Insights about the trends of “event” by Accupass and Backer-founder
How to host a great event? The serial sessions “More than Sign Up” held by Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government invited the founder and CEO of event forum “Accupass”, Ziwen Luo, and the founder of the crowdfunding consultant company “Backer-founder”, Tahan Lin to share their startup experiences, particularly about their decision to do business on “the right people meet the right business”.
Event Forum are Created by Various Needs from the Public
“Many people asked me why I chose “events industry” for a startup business,” said by Luo. “I am young, and one of the advantages of being young is that you are still brave enough to try something unpredictable. The so-called “events industry” is called MICE oversea, which stands for Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition. MICE is in one of tourism industry’s categories which covers a broad business opportunities. However, the market of “events industry” is still developing.” Luo believes that Accupass will be a necessity for every individual in the future. “We are not in the era that people would be satisfied with one simple event anymore. In the future, people will have different needs and preferences. This phenomenon has already been developed in some countries with cultural histories, such as United States and Japan. Everyone has their preference and wants specific information or social networking,” said by Luo. “Some people interpret that the success of “event” depends on how many “tickets” were sold, but in fact, we expect the public to see us as the market leaders of the “events industry”, like Alibaba or Amazon. We are hoping to create a forum to allow people to share their ideas, and at the same time, to understand others’ thoughts. We want to connect people altogether by “events.” To create opportunities and to build up networking are what Accupass really does in this industry.
“This type of forum – the forum that can connect with various networking group, in which people actually participate events they are interested – is essential for developing cities or countries.”
Accupass was founded in Hsinchu, grew in Taipei and was established in Beijing. They once considered developing their business in the United States or the Mainland China. But according to their evaluation, the MICE industry is well-developed in the United States, and it is yet too early to enter into China market as people do not have much knowledge about MICE market. Therefore, Luo and the partner John Sie decided to enter China by its uniqueness and pioneer identity to start their business in the business incubator in Tsinghua University in China first. “If we see our business as an international enterprise, we need to focus on the international market at the very beginning. Thus, we have to plan on the strategy of expanding our business and how to make our business IPO. Once you have plan, you have direction to move forward to that goal.”
In addition, Luo also mentioned some of entrepreneurs he admires, including Sunny Lin, founder of the forum of the first Social Enterprise Insights, Jason Hsu, who has successfully made Ted Taipei the most popular branches outside the U.S., and A-Fong Huang, the founder of Crosspoint. These businesses continuously share ideas to the public by the events, and gather people altogether in the event. “In my opinion, the composition of the event are Content, Context, Commitment and Conclusion. What we lack the most in Taiwan is Commitment. People are always touched by the Content and Context, but no one takes action,” said by Luo. Unlike those merely “likes” by people on Facebook, events can attract real people, and Luo believes that creating more events in the real life is more effective than online promotions.”
A Persuasive Story to the Public is the Most Important Factor in a Successful Crowdfunding
“The person who made the biggest donation is from Taiwan; yet, the person who is defrauded by the highest payment is also from Taiwan. Now you can tell where is the best place to conduct the crowdfunding. Where else is better than Taiwan!”
Lin introduced the name of the company first during the talk. “In addition to the “Backer” and “Founder”, which means Sponsors and Founder respectively, Backer-Founder is also the media in business. If you spend the money on the right place, the value will be expanded.”
Lin has been known the crowfunding field since 2011, and worked in flyingV, the biggest crowdfunding forum in Taiwan. He received the layoff letter after posting crowdfunding of “318 Sunflower Student Movement” on the headlines of New York Times. “Being an entrepreneur was not my decision at first, and I believe many entrepreneur faced the similar situations. I am grateful for the experience in flyingV and without flyingV’s layoff letter, I will not be doing what I am doing right now.”
In 2013, there was a “powder run” created and hosted by the people on the Internet in Taiwan. And the failure to sign up for the original “color run” triggered the public to participate the crowd-hosting “powder run.” Similarly, in October of 2013, the documentary “Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above” was hosted outdoor at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taiwan, and the ticket cost NTD700 per person. Regardless of the high entry fee, many people were still willing to sponsor the event. Why? Sponsor could “check-in” the event to show their loves toward Taiwan to the public and gained its reputation. If you understand the public’s mind, and know how to tell an interesting story, you will get a positive feedback from crowfunding. Backer-Founder plays a role as a marketing team in the crowdfunding business.
Vision, Taste and Style – Three Important Elements in Crowdfunding
Lin said he has two opposite thought regarding marketing before: 1) You do not need to explain to others. People who like you will continue to like you; in contrast, those who hate you will not listen to your explanations; or 2) Do not give up explaining to others. People who like you probably have not known enough, and those who hate you probably will change their minds after hearing your explanations. The concepts are like marketing methods – to explain to people with the language they understand.
To market the crowdfunding cases, the most important factors are vision, taste and style. 90% of the vision are determined by clients that the consultant can do nothing about it. Backer-Foudner focuses on assisting the team with their “style adjustment.” Lin gave an example by using “headline” to explain what he meant by style adjustment.
“I think the “headline” is the most competitive and fairest element in the market,” said by Lin. “When you are giving a headline you have to manage three important factors: to make people click the headline, to match the content and to be searched easily searched. If the headline can not catch the attention by the public, it is easily ignored by people. If the headline does not match the content, it seems that you lie to the public. If the headline is not easily searched, it is difficult for customers to find you online.”
In Lin’s sharing, he mentioned that the “uniqueness” and the “best” are interactive. We need to focus on marketing this vision to the public. “It is hard to promote your product or idea in a short period time to the public, and it is also not the strategy of marketing. In marketing, we need to find out what people need by their behavior or conversation.”
“consultants and proposer are in the same pace. Without in the same pace and shared mind, the case will not succeed in this industry.”