Talking tech since 2003

Trade shows and conferences are big business, so it’s no surprise that a number of apps are surfacing to take advantage of the 1.8 million meetings, trade shows, conventions and other events that take place across the United States each year.  One of the companies trying to tap into this multi-billion dollar industry is Bizzabo.

Bizzabo is an event and networking app for iOS and Android that provides attendees with information about the conference’s agenda, speakers and attendees.  Through its integration with LinkedIn, it suggests people attendees should meet and speakers they should see at the event (sort of like business dating for conferences).

CMO and Co-Founder Alon Alroy said Bizzabo aims to help conference attendees get the most out of their event.  “People are talking to the wrong people at events,” Alroy said. “When you think about it, one of the main reasons for them to go to an event is networking- they’re missing their work that day because they are going to an event, so they want to make sure it is making good use of their time.”

Bizzabo is primarily marketed to event organizers, who upload event content including agenda, speakers, twitter hash tags and other basic info.  Organizers then invite attendees to join their event community on Bizzabo.   Users can log in through LinkedIn if they want to utilize the social aspect of the app, which uses a matching algorithm to analyze business profiles from LinkedIn and previous conferences users may have attended to suggest relevant connections.   An area called “event community” shows the top three people you should meet and refreshes as more people join the event community.  It also allows you to check in and out of the event and view other logged in attendees.  An in-app chat feature lets you send messages to other attendees, so you can set up meetings.


“We see a lot of engagement of people sending messages to one another and scheduling meetings with the app,” Alroy said. “They can check each others profile on LinkedIn and Twitter and search people through Google.”

Bizzabo, which launched in July, faces a competitive marketplace with other event and networking platforms like SpotMe and EventMobi, which have been in the market longer and have gained more traction with conference organizers.  But unlike those competitors, which use web-based platforms that can be time-intensive and costly for organizers, Bizzabo’s native app puts the control in the users hands and taps into the already extensive networking capabilities of LinkedIn.  It also allows event organizers to create an app for their conference in minutes.

As for the number of downloads of Bizzabo?  Alroy said they aren’t interested in trying to get as many downloads as possible but in real users who will get value out of it.  Bizzabo, which launched in private beta in Israel last year and quickly became the standard app for events there, is starting to gain traction in San Francisco and New York.

“We already have 2,000 conferences [that have gone] mobile and social.  We [enable] event organizers to have a mobile social app for their event in less than 10 minutes and at a very attractive price, so it can be free or they can also purchase some of the premium packages,” Alroy said.  “We are trying to become that one app for events.”

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