As a Danish startup building an online platform for professional events, Conferize has our full attention. The company has now launched what they're calling V1, but to you and me it means a major responsive redesign of the platform with a few new features built in. It's a good move - the old Conferize was a little clunky, but today it feels like a polished platform that lets any event build a similar digital presence to what has made TED so successful.
"I think the best way to explain it is that we early on made a conscious choice not to invest in the redesign until we had a good product," says Martin Ferro-Thomsen, co-founder and CEO of Conferize. "Later when people were really using our product, we said 'let’s try and rethink everything.' I think the keywords were simpler, sexier, and savvier."
The basic premise is still the same. Visitors to Conferize are presented with events to follow - allowing you to catch up with the buzz leading up to events, real-time feeds of the tweets and content (like videos, slideshare, etc.) coming out of events, or follow where your favorite speakers are going. Additionally they share event media getting the most traction around the web, helping you find valuable talks and slide decks.
Conferize isn't just for spectating an event at home; they of course recognize the value of attending events, so they've built in a networking platform to let you get access towho's attending events - so say you want to meet designers, members of the media, or investors, Conferize gives you a good idea of who'll be there with an overhauled Who's Attending section. "It’s arguably one of the best networking apps for events, and it’s unique in the way we connect user and speaker profiles across events, making it effectively the biggest 'Who’s who' in events with over 4 million event professionals listed," they claim.
To get this access who's attending events, the company has partnered with Eventbrite, which helps event organizers motivate attendees to register to Conferize during the checkout process. It sounds like they're staying away from actual ticketing, and instead have provided an open API for the hundreds of registration companies to easily integrate with Conferize.
With all the analogies to TED, it's interesting to point out that the company has partnered their platform with TED, and many TEDx events can be found through the platform. Other notable uses of the platform include The Guardian, Ad:Tech, Angelhack, Buzzfeed, and the upcoming STHLM Techfest.
To throw some very exact numbers at you, so far 15,067 events are listed on Conferize including 4,437,045 people connected to events, and 39,538 speakers.
Events are an absolutely massive global industry - the total economic output is $900+ billion a year in the U.S. alone. Event organizers looking to build a brand can't stay content with a 2-3 month huge marketing push, making Conferize interesting to watch.