Interview with Lawrence Coburn, CEO and Co-founder of DoubleDutch

Written by The Meeting Pool

LC-Headshot1. What are your plans now that you’ve gotten another round of funding?

With our new funding, we’re excited to take the events industry by storm and expand our line of data-driven products for exhibitors and organizers. For example, we’ll be building out our products that help exhibitors and organizers scan and score leads. We’ll also use the round gain a foothold in Asia, and continue our transition to an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model.

2. Explain your concept of a SAAS based platform vs. a throw away app to our readers.

Transitioning to a SaaS model is all about making it easy for event organizers to manage their deployments year round from a single, cloud based Content Management System. We believe that event organizers can generate more engagement by thinking about their deployments in the context of pre, during, and post event. The DoubleDutch CMS has been developed precisely for this reason.

3. Don’t you think that this industry is cluttered with a ton of app suppliers – do we need so many choices? What do you think will happen to the app market?

While there are a number of folks on the market who make applications for events, we are starting to see a major shake-out. There now only a small handful of app vendors who can deploy on a global schedule, and come equipped with a complete offering including native apps, cloud based dashboard, and complete and analytics. DoubleDutch is one of them.

As for the app market, we expect it to keep getting bigger. According to an upcoming report from Frost & Sullivan, the event industry has reached $565 billion a year, and event apps increase attendee engagement by 33%. That said, not even half of event organizers are deploying applications. There is a lot of room for growth here.

4. What makes DoubleDutch different than the rest of the players in this busy space? 

DoubleDutch stands out by offering a beautifully simple application that creates a focused professional networking experience around an event. While our competitors are trying to replace paper schedules with digital ones, we look to Twitter and LinkedIn for inspiration on how to get people more engaged. Our app is natively social and its design prompts attendees to interact with session content and each other. By capturing and analyzing these interactions, we can offer robust analytics that help organizers optimize their events, and exhibitors maximize their ROI.

DoubleDutch Events Feed5. How do you plan on enhancing the event experience?

We’ve designed our product around serving all stakeholders at events — attendees, exhibitors and organizers.

For attendees, we offer an easy way to stay up-to-date on event happenings, find, schedule and bookmark sessions, and interact directly with other attendees and speakers.

For exhibitors, we analyze in-app behavior and score attendees based on their signaled interest in a brand. For example, did they check into your booth, favorite your CEO’s session, or comment on your post? From those answers, we can build a list of the most qualified leads for exhibitors.

For event organizers, we offer a cloud-based dashboard to update event content and push out sponsored messages in real time. We share data like the most (and least) popular sessions, speakers and exhibitors, so they know who to invite back next year and how to adapt to the burning issues of the day.

scanned-leads-android6. Are you going to be adding any other capabilities to the platform that you’d like to tell the readers about?

We’re going to build in additional tools for exhibitors to take advantage of DoubleDutch technology. Building on the functionality of our lead scanning technology, we’re adding a platform for exhibitors to track the real-time performance of their booth teams. In addition, this platform will also allow exhibitors to manage their own presence within the app, helping them construct a robust profile that can draw attention to their booth.

7. What new markets are you going to be tapping into?

Events happen all over the world, and we plan to be the go-to source for mobile event technology worldwide. Currently, we’re very focused on expanding in Europe by building up our recently established Amsterdam office, and in the future we’re looking to grow our practice in Asia and Latin America.

8. What are the future trends that you see happening in the industry when it comes to venue booking and spend management/tracking?

As more digital solutions enter into the industry, we’re seeing lots of what we refer to as the “digitizing of the offline experience”–activities are being brought online, and with them a whole host of data and useful information is being created and utilized to inform decisions. This trend is at play all around us: even something as pedestrian as buying groceries is now creating data for marketers to make informed decisions.

Just as the DoubleDutch platform is providing advanced data about interests by digitizing the direct event experience, so too will venue booking and spend management/tracking be tied to highly granular data about ROI. Rather than a venue seemingly like a good fit for the event or spending broadly correlated with outcomes, digital solutions will take the guesswork out of the equation and provide solid, actionable information.