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Bizzabo news | 2 October 2021

Welcome to the Age of Event Experiences

Eran Ben-Shushan

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Bizzabo’s Event Experience Operating System to help organizers drive success in the era of event experiences. 

Ever since we founded Bizzabo ten years ago, our goal has been to bring people together, and to make events more rewarding for everyone involved. That’s what led us to build the award-winning, category defining event success software that put us on the map. It’s also what led us to build something entirely new: the Event Experience Operating System.

Event management software has outlived its relevance. It’s been slow to iterate, focused on serving singular, transactional tasks. The demands of the COVID-19 pandemic era have exposed the problems with the event management software approach and ignited the largest transformation the industry has ever experienced.

I recently discussed this pivotal moment, and what it means for event professionals, with Bizzabo’s VP of Global Events Devin Cleary and Bizzabo’s VP of Account Management Megan Murphy.

Here’s the short of it.

Hybrid World, Hybrid Events

Today, we live in a hybrid world. Our lives have become a harmonious blend of physical and digital experiences that are becoming more personalized, more impactful, and more human. Events have struggled to meet this reality, in large part because event management software has treated the digital component as a “bolt-on” rather than a purpose-built solution and experience.

There are four critical problems event organizers face:

  1. Customer and event data is either missing or captured in isolation so it’s hard to see and measure progress toward business outcomes.
  2. Event software companies don’t empower event leaders to truly connect with audiences. Audiences remain siloed and not truly present.
  3. The available tools are neither intuitive nor truly flexible, preventing event leaders from being able to design unique experiences in a hybrid world.
  4. It’s challenging for event professionals to stay up-to-date with the operating know-how and the concierge-level service they need in this evolving event landscape.

The result is the Event Impact Gap™ — the enormous chasm between the aspiration that event organizers have to create immersive, connected, and personalized human experiences and their ability to deliver them with their current technology.

Closing the Event Impact Gap™

The stakes for solving the Event Impact Gap™ are high. A majority of leaders from top-performing organizations said events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals, according to a recent Bizzabo survey. Now more than ever, modern CMOs expect event leaders to deliver innovative customer experiences for virtual-weary audiences.

Brands, enterprises, educational institutions, non-profits — they all depend on event professionals being able to craft personalized, multi-channel experiences that deliver measurable impact regardless of attendees’ locations. But event professionals are unequipped to do this today. They’ve been left behind in the hybrid era. And so, audiences attend events without being present. They convene but they don’t connect.

Event participants are ready to move fluidly between virtual and physical experiences — and event organizers want this, too — and yet events offer meager interactions which rarely offer real opportunities for authentic connection. Without authentic, personalized experiences, events will stay stagnant, transactional, and boring.

The Rise of Event Experiences

Over the last few years, we’ve started to imagine a future that’s entirely different: A future rooted in the challenges and innovations of the present moment, and those that are yet to come. One where events aren’t simply managed; they’re orchestrated by maestros who create experiences that drive businesses forward.

We’ve been working hard to bring this vision to life. We’ve activated our amazing team, many of whom have been part of this journey since the very beginning, and we’ve recruited new talent, new skills, and new capabilities.

  • We acquired x.ai to double down on creating personalized and immersive event experiences for attendees, speakers, sponsors, and organizers.
  • We acquired Whalebone to capture the energy and shared moments that amplify the emotional involvement and human interactions of event attendees and speakers.
  • We opened two additional offices in Ukraine and London, and introduced a remote-friendly hybrid model for our workforce as we grew our team to 300+ Bizzaboers.

Together, we’ve come up with something new — something that will replace event management software for good.

Introducing the Event Experience Operating System

Bizzabo’s Event Experience Operating System has been built from the ground up for a new era of events. The Event Experience OS empowers Event Experience Leaders to close the Event Impact Gap™ by giving them the tools, support, and know-how they need to deliver personalized experiences, create magical moments that spark authentic connections, and cultivate evergreen communities that live beyond event day.

The Bizzabo Event Experience OS is an open platform to produce immersive in-person, virtual, or hybrid experiences. Built for our hybrid world, the OS empowers Event Experience Leaders to manage events of any size and format from a single platform and to create VIP experiences for every attendee, speaker, and sponsor.

Backed by enterprise infrastructure, Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS merges unmatched reliability, scalability, and security with the openness you’d expect of a modern operating system.

  • Event Intelligence — Everything in the Event Experience OS is designed and built around customers’ need for real-time, connected data. Event intelligence is woven into every nook of the OS, allowing every attendee, sponsor, and exhibitor’s engagement to elevate the intelligence of the entire system. There’s no closed loop; instead, the OS is a single platform for your entire event portfolio, providing comprehensive data and powerful insights that drive informed business decisions.
  • Event Serendipity Engine™ — With advanced AI and the Event Serendipity Engine™, the Event Experience OS makes it easy to deliver the exact content attendees need, the right sponsor they should see, and the perfect person they should meet with — creating the authentic, meaningful connections that make attendance worthwhile and events unforgettable.
  • Event Orchestration — These modules in the Event Experience OS turn event operations into event superpowers. Every facet of operations for all event types and formats is streamlined, from promotion, to managing registration, to building beautiful and customized websites, to empowering sponsors and speakers.
  • Moments Creation — These modules empower Event Experience Leaders to create exceptional and immersive experiences in any format, while also enabling attendees to customize their own event journeys before, during, and after the experience.
  • Open and Secure Platform — The Event Experience OS is an open platform with practically limitless capabilities. Event marketers have the freedom to bring their own tools and platforms of preference into the OS and data flows freely in real-time while adhering to the highest levels of security standards and industry best practices, including SOCII, ISO27001, GDPR, and CCPA compliance. This commitment to security cascades through the system, empowering administrators to manage access control among team members and event leaders can define and manage attendee access to event content.

This is Only the Beginning

Today, we’re announcing the Event Experience OS and our commitment to continue to build and invest in the future of events. By now, you’ve probably also noticed our new look and feel — including a completely new Bizzabo.com. (My co-founder Alon Alroy wrote about the inspiration behind our new brand identity.)

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information about our vision for Event Experience, how this will impact the skills and workforce trends for event organizers, and how we will bring this new category to life on our platform.

I invite you to join me on Nov. 16 for a very special Bizzabo event. Be the first to hear exciting announcements and get a sneak peek at the future of event experiences. RSVP and save your spot today.

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