Vendini Raises $20M Investment
So far on Events Wrangling, I haven’t written many news-related posts other than the weekly News & Views Roundup on Saturdays. Today’s post, however, was prompted by reading this event-related news item today, “Vendini raises $20 million to build out its all-in-one ticketing platform for live events.”
Event management technology, including event management software platforms like Vendini and Eventbrite, is a topic which will be featured in future posts here. Events wrangling and technology are two of my biggest passions, so the intersection of those two sectors is inherently interesting to me.
The Vendini article linked above says:
“Vendini, a holistic ticketing platform for live events…an all-in-one platform covering tickets and associated services, such as marketing, social media integration, analytics, and customer relationship management…provides venues across North America with the necessary software and hardware — like scanners and RFID wristbands — to promote events and sell tickets…There is a huge group of venues that have been historically under-served in the industry,” added Tacchi. “For example, massive arenas like Madison Square Garden are probably going to be using Ticketmaster, which was designed with huge venues in mind. Then you have people hosting smaller events from personal parties up to small conferences, using a self-service, freemium model — a good example of that is Eventbrite. That leaves a TON of underserved venues right there in the middle, and that’s our sweet spot.”
Vendini’s primary customers, based on the above article excerpt, are venues, rather than independent events wranglers or event goers. The event management technology of greatest interest to me is that which is designed primarily for the last of those three customer groups, the event goers. The technology must also take care of my event wrangling needs, and it needs to be usable and appropriate for the needs of vendors, such as the event venue, and sponsors. But the people who should truly be satisfied (and amazed?) by it are the event goers.
In terms of being easy for event goers to use, Vendini appears to have their heart (or PR spin) in the right place, saying:
“…One of our cornerstone philosophies is…make everything light-switch simple. The people using our products aren’t computer scientists, they shouldn’t have to be using complicated systems that are difficult to use…”
I haven’t used Vendini, either as an events wrangler or as an event goer, so I don’t know if they walk the walk, but it sounds like their vision is closely aligned with mine in terms of making the eventech (event technology) invisible to event goers.
Other Event Management Software
A majority of my event management software experience is with Eventbrite and Meetup.com. In addition to those two main platforms, I’ve interacted with Cvent (used mostly by corporations and other large organizations, I think) and a couple more obscure or now-defunct platforms.
I poked around with Google to identify the most used or most highly rated event management software packages, but the results were inconclusive in my initial searching. I’ll write a future post on that topic after I do a more thorough search and talk to a few trusted event ninjas. My draft list of packages to compare (in that future post) are:
A couple comparison lists appeared to have over 100 event management software solutions, but I plan to look at the most used ones and a couple of the newer startups that may be addressing the innovator’s dilemma and delivering useful new capabilities not available from the big players.
Here’s how a LinkedIn post by Alon Alroy in 2015 described the event management software situation.
“…An organizer of a mid-size conference recently told us she uses WordPress to build her event website, Eventbrite to manage ticketing, Constant Contact to email attendees, Excel to manage contacts, SurveyMonkey to survey attendees and several other tools to provide attendees with a networking app, and manage guest check-in. Each tool is sourced from a different vendor with its own pricing, contract, interface and analytics.
Fortunately for event organizers, the days of juggling multiple platforms to create a successful event are over. A a number of companies have come on the market with event management software that is intended to make life easier for organizers…”
Since Alroy works at one of the startups who say they “make life easier for organizers,” I’d take what he says with a grain or two of salt. Based on what I’ve seen, heard and used, we’re not quite to the point where a critical mass of event wranglers use only one tech service for all their event management software needs. If you’ve used that single solution, silver bullet software that’s “just the ticket,” please drop me a link at bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com.
My main goal for today’s post was to highlight Vendini in case you hadn’t heard of it or looked at it yet. I think Vendini is interesting because they’ve been around for 14 years but decided to not take investment money until they could effectively spend that money. You now know about Vendini, so I’ve met that main goal. A secondary objective was to raise the issue of event management technology. Check that box, also. Done. Future research and posts will more thoroughly cover some of the specific eventech that I and others I know use.
Blogs & Event Management Events
Two last points raised by the Vendini article are event management software company blogs and event management events.
Vendini’s blog looks like it has some posts worth reading, such as “Why ticketing free events is worth it.” You may want to see if there’s information useful to you in similar blogs, like Eventbrite’s, Meetup.com’s, Lanyon’s, and blogs from other event management companies whose software or services you use.
The Vendini event management event is Camp Vendini, Aug 8 – 9, 2016:
“The fourth annual Vendini Member Conference brings together the best and brightest minds in ticketing and live entertainment for two days of learning, training, best practice sharing and fun!…this year’s 4th annual member conference is called Camp Vendini. Join us for two full days connecting with peers and experts, learning new ways to grow your business and enhancing your personal skills — all while having a good time doing it.”
A good opportunity for dogfooding — every event management software company should organize events using their own products. Making at least one of those events a meetup of event managers adds a nice meta level to the whole thing, plus the participants are unlikely to be shy about giving honest and insightful feedback about the event goer UX of the software! It would be a hoot to go to event management events put on by several event management software companies and see what the different experiences were and whether the company employees running the event are 100% thrilled with their own dog food.