Tech Duolog

Interview with CO-Founder and CEO, Splash – Ben Hindman


“Brands need to show their audience they are invested in their own programs and consider them important. “

1. Tell us about Splash Virtual – what does this launch entail?
Event marketers have had to pivot quickly over the past couple of months. Many who have traditionally been focused on in-person events were thrown into building virtual event programs for the first time in their careers. At the same time, they didn’t want to abandon the elements of event marketing that enable engaging, customized experiences: beautiful, branded event assets and connected data.

Splash Virtual helps them achieve this. Event marketers are getting up and running fast with beautiful, branded event marketing templates for virtual events — everything from the event pages to the registration forms to the emails. They are embedding live streaming directly into their Splash event pages for interactive experiences. They are integrating with a variety of webinar and virtual event platforms so they’re not locked into a single way of hosting online events (and event data always stays connected). With Splash Virtual, they are still creating engaging event experiences that drive action — just in a virtual venue.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into the events market?
I have been obsessed with the power of events since I can remember, which is what ultimately led me to a career in events. Bringing people together — whether in-person or virtually — is a way to connect people with similar interests and inspire new ways of thinking. But it’s also a huge business driver that lets companies build relationships with their customers and prospects. Before Splash, I was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where I built and produced all kinds of events with these goals in mind.

I’ve always believed that to be successful, event marketing needs to be just as unique and vibrant as the event experience itself. During my time at Thrillist, it was clear to me that there was a missing piece for event professionals: a platform to build and market beautifully designed event programs. That gap is why Splash was born. And while we’re solving for that, we’re also solving for so much more today. We’re giving event marketers the technology to market on-brand events, measure success using integrated event data, and scale all of their event marketing across their organizations.

3. How has integration of technology empowered event services?
Event marketers’ jobs are to create experiences that build relationships and help prospects become customers. This isn’t possible without the most valuable resource on the planet: data. And they can’t get accurate, complete event data without connecting their marketing tech stack.

Integrating technologies lets teams use this event data — things like who attends or doesn’t, guest preferences, guest actions, and more — to customize every touchpoint, which means more audience value and faster business results. It also helps teams keep guest information up-to-date, qualify leads better, and understand event ROI. Technology integrations have empowered event services and event marketers by providing the information needed to prove impact and results.

4. How do you define your event marketing platform?
Splash is the only event marketing platform built for scale, and we empower teams to build on-brand, measurable, and compliant event programs. With features like branded event pages, customized registration forms and emails, and powerful integrations, Splash makes it fast and easy for anyone in an organization to host in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.

5. Do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world realize the importance of virtual events?
I think the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world realize the importance of human connection, no matter what that looks like. The rise of virtual events during this time has certainly helped us maintain those connections and continue building new relationships. But just like friends and family members are itching to get back together face-to-face, professionals are looking forward to the return of in-person events. And when that happens, it’ll be obvious that nothing can replace the power of in-person events.

Another thing this pandemic has proven: Agility in event marketing is critical. Things out of our control happen every day, and the pandemic is an extreme example of that. But it is clear that to survive crises and extenuating circumstances, event programs must move quickly and be adaptable. Otherwise, attendee experience and event success will suffer.

6. What features of your virtual event services differentiates it in the market?
Splash Virtual is the only platform made to market and scale virtual event programs. Everything we’re experiencing today happened extremely fast, and event marketers had to scramble to shift their in-person event programs to virtual. Because of the speed they’re working at, many are forgoing the elements of event marketing that make events so successful: branded event design, connected data, and scaling their programs.

Brands need to show their audience they are invested in their own programs and consider them important.

Otherwise, why should their audiences be invested? At the same time, the virtual events space is super crowded right now. Brands have to also stand out to get their audience’s attention. The way to do all of this is eye-catching, engaging, branded event design.

A connected marketing tech stack is also incredibly important for running successful virtual events. Teams still need to understand which events are making the biggest impact on a prospect’s journey, so data still needs to move fluidly across systems. Without that, event marketers are risking huge opportunities to know their audience, drive action, and help impact business results.

The common thread among all of this is scale. By scaling their event design and data, event marketers can grow their virtual event programs without adding more resources (and grow their in-person event programs, when those return). Scaling event programs also helps ensure all events — in-person and virtual — stay aligned and that no brand building or event data gets lost in the meantime.

7. What advice would you like to give to other tech startups today?
When it comes to new products, and new hires, don’t hope. Typically, you know with about 75% confidence that something or someone is going to work out. And you know when you’re hoping too much.

8. Can you tell us about your team at Splash and how it supports you?
The entire Splash team is made up of game-changers who inspire me every day. Their passion for connecting people and helping brands create amazing event marketing programs is the foundation for what we do every day. And I’m incredibly proud of the collaboration, creativity, and innovation that we’ve shown — particularly over the past couple of months — to support our customers in their need to shift strategies immediately and significantly.

9. What movie inspires you the most?
Any Given Sunday and Inside Out.

10. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
Our annual Sploffsite get-together.

11. What are your favorite applications that you use on your phone right now?
Down Dog, Hue Disco, and comiXology.

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the fastest-growing end-to-end event marketing technology used by over half of the Fortune 500. An event planner turned tech entrepreneur, events are in Ben’s DNA. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways. He is also a co-founder of the Summit Series, the renowned invite-only destination event for the greatest minds in tech.

Splash is a platform championing the next era of event marketing by helping businesses market, measure, and scale their event marketing programs. From beautiful event pages and customized registration forms to email follow-up programs and easy integrations with other business systems, Splash empowers teams across the organization to design on-brand, measurable, and compliant event marketing programs that deliver exceptional experiences and inspire quick action on attendee data.

For more information please visit our Website.

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