As events have moved online this year, planners have wrestled with how to make virtual gatherings feel as close to real life as possible, while also taking advantage of the benefits that going digital brings to their conferences, meetings, and expos.
One key issue was how to translate session and speaker scheduling from the real world (often hotel meeting rooms or convention center auditoriums) to the virtual space of the online world.
Most live event production platforms have this capability built in. Virtual event software tools generally don’t, however, as hosting complex, multi-day / multi-session events wasn’t what they generally called upon for (until this year).
Recognizing the opportunity, one entrepreneur decided to create a highly customizable yet easy-to-use tool to enable planners to create event schedules that capitalized on the unique strengths of digital events. Here’s the story of Taylor McKnight and virtual event schedule builder Emamo.
Emamo makes it easy for event planners to create event schedules and share them with attendees. There are many options to customize the way everything looks embed schedules into conference websites. It integrates seamlessly with Eventbrite, Zoom, and Hopin.
The automated social media graphics created for each session, speaker, and sponsor can save days of work when promoting events across Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
A recent example is Twin Cities Startup Week here:
Year founded: 2019
Funding rounds: Self-Funded
Current size: not disclosed
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Taylor McKnight: Bringing people together to share ideas is so important. I believe events change the world. My little way of contributing is to help organizers bring more folks together.
I’ve been working on event tech for over a decade and after I exited my last company, I saw an opportunity to solve some old problems in a new way.
This event technology post sponsored by:
Webbiquity: How did you come up with the name “Emamo”?
TM: Emamo represents those unforgettable “event magic moments” that you experience from making a new friend in the hallway to seeing one of your heroes speak on stage. Attending events has certainly changed my life: it’s how I met my fiancé, led to six-figure deals, and given me an excuse to travel to places I’ve never been.
I hope that the management and promotional tools that Emamo offers can lead to those magic moments in other peoples lives as well. It’s also a five-letter domain name I bought for $500 on GoDaddy and came up with a good story afterwards!
Webbiquity: What were the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers when you first launched your product?
TM: I was lucky to have been in the industry for awhile, so I reached out to friends and folks I’ve worked with in the past. Our podcast for event planners has also been useful in reaching experts in the industry and establishing credibility.
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
TM: I wouldn’t split a company 50/50.
I made the mistake of splitting and co-running a company together in the past and it caused a lot of pain that could have been avoided. I think it’s better to decide who’s going to be CEO and let them have a controlling piece from the start. Have those hard talks early.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
TM: Work on a problem you are attached to. It can take a long time to get product/market fit and reach profitability, but if you care about the problems you’re solving, it will be a super power in the day-to-day motivation to keep going.
If you want further inspiration on this, check out The Making of Prince of Persia ( https://smile.amazon.com/gp/
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