From online registration and conference apps to virtual reality and iBeacons, technology continues to transform the way events are organised.

Developments in event tech are happening at a rapid pace, with new entrants joining the market every year. To help you keep up with the developments that promise the most potential to enhance your events, we have selected seven startups to put on your radar in 2017.

We asked the founders of these exciting startups to tell us what the year has in store for them…

Related: How tech transformed events (infographic)

  1. Shoflo

Shoflo is an event production software that allows your production team to build real time cue sheets, show flows, rundowns, production schedules and more all in real time.

Stephen Bowles, Founder and CEO, 

“2017 is the year we go “Big League”. Winning the IBTM Technology Innovation awards last year was huge for us. We are now being used by event teams around the world, around the clock including the LA Rams, Mary Kay, Walmart, Drury and more… and they are looking to us to lead.

“This year we will be rolling out native apps for Shoflo so teams can work offline as well as building out more project management type features so teams can easily switch from their Excel/Dropbox workflows over to Shoflo entirely.”

Shoflo
  1. Glisser

Glisser connects your audience, via their smartphone or other device, to your presentation, enabling real-time polls, digital Q&A, social sharing, likes and slide downloads for the ultimate engagement experience.

Mike Piddock, Founder

“2016 was great for us – we started the year with 18 enterprise clients and ended with over 100. What’s really great is that over 90% of our clients use us across multiple events, seeing the value we add in terms of audience engagement, feedback and measuring event return on investment. This last point is really important – events are a core part of most marketers’ arsenal, but it’s still really hard to measure how successful they are – our tech is here to change that.

“2017 is shaping up to be equally exciting. We’ve opened offices in New York City and Seattle to serve our growing client base and deliver 24 hour support, and we’re working with Microsoft and some of their artificial intelligence APIs to deliver a new set of features designed for global organisations running both live and virtual meetings.

“We’re also developing the product to meet the demands of the education marketplace. We’ve signed our first UK and US university clients, and see huge scope for Glisser in the lecture hall. Students pay a lot for their education, so making lectures engaging and effective is a key concern for hard working tutors.”

Glisser

Related: Tried and tested tech tools for events

  1. Airfinity
Rasmus Bech Hansen

Airfinity is the world’s first event data platform. Airfinity’s technology analyses events, their audiences and sponsors. Using proprietary predictive analytics tools, this empowers companies to find exactly the right event, and radically improve their event performance.

Rasmus Bech Hansen, Co-founder and CEO

“There are three ways we at Airfinity plan to make the event industry better in 2017, firstly by offering a data driven approach. Compared to other marketing disciplines, event marketing is data poor. We are on a mission to change that.

“By collecting millions of data points and using our proprietary ‘Event Graph’ we are turning that into actionable insights for both organisers and sponsors. Having done this for London tech events (we have found more than 5,000 and counting), we will bring this solution to more countries and more industries in 2017.

“The second way we’re improving the industry is providing users with their own event analytics page. The right data says a lot about the quality of an event organiser. We have created tens of thousands of event analytics pages like this one. By the end of 2017 we hope to have more than a million of these. Events can claim and use them for free.

“Thirdly we will be applying AI to sponsor matching, helping organisers predict who the right sponsors are for them, and the other way around. We can’t wait to introduce our sponsor-match robot to events and corporates in the coming year.”

Airfinity
  1. Showslice
Damian Oracki

Showslice is award-winning venue marketing platform that enables the sharing of infrastructure for large events. Users can identify dates available at London venues, which are either before or after an existing confirmed event in order to propose an infrastructure/cost share with the organiser. 

Damian Oracki, CEO

“Showslice enables event organisers to save time and money by sharing costs such as a marquee, staging, AV, lights, rigging as well as the venue set-up time. Futhermore, Showslice venues get to promote available dates and improve venue sales around current bookings, achieving more venue hire days with less movement of suppliers in and out of the venue.

“The marketplace can lead to 30-70% cost reduction off mid to large event venues and supplier costs, whilst having a positive impact on the environment. This model overcomes issues of falling budgets, rising prices and shorter preparation times for events which are not being addressed by existing venue marketing websites.

“We’ve now successfully completed our beta testing and will officially start promoting the latest version of Showslice in May 2017. The website currently has over 150 London event venues and will go live in May with around 250 venues dedicated to displaying over 1,000 cost saving dates. Showslice will also be partnering with one of the UK’s largest event media firms giving Showslice venues and their deals national and international exposure.”

Event infrastructure sharing with Showslice

Related: How to increase tech adoption at events

  1. LINEAPP
Alexander Kraenkl

The patented LINEAPP software is able to transmit audio data in realtime into local networks, without internet or server connection. Fields of application include live events, broadcasting, conferences, guided tours as well as health care, smart home, retail and hotel sector.

Alexander Kraenkl, CEO

“It’s a new year and we are launching new products. LINEAPP Walkie-Talkie Intercom has been rebranded into LINEAPP FLUX. Due to its new desktop version and compatibility with mobile devices, FLUX is even more reliable and creates a new dimension of offline team communication.

“LINEAPP CAST turns any PC into a broadcast station. Multiple streams from several sources are possible, even in different languages. LINEAPP TOUR, meanwhile, is a mobile guide solution which works outdoors, thanks to mobile Wi-Fi routers.

“The year got off to a great start when we won the ‘Elevator Pitch’ at Best of Events, an international exhibition in Germany, and I have just returned from attending Event Tech Lab’s pitching event at Huckletree London, organised by James Morgan.

“People are very interested in LINEAPP technology and our new products. After brilliant feedback we are so excited and ready to kick off and see what 2017 is about.”

LINEAPP
  1. EventCollab

EventCollab is a cloud-based event project management tool where planners can efficiently manage all of the documents, tasks, discussions, and time tracking for their events in one central place online.

Tommy Melancon, Founder and CEO

“I founded EventCollab because I needed a better way for my team and partners to collaborate and communicate throughout the planning process. Since launching in June of 2015, EventCollab has been selected as a top innovator in three Innovation Pavilions (InfoComm and IBTM World top-ten twice), was short-listed with only four other companies to pitch at the 2016 ‘IMEX Pitch’ in Vegas, and tied for first in IBTM America’s ‘Innovation in Motion’ competition in June, 2016.

“More than 1,600 individuals have registered to use EventCollab, and more than 2,600 events have been created and managed in the app thus far. It’s been used on some of the largest conferences in the US including Google i/o, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Oracle OpenWorld.

“Constantly adding to the program based on user feedback, there are some big updates coming in the next six months, including folding in the Showbook scheduling module, Slack integration, and a slew of new features coming to ToDos!”

Related: How to evaluate new event technology

  1. Grip

Grip takes the hard work out of networking by becoming an attendee’s own personal assistant, through its AI software recommending the best people to meet based on their business needs. Using advanced algorithms, Grip’s AI will identify the right people to meet and presents them on an easy-to-use swiping interface.

Tim Groot, Founder and CEO

“In early 2017 the company launched the complete Grip Matchmaking Solution. This is a complete networking solution for businesses and individuals that includes the Grip Web Networking and Smart Meeting Scheduling in combination with either the Grip App, Branded App or an app from one of our integration partners.

“In 2017, some of the biggest exhibition organisers in the world will be using Grip’s smart matchmaking solution, which takes the stress out of networking at events including Reed Exhibitions, Clarion Events, ITE Exhibitions and several others.

“At Grip, we have noticed more tech and media events are using Grip to make meaningful business connections before, during and afterwards. At Techchill, which took place on February 9-10, we established more than 10 connections per user with 85% of attendees saying they had made a connection they would not have made otherwise.

“2017 is a very exciting year for Grip as we continue to grow and develop our unique business matchmaking tool that uses AI to make the right connections that are of value to them. In 2016 Grip was used at events attended by over 15,000 such as Cannes Lions, and we expect a 500% growth in the number of people using our solution thanks to several great contracts we’ve signed in 2017 already.”

Related: Here’s the event tech organisers will be investing in this year

Conclusion

Using the latest event tech has the ability to not only make your event more engaging for attendees, but also save you time and money in the planning.

Keep your finger on the pulse to discover new tools that will transform both your productivity and your creativity.

Keen to know what else is happening in the event industry this year? Download the 2017 edition of our Pulse Report.

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