Interview with Sweap CEO Florian Kühne
The Event Efficiency Platform is a new milestone for the team around Sweap and is based on the fact that the way we do events and the meaning they will have for businesses has shifted. We asked Sweap CEO and Founder Florian Kühne what exactly this means and where the company is going.
Hey Florian, let the readers know who you and your company are.
Hi, I am Flo and I am the CEO of Sweap – a Berlin-based event software company. Our mission is to make events the most valuable marketing channel and give event professionals the right tools, to prove their event success.
Sounds great. But let’s go back a bit – why does the world need this?
We are currently seeing that the way people want to experience and buy products and services has shifted. The sales-driven approach of bombarding potential customers with calls, emails and targeted ads does not cut it anymore. People are over-saturated by optimized sales cadences aimed to find the perfect amount of touch points with the leads. This just won’t work anymore in the future. We are entering a new era, where community and product led concepts will prove to be the most effective way, to get closer to your audience and events will be the most efficient way of doing this.
So, events will play a key role for future marketing teams?
Absolutely! The creation of content that really brings value to your audience and sharing it in an environment that is engaging will make all the difference. Do that at scale and you’ll earn their trust. If they trust you, they’ll start to belief that you’re able to solve their problem.
But events are not new, they are one of the oldest marketing channels. What is the difference now?
In the past events were always considered to be costly, time-consuming, and their impact was extremely difficult to measure. Simplified, they were limited by time, location, and technology. Since the beginning of 2020 and through the start of the Pandemic so much changed in the way we connect and interact. The whole topic of virtual events, which have been around for years, suddenly became not only relevant but essential. The technology innovated at hyper speed and made it possible to design engaging experiences for the participants. Events have become more affordable, better measurable, and thus the most effective marketing instrument for responding appropriately to the changed buyer mindset.
How has this affected the event professionals?
As always, revolutions and new technologies come with a shift in the role of those who profit from them. Event professionals will now finally get the tools they need to prove the impact of their events on the business goals but will now also be evaluated by these numbers. This is a great chance for data-driven marketers and event managers to finally get recognition for their efforts. On the other side, there will be less and less space for purely operational teams, that only focus on experience during the event, but not on evaluating the success.
Do you think there will be less events with better content?
No, there will be more events! Research shows this. The more companies understand the value of their event, the more events there will be. But event professionals need to be prepared to be super-efficient, be laser focused on understanding the target audience and be aware that hybrid means more work for you. To win in this game you have to do more, but smaller, better targeted events.
You mentioned hybrid. What role will hybrid events play in the future?
I see more and more companies leaning towards hybrid concepts. It’s understandable, on paper they sound very compelling, promising more reach for a larger target group. But hybrid also holds a big trap for event professionals who, when they fall into it, quickly reach their performance limits, and run the risk of their event programs failing.
People who choose to participate virtually therefore have a different expectation of their personal event experience than those who choose to participate in person. Event professionals must be aware of that and have to understand that they have to plan and create events for two different audiences. Basically, hybrid event actually means “I have to plan for 2 events in one.”
Companies have to understand, that this cannot work with the same resources and performance that only virtual or only in-person can.
“Do more events because they play a leading role in our marketing plan. Ensure that they have great business impact. Do them hybrid because that’s the new standard. Make sure that you create extraordinary experiences. Do all that but with the same budget and the same resources.”
Welcome to the Death Valley of event professionals.
What role do you want to play in event management 2022 and beyond?
Sweap is built to let you efficiently scale your event programs. While others are only focusing on guest experience and attendee numbers, we are here to make you super-efficient in your event planning and executing, while also creating memorable, unique experiences. Sweap is a new type of event management software that we call an integrated Event Efficiency Platform.
We hope that more and more event professionals will understand the need for making a true impact on the business with their events. We want to help them prove and increase this impact.