Growth Matters: Amiando Prospers as Event Planning Moves Online
When the clock hit midnight and 2009 became 2010, a group of New Years Eve party planners breathed a sigh of relief. They had managed to organize a night of revelry in a park in Stuttgart, Germany with more than 1,000 people. They had notified thousands of people about the event, sold tickets and handled a number of other logistical issues -- all made simpler using an online event management and registration software called Amiando.
Amiando, based in Munich, Germany, allows organizers of small and mid-size events worldwide to organize events in a professional manner. The company's software has become a leading tool for event organization in Europe. Amiando says that it has handled more than 90,000 events in Europe, the U.S.A. and Asia to manage invitations, provide online promotion, register attendees and handle billing.
A Rooftop Terrace Party
Amiando was founded in 2006 when two entrepreneurial Germans, Felix Haas and Dennis von Ferenczy, decided to throw a party to watch the opening ceremonies for the Soccer World Cup -- Germany versus Costa Rica. They invited some 300 people to Haas' rooftop terrace and asked everyone to bring 10 euros to cover beef and beer costs. But keeping track of who was asked, who had paid and ordering the food became a logistical nightmare.
After the party, Haas and von Ferenczy realized that there was an opportunity to create an online platform to make such processes easier. "The market for events is huge, since virtually every business organizes some kind of event for its customers, its employees, its partners or the public," explains von Ferenczy. While it seems most U.S. startups begin in garages, Amiando came to life in a more comfortable location. The first prototype for the software was developed in Haas' living room.
Revenue Comes From Ticket Sales
Today, Amiando is a rapidly growing business. The company provides most of its software for free, so you can use it to organize private celebrations, birthday and parties, perhaps a bit like the popular site, evite.com. The company generates revenue when event organizers sell tickets through the system. Amiando charges €1 per participant plus 6% of the ticket price for the software it provides to event organizers. There are no additional costs -- the fee includes processing, credit card and Paypal fees.
According to von Ferenczy, small and mid-sized businesses are signing up in droves and the company's revenues are rising at more than 40% per quarter. At the same time, its technology has gained widespread recognition and won awards from the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2010, Red Herring Top 100, Techcrunch Europas, BITKOM Innovators Pitch, and the ECO Internet award.
The question, of course, is whether Amiando can keep up the growth especially during tough economic times when more companies may actually be cutting back on big events. So far, that doesn't seem to be an issue and as the economy recovers, Amiando's business should only increase.