EventBoard launches enterprise platform, raises $1.5M

Steven Loeb · September 30, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3969

EventBoard is a cloud-based room scheduling company that seeks to make meetings more efficient

Nobody likes meetings. Nobody. Not one single person ever. But given that they are a necessary evil, isn't there a way to make them, you know, more efficient? Instead of having people sitting around all day, waiting in a conference room for a meeting to start, companies absolutely need a way to not only keep on schedule, but to know just how much time, and money, is being wasted.

That is the idea behind room scheduling company EventBoard, a company whose ultimate goal is to make it not only easier to schedule meetings, but to eventually start making them more cost-effective as well.

The Salt Lake City-based EventBoard made two big announcements on Tuesday: it officially launched its cloud-based meeting room management software, in addition to announcing its first ever funding round.

The company has now debuted the EventBoard enterprise platform, which is a suite of cloud-based calendar software which is designed to more easily manage conference room scheduling, as well as meeting efficiency. The platform also provides facilities analytics, in order to make sure that those meetings are starting on time and that companies are making the most efficient use of their time.

In an interview with VatorNews, Shaun Ritchie, CEO and co-founder of EventBoard, told me that the idea for the company came out of a previous company that he had founded called Neutron Interactive.

"There was collision over meeting rooms. We were stepping on each others toes, and making visits from customers really awkward," he said. "It's a dance that goes on every day in every decent sized company in the world."

So what they ended up building was a display, with full analytics, and a cloud management system, optimized for the iPad to show meeting times, and the calendar of the room that day.

"We do meeting room management, which means that companies do not have to do that awkward fight over meeting rooms," Ritchie said. 

The app went through two years of initial development, but has so far been very successful, with over 500 paying customers, many of them big names in tech, including AirBnB, Pinterest, Yelp, MGM, NYU, Yale, and Disney. 

Now that it is out of beta, and is already courting non-early adopting companies, it needs to step up its sales and marketing game. And so it has raised a $1.5 million seed-funding round, from investors that include Google Ventures, Zetta Venture Partners, Marc Benioff, Dave Elkington and Josh James, among others. 

The new money will go toward hiring; EventBoard currently has 14 employees, and will be adding another five or six in the short term. The funding will also help to build out the product.

Ritchie has big goals for what EventBoard can ultimately do. Beyond simply getting analytics on how well a company is making use of its facilities, eventually he wants it to actually be able to do meeting analytics, meaning that it will start looking at the quality of the meetings themselves.

"Half of meetings are unproductive. Measuring these things will help companies better understand their cultures," he said. "They will be able to analyze and affect their time management and be able to increase workflow."

The company will one day be able to do this through surveys, as well as getting simple feedback from participants. EventBoard will look at the takeaways and provide methods for companies to better interact with their employees. 

For right now, though, it will still be able to help companies save through its offerings by helping them waste less time and money.

"If a company has six conference rooms, and there's three meetings a day in each one, and each happens 5 to 10 minutes late, you can do the math to find out how much time was wasted," said Ritchie. "One late meeting is a total waste of time. Salaried people are being paid to waste time."

Sales people especially hate meetings, he said, because they would rather be out making calls and sales.

"Time spent in meetings starting late, trying to find meeting room, spending time going up and down floors. That can turn into $500, $1,000, or $10,000. The numbers become astronomical very quickly."

As a software and cloud company, EventBoard is upending what has traditionally been a hardware focused-space, and has built the display deliverable to iOS.

"We are leveraging Apple hardware, without having to worry about building hardware," Ritchie said.

The company currently runs on iOS, and will eventually find its way onto Android, but is right now optimized for the iPad. While EventBoard does help resell the devices, it is still primarily a software company. 

Ultimately, EventBoard is attempting to capitalize on the growing amount of data that is now becoming available to companies.

"This is a trend just now starting, the quantified workplace. There is so much data happening in organizations and enterprise that no one is measuring. There is an opportunity to quantify that, help their culture align with where they want it to be," he said. "By posting something like this outside a meeting room, so they know that meetings are starting late, we can help them align culture so they can say, 'Lets be on time, and be prepared.'"

EventBoard is also capitalizing on meeting rooms becoming more and more important as physical spaces in a company.

"This is where collaboration happens. That’s how companies are starting to use these spaces, and it is becoming more important manage them to be more productive and efficient.'

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EventBoard’s intuitive room scheduling software was designed to run on existing iOS devices, such as Apple’s iPad™ and iPad mini™, thereby functioning as an interactive display screen. By mounting these EventBoard-enabled devices in highly visible and easily accessible locations outside conference rooms, users are able to obtain real-time room reservation status at a glance, view future availability of the room, and schedule room reservations. An easy-to-use online dashboard allows for simple and secure remote management of all devices running EventBoard.

Beyond scheduling capabilities, EventBoard also includes a powerful analytics framework that quantifies workplace activities by illuminating data that has previously been unavailable. This type of data includes knowing when and with what frequency conference rooms are being utilized, tracking average occupancy rates, and identifying underused and overused resources and spaces. EventBoard Analytics helps customers identify positive and negative trends in their workplace that will allow them to make important operational, financial and technological improvements.




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