Events SaaS company NetworkTables shifts focus to providing an always-on event community solution as the event industry is desperate for a future-proof way to organise events.
During a wave of cancellations, pandemics, rescheduling the industry is scrambling for solutions. Matthijs Otto, founder of NetworkTables: “Pivoting the industry towards an always-on subscription model the likes of Netflix and Spotify is how the industry insulates itself for the future”
The cost of COVID-19 to the event industry has been tremendous. It was recently announced that leading event organiser IBC, with over 100,000 attendees, recently cancelled their physical event 1 day prior: ‘Because they can no longer guarantee the same quality to exhibitors and attendees’. Additionally, 65% of organiser are predicting budget cuts for upcoming events. The last two years have shown that the event industry needs rapid change to avoid a downwards spiral.
Matthijs Otto has been arguing for a future-proof event industry for years. Event-organisers are used to expensive events that bring together as many attendees in a single day. Otto notes the event industry should switch to “Always-On Events” in which members attend multiple events throughout the year as part of a community. It’s the same as one large summit, but spread out to times that suit you. Attendees become members and tickets become subscriptions mimicking how modern audiences engage with content platforms like Netflix and Spotify.
Since 2017, Matthijs’s company, NetworkTables, has used their events software to help run multiple in-person and virtual events in a community platform for World Business Executive Coaching Summit (WBECS). Hosting their 40,000 strong event community for the last 11 years, WBECS have been one of the pioneers of the always-on community model. It has allowed them to barely notice the effects of the pandemic and continue hosting events all year long without issues. Other early adopters profiting from the platform have been trade associations and accelerators as they typically hold hundreds of meetings & events a year for the same audience.
70% of organisers are now looking for tech solutions to improve engagement and sponsor value. In the past few months, the company has seen a peak in the number of enquiries from conferences, trade shows, and summits. Otto: “It seems that the event industry is finally ready for change and is catching up”.
AO Community Platform
NetworkTables AO is an event community platform to help transition to a stable post-pandemic future. Now members can engage with events whenever and wherever they want. The new focus for NetworkTables is providing tools to keep events always-on throughout the year. For example pre-shows and post-event chatrooms are ways that busy members can engage with events on their own terms. Further, member created sessions are just a few of the ways events expand from the one-and-done model of the past, bringing the efficiency back to events.
In a world of more and more choice an event community puts the control in the hands of its members. Those within the community can create their own 1on1 sessions, workshops and keynotes to groups that they want to meet with at any time. In this way event organisers can take a back seat to become community managers as their community grows and thrives.