Recently people managing events like conferences, trade shows, expos have started building apps to make things more convenient for attendees and increase the productivity level of each event. Traditionally it’s been very time consuming and expensive to create an event app. That’s where Attendify comes in as it claims to build an event app in a very hassle-free and convenient way for the users.
A user just needs to go to Attendify.com and register for a free account and the rest of the process of creating your event app is fully guided. There’s no guesswork at all, just follow the step-by-step flow and you’ll have a finished event app. Currently there are two types of apps available- A Guide app and a Social app. The Guide app is designed to replace your printed event guide. It has features like scheduling, speaker, sponsor and exhibitor profiles, maps, and more. The Social app has all the features of the Guide App, but is also a private social network for events with features like photo sharing, messaging and profiles for attendees. The Social app is designed to engage attendees in a different way and make the event much more interactive.
We had the pleasure to talk to Michael Balyasny (Co-Founder & CEO of Attendify) who shared some interesting details about his startup, here is it for you:
Tell us a bit about your background and the path that ultimately led you towards Attendify.
I’ve been on an entrepreneurial path since my college days and I’ve always been drawn to startups and the challenge of creating something new. My first serious venture was a software development/consulting company that I founded back in 2005. It was a great experience and exposed me to lots of different projects, taught me how to work with engineers, manage projects and more. That gave me the confidence to work on my own products, and eventually led to Attendify.
How does Attendify differentiate from the rest?
Attendify’s role is to drive event app innovation which is what our Guide and Social apps are all about. At the same time we’re working to make app technology much more accessible to events large and small, and that’s where our self-service app building model is really getting clients excited. Other event app companies can’t come close to matching the value we offer.
How long did it take to put together Attendify?
It took around 6 months to get the first version out, but we were all working part time.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
It’s hard to pick just one. Managing people is always one of the biggest and most important challenges entrepreneurs face. It’s rare to have a one person startup, so you’re always dealing with different personalities.
I learned that it’s important to address any personnel issues right away, don’t ever hesitate or over think situations, just talk to people, be honest, and in almost every case you’ll get a positive outcome.
What do you wish you’d known when you became CEO?
There are constant distractions and lots of issues that aren’t fun to work like legal, accounting, etc. Everyone likes to focus on design, engineering, sales, but there’s a lot of “boring” work, and the amount of that kind of work has increased quite a bit over time.
How have you sustained your business? What are the revenue streams you rely on?
95% of our business is selling direct to event planners through Attendify.com. We offer two packages, Guide & Social, that’s where all our revenue comes from. We’ve also raised a bit of money from angel and venture investors.
Has Attendify got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Feedback has been very positive and we’ve worked with some great clients. That gives us a lot of confidence going forward, but we know that there’s still a very long way to go, we’re still at the very beginning of what we want to accomplish.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
Yes, we’re working on a lot of new features and apps. There’s so much opportunity in the event industry and many more ways mobile apps can help improve the event experience. We’ve only seen a tiny fraction of what’s possible, and Attendify’s role is to keep pushing forward, making the technology more accessible and powerful.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to soon to be startup founders?
There’s no shortage of advice for would-be entrepreneurs, but what I see over and over again is that people are hesitant as they wait for the perfect time, the perfect idea, the ideal investor, etc. Just start working and learning from everything that happens during your journey.
In 99% of cases, success as an entrepreneur is just about hard work, good timing, and a little luck. There’s no magic involved, and let’s not forget that being an entrepreneur isn’t right for everyone. Some days I’m not sure if it’s right for me, but if you get started and have the willpower to keep going after the numerous, inevitable setbacks you’ll encounter then maybe you are an entrepreneur!
So next time you have an event around the corner, give Attendify a try and we hope it helps you to manage the entire intricate process conveniently with just a tap on the screen!
Best wishes to Attendify!