Keep your eye on Greg Skloot. As a student at Boston’s Northeastern University, he was the guy mumbling “There’s gotta be a better way” as he managed invites, registrations, surveys, and more for a stream of weekly meetings and events he ran for the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club. Now, as founder of Attend.com, he believes he’s created that “better way.”
Skloot, 23, graduated from Northeastern in April 2012 and began work on a prototype of his event software. In March 2013 he and chief technology officer Drew D'Agostino launched the company, then called Attendware, with one customer and an “office” in a Starbucks coffee shop. Today, they have 21 employees, a Boston office, $1 million in venture backing, and a client list that includes United Way, BMW, Northeastern University, and the University of Virginia.
Attend.com (the name changed in March) is an “all-in-one” event management tool, says Skloot, who breaks down the functionality into three areas: planning, producing, and measuring/improving the meeting.
In the planning stage, the Attend.com software allows organizers to create online registration pages, collect payments, and send out invitations. It integrates with Salesforce.com as well as The Raiser’s Edge, a leading fundraising software for nonprofits. A budgeting module is under construction.
During a meeting, event coordinators can use Attend.com to manage the attendee check-in process from their iPhones or iPads (there’s a feature that allows you to receive a text message when a VIP checks in), print name badges (with no special setup), track attendance, and mine for demographic data about the audience. The event agenda can also be uploaded into a simple mobile app for participants to view from a phone or tablet.
After the event, planners can use Attend.com to send thank-you notes and surveys, and help analyze attendee data.
Skloot says Attend.com benefits from being built from the ground up to address today’s meeting planning priorities. “A lot of [event management] options are legacy solutions. Mobile wasn’t critical five years ago the way it is today.” And, he says, “there’s been a dramatic shift toward bringing data analytics into business management.”