe that face-to-face meetings will become even more important for effective marketing of product and services," he explained.
"To that end, the company will be promoting its Meeting Manager module next year, which is an optional addition to an eventsforce system and allows meeting delegates to set up one-to-one or private group get-togethers ahead of or during an event.
With this technology, registered attendees can search for people they want to engage with, invite them to link up and build a personal, daily diary of meetings via the web. Messages are sent anonymously between delegates to protect their privacy.
"Our system not only makes it quick and easy to register for an event, it can also allow delegates to see who else is going to be there, so that they have the opportunity to network prior to the event. By setting up private meetings in advance, they can really make the most out of being at the event," Mr Sirius explained.