We talked to Andrzej Targosz of Eventory about holding meaningful meetings and events.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Andrzej Targosz: The pandemic has been a difficult time, and that goes as much for our businesses as it does for our personal lives. During the lockdown – with the entire world under house arrest – each of us tried to achieve a new kind of work/school and life balance. This might sound like a cliché – but our employees really are like family to us – that makes the answer to this question much broader. Long story short – we all know our responsibilities and always do our best to carry out projects while maintaining the highest possible standards in terms of quality. That’s something that always guides our work – no matter if it’s done at home or in the office.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Eventory
Andrzej Targosz: I’m the Founder and CEO of Eventory – a company that uses technology to support businesses in building engagement among employees and clients through effective meetings and events. I’m also an active investor and support successful startups such as Estimote, Jivr, Vbionic, or Statsocial. Among the ventures I’ve been involved in are several tech companies and the PROIDEA event agency. I’m also part of the Bitspiration Booster investment fund, the backbone built on people with practical know-how when it comes to tech.
How does Eventory innovate?
Andrzej Targosz: Eventory technology makes organizing events more effective. Our platform allows for event planning that’s optimized in terms of efficiency and – in so doing – decreasing their costs and increasing user engagement – making building relationships easier. When combined, the solutions we offer provide event organizers with greater peace of mind and play a crucial role in answering a key question – were the event’s objectives achieved. To us, events – online and in-person – are based on the same fundamental principle: making sure that users are engaged, providing them with the space to ask questions (enabling two-way communication), and collecting feedback.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Andrzej Targosz: In this new reality, one that no doubt has been brought about by the pandemic, where there has been a mass-scale relocation of the event to the digital world – we keep our clients calm: the only thing that’s changed is the location of most events. While we meet in a virtual room and not a conference room, all the needs related to organizing events – including the importance of participant engagement – remain unchanged. Thanks to the combination of our experience and Eventory technology, even the largest digital conference can happen in a problem-free environment that makes it possible to accomplish different kinds of objectives simultaneously – from safely carrying out votes at various general meetings to weekly team meetings in the corporate world. All of this is made possible by the right technology.
The pandemic had also caused a temporary rise in effectiveness at work, and at the same time, it impacted the strength of relationships a lot. Everyday personal contact and smoother communication flow were a big factor in keeping employees happy, motivated, and engaged. The lack of it, dictated by the pandemic, has effects in frequent workplace changes. Because of that, it is more important than ever to maintain attention, contact, and relationships in this new reality.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Andrzej Targosz: COVID brought with it uncertain times – the market for events was fading away piece by piece. That led us to ask the question – WHAT NOW? But our arsenal includes a range of effective technologies and teams of specialists – that gave us the strength not to give up and, instead, design a new way of organizing meetings internally and externally – one that we could offer to our clients. The truth is that you can’t run a real business without organizing meetings. Our platform makes it possible to organize meetings of employees or shareholders as well as huge conferences and do so on-site, online, or in a mixed (hybrid) format. What have I learned? That necessity is still the mother of all inventions.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Eventory in the future?
Andrzej Targosz: Stress can be a motivator, and that’s exactly how it works on me. It motivates me to do even better work, innovate, and appreciate my team (this is a good spot to pause and say THANK YOU – to everyone who works with me). As far as the future is concerned, I’m an optimist. I believe we’ll continue to effectively support the dialogue between customers and businesses through meetings – be they in the real or virtual world.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Andrzej Targosz: We’ve got quite a few competitors in terms of event management who offer complex tools, like Cvent. However, we are the only ones in the field of attendee experience management. We are also unique when it comes to defining what event really is. We understand an event as a platform for customers to be heard where meeting connects people so they can express the purpose and meaning of the company’s larger mission. The customer here is everyone who interacts with the enterprise through a meeting or an event (buyers, partners, vendors, employees, and investors).
Businesses, and the event industry as a whole, need effective technology – and that’s never been truer than now, with the day-to-day business of companies moving online and events happening in safer formats such as a hybrid. We’ll continue to be a meaningful player in this game because of our’ customer first’ approach – which means that, when developing solutions, we always put the customer first. Our plan? Listen first. Help later.
Your final thoughts?
Andrzej Targosz: The world is slowly getting back to normal – but the definition of ‘normal’ in the event industry is redefined. Following the isolation period – which was a result of this pandemic – many companies began to re-evaluate. What? Not every event that was moved from in-person to online will return from the virtual world. Organizing meetings online will continue to be a more efficient option for many businesses. Companies will have to make individual decisions regarding the events that they want to carry out in a face-to-face fashion and the ones that will stay online. Each of these formats has its advantages. Online events can be considerably cheaper (no location rental, travel, or accommodation costs related to speakers). In-person will be the more efficient choice for companies that have established networking of participants as the main objective. One thing is certain. Online events aren’t going anywhere. They’ve arrived in many businesses to stay.
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