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Industry Innovators 2024: Elizabeth Sheils

The co-founder and CEO of Rock Paper Coin is on a mission to tackle a persistent problem in the industry: the lack of hassle-free software solutions for event payments.

Rock Paper Coin is a B2B software solution that solves digital contract, invoice, and workflow management needs for the event industry—allowing vendors such as florists, caterers, or photographers to offer clients digital invoicing and payment options without setting up proprietary systems.
Rock Paper Coin is a B2B software solution that solves digital contract, invoice, and workflow management needs for the event industry—allowing vendors such as florists, caterers, or photographers to offer clients digital invoicing and payment options without setting up proprietary systems.
Screenshot: Courtesy of Rock Paper Coin

Elizabeth SheilsElizabeth SheilsPhoto: Courtesy of Rock Paper CoinElizabeth Sheils is the co-founder and CEO of Rock Paper Coin, a platform built specifically to help event profs streamline the payment process. She's based in Portland, Ore. 

How she got her start: "I never even pictured a career in tech! Yet, while leading a team of wedding planners out of Seattle, my decades of industry experience opened my eyes to the market gaps, experienced firsthand by myself and my team, and served as the catalyst for innovation. Alongside my trusted business partner and sister-in-law, we embarked on a mission to tackle a persistent problem in the industry: the lack of hassle-free software solutions for companies to efficiently book clients."

What innovation means to her: "To me, innovation is an important component of success, but it's also just one piece of the puzzle. While being innovative is crucial, ensuring you have the right team, conducting thorough market research, and engaging in effective product discovery are equally, if not more, important. Innovation without proper execution and alignment with market needs can lead to missed opportunities. 

Staying innovative and forward-thinking in my career is key. I seek inspiration from various sources. A favorite is reading books and listening to podcasts about companies outside of the event space. It provides fresh perspectives and sparks new ideas. Additionally, engaging with customers at events is invaluable. Listening to their ideas, dreams, and desires not only inspires innovation but also helps tailor our solutions to meet their evolving needs. Keeping an open mind and seeking insights from diverse sources ensures our entire team's approach remains innovative and aligned with the demands of the industry." Rock Paper Coin has a number of easy-to-use features like contract management, digital invoicing, automatic reminders, Google Drive integration, and custom branding.Rock Paper Coin has a number of easy-to-use features like contract management, digital invoicing, automatic reminders, Google Drive integration, and custom branding.Screenshot: Courtesy of Rock Paper Coin

Memorable moment: "Last year, the Rock Paper Coin team was in Vegas for a conference. Our team pours hours into crafting the ultimate booth theme. Our theme was #TaylorSwiftSavingsEra, since Rock Paper Coin saves businesses both time and money. We had an amazing backdrop, custom letterman jackets (Amazon FTW—only $25!), a Polaroid station, and the pièce de rĂ©sistance—a friendship bracelet station. These little bracelets stole the spotlight. 

Attendees loved it. They came in and got their bead on, with many telling us it was like therapy with all the conference chaos buzzing around. The tables were never empty. And the best part, people were hanging out in our booth for a solid 10 minutes. In the whirlwind of a trade show, that's practically a lifetime."

The event tech advancements she's most excited for: "I am excited to continue watching how technology is changing the way people interact at conferences and summits. We are already seeing a shift, and more is coming on the horizon. Attendees have shorter attention spans and are wanting something different from the early 2000s. From registration experiences to speaker sessions to interactive experiences, things are getting shaken up—and I love it."

What she's working on next: "At Rock Paper Coin, we're dedicated to developing a CRM solution. Presently, many CRM solutions are integrated into cumbersome or complex software programs. Recognizing this gap in the market, we're determined to create a simple, user-friendly solution. Our goal is to empower businesses to efficiently manage their inquiries and leads, streamlining their operations effectively."

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This feature is sponsored by Encore, a full-service global event production partner invested in your success. We provide unmatched capabilities and a commitment to service excellence to ensure your event experiences connect and inspire.

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