EventGeek was a Y Combinator-supported startup that offered tools that large companies could use to manage the logistics of their events. Since the COVID-19 pandemic essentially eliminates large conferences, at least personally, it is not surprising that the company had to reinvent itself.
Today EventGeek was restarted as Circa with a new focus on virtual events. Founder and CEO Alex Patriquin said that Circa is reusing some of EventGeek’s existing technology, but estimated that 80% of the platform is new.
While the relaunch was just getting official, the startup said that its software had already been used to turn 40,000 personal events into virtual conferences and webinars.
The immediate challenge, said Patriquin, is simply figuring out how to trigger a virtual event ̵
“Our new focus is really more on the level of senior marketing stakeholders and helps them to have a unified view of the customer,” said Patriquin.
He explained that “Events were always somehow separate from the marketing stack,” so the move to Virtual offers an opportunity to treat event participation as part of the larger customer journey and to include events in the wider customer base. For this purpose, Circa can be integrated in sales and marketing systems such as Salesforce and Marketo as well as in video conference platforms such as Zoom and On24.
“We don’t really deliver [the conference] Experience, ”said Patriquin. “We put it in this context of the customer journey.”
Liz Kokoska, Senior Director for Demand Generation in North America at Circa’s customer Okta, made a similar point.
“Before we started, we had to manage our physical and virtual events in separate systems, even though we considered them to be part of the same marketing channel,” said Kokoska in a statement. “With Circa we now have a single view of all our events in one place – this is helpful for planning and company-wide visibility of marketing activities. The seamless adaptation to the new world of virtual and hybrid events has given our team a significant advantage. “
And when Patriquin looked into a world where big conferences were possible again, he predicted that there was still “a really great opportunity for the event industry and for Circa”.
“When personal events reappear, there will be a phase where health and safety come first,” he continued. “During this health and safety phase, it will be the age of hybrid events – where everything is now virtual, hybrid offers the opportunity to bring keys [virtual] Learning in the back into the personal world, having a lot more data and intelligence and really being able to personalize a participant’s experience. “