events SaaS

The business events sector leverages SaaS technologies to overcome pandemic limitations and foster human connection. It is estimated that the share of digital offerings in companies’ portfolios has accelerated by a staggering seven years.

Until the pandemic, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, which supported more than 34,000 direct and indirect jobs, had been deeply dependent on face-to-face meetings.

With new COVID-19 restrictions in place, event organisers had to search for creative avenues to overcome these COVID-19 challenges in a brief time or risk losing S$3.8 billion, or close to one per cent of Singapore’s GDP.

The solution was SaaS virtual events platforms that mirrored in-person interactions by creating immersive and exciting event experiences.

SaaS businesses transforming the events industry

Many businesses were already on a digital transformation journey before the pandemic. Still, the pandemic has highlighted the merits of SaaS platforms and the value of SaaS businesses to a more resilient industry sector.

At Hubilo, we were quick to recognise the opportunity of SaaS solutions, in part because we had already spent five years in the event technologies space, which allowed us to develop an innovative platform to bring people together when social distancing was/is a norm.

In this complex landscape of COVID-19 regulations and critical industry shifts, Hubilo pivoted to the SaaS model to aid digital transformation in the events industry in the region.

Also Read: Synqa acquires SaaS platform for event creators Eventpop in an “8-digit USD” deal

Not only did we demonstrate flexibility, agility, and scalability through our innovative virtual-hybrid events platform service, we showed this in equal measure through the SaaS model, which informed our approach in designing our products and services.

Virtual and hybrid event platforms now integrate various technology stacks, ensuring participants’ excellent and holistic top-tier event experience.

These technology solutions can also bring event-specific data from registrations and ticketing to create a seamless event experience. One-way integrations with CRM platforms also enables organisers and sponsors to leverage event data and reap measurable ROI.

Additionally, martech technologies generate insights that can increase the quality of business leads and effectively drive marketing conversions.

All of this is supported by a base of customer technology platforms at the core of a virtual event platform, guaranteeing always-on support for participants before, during, and after the event.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we saw how enterprise applications helped overcome the limitations of physical distance while driving meaningful engagements during a virtual event.

Now, both exhibitors and participants can easily engage with each other in virtual booths and lounges outside live sessions on our platform, offering multiple touchpoints for everyone to make meaningful connections.

An AI matchmaking algorithm was also built into our platform to connect the right set of buyers, sellers, and attendees amongst each other that help drives meaningful engagements.

With digitalisation at the core of our business model, our team also built gamification features inclusive of polls, Q&As, contests, and more segregation on leaderboards to encourage greater engagement across all participants at an event.

All of this is supported by closed caption support for sessions in English in our effort to promote inclusiveness and more accessible comprehension of content during an event.

Hubilo’s entire event can easily be streamed through a mobile app, exactly as you would with your laptop. This includes all activities, entering a session or an exhibitor’s booth, securing a seat in the networking lounge, participating in the polls, games, Q&As, or simply engaging with a fellow attendee.

Also Read: Meet the startups from the latest batch of Singapore Tourism Board accelerator programme

In a hybrid format, the app will act as a critical enabler connecting offline and online attendees.

These are but a few of our features that make for an immersive and personalised event experience possible. All this is thanks to SaaS enterprise solutions that have transformed our business and are transforming the overall industry sector more broadly.

Eliminating the roadblocks to digital transformation

For many in the industry, costs and concerns around the complexity of integration continue to be common barriers to digital transformation. However, we are seeing a trend where enterprises are overcoming these challenges with the help of a series of SaaS solutions.

A significant advantage of SaaS platforms is that most can be set up for rapid integration, which means enterprises can start getting value from them instantly.

There is, therefore, an incentive for businesses to seamlessly digitalise their processes by replacing outdated legacy systems in IT infrastructure with enterprise SaaS products.

Increasing cloud migration and integrations between SaaS platforms has made it easier to build or pivot entire businesses using SaaS platforms. The exceptionality of the SaaS market is that numerous providers are offering similar tools, allowing enterprises to trial new agencies without financial and technological obligations.

​Furthermore, a good SaaS provider will offer enterprises their platform on a pay-as-you-go or usage-based model, which means there is no significant investment required at the outset, and enterprises can pay a fair and manageable amount commensurate with the value they’re getting from the platform.

Events of tomorrow

The unpredictability of the Covid-19 situation makes the business events industry vulnerable. Still, it also presents an opportunity for event organisers to pivot towards virtual and hybrid events creatively, and more significantly, rethink their business model with digitalisation, personalisation, and technology at its core.

Other industries have found themselves at similar crossroads and have thrived despite the challenges. Think of Netflix, for instance, when confronting movie rentals. Ultimately, the shift to a completely digital offering, personalised and tailored to the viewers’ desired content experience, helped scale the business to today.

Events are no different but may have the advantage that Netflix never had at the beginning of its journey–an entirely digitally transformed audience. No convincing is needed that the things we have traditionally done in-person can be done online.

Also Read: The future is hybrid: What will events look like post-COVID-19?

People buy their groceries online. They exercise and find love online. They visit their doctors online. Do we believe that events will be any different? 

We have managed, despite the pandemic’s best efforts, to continue to connect and be productive.

I firmly believe our ability to adapt and innovate technologies will lead not only to the survival of many industry sectors, businesses, and our communities through this crisis but create new opportunities for connection and knowledge sharing than we ever had before.

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Image credit: andreypopov

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