By Mitra Sorrells Posted October 2, 2012, 2:56 PM EDT
Epilogger and Conferize are two of the newest platforms designed to help planners track social media chatter about their events. These two systems also offer additional layers of functionality: They create an archive of event content that lives in the cloud, and they provide searchable directories so attendees can find events that fit their needs and interests. Here’s a look at how they work.
1. Conferize is a network of conference communities. Planners can use the system to promote their events, track social media activity, and stream content. Attendees use Conferize to find events that meet their interests, register for events, virtually participate in sessions, and network with other attendees before, during, and after the event.
The company launched in alpha mode in August and offers two options for planners. One option is a free account that allows them to submit basic information about their events, which founder and C.E.O. Martin Ferro-Thomsen said takes “two minutes and you are included in the directory. So when people search for a keyword or location or category, they would find your event.”
Each listing includes the event’s Twitter feed, photos, program, and speakers. Planners can upgrade to a pro account for $499 per month, which allows them to add a registration link and enable live streaming. (Conferize offers volume pricing for planners with multiple events.) Attendees can also create a free account that allows them to follow other users and follow events by name or category. One interesting feature is the ability to find and follow speakers to see where they are presenting. The directory already includes more than 600 conferences taking place around the world, most of which are basic listings added by Conferize to demonstrate the usefulness of the site. Ferro-Thomsen said initially they are focusing on events in the fields of healthcare and technology, but they will expand into other industries and will also be creating a mobile app.
2. Epilogger creates a single online destination for planners and attendees to view an event’s tweets, photos, blog posts, check-ins, and social media stats. The information is stored so people can go back after an event to see what was being said and shared. “Our goal is to take the digital part of events and re-humanize it. We are giving the pen of history to the people who experience events at the ground level. We are de-fragmenting the experience that is caused by all the different social networks people use and consolidating it into one place,” said Michael Nussbacher, Epilogger C.E.O. “Going forward, we have something called memory boxes. You can actually save your favorite moments from an event into a personal box, which I can share with you, and you can start saving your moments in this same box, and we create this collective, collaborative memory capsule.”
Epilogger has been available since May, but the official launch is in November. The company is finalizing pricing plans, which will include options to pay by monthly fee or for individual services. The company is developing a plan to connect sponsors with events to offset the cost of the service. To date, it has worked with brands such as Coke, Red Bull, and Chevrolet. Epilogger is also creating a suite of tools for planners that will generate statistical reports, add sponsors to the page, embed a widget of the social media archive on the event’s Web site, and activate a “live mode” version to be shown on large screens at an event. For event attendees, Epilogger is also a searchable directory of events taking place around the world.