Conferize Quarterly Q1 2018
Dear Reader Welcome to the second edition of Conferize Quarterly, the first of 2018. Thank you for your interest in following our progress. We closed last year with a promising result, a 115% yearly growth of registered event organizers. The positive trend has continued in the first two months of this year, so please read on for a quarterly projection and fresh examples of events using Conferize. Weâ€™ve just published the annual report for 2017, available to read on our Investor Portal, invest.conferize.com. The year went according to plan: Moving to a new office, scaling the organization to start building the next generation of our Event Management Software, V2 (due 2018). At the time of writing, we are 20 people on the team. In this edition of Quarterly you can also read about our collaborations with TEDx/ TEDFest, Productized, Social Media Week Copenhagen, and our new event series Meet Different. Sincerely,
Martin Ferro-Thomsen Founder, CEO
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 2
2018 is off to a great start Last year we more than doubled the amount of event organizers. We’re pleased to see the positive growth trend continue in the first months of the year. In the graph below you can see the growth in event organizers joining Conferize and using the platform in many ways. Organizers can create an event website, set up ticket registration and grow their community. They can also choose to just list their event in our network or simply sign up to take a look around.
With our current product (V1) we’re able to validate our product strategy, grow our customer base, understand our industry and our users’ needs. We already know that we need to do much more with our product offering to fully satisfy new and existing event organizers. So while we’re seeing growth in event organizers who sign up, we expect actual event growth to follow a much more conservative trend until we launch and finetune the next generation (V2) of our product.
Growth in event organizers. This graph shows event organizers who have signed up for Conferize, not necessarily submitted an event (yet). The last quarter shows estimated growth, based on January and February 2018 actuals.
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 3
Why we need to Meet Different. Gathering event industry leaders At Conferize we’re not just concerned about building software to help event organizers and audiences get more value from each other. We’ve actively taken a conscious role in highlighting and discussing events that are changing the status quo, innovation in meeting design, content and curation, as well as challenges encountered by creatives in the events industry. For that, we created Meet Different. The events industry is a trillion dollar market worldwide, and in Denmark alone it makes up over DKK 20 BN a year. It’s a cornerstone of the knowledge economy, with immense impact on both industry and culture.
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 4
Nonetheless, events themselves have remained relatively unchanged for decades. We still meet in highly ineffective ways, leaving attendees wanting for more output, actual participation and tangible change. It’s time to rethink and redesign events, from a cultural, commercial and technological perspective. It’s an agenda that deserves attention from political, societal and commercial agencies. Redesigning the way we meet can lead to drastically improved interaction, knowledge sharing and societal participation.
The first Meet Different event was held in the name of people, innovation and technology on an afternoon in March, at our new event space Ground Floor, in central Copenhagen. It was co-hosted by Emeritus Professor aladin aladin (UK) with the leaders from groundbreaking events Heartland and Bloom (DK), and it gathered a forward-thinking crowd of creatives working in the events industry. Ulrik Ørum-Petersen and Rasmus Quistgaard presented their work with Heartland Festival, which in 2018 will feature musical acts such as LCD Soundsystem and Van Morrison, along with talks from thinkers such as Salman Rushdie and Slavoj Žižek. The festival is held at Egeskov castle and also focuses on quality of food, culture and atmosphere. Learn more at www.heartlandfestival.dk Svante Lindeburg, CEO of Golden Days, is behind Bloom, a unique Copenhagen festival about nature and science, held under the trees of Søndermarken park. It facilitates unprecedented encounters between researchers, lecturers and anyone interested in nature and the world around us. Learn more at bloom.ooo Join the Meet Different community, learn more about the speakers and get notified about upcoming events at www.meetdifferent.co
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 5
“It's time to remake and redesign actual human interaction. Meet Different is a series of gatherings, where we do ... just that.”
Timeline of Conferize
Meet Different #1 5,000+ event organizers 20,000+ events 2018 4,000 event organizers 3,000 event organizers
New HQ Copenhagen IPO
100+ TEDx events 2017
2,000 event organizers IPO process begun 2016 1,000 event organizers 5,000+ events
Markedsmodningsfonden investment grant Forbes: “Great app for conference attendees” 2015 TEDx global partnership 2014 Accelerace investment Red Herring 100 Europe winner 2013 EventManagerBlog: “Potential to disrupt the conference industry” 2012 Launch at DEMO, Silicon Valley 2011
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 6
* Timeline not to scale.
Conferize is proud to partner with TEDFest in April We’re honored to have been invited as a partner of TEDFest, the exclusive event for the entire TEDx community, which is the independent extension of arguably one of the strongest event brands in the world, TED (Technology Education Design). For the past 4 years, Conferize has been an official partner of TEDx, empowering more than one hundred TEDx events and communities around the world. We’re proud to further strengthen the collaboration as one of the few technology partners of TEDx to be invited to support TEDFest and attend this special event. We can’t wait to meet all the inspiring TEDx organizers in New York, April 10-14.
Productizing Conferize – and vice versa Conferize is happy to announce a new partnership with Productized, “the product thinking conference” in Lisbon, where product experts gather from more than 20 countries every November. As Conferize is deep into developing V2, we could think of no better partner to actively use and give feedback on both our current and upcoming product. We actively involve event organizers in our development process to learn from them and create solutions to their real life challenges. Productized wrote this helpful post about the products they use to organize their event. It’s a highly recommended read. Learn more on http://productized.co
" By far, Productized is the best design management conference in Europe – and one of the best in the world." - Bruce Nussbaum, Author of Creative Intelligence, Professor of Innovation and Design
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 7
From IMEX to Ground Floor for SMWiCPH Once again, this year’s Social Media Week independent Copenhagen (SMWiCPH) was fully powered with website, tickets and community by Conferize. This time, Conferize hosted our own session on ”Exploring the power of social media for events” in our new event space, Ground Floor, located next door from our offices in Sølvgade. We invited Miguel Neves from Social Media Chefs, a passionate social media advocate and an experienced meetings industry professional who speaks on digital engagement and event technology. He spent the last six years managing one of the largest B2B communities in the events industry and creating digital engagement opportunities at two annual industry trade shows.
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 8
After joining IMEX, one of the leading worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, Miguel went on to manage the company’s social media activity and develop its digital engagement strategy. Miguel is also an International Board of Directors member of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest professional association for the meetings industry. Learn more about the talk and find slides here www.conferize.com/exploring-the-power-of-social-media-forevents. Follow SMWiCPH here www.smwicph.dk
Rúben, our VP of engineering, talks tech and why it matters Engineering is a crucial area of our work at Conferize. We’re a product-driven organization building software to help event organizers and ultimately millions of people get much more from their events. Events are complex and challenging, as thousands of interactions happen in usually a very short time. Assisting and improving this process requires a tremendous investment into well-designed systems and exceptional software services. To get there, you need highly robust software engineering. Meet Rúben Fonseca, who’s heading our development effort. He’s our VP of Engineering and has been with us since 2013. These days he’s making sure that we execute on our vision for V2, and keeping the entire development team happy and productive. “I worked as a consultant at several companies before I joined Conferize, but never found a good place where I could leverage my engineering skills across an entire product. Joining Conferize allowed me not only to use my full potential, but also to meet incredible, skilled and talented people to work with and learn from. Being an avid consumer of conferences and events, I was sold on Conferize’s vision since day 1
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 9
I was part of building our current pilot product and from that we learned a lot and made invaluable connections to the events scene. All of that is now going into the next generation of our platform, V2, which I believe will be a killer product for both event organizers and attendees”, says Rúben. Rúben recently moved from sunny and warm Portugal to cold but beautiful Denmark, and joined our main office here. Developing V2 requires strong communication between the developers, as well as being very selective and smart about core decisions. With part of the team working remotely it’s crucial to be aligned. That’s why we’ve recently adopted an iterative work process, where we allow everyone to do their best work while having tangible milestones and measurable progress at the same time. V2 is all about providing an exceptional user experience, unlike anything seen before in the events sector. To build this experience, we decided to take both our infrastructure and software design to the next level, adopting cutting-edge technologies like React and GraphQL, on top of our stable infrastructure and servers.
“We strive to use the best and most modern technology available, as long as they’ve been tried and tested in a mass market”, says Rúben, “and with our seasoned developer team, we know precisely how to use and apply it where we need. We have a zero-bug policy and actively try to avoid technical debt which can be poison for development speed and maintenance moving forward.” Handling a lot of users requires solid, scalable and secure server infrastructure. Rúben explains: “We’ve decided to modernize our entire server park for V2 using modern cloud technologies on top of the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform. This will end up creating a faster and more reliable experience for end users, while also facilitating and accelerating our development process.” As a scalable platform, Conferize needs to be able to safely handle sensitive data from users, and to make sure systems are safe and use the latest, best security practices. Rúben adds: “Security is our number one priority at Conferize. We run a private HackerOne program, which means that dozens of security experts analyse and try to find vulnerabilities throughout our entire product. This helps make sure we have a safe and secure website our users can trust.”
Development progress Building an innovative product on the scale of V2 using the latest technology is no small feat. However, not least thanks to Rúben and the development team, Conferize is on target to launch V2 this year, as planned.
Stages of V2 development * Timeline not to scale.
Phase 1: Clarify Phase 2: Minimal Product Phase 3: Iterations
Phase 4: Brand and Go-to-market
In the last edition of our newsletter, we shared more details about our development proces and stage. Find all newsletters here: https://invest.conferize.com/newsletter/
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 10
The early adopters of Conferize Here are few examples of recent customers.
Conferize Shareholder Letter Q1 2018 - 11
March 22nd of March: InvestorDagen, Copenhagen (DAF). Come and
Annual General Meeting 2018
meet us. We’ll be present to meet investors and talk about our progress. More info here: https://www.shareholders.dk/
Conferize’s Annual General Meeting is planned for 18th
of April 2018. If you are a shareholder and you want to attend, please register at our investor portal:
April 18th of April: Annual General Meeting 2018
June InvestorDagen Århus (DAF) August Halvårsmeddelelse, 2. kvartal 2018 September InvestorDagen København (DAF) November InvestorDagen, Fredericia (DAF)
After registering you will receive further details.
News about Conferize.