Below are the highlights of the conversation between SwiftNLift Business Magazine and Deeptent. Deeptent was co-founded on 02 Jan 2017 by Choo Jek Bao. We are glad to share this exclusive interview with all the readers.
What is Deeptent’s mission?
Deeptent’s main product is a software for managing event giveaways (e.g. Event Lucky Draw) that offers better experiences for both organisers and attendees alike. Event organisers and live-stream sellers use Deeptent because it helps them to get more attention and specific action from their live audiences. The outcome is a positive and enduring impact for their events. Moreover, there is an audit log to ensure compliance and accountability.
Deeptent’s mission is to empower every event organiser and live-stream seller to achieve the highest level of event activation possible.
What were the challenges you faced at the time of inception?
Since the time of inception, Deeptent was built based on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, delivering business value to users through a simple plug-and-play. However, the event industry was very accustomed to using traditional event management solutions which required high initial setup and customisation costs, and employed per-event pricing practices. There was quite a bit of explanation required to educate our prospects on the benefits and flexibilities they have with Deeptent as a SaaS product.
Prospects often have the idea that the more expensive the software, the better it is. Deeptent’s free and premium subscription pricing was often the point in question as they were concerned about the quality of our software. The challenge was for our prospects to be convinced that Deeptent can be simple yet effective in achieving their intended outcomes. After their first try, they would often be impressed at how easy it is to set up (almost like using Microsoft PowerPoint) and customise their giveaways according to their event theme.
When customers saw the value of our software after using the free plan, they would consider subscribing to the premium plan for more advanced features such as creating more prize categories, increasing the number of drawn prizes, and grouping of participants.
What services do you provide to the customers?
Our main product is the software for managing event giveaways which comes with options for customisation according to the event theme, collection of audience feedback, and augmenting event with additional features such as event certificates and badges. Besides supporting our customers throughout their software usage journey, we are also able to build custom features that are unique to our customers’ requirements. However, we do not support any custom feature requests related to gambling, such as lottery numbers and loot boxes. In addition, we also partner with like-minded software companies to provide complementary services to event organisers and livestream sellers as our commitment towards building and offering better event software solutions.
What sets you apart from others who are already in this business?
Deeptent focuses on software solutions for managing giveaways with better experiences and compliance without reinventing the wheel. This is our key differentiating factor from competitors.
Clear Focus on Event Giveaways:
Instead of providing a wide range of event management solutions, Deeptent specifically focuses on managing giveaways only. We currently offer four different types of web applications to help event organisers and livestream-sellers organise and manage their giveaways, depending on their intended objectives and outcomes. On the other hand, our competitors often offer a wide range of event solutions in one software which includes event registration, ticketing, giveaway, Q&A polling system, and a live chat system. This often makes their solutions complicated to use and understand.
Emphasis on Compliance and Audit:
Customers do not have to worry about accountability or governance issues as we provide a clear audit log for all activities that occur during their event. Additionally, Deeptent has strong
anti-scam and verification measures that allow audiences to authenticate the events they join. Any false or ill-intended giveaways will be banned.
Not Reinventing the Wheel:
Some of our competitors build their own versions of solutions that already exist in the marketplace and are very popular. For example, creating in-built forms when there are many leading form software solutions available such as Google Form, Microsoft Form, TypeForm, etc. On the contrary, we believe in providing the flexibility to incorporate commonly-used applications such as forms, event registration tools, and platforms with our giveaways solutions to get more audience’s attention and actions. This also makes Deeptent a lightweight and easy-to-use app without a steep learning curve.
Can you describe emerging trends you’ve noticed in the event software industry?
There are many emerging trends that revolve around big data e.g. event data analytics or data science. But I won’t be discussing this because it’s a popularly known trend. Instead, I’ll share my thoughts on the less discussed trends.
1. Increasing Number of Hybrid Events:
The hybrid event model has two components: the online component and the in-person component. This model is not new. In fact, it has been commonly used by live TV shows with live audiences and others watching from home. With the existing restrictions for large events remaining unclear, the hybrid event model is here to stay in the post-COVID-19 world. There will be many opportunities for software companies to provide support for the online component of an event. For example, we can see how the popular web conferencing platform Zoom has played a significant role during the days of lockdown while we worked from home.
2. Increasing Difficulty in Capturing Audience Attention:
It is much harder to capture audience attention during the online component event, unlike in-person component events. Event organisers have to constantly compete for the audience’s attention before they are distracted and switch their attention. This is why Deeptent is positioned to and focused on helping event organisers capture live audience attention through the various giveaway applications e.g. mini-prize grabs (similar to a popular approach in China).
3. Increasing Number of Livestream Selling Events:
Livestream selling is the new teleshopping. It’s similar to the past where products were sold on TV shopping channels. However, not everyone has the access to sell on these platforms.
In this e-commerce era, the barrier to entry is so much lower. With a mobile phone or laptop, anyone can be a live stream seller. This is evident from China’s rise in their Key Opinion Leaders (KOL – also known as Influencers) selling a wide variety of products (from skincare, clothing, accessories, to even jewellery and precious stones).
You can watch a 13-minute video by The Economists on “The future of shopping: what’s in store?” that talked about the rise in livestream selling.
4. Rewarding Live Audience with Product Giveaways:
Do not take your live audience for granted or underestimate the impact of having a live audience. Live audiences provide opportunities for engagement which helps to create memorable experiences for the event. This is harder for online events where audiences can be easily distracted.
Why you would ask, would one attend a live event if the content could be recorded and viewed later at their own pace or convenience (e.g. TedTalks, product reviews, or commentaries on Youtube)? There must be something special or an appeal for the audiences to attend the event at that particular time slot. For example, connecting with other participants, having access to exclusive content, or participating in special promotions/campaigns/giveaways. Therefore, I believe that more and more event organisers will gradually want to reward their audience for joining their live events with exclusive promotions or product giveaways. This is given in return for their audience attendance and attention. And you can do the same by rewarding your live audience with simple giveaways.
5. Creating Memorable Live Event Experience:
Whether hybrid event organisers or livestream sellers, they want their live audience to have a memorable experience – especially remembering the presenter’s message and returning as regular customers or to continue attending their subsequent events. One way for participants to remember is to give away meaningful products/merchandise or tie-up with sponsors and use giveaway management software like Deeptent for a seamless process. Another way is to construct a learning environment by connecting the participants and enabling them to speed network using software like AirMeet. There are many other alternatives to create memorable experiences. It’s nice to see this ecosystem growing.
6. Adhering to Regulatory Compliance or Governance:
The fact that everyone can now be an event organiser or livestream seller, I would expect more regulations to be put in place in the future – whether to eliminate hate speech from hybrid event speakers or clampdown on livestream sellers from promoting prohibited products or services e.g. tobacco or sex trade over live streaming. From my observation, regulators are currently monitoring social media platforms for hate or divisive speeches. But with the increasing number of hybrid events and livestream selling, there will be more cases of malicious actors organising exclusive events. This means that some form of regulation will be required to safeguard the young from corrupt content and protect the old from losing their life savings to scams or fraudulent events.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
Deeptent is a four-year-old business based in Singapore. In the beginning, we were pivoting relentlessly to find product-market fit. It was mainly going through rounds and rounds of trial-and-error (building MVP and cold calling to sell) until we started to see the need for software to manage event giveaways and event lucky draw segments. That was the moment that we realised that this is a niche area Deeptent can focus on.
One of our greatest accomplishments is the ability to reach out to customers beyond Singapore. Our mantra to always listen to our customers has proven to be effective as we doubled down on understanding their requirements for various types of events, what worked or didn’t work as well for them, and then continuously improving on the product. This has led to organically attracting customers in Malaysia and even Hong Kong.
What are your parting messages for our readers?
We are constantly looking for partners to work together and build a more robust event software ecosystem for hybrid event organisers and livestream sellers. If you are in the software business serving event organisers and livestream sellers, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to work together for a common goal.
On top of this, I have two key messages for Event Organisers and Livestream Sellers:
1. Good software should have simple pricing and be easy enough to plug-and-play from anywhere, anytime.
Think of Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. At Deeptent, we are impressed by the simplicity of Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, and so we strive to deliver a similar if not better experience to users when using Deeptent.
2. Audience attendance and attention should not be taken for granted.
You need to capture and leverage your live audience’s attention otherwise it is as good as not having an audience. It’s tough to engage people for in-person events, and even more so for an online or hybrid event. You need to use different means such as event certificates to reward for their attendance, event badges to encourage lively discussion, and event lucky draw or fast grab to reward your audience for staying through your event. All in all, the ultimate aim is to leave a nice lasting impression of the event.
Details of the company:
Year of Founding: 2017
Office Locations: 531 Upper Cross Street #02-04 Singapore 050531
Company Strength: Empower every event organiser and live-stream seller to get more attention and specific action from their live audience.
For partnership: email@example.com
*This interview is covered by Swiftnlift Business Magazine