Regular people are increasingly thinking and behaving like brands especially when it comes to planning events.
Splash is a socially enhanced events planning site. They powered 200 SXSW events this year alone. Given their extraordinary dedication to design and customization, they are perhaps the only online event-planning platform that allows users to manage the entire life cycle of an event. Consequently, they are working to uproot established ticketing companies such as Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Ticketfly, and Ticketleap. Content can be quickly assembled for live feeds and Splash works for the design of a user’s page based on “touchpoints” from beginning to end. Some of the events they managed include Vevo’s Halloween Costume Party, Facebook’s Mobile Developers Day, Spotify Media Massacre 2013, and the Google Glass Tour.
CEO Ben Hindman was quoted in Inc. as saying that “Splash’s biggest value is that it helps party planners build communities around events, communities that outlast the three hours of the event itself. “People come back to look at pictures, watch videos, and find out about a company’s next event,” he says. “We call it the postevent event.”” We caught up with Ben to discuss the consumer trends that have enabled Splash’s rapid growth.
What is the ‘big idea’ driving the growth of Splash?
Brands and people have begun to behave in a wildly similar fashion. Events are the unique human occurrence where your personal brand has the undivided attention of everyone in the world who matters to you. If you look at Facebook pages, Twitter feeds or dating profiles, for example. you’ll see that most people are going to extraordinary lengths to cultivate a compelling public image, just as a brand would through an ad campaign. Splash equips non-paying users with same set of content management and promotional tools that an enterprise would use. This empowers people to express their personal brands, through events, with an unprecedented amount of freedom and creativity.
What are some of the design principles that inform your user interface?
Design informs our user interface in a variety of crucial ways. First and foremost, the intention of every Splash page is to capture a response through an action — an action being either an RSVP or ticket purchase. Each of our event pages is engineered to facilitate a desired action with machine-like efficiency. From a design standpoint, we’ve become masters of first impressions, conveying the essence of your event through our engineering to communicating your event instantly.
The precise placement of each event page component–from the RSVP button, to the event details, to the social sharing icons, to the contact link–was built to be a beautiful ballet between form and function. Just as important as the interface is for the Splash page visitor is the flow experienced by the event organizer — our users.
Planning an event, regardless of its size, can be extraordinarily stressful. Our UI was designed such that it not only makes mastering the tool as easy as possible, but that the aesthetic surrounding the user experience would add tranquility to a notoriously arduous endeavor.
Tell us about the tools you offer users vs. brands.
We believe we’re democratizing promotion, breaking a paradigm that’s previously seen enterprises alone privy to the most powerful available tools. Enterprises, though, are using Splash not just to scale their own community engagement initiatives, but to forge more intimate relationships with their community. In that sense, we’re enabling brands to act more like people, and communicate their message on a much more personal level.
From when the save the date goes out, to a year after the fact, when nostalgic attendees peruse the event-specific hashtag on Instagram — Splash doesn’t just create your event, it ensures that it lives on way after the security deposit is (hopefully) returned. The same way people associate certain moments from their Facebook timeline with a specific feeling or state of mind in their life, your Splash page will live on as a permanent reminder of the message you hoped to send that day. Much of this challenge has been tying into emotional windows of opportunity for you to engage and excite your guests on a highly personal level.
The Splash tools a user or a brand logs in and uses were built to be near mirror images of each other; everything from the design tools, to live social media curation, to the contacts relationship manager (CRM) will offer an identical experience.
Where brands using Splash stand to gain more than a non-pay user are through premium platform addons — features such as deep social analytics reports, custom page design services, and white glove management of an entire events program or social campaign.
What’s a trend that makes you optimistic about your business’s space.
Experiences are the new luxury item. Millennials are far more apt to brag about what they did than about what they bought. I like to call it being “Experience Rich” — it’s cooler to have been at a yacht party than to actually own the yacht.
And there isn’t a more powerful experience than a live event; brands and people are tapping into this, so we’re seeing events evolve exponentially in sophistication. Whether it be Coachella, TED, SXSW or events thrown by individual tastemakers, events are, across the board, more spectacular and elaborate than ever. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Events are the unique human occurrence where your brand has the undivided attention of everyone in the world who matters to you. What you do, how you present yourself, and, most importantly, the moments you’re able to cultivate, will forever impact the way your network perceives you.
Splash is the only platform in existence that allows you to own your event experience from start, finish, and forever.
For case studies, visit Splash’s Hall of Fame.