Here are three ways China’s event management platforms are different from the US

TechNode

31Huiyi and Huodongxing are the top-of-mind when it comes to event management platforms in China

These years, China’s answer to event management platforms has filled the market. If you want to attend truly local Chinese events to meet Chinese investors or to make Chinese friends, 31Huiyi and Huodongxing have the right pool of Chinese conferences, events, and social meetups.

One-stop platform for event management 31Huiyi CEO Tao Wan told TechNode that his company was influenced by US event management companies Cvent and Marketo, but in many ways, 31Huiyi has applied Chinese localisation to those US counterparts.

First is the function to send out lucky money. Sending lucky money to other people is a big part of  Chinese culture, and in a business event, it’s a good way to keep people excited throughout the event.

Event attendees are participating in a game to win the custom made 32G USB prize. Rankings are shown on the main screen

Normally WeChat limits sending out hongbao to RMB200 (US$200) in the WeChat group, but 31Huiyi allows the event organiser to send out up to RMB500 (US$72) to 10,000 people participating in the event. People scan the QR code on the main screen, then they can either shake their phone or simply access a 31Huiyi web page, and the glorious winner will be announced on the screen.

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Second is the function to reward the speaker. When a speaker is on stage, giving a startup pitch or giving a speech, his temporary QR code is shown on the main screen, where the participants can scan it to reward him with money. According to Tao, the speaker on stage can receive up to RMB100,000 (US$14,400). Later on, the speakers’ money received will be ranked in order on the screen, so that audience can see who pocketed the most hongbao.

The third is giving much more personalised and customised way of serving the event guests. Normally, when Chinese people organise an event in a city and invite guests from other cities, two people share one hotel room.

“We can arrange hotel rooms to match two female guests in one room, two smokers in the same room and southern Chinese with other southern Chinese in one room. Sometimes, if you are from different parts of China, you cannot communicate so well, because of the dialect and also because of the different culture they have,” Tao Wan, CEO of 31Huiyi told TechNode.

Tao Wan, CEO of 31Huiyi

The Shanghai-based startup also provides a mobile guest management platform so that event organisers can track when the guest has arrived at the airport to offer a pick-up service.

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Founded in 2010, 31Huiyi has organised international events like World Internet Conference WuZhen Summit, and Global Conference on Health Promotion for WHO and Government of China, as well as China’s tech events like TechCrunch China events, and Heimahui.

Last week, 31Huiyi secured RMB40 million (US$5.8 million) in series A+ of financing. Tao says that the 20 per cent of the revenue is coming from the marketing cloud, and 80 per cent of the revenue is coming from the event cloud. The price varies from RMB1000 (US$144) to RMB10,000 (US$1,446) depending on the number of participants and the service they need.

31Huiyi and Huodongxing, which is better?

There are a lot of event management competitors, but the top players are Huodongxing and 31Huiyi, in terms of the number of the events they cover and the traffic. Tao explained the difference and the strong points the two platforms.

“Huodongxing is more like Eventbrite, doing a lot of B2C events. They have much more traffic, and therefore more people attend their events. They earn money through ticket sales,” Tao says.

For that reason, small scale events and social event are more suitable for Huodongxing, to get exposed to a larger audience.

“Using 31Huiyi, you can manage the event better using our marketing automisation solution. We provide a strong SaaS platform and technology to manage events,” Tao says.

31Huiyi’s marketing solution offer event promotion on WeChat public account, creating an HTML5 mini site, designing the ticket, offering different QRcodes with different discount options.

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“We spent six years in the business event space and we are specialised in corporate event segment.”

For that reason, the big brands with huge recognition tend to use 31Huiyi, who has brand power to spread out the event by themselves. Tao says the company is now working to adopt big data analysis and AI into their solution.

“We are now using big data to better analyse the event data. We are considering to adopt AI to assist us with online service. The first step will be adopting face recognition software,” Tao says. “In the huge scale events with participants more than 500 people, it’s hard to find the person that you planned to talk to. We want to be able to tell you where to find the person.”

Tao confirmed that 31Huiyi will focus on the China market for the time being.

“We can think about global expansion in the next coming three years later. China is the biggest market, and we want to focus here to be the leader in this market,” Tao says.

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