How many times have you been seated at a gala dinner or event networking where the people next to you have no business synergies with you or common interests, albeit they may be fine industry professionals too? Networktables found its niche and seat at the events top table, by specialising in getting people sitting and talking together at events who actually wanted to meet and have things in common. Their software means an individual attendee at a sales conference, for example, would host a table and people would register to sit at that table, meaning the host had some control over his or her table and the guest would feel a certain obligation to attend knowing they had reserved a place of their choice.
Networktables has won many awards for increasing attendee participation and engagement at exhibitions and events of all kinds. The original impetus for the idea was to serve the exhibition community by allowing meetings to be established between parties who had real interests, Otto explains in this episode 7 of the BAB podcast. The idea is also for exhibitors to not just spend their time randomly talking to passers by in the exhibition hall. “Basically, people don’t like walking around like headless chickens,” he says, and explains to Mark how his company’s technology improves the networking process all round.
Virtual events can be a good and cheap platform to experiment with new ideas that, if successful, can transfer to physical events, Otto explains. “People; will organise a physical event and use year-round online platforms. This can be done by membership to keep attendees engaged. You can sell tickets earlier, a year out…There are many tools and so much virtual event tool choice. Quality will remain.
“An event should not be a TV show. Look at your event programme to make engaging content,” says Otto.
As far back as 2017 Networktables were hosting virtual events for upwards of 20,000 participants, Otto adds. This meant his company was well placed when the pandemic caused a shift last year to virtual and hybrid events. Indeed, it reported revenue growth during 2020 of 160%. In 2021 the aim, says Otto, is to continue the growth.
“We have launched Networktables in-built webinars, which can power up to 2,000 attendees,” he adds. “Just open a web-based link. There’s no need to download. We can facilitate any type of event, including award shows.”
Otto says the company is now hiring more people and continuing to innovate the product. Big events, he says, are all in need of innovative concepts and looking for advice.