Why We Bought Eventgrid

It’s no secret that event registration and event apps go together.  

Just about every event that DoubleDutch has powered over the last six years has had some sort of registration system behind it – over the years we’ve integrated with over 100 unique systems that perform critical pre-event functions like event registration and event marketing via websites and email.

DoubleDutch has always believed that mobile is the heart of the modern event technology stack, and that the behavioral insights gained from live engagement data are the most valuable asset in the industry.  Now, with market leadership under our belt, and a world-class set of global customers who want more from us, we believe it’s time to expand the offering. Registration is the most natural next step, and we believe that the benefits of combining a best in class app with modern registration will be exponential for our customers.

Today, I am pleased to announce that DoubleDutch has acquired Eventgrid, and is expanding our offering to include registration, event websites, ticketing, and event promotion.

The tl;dr version is this:

For the first time in our industry, a modern, best-in-class event platform has teamed up with a modern, best-in-class registration and event promotion system.  The combined systems will bring the elegance and ease of use of consumer grade software with the scalability, security, and stability of the enterprise to event owners, worldwide.

Please read on for the details.

Why now?  

Our reasons for moving now fall into a variety of buckets, but held together by one single thread; they are all customer driven.  Here are the primary reasons we are moving now;

Our customers are asking us to expand the DoubleDutch platform.  Hundreds of our existing customers are raising their hand for pre-event functionality like event promotion and event registration from DoubleDutch, today.   Why are they raising their hands?  It seems that DoubleDutch customers value modern, easy, beautiful software, as well as the convenience of working with a single vendor

There is a gap in the market.  The incumbent registration systems are more focused on logistics management than business results and are not known for being attendee or organizer friendly.  Marketing automation systems have half-heartedly tried to fill this gap, but are too clunky for event programs at scale; not many folks within an org know how to use Marketo without substantial training, for instance.  In discussions with our customers, it became apparent that there is deep frustration with the legacy systems, particularly for those customers that own external events where business outcomes matter more than everything else.

We have aspirations beyond event day engagement.  In speaking to our customers, we have started to detect patterns in how they think about their biggest obstacles to executing a successful event.  The big three according to DoubleDutch customers are: 1) Attendee Experience and Relationship Building; 2) Delivering (and Proving) Business Value and ROI; and 3) Filling the house with the right attendees.  While we have market-leading technology to lead in items #1 and #2, until today, we relied on a partnership strategy for #3.  With the addition of Eventgrid, we now have a solution for each of our customers’ largest problems, and are able to   bring to market the first purpose-built, end-to-end system of record for event marketers focused on business outcomes, as opposed to logistics.  

Why did we choose Eventgrid?

Our criteria was straightforward; we prioritized product over everything else.  What we wanted was a modern, elegant, and scalable product that we could combine with DoubleDutch’s existing system to create something world class, and that would thrill our customers.

We spoke to a number of registration vendors, both new entrants, and ones that have been around for a while.  In this context Eventgrid stood head and shoulders above every other product that we looked at.  Shortly after diving into their offering, it became clear that “buy” was the right option.  Eventgrid is particularly excellent in its usability, its sleek, modern look and feel, and its thoughtful integrations to the rest of the sales and marketing stack.

Eventgrid was built by a team of very senior engineers who had earned their stripes building some big, scalable, and well known systems. They wrote their first line of code for Eventgrid in 2013, a computing lifetime away from the late 90’s when the industry incumbents were born.

Quite simply, we were blown away by their tech.  The architecture was smart and scalable.  Their UI elegant and modern.  Both the attendee and organizer experiences are world class.   The founders had done an exceptional job listening to their customers, and methodically solving their pain points.

Modern and user friendly, the Eventgrid system is dead simple to use – with no training, any event planner is able to spin up a dazzling event website to promote and drive registrations for their event.  But don’t be fooled by the modern UI – Eventgrid has long targeted the enterprise, and has passed numerous security audits.

In Eventgrid, we believe we have found the perfect product to extend our vision and help our customers with their biggest problems.

How will the products work together?

There are many benefits for registration and event apps to exist within a single system – here are a few areas of interest for us:

Additional Data for Live Engagement Marketing.  The discipline of Live Engagement Marketing is predicated upon data capture as a means to offer more personalized experiences to attendees, and to allow more fine tuned segmentation.  Registration adds another crucial dataset to the mix – attendee demographic data that can be paired with behavioral data to ensure that each attendee’s experience is personalized.

Year Two and Year Round Engagement.  As a Software as a Service (SaaS) business, we deeply understand our customers’ obsession with year over year retention of their attendees.  Our customers want their Year One attendees to be so happy with the event that they come back in Year Two.  By pairing a high engagement app with registration, we believe there is the opportunity to create year round engagement, and in doing so, help our customers “refill the bucket” in year two by driving registrations year round.

Driving More App Adoption.  DoubleDutch’s single biggest differentiator in the market is its very high adoption and engagement.  Put another way, people get addicted to our app.   In the aggregate, this high engagement creates a new channel by which event owners can segment and communicate with their attendees, while generating lots of behavioral data.  One of the reasons that we are incredibly excited to add registration is the ability to wire the app onboarding process more tightly into the registration process.  In the very near future, an attendee registering for a DoubleDutch powered event will immediately be dropped into the app, creating even higher adoption and engagement.

What does this mean for the industry?

When we founded DoubleDutch in 2011, we had a thesis that beautiful, consumer-grade mobile apps combined with enterprise grade scalability and security could be a game changer for live events.  We believed that we could not only make the attendee experience far better by overlaying digital on top of face to face, but that we could also make our customers’ lives easier, and drive real ROI for every stakeholder.

This vision has worked.  In just a few years, DoubleDutch has emerged as a category leader and one of the fastest growing event technology companies, ever.

Today we expand our original thesis to include the attendee’s pre event experience.

So what does this mean for the industry?  

Well, this is the first time that a modern mobile event app system has been paired with a modern event registration / promotion system, and we could not be more excited to bring the combined system to our customers.

Learn more about the expanded DoubleDutch platform here.

If you have questions, please reach out to your Account Manager or email me directly at lawrence@doubledutch.me.