Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to be a part of atEvent?
18 years ago I started a demand generation agency, with the sole purpose to help large technology companies go to market. Over the years we found that a big pain point for our customers came from the event space, where they spent an inordinate amount of money going to meetings of all shapes and sizes, such as conferences, meet-ups, trade shows and more. The problem they all faced with these events was a large technology void, which impeded them from being able to quantify success. We saw that as an opportunity for us, a chance to do something to help these companies, and in 2014 we started atEvent.
What is atEvent and how does it fit into a modern Marketing Technology stack?
atEvent is an Event Lead Management platform that helps companies who exhibit at events, capture more qualified leads and follow up quickly with those leads in a personalized manner after events. Today, everything is digital except for events, which are analog and that’s where the problem lies. Events are analog because they are built on conversations with people in physical spaces, and we see a glaring disconnect where none of that information from those contextual conversation makes its way back into the corporate marketing and sales systems. That’s the gap we are solving for today.
What does your Ideal Customer Profile look like? Which industries and geographies are you currently targeting with your platform?
Our ICP is primarily event and field marketers working for Commercial and Enterprise companies. These are people that are responsible for orchestrating events and driving leads for their organization. Our geographic focus is North America, Europe, and Asia.
Tell us more about your integration with Marketo.
We’ve been working with Marketo since we started over 4 years ago, and we have one of the deepest integrations with them when it comes to event lead management technologies. The biggest segment of our customers today are Marketo users. We are the only event lead management Marketo partner that is also an Innovate Partner as a part of their LaunchPoint ecosystem. We feel proud of what we’ve built, providing our customers with an advanced solution to drive sophisticated and personalized pre, during and post-event follow-ups by integrating atEvent as part of their MarTech stack.
Using atEvent, how can marketing teams refine their Demand Generation and ABM tactics?
Today Marketers have to manage a highly inefficient and largely manual process in order to capture leads at events. They have to rent legacy lead retrieval devices from event to event that are built to scan badges and provide very basic contact information. This process causes a lot of manual work with spreadsheets and data entry, causing a huge delay in executing what is likely a generic post-event “thank you for visiting us” email. That entire process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. atEvent allows companies to standardize how they capture leads and interact with prospects at events. Our customers can set up standardized qualifiers, follow-up actions, and map those to any Marketing Automation (MA) or CRM system. Now, companies have a unified way to capture leads, including context of the conversation and follow-up actions to drive real-time, personalized follow-ups. We are the only platform built to support ABM at events from Day 1. Upload your targeted accounts into the platform, track interactions of prospects and accounts across all of your events and have access to robust insights around demand units at your target accounts. Once you take those insights along with MA, CRM, social and digital data, you have a detailed set of buying signals that allow you to drive the next best action and advance your account-based marketing.
What visible benefits have your customers observed in B2B campaigns using Event Lead Management? Could you provide an overview of those benefits?
There are four key benefits. First, atEvent’s solution allows you to simplify the training of your team and rolling out a standardized Event Lead Management technology across your organization globally. Second, because we don’t charge based on the number of users, you have the ability to equip everyone at your company attending the event with an iOS or Android device to be a sales and marketing touch point. We recently had a customer attend a very large conference and had over 400 people from their company use atEvent to capture leads and event interactions. Third, with atEvent you have a standardized way to engage with prospects, qualify them and drive personalized follow-up. And lastly, we are a GDPR compliant solution that supports multiple languages. This allows our global customers to use a single solution globally and govern prospect and account opt-ins, privacy and stay compliant.
Where do you see AI and machine learning technologies improving Event Lead Management programs?
We are utilizing AI and ML to optimize our transcription process and driving additional account insights for our customers. A few areas where I see AI and ML being utilized at events are using Chatbots for various previously manual functions and allowing for better networking at events via Attendee apps.
According to you, which businesses are fastest to adoption of Event Marketing platforms?
Not surprisingly, technology companies are the earliest adopters. Other industries that we also see embracing Event Lead Management solutions healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services and industrial manufacturing.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use in your current roles?
We use HubSpot and Eloqua internally, but we have teams that have expertise is Marketo, SaleForce, Pardot and Microsoft Dynamics as well.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Event-driven Lead capture technology on CRM businesses for 2019-2020?
B2B companies are recognizing, like their B2C counterparts, that personalization and velocity of follow-up matters. We are seeing that at events now where our customers are seeking to drive near real-time follow-up in a personalized manner with their prospects and accounts. They recognize that once a prospect talks to them at the event, they are likely going to visit their competitors’ booth. Delayed post-event follow up is no longer acceptable. Companies are looking to make events a part of their digital integrated marketing strategy to accelerate their sales velocity, track attribution and prove ROI.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing Technology leader?
Using AI to connect the massive amounts of disjointed data and informing our marketing strategies. It’s an exciting time because we see the size of data increasing, and with AI we are developing tools to actually utilize that data and pull insights which previously was cost prohibitive.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
We are a SAAS start-up, everything we do is in the cloud and is technology driven. I inspire people by embracing and sharing all the awesome productivity focused tech I use, and challenging our team to use other cloud tools to make their work tasks more efficient.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Using Notability app to take notes, add images, record meetings and share with my team using the Apple Pencil. It’s made capturing, organizing and searching information super simple.
What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I’m frequently consuming information on Medium and I just subscribed to Apple News+. I’m currently in the middle of reading The Hard Things about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, and the Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s a long game and you have to stay focused and have perseverance.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I’m really good at listening and distilling things down into something actionable, quickly.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Uzair! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Uzair Dada is the Founder and CEO of atEvent and Iron Horse Interactive, an award-winning demand generation agency serving an array of Fortune 500 companies.
Under his leadership, atEvent has become a leading global event lead management platform serving enterprise and mid-market companies globally. He also sits on the board of directors of Axos Bank. Uzair is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
atEvent’s enterprise-class B2B event lead management solution redefines event lead management. atEvent’s easy-to-use mobile lead capture app allows event reps to scan badges and multilingual business cards, add custom qualifying information, and sync the data directly to Marketo and other Marketing Automation and CRM systems for immediate and personalized follow-up. Our robust intelligence platform provides detailed insights on event performance to drive ABM strategies and event ROI.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.