Ben Hindman doesn’t consider Splash, his event planning software, a competitor to Eventbrite. To the end user, it certainly feels like one. Both companies power email invites, ticketing, and RSVP lists for all manner of events. But to the customer—the people throwing events and sending the invites—the platforms are different. Where Eventbrite, which has raised $200 million in venture funding and processed more than $3 billion in gross sales, is positioned as a ticketing platform, the much-smaller Splash positions itself as a marketing platform for brands. “I would rather we were lumped with [marketing software company] Hubspot than
Five Startups From SXSW to Partner With in 2014
With hundreds of startups plying their wares, sometimes it's hard to wade through the noise at SXSW. And as marketers, we need to assess not only which companies are going to succeed, but which are ready for potential partnerships and brand activations. Often startups are too young to have a functional and viable offering for brands and agencies, but when their product (and sometimes team) matures enough, there's a lot to be gained from working with them. After sitting through dozens of meetings and pitches at the most recent SXSW in Austin, I've hit on five startups that marketers should be sure show up on their radar.
Splash, The Party Scientists Stealing Big Business From Eventbrite
People don’t want ads, they want memories. To shift from spammy marketing to providing experiences, companies like Anheuser-Busch, Spotify, NPR, and Wired promoted 80,000 events in 2013 with a little startup called Splash. In co-founder Ben Hindman’s first in-depth interview, he tells me how Splash’s event platform is challenging bland incumbents with its beautifully designed party websites. A hundred years ago, big events like the World’s Fair were announced with bold, artistic posters. That was the only way to catch someone’s eye on the street. Yet somehow, the Web 2.0 era sucked the life out of event promotion. In the name of consistency, Eventbrite and Facebook caged events in uninspired templates. But if you’re throwing a big event, why would you want it to look like everyone else’s?