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Episode 80 / May 23, 2022

Episode 54: Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese, Captello: Fostering Engagement at Events

Join us for a conversation with Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese from Captello on fostering engagement at events.

Captello podcast episode

Join us for a conversation with Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese from Captello on fostering engagement at events.

Shownotes: Season 3, Episode 4: Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese

In this episode, we talk with Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese about new ways to increase engagement at events.  

Schefke is the Founder and CEO of Captello, a premier end-to-end lead capture and event engagement software platform. Froese is a marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience in network television, public speaking, magazine publication, non-profit, and SaaS marketing.

Here’s what you’ll hear about in this conversation: 

  • How to overcome the challenges of engagement at events before the pandemic
  • How to capture leads via engagement activations at events
  • How to rethink how to increase engagement at events in the future

Mentioned in This Episode


[00:00:00] Erik Fisher: Welcome to Event Experience by Bizzabo. I’m your host, Erik Fisher. And this is the podcast where we bring the best and brightest Event Experience Leaders together to share stories, tips, and lessons learned from creating some of the biggest events. This week, I’m excited to share with you a conversation I had with Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese of Captello.

[00:00:29] Ryan Schefke is the founder and CEO of capital and the event industry’s premier end-to-end lead capture and event engagement software. Coining the phrase universal lead capture. Ryan has developed the platform to offer event professionals, unprecedented, flexibility, and control of the lead capture and engagement processes. From customizable lead capture forms and digital activations to automate workflows event automation and more.

[00:00:59] Brade Froese is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in network television, public speaking, magazine publication, nonprofit, and SAS marketing. In this conversation, the three of us focus on engagement at events. We talk about the challenges of engagement that existed at in-person events prior to the pandemic, issues with engagement in virtual events, and yes, it’s much more than just Zoom fatigue, and overcoming the engagement challenges at all events in the future moving forward. Let’s get into it. 

[00:01:42] I am super excited today to bring you a conversation with Ryan Schefke and Brad Froese from Captello. Ryan, Brad, welcome to Event Experience.

[00:01:56] Ryan Schefke: Hello. we’re super pumped to be here and I want to match that excitement. So, woohoo. Here we go. 

[00:02:04] Erik Fisher: Awesome. Awesome. At Bizzabo, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Captello, and then in my interactions with you, that’s just been reinforced.

[00:02:13] So it’s been awesome to meet you both and to have a great conversation with you and where I appeared on your podcast. And, have to link up to that in the show notes, because it’s all, we’ll have some crossover, but separate talk. I’m curious for the listener. If they’ve never heard of Captello, we should probably cue them in with kind of a brief origin story of the company, what it is how it came about.

[00:02:40] Ryan Schefke: Yeah, absolutely. so again, thanks Erik for that. and I’m glad that we’re spreading rumors within Bizzabo, we’re cool to work with and we have exciting stuff, but the rumors are very true. We have a very unique story, it began, in 2014 as a sales and marketing automation company, and I’m going to fast track a little bit, we kinda realized, man, the sandbox that we’re playing in is super crowded with all these people saying, oh, we’re marketing automation.

[00:03:13] You have, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and everybody. We have marketing automation. So we said, man, that’s so crowded. We’re kind of eager to find these new opportunities and it is much like everything we do for our customers. And the companies we work with, drive the solutions we create. So, in the sales and marketing platform, we have web forum capabilities, things like that.

[00:03:40] And we client that came to us and they said, these web forms are really cool. But we need to be able to take that same form and go to a trade show and be in the basement of a hotel that doesn’t have internet and we need to still stay connected. So we said we can do that. And then we ended up creating lead capture.

[00:04:01] We call that universal lead capture. This is a system that exhibitors and organizers can give to their exhibitors and that helps them capture leads through various methods, at trade shows, and then get that information right into their backend system, their CRM, marketing automation, et cetera.

[00:04:21] Ryan Schefke: And so that’s where we created the Captello brand. And shortly thereafter, Erik, the client again said, Hey, this is cool. I can capture these leads consistently at every event that I go to, but I need some more help. They said, this is cool, but I need to draw people into my booth. I want more leads.

[00:04:46] want to draw people in, give me something exciting. There in lies the birth of our activations, we call them digital activations. I, I try to not use the word games cause we don’t want to sound, simple and silly. We’re a professional software company. so that’s where digital activations came into play that also has lead capture.

[00:05:07] And so now we’re like fully immersed in the event industry, super excited to be partnering with Bizzabo and complementing the virtual event platform well as the live event solutions from Bizzabo. So have a lot of things I think in common and, I think really great things ahead for both companies 

[00:05:27] Erik Fisher: Awesome. Great story. Thank you for filling us in. Obviously, your focus is on engagement regardless of what the venue is for an event, whether that’s in-person or virtual. . What I want to do here is walk through the timeline and get you both of your perspectives. was your perspective in terms of engagement?

[00:05:48] You already alluded to it a little bit here with the booth positioning and activations, et cetera. What was your perspective in terms of how engaging an in-person-only event was prior to 2019 and further back in time? 

[00:06:08] I’ll take that. So I think events people try to make them engaging, right? So I’m going to skip around and, if we could peek into the future, we would go, oh my gosh, the pandemic has taught us that digital is okay. And we’re much we embrace and accept digital forms of being able to deliver events and digital marketing and digital concepts.

[00:06:35] Ryan Schefke: I think a lot of people in the events industry. They were, they had kind of a mental block and it, and it was it’s challenging to accept digital concepts and campaigns and ideas. So now that they’re more accepting, I think that enables these events to be more exciting and more engaging.

[00:06:52] But before that, you’d have people bringing in, I always talk about this, the big physical, spin the wheel. Right? I mean, think how expensive Erik, that would be to haul that thing in pay for the shipping just to set it up. to orchestrate all of that or your big physical whack-a-mole table, you have to pay somebody to create it and bring in.

[00:07:16] And gosh, why don’t we do these things digitally and digital allows us to actually do a lot more. And then even further, have organizers, we’ve done this where organizers now come to us and they say, Hey, back in the day, pre-pandemic, we would do a passport for prizes. We’d give people these physical cards and you’d go around and you have to have them stamped showing you into these checkpoints and then come back and turn in your card and you get a prize for that. So we’ve digitized all of that. And again, it makes it so much more versatile and lowers costs.

[00:07:53] Erik Fisher: Yeah, Brad, what about you? What’s your experience with, interaction and, just experiences at in-person events prior to the pandemic?

[00:08:02] Brad Froese: Yeah, pre-pandemic, there was a lot of focus on who is in your booth and how much money did you spend on your booth? You would go to a specific expo and they’d have industry leaders or sneezers that they would try and bring in that attention. And then you’d have a bunch of inline booths to just look like a repeat of the other one, nothing to really differentiate or separate them out. It really has changed the game post-pandemic to be able to go digital and offer even smaller companies that can’t afford an island 40 by 40 booth. Somebody that’s just starting out with the 10 by 10, a way to drive intentional traffic directly to their space without paying thousands and thousands of dollars, a way to engage people with their brand and their solutions.

[00:08:56] And get them directly to them, and leave them something like a lasting memory, a lasting experience they had with teammates and things like Things that. we’re seeing now that this is really how Captello helps. This is the vision that we have to bring. I know I’m ahead a little bit, but the, stark differences really there. It was based on how big can you be And how much talent can you draw in. Now it’s the ability to really broadcast your message and differentiators through different technologies.

[00:09:32] Erik Fisher: And I know this is all about event experience. That’s the name of the show. And I want to get your authentic experience. I’m going to add mine very briefly here. One of the things that I noticed running Social Media for an event annually, as well as attending events was, that I’m a people watcher.

[00:09:48] I’m a people person, but I’m also a people watcher. And one of the things that I noticed is you had this spectrum of people where it was either they were a lurker or they were very quiet and kept to themselves very much an online, avatar as well. You also had those outgoing connectors who had to meet every single person and we were always in the hallways and never attend the sessions. People that just went from session to session only. You’ve got the cross between the introverts, and the extroverts. And then also as we move our conversation forward in terms of into the pandemic. And how digital affects different people. When you’ve got boomers and different generations, gen X, millennials, and digital natives, they all react or respond with their various past experiences in the digital world up until that point, but can be trained into new modes of thinking.

[00:10:45] The example I think of is I have a very close friend. His dad was visiting him. Who’s 20-plus years older than him. Did not grow up with technology. However, he accidentally left his phone at a hotel when was visiting and freaked out that he couldn’t figure out how to get around without the maps feature on his phone, though, for two to three-fourths of his life up until that time. He was already a very good map user in an analog map user, I should say. And so just that we’ve learned or habitualized search and certain practices, and that’s a lot of what the shakeup was in terms of the event experience events themselves when it came to the pandemic. What was your kind of realization as the pandemic was happening? And especially with your focus on engagement.

[00:11:43] Ryan Schefke: For us, actually, because to be honest, we hate the word pivot and — no offense to you — but …

[00:11:49] Erik Fisher: None taken.

[00:11:50] Ryan Schefke: So we never pivoted, but I think that we sent a whole new opportunity for everybody. I mean, not just us selfishly speaking, but for everybody like to go back to your comment, I think engagement was really at live events because if you have a live event like you’re excluding this huge population of people that couldn’t be there. Cause our manager said no, or you can’t afford it or they couldn’t travel or what have you. So it’s much more inclusive now it’s more holistic to run these events. But for us, we didn’t pivot Erik. We extended what we do. So what is the extension? Well, I mentioned in the live environment, all of our digital activations that spin the wheel, the whack-a-mole, the trivia, the jeopardy, everything we’re doing. Yes, you can run it on a tablet in your booth. But you can also embed them into amazing environments like Bizzabo and virtual platforms. So we made our technology cross-platform. And so that it’s easy to pop them into Bizzabo. The other thing is, again, tying the two worlds together. At live events, Brad mentioned this, companies exhibitors would really try to create memorable moments.

[00:13:08] And do their best at that. And they oftentimes would give away swag or, a pencil or hat whatever, and then the person walks away and the exhibitor feels like, oh, that’s going to be the one thing they’re going to remember me by. But what happens that goes into the trash. They give it to their kid, they spin the helicopter, whatever it is.

[00:13:27] And that doesn’t stay with them. As we embrace this digital ecosystem, at live events, we have a whole prize element, right? So a reward system where over 250 different digital gift cards and ways to basically make your swag or whatever your giveaway is, digital. Deliver that, and deliver the follow-up and the communication and all of that.

[00:13:54] So our platform is built around all of that, and that’s very transferable, into this virtual environment where you could have a leaderboard in the virtual environment. It’s digital. You can have your reward system where people can get in there and get their gift card and things like that. everything was transferable for us because that’s the beauty of staying in that digital realm if you will. There’s so much expansion and flexibility. But we extended, we didn’t pivot. and a lot of this is, working inside Bizzabo

[00:14:29] Erik Fisher: I love that clarity. And I love that intention behind And definitely, I will stop using that word 

[00:14:36] Ryan Schefke: No. 

[00:14:37] Erik Fisher: In this conversation. I will stop using that word in this conversation. I will still use it, but still when applicable, when appropriate. Brad, do you have any thoughts on that?

[00:14:49] Brad Froese: Most of us have seen, You’ve Got Mail. The beginning of that movie is a very 80s-style graphical intro. It’s kind of like a Minecrafty look. And that’s kind of where digital went in the pandemic. Let’s hurry up and build a platform where we can put avatars inside of block figures inside of environments.

[00:15:11] I think, honestly, that’s where this fatigue started to happen. With the insight of the leadership and building these experiences that now created a bridge between the and the virtual environment where people could interact and be touching the same exact game or activation or the same asset, whether that’d be a brochure, a website, whatever it is. But it bridged that gap by allowing them to touch those things at the same time, no matter whether they were attending digitally or in-person. And so they could compete in a trivia or a jeopardy-style game together.

[00:15:58] And see the same leaderboard they’re seeing, whether they’re in-person or digital or online. And really makes the people feel like they’re building community sharing experiences sharing the rewards that come from those experiences. 

[00:16:12] Erik Fisher: I’ve experienced that actually in-person experience, augmented by digital technology where I can’t remember. I think it was Thanksgiving, but my brother-in-law hooked something up to the TV. We all went to a link on our phones. It was he and I, and my son and daughter, and then my nephews, and because they already have their, I mean, it’s common practice. We all have our phones on us at all times anyway, so why not use them for something to connect as a family? Right? And on the screen, we’re playing a game with our phones and it’s very much like what you are capable of. 

[00:16:47] Brad Froese: Yeah. 

[00:16:48] Erik Fisher: And I loved it.

[00:16:49] So when I got wind of what Captello was capable of, I instantly thought, I know how this goes. This is perfect. This is meaningful interaction. The small- and large-scale events.

[00:17:03] Brad Froese: When you couple that together with the power and the flexibility of the visible platform, you really just end up with a completely immersive, and incredibly flexible environment that again, spans that gap, bridges it together. It’s really great.

[00:17:20] Erik Fisher: Because we’ve become so accustomed to our technology and our reliance on it. Like my friend’s dad who couldn’t, then suddenly forgot how to use an analog map. And that’s, I think what we need to remember is that moving forward if anything, the pandemic has taught us and you can both speak to this.

[00:17:38] If the pandemic has taught us anything, there’s an analog world, a physical world, and a digital world, and they’re not separate. We live in both and it’s about merging them and leaning in on the strengths of both of them to create great experiences, excellent experiences for our attendees.

[00:17:59] Ryan Schefke: You and I had talked before Erik, about different kinds of people. I just I’m excited about the future of the events industry. I think it’s just going to be because of what’s happening, what happened, and because of the opportunities with digital. It’s just gonna blow up even faster. 

[00:18:19] I see monumental growth because, as you’re pointing out, in the Bizzabo platform, I know I’m plugging Bizzabo, but it’s all good. Cause it’s a great platform. People learn in different ways. Also, people are different. I might be okay being on here, seeing you. We’re on a Zoom we’re talking.

[00:18:39] I’m fine. I might be okay in-person. I might be okay speaking on a stage. But other people might not be. In other words, some people might not be comfortable going to a live event. They would really rather be in this kind of environment and have it digital. So there are people who learn in different ways.

[00:18:56] Ryan Schefke: People interact in different ways. People different. And this is the whole element of being human. 

[00:19:03] Every human has alike. We’re not robots. We are humans. 

[00:19:06] Erik Fisher: We are a broad spectrum of flavors of people. And speaking of that again, I think that’s the thing is our different walks of life, ages, backgrounds, all of that. Again, as technology has become more prevalent and ubiquitous and it’s ever-present our attention is not it’s splintered.

[00:19:31] Hence why what you’re doing with your activations can be a really powerful, just accommodation, but an augmentation or a building on top of, and an essential part of an event. A missing piece that I think a lot of people overlook.

[00:19:50] Brad Froese: Definitely. And you’re seeing really a transformation take place in terms of where organizers and exhibitors want to go with engagement. Before and even during the beginning of the pandemic in a virtual environment, sometimes you had to beg people to attend meetings or presentations.

[00:20:11] Your presentation hall might be a 10th of what you wanted it to be, but now you’re finding new ways to drive intentional participation in these different halls because they can be incentivized to be there. Or they can be told to be there by virtue of notifications or different hardware devices that can be worn and things like that.

[00:20:34] You can take data that’s been collected at the beginning of the show, you can qualify the people in the show based on interests, and then you can drive them to the sessions and things are really best suited for them increasing that engagement and that attention. By augmenting that digital experience in the in-person or hybrid situation.

[00:21:03] I’m going to add to that. I feel like activations are a necessary part of any event, really, because the topic here, obviously the Zoom fatigue and being on the screen so much and so much of your attention. The premise here is people need a break. There was a study by Balance. He’s a Stanford professor and he did a study on Zoom fatigue, which had four main pillars. And one pillar is that you need to take a break. So you can’t just be in this event the entire time. The break could be having fun, and engaging in a different way than what we think of.

[00:21:42] This could be gamifying things, making it fun. You don’t feel it’s work. Maybe you’re winning something, you’re competing. That’s inherent in a lot of people. Most people like to compete, it’s fun for them and it’s relaxing. So doing these things that allow people to relax and not feel like it’s a meeting or they’re draining their battery.

[00:22:03] That’s really one of the essences of what we’re shooting for here.

[00:22:07] Erik Fisher: I always have a quick little giddy moment when I see that an event that I’m going to is in the hotel where I will be staying for the event because then I’ve got that built-in break already able to be done. I can go up, I can 

[00:22:23] Brad Froese: Yeah. 

[00:22:24] Erik Fisher: I can go through all the booths. I can grab the swag.

[00:22:27] And then I can say, I gotta take this swag up to my room and take a break. So it’s that built-in kind of that world. It’s that built-in piece. Here’s the same thing when you’re working from home or attending events from home, again, Zoom fatigue is a real thing with full-blown, actual symptoms.

[00:22:46] You’re fighting, not only splintered attention I’ve got my pet, my kid, we all saw the or UK guy who had his whole family bust in on his, news conference. It’s like that at home. It always is. Even just today. in a meeting and there was a dog barking.

[00:23:04] Erik Fisher: We’re accustomed to that now. But I don’t think as people were as used to with those distractions or when there’s a lack of them, that the material in front of me, the sessions, speakers, the agenda is engaging or interactive enough. And that’s where you come in.

[00:23:25] When you look at these, when you look at them like virtual events, right? What do you have? What are the ways to deliver content? It’s, you have networking opportunities. So people kind of exchange content, got speakers there on the podium talking, your giving presentations.

[00:23:43] Ryan Schefke: We gotta be creative in terms of ways to deliver a message, and there are creative ways to do that. Whether it’s trivia, again, that’s something fun or a crossword search and people are searching for things or, a mash game or something like that. Like different ways again, to deliver education and get your message across.

[00:24:04] And I think that’s part of being creative and the good news is that organizers or coordinators, usually they’re very creative people, they’re imaginative. That’s a good thing. I think it might be hard for people organizing events in a digital environment to see how they could take that creativity.

[00:24:22] Cause you can’t build stuff. There are no kind of physical elements, right? So gotta have other avenues and ways to deliver that creativity and drive home your message. Getting people to participate and actually engage when they’re sitting in a presentation can be difficult. But again, one example on our platform is we have a custom QR code builder that can be branded any way you want.

[00:24:49] And then that person can be watching your presentation. You might have a great video or some multimedia, but now you have a way to get a live poll. Live feedback or a live interactive gamification experience that brings the entire audience together and shows them live results. So now they’re part of the presentation and not just spectators.

[00:25:15] Erik Fisher: I think that’s the downfall here is for a lot of virtual events is you’re competing with all the other time that I’ve spent on a screen that day. Whether it’s been a call or email, et cetera, working in Google docs, whatever I’ve already spent that much time doing, give me something different.

[00:25:37] And that’s what you provide.

[00:25:39] Brad Froese: Definitely. 

[00:25:39] That’s our passion is to provide that over-the-top, that flexible, that super engaging experience. That brings people together. We had a motto this year in our marketing campaigns. It was to engage the individual. It’s not so much just about, trying to scan a badge or get attention, but it’s actually engaging the human element. 

[00:26:06] Erik Fisher: We’re all about humans here at Bizzabo. More human events. So you’re talking our language right there. We’ve already given some examples. Let’s dive deeper. Let’s give a plethora of examples to event experienced leaders out there who, they’re on board. They understand that as this person who’s putting on an event.

[00:26:25] They have to be thinking about the engagement factor for their attendees, whether again, it’s in-person or it’s virtual. What are some other ways that they can use activations? Like Captello is using to engage the audience?

[00:26:41] Brad Froese: We’ve set up something for the second year. Now we call it a treasure or scavenger hunt. It’s great for the organizer and the attendees. Everybody wins because you can create a self-guided tour, a treasure hunt where participating sponsors get branded elements in their booth to identify them as a stop. People look for those signs and those brands.

[00:27:06] They are Intentionally driven to those places. When they experience whatever they’re experiencing, whether they’re having a real conversation or playing a gamifcation or activation present the solution in a fun and educational way. They can actually earn points for going to each one of these stops And those points add up on a leaderboard where they can redeem those points for rewards of just any kind. So everybody wins. The organizer gets to monetize those opportunities. The exhibitors get intentional traffic driven directly to their booth, where they can have the conversations that they need to have.

[00:27:46] And the attendees having fun, running around, getting steps in, and winning cool free stuff. 

[00:27:53] Erik Fisher: Who doesn’t like free stuff. Right? 

[00:27:55] Ryan Schefke: Very true. So I’ll add to that, we have different activations, right? That deliver different things. So you’re talking about experiences. Brad kind of brought this up earlier. Creating memorable moments. So our photo booth is actually really cool because it’s a hybrid photo booth. You could have it at your live event, it could be on a tablet or you could have a QR code at your live event and then attendees can take their smartphones to scan the QR code and our photo neat because you can add stickers, you can put a frame, it’s all appropriate to the event. And while you’re having the digital part, you can do that too. So it can embed inside Bizzabo and you do the photo booth.

[00:28:35] We have a client who is doing an event at a very large cosmetic company. I know all the women would know it, but they have an island they’re setting up this island, all these different stops and everybody’s taking a photo of these different areas on the island. But whether you’re in-person or you’re remote, all the pictures can go in the gallery.

[00:28:56] So we have a photo gallery live at the event. You’re displaying it on the projector inside Bizzabo you’re showing it there. You’re posting automatically to social media, to drive engagement, I know you love social media, Erik. All of those things to bridge remote and live, but to drive more engagement.

[00:29:16] So organizers absolutely should consider that. And there are different experiences they could create depending on the event, but like we have a whole suite of casino games. Great for those organizers, putting on stuff in Vegas where, you have a slot machine, you have a lottery, a crack the safe, like all these cool things.

[00:29:35] And what’s really neat is all these activations. When people engage, they earn points. You can have a leaderboard for each of the activations or a master leaderboard, and then everybody’s competing, trying to win. So they’re all involved in looking at the leaderboard. Organizers should know their sponsorship opportunities.

[00:29:53] So basically everything should be paid for. They should be making lots of money through these activations and these sponsorship opportunities. And then all the attendees can compete and win which can be delivered digitally. Go figure. 

[00:30:07] Brad Froese: One other use case we’ve been able to execute is in our digital marketing campaigns. You can Daisy chain games together. Let’s say you do three or four. And at the end of every game, they get a digit or a code. And then on the last step, they enter the four digits to open the safe, to win the prize. And so revealing. Not just brands and prices, but exposing them to new sponsorship opportunities, already giving them a taste of what the event’s going to be like, who’s going to be there, and what’s going to be there they’ve even gone.

[00:30:42] And really helps to build excitement. Erik, if I may, I want to add two more things.

[00:30:48] Ryan Schefke: We’re talking about what can you do at the event? Okay. I think organizers and I’m not trying to denigrate an organizer, but I want them to think about this. Before doing your marketing before the event and after the event. No. 1, you want to get people excited, right? Do you want people to attend? I mean, I have an option. I’m in my seat no matter what. Am I going to attend the event or not? What something has to get me there? I don’t know I’m going, I have a decision, like three minutes before I joined the event.

[00:31:23] I could say, I don’t want to, because it’s all about what was leading up to the event. Because activations are digital. They can be included in email campaigns. It can be put on landing pages. These are opportunities to help promote the event and drive engagement as well as after the event to follow up to drive home that message, whatever that might be. Or if you’re using activations to compete, you have reasons to follow up with a marketer. You want to have long-tail communication. And so you need those reasons to follow up. So on that note, pre-event and post-event, are really, really important opportunities for organizers. The last thing is networking. We all go to an event or where in the event. As an organizer, you got to really think, what can you do to help network? And Bizzabo does a great job with Q and A and polls and things like that. And we’re working on these things. I can’t talk about it yet, but come the second half of this year, we’ll have opportunities for attendees to network and meet each other and prompt dialogue.

[00:32:29] And that’s not easy for a lot of people, to just go up to somebody and meet people, but to Brad’s point. We can enable organizers to offer things that get attendees, to do the things that an organizer wants them to do, whether they interact with each other where visit exhibitors, or visit sponsors.

[00:32:51] Those are all opportunities that we’re focusing on. But organizers have to think about that. 

[00:32:57] Erik Fisher: You’ve taken us to the place I wanted to get to. And we’ve already addressed this, which it wasn’t just about what we did before and what we did during the pandemic and learned from that it’s about then taking both those pieces and it seems like you’re doing it, which I’m really excited to see you’re addressing the engagement issues.

[00:33:17] Event experienced leaders, probably weren’t thinking were issues with in-person only events prior to the pandemic, but were obviously there to those of us who were looking. We had an inkling that something was off or wrong or low, not hitting the mark, but we just couldn’t quite define it or put our finger on it.

[00:33:40] We’ve now come to realize that the major, main issue when it comes to all of this and success for events is engagement, I love that your, I almost said pivot. I love that you’re pointing out that it’s not just at the event itself, but it’s pre and post as well. Great job.

[00:34:00] Ryan Schefke: I have to say this as well. It’s not that, It’s not that engagement was bad. It’s that now we all know that there are more engagement opportunities it’s more apparent to us, right? I think before the pandemic, you’re an organizer and you go, oh, I have my meet and greet, and then I have a social party.

[00:34:19] I get abandoned there and great. I checked the box. Engagement’s done, okay, that’s fine. you’re missing all of this other opportunity, which again, I think is more apparent now. 

[00:34:31] Erik Fisher: If there’s anything that you know, and you can both speak to this, but I think that if anything, I want somebody from right now, who’s listened up to this point to a light bulb on in their head thinking there’s more than what I’ve done up to this point that is able to be done already.

[00:34:49] And there’s more that’s coming in the future. And Captello is part of that. And so it was Bizzabo.

[00:34:56] Ryan Schefke: Absolutely. And I’m gonna put a feather and Bizzabo’s cap here. Do you know what Bizzabo is doing with the App Market, that’s amazing because let’s be realistic here, as an organizer, you’re very stressed, it’s one of the top five most stressful jobs. I remember reading a report it’s like up there with policemen and firemen.

[00:35:17] And so organizers are very stressed and they have so much to do. And now if you say, oh, Get this digital companion going and have your event platform to accompany live like, oh my gosh, how do I handle that? you gotta make it easy. And I think creds to Bizzabo in the app marketplace where, I’m not going to say button click, but you know, things will be a lot easier to add engagement and add these opportunities that we’re presenting here, to the Bizzabo platform so that we relieve that stress for organizers.

[00:35:50] Yeah. And Bizzabo is smart about making sure that they are allowing their event organizers to build an experience that is both virtual and in-person that’s hybrid. so cap telecoms, right alongside offer solutions right out of the box, like end-to-end solutions that help the same people execute on both sides of the hybrid experience. 

[00:36:17] Erik Fisher: Excellent. Well put, Ryan and Brad, it’s been amazing talking with you. I want to make sure we can direct people to where they can find out more about Captello, anything specific you’d love people to jump in and maybe experience an activation themselves?

[00:36:34] Ryan Schefke: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:36:36] So everybody who is listening here, you can go to Captello.com/Arcade. Yeah, there you go. We call it the arcade. Over 50 of our activations and counting. We’re producing two to three new activations every month. We’ve got a Pac-Man coming, we’ve got a racing experience, which is totally for the attending and the organizer.

[00:37:05] Just really cool stuff. can go to that arcade and actually click on some of the experiences and just play and interact in the browser to really kind of feel it out. 

[00:37:14] Erik Fisher: Awesome. I’ll make sure to link to that in the show notes for this episode. So people can find that quickly and easily. If they’re on the go listening to this and at least they’re engaged, right? They’re engaged in this conversation. They’re listening. So Ryan, Brad, so great talking with you. I look forward to speaking with you again in the near future.

[00:37:34] Thanks so much for being here.

[00:37:36] Ryan and Brad: Likewise. It’s been fun here. Thank you so much. Great to talk to you today. Thank you.

[00:37:40] Erik Fisher: Well, that was another great conversation with some amazing Event Experience Leaders. Thank you so much to Ryan and Brad for joining me on this podcast episode, I hope that you’re walking away with some insight and some brainstorming seeds in your brain as to the potential that is there for engagement at in-person events.

[00:38:07] At virtual events and overcoming those engagement challenges at all the amazing events, your planning for the future. Thank you so much for listening. If you found this episode helpful, I would love for you to do us the favor of sharing this episode with somebody you know who needs to hear it. Hit the share button in your podcast player app of choice wherever you’re listening to this. Or head on over to the show notes for this episode, which you can find at Bizzabo.com/podcasts. Thank you so much for sharing. Thanks again for listening. And I will see you next episode.

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