As I mentioned before once or twice (!) I have a real interested in using the tools and attitudes of the social web (previously known as web 2.0 or social media in my posts – decided I like social web as a term for now!) to enhance face-to-face events. This can take many forms from a simple conference blog right through to live steaming of sessions.
Recently I have spent a bit of time looking at a couple more web applications that are aimed at events and that I’d like to spend more time working with.
EventWax is an online tool for setting up event registrations etc – it was built by the guys who run the @media conferences and is a spin off from their work on that but is an interesting tool in its own right. It offers a pretty configurable form builder (assuming you are happy with the code it uses) and you can fiddle with the CSS to give it your own look and feel. I won’t go into details about its feature set (here) but I was impressed. It does lack a couple of things I’d really like to see though:
– domain mapping – Tumblr offers this for free but I think its reasonable to assume this would be a premium option
– sessions management – most of the events I’ve been involved in require delegates to select their parallel sessions as part of the booking process and I’d like to see a system that supports this and even allows you to set capacities for each session so they will automatically close when filled
– [not sure if this is possible but…] allow delegtes to sign up with OpenID to prefill as much of the registration form as possible and also to allow them to return to check on their bookings later and also sign into..
– [I think this is something that someone clever could do with the upcoming EventWax api..] use the data collected in the registration form to automatically populate other supporting applications – i.e. Crowdvine or Sched.org (more on Sched in a bit) I think the chance for people to be able to see who else is at a conference, what sessions they and people they know are attending and do some online networking in advance of the event without having to go through the pain of signing up for yet another social network would be a real benefit (guess this would need to be opt-in?)
Anyway those are my thoughts on EventWax (I know Eventbrite offers a similar service but for now EventWax gets my vote – plus they are from the UK and its good to support the few UK start-ups out there)
I also spent a bit of time looking at Sched.org this week as well. Sched was one of the hits of this years SXSW and offers a simple yet clever tool for managing schedules at complex, multi-strand conferences. It allows users to build and share their schedules and also to export as iCal It seems very usable and I like the look and feel of the app as well as its functions. Currently it seems to be pretty much in a closed beta with individual set-ups being built on request by the two-man team responsible (maybe its conferences they are attending at the moment?). Anyway I think its great and if it could be tied into a booking process somehow I think it would be a real winner..its certainly interesting enough that I’d love to be able to have more of a play with it.