Nothing kills the excitement of heading to an event or conference in search of great networking opportunities quite like walking through the door and seeing the sea of unfamiliar faces. Who are these people? Which are worth talking to? And how do you go about approaching them? With so many different people in the sea of networkers, it’s not unlikely to head home from a networking event with a pile full of business cards and not a single worthwhile opportunity. So how do you single out the shining opportunities in the crowd? That’s where Bizzabo comes in.
Bizzabo is a new smartphone application that is designed to make networking easy—enabling the discovery of real-time business opportunities at conferences and events. Bizzabo helps you search for relevant business contacts at events and set up meetings and recommends people that are worthwhile for you to meet. I had the opportunity to sit down with Bizzabo Co-Founder and VP Business Development, Alon Alroy, who gave me a demo of this cool networking app. Check out the video below, and then read on to find out more, based on what Alon had to say.
I think it’s important to clarify that Bizzabo is specifically designed for event organizers and only works if the event is on Bizzabo. You will be able to connect with other people who have signed up for the event through Bizzabo. In addition to networking features, Bizzabo also sends out conference updates, special offers and more. Alon explained that, “the event organizer gets a mobile app for free.” Whereas they could hire a developer to create an app around their conference for somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000, Bizzabo gives it to them for free. Using their service, event organizers can build an app around their conference via a simple so-it-yourself process.
Bizzabo launched their private beta at TechCrunch Disrupt last month, and are currently working with event organizers on an invite-only basis. Organizers can sign up for details on the Bizzabo website.
Outside of the networking capabilities, one of the coolest things about Bizzabo is their “offers” service. Alon explained that at Bizzabo “we believe that everybody has something to offer,” so they have set up an offers feature that allows users to create Groupon-style offers and push them out to all the event attendees that are signed up for Bizzabo. A company could offer free samples or a few free memberships to their service, a VC or journalist could offer a few meetings—the options are endless. Offers are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Check out a screenshot of an offer below, along with a couple other screenshots from the app.
Eventually, Bizzabo plans to monetize their app by providing event organizers with helpful analytics about their events (i.e. which attendees were the most popular and helped spread the most buzz – these may be good people to invite for free next time), and opening up revenue sharing opportunities by allowing event organizers to sell ‘featured offers’.
I, for one, think this is a pretty cool solution for the problem of finding the right people to network with at events and conferences and I can’t wait to attend my first Bizzabo event. What do you think about the service? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.