Topi: The Mobile App That Helps Conference Organizers And Attendees Connect
New York City-based Topi has unveiled a new, first-of-its-kind mobile app for business users, aiming to revolutionize the way they interact at conferences and events.
According to Topi, the app will offer unprecedented functionality for conference organizers and event planners as well, helping them "mobilize" their events in a more cost-effective manner.
The company aims to provide this functionality by offering a native app for 80 percent of smartphone users, instant polling and attendee surveys with real-time answers and graphical analytics, as well as in-app notifications for sending changes and updates to attendees.
According to the Convention Industry Council, as much as $263 billion is spent on 1.8 million meetings and events in the U.S. alone. Topi enters the stage as the first mobile app directly addressing the needs of both organizers and attendees.
Without doubt, Topi is not just another mobile app entering a crowded space but is indeed raising the industry bar and squarely addressing the needs of business professionals looking to socialize and connect at industry conferences, and simultaneously supporting conference organizers and event planners hosting them.
Benefits for Attendees
Attending business conferences and events is often a great opportunity to meet new business partners, find prospective employees, identify job opportunities, enhance business expertise, or simply connecting with others in the industry.
"Without question, Topi has nailed it with their mobile app for business professionals who want to network with each other in a simple but powerful way. Topi helps people identify relevant professionals with similar interests and then helps foster interactions among event participants in ways no app on the market has been able to do so effectively," Andrew Der, Senior Manager of Digital Strategy & Innovation at American Express and co-founder of NYC Marketing Mixer, said in an emailed statement.
"Our Marketing Mixer members have been using Topi every month with great reception, and the level of engagement and connections members have made with each other is exceptional."
Benefits for Organizers
When it comes to conference, meeting, and event organizers, Topi aims to help them drive better engagement and adapt to a "more mobile-centric attendee base of business professionals."
According to eMarketer, as many as 137.5 million people in the United States will use smartphones in 2013. Meanwhile, ABI Research expects three-quarters of business users to use smartphones by 2015. Topi would maximize this scenario by offering organizers a mobile solution to stay in touch with their attendees and facilitate networking among them. To enable organizers to reach as wide an audience as possible, Topi is compatible with Android, iPhones, iPads, and Windows Phone devices.
"We're excited to bring social networking to the conference and meeting industry. We believe the quality of a conference is strongly correlated with how engaged an audience is. At Topi, we've spent months understanding how to simplify networking between like-minded people, and have worked closely with conference organizers and event planners to understand what kind of functionality they needed. In the end, participants and organizers together will make any event better," said Topi co-founder and CEO David Aubespin.
"While there are other mobile apps aimed at helping meeting and event planners share information for attendees to simply consume, we believe conference and event organizers will welcome the ease, speed, powerful capabilities and data that Topi uniquely delivers."
Top Features & Functionality for Attendees
- Sign-on via Facebook Connect, integration with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, and LinkedIn;
- One-click LinkedIn requests to add other attendees at the event in question to one's network without leaving the app;
- Searchable view of all attendees, sorted by relevance to each event attendee; this functionality is immediately accessible upon launching the app;
- Automatic suggestion of groups based on common affiliation and interests among attendees;
- A "virtual lobby," where conference or event attendees can follow or participate in public conversations; the app automatically directs group conversation around relevant contexts such as field of expertise or topics of interest;
- A number of conversation options, including private one-to-one conversations, group chat rooms, or public conversations;
- The option to share pictures, recorded audio, maps, sketches, or other content;
Top Features & Functionality for Organizers
- In-app notifications that can be scheduled beforehand or immediately pushed out to attendees, providing relevant messages or updates;
- Secure content distribution for granting attendees access to conference materials (agenda, presentations, speaker handouts, presenters' bios, etc.); attendees can open said documents directly in the Topi app, email themselves, or print a copy;
- Custom geo-fencing, enabling conference organizers and event planners to draw precise parameters around various venues (convention center, hotel, etc.);
- The option to poll and survey participants in real time and retrieve results immediately; all interactions can be either scheduled beforehand or sent instantly;
- Comprehensive audience analytics around attendees' professional backgrounds, interests, and demographics, as well as aggregated usage data for each conference;
- Public chat feed of conversations between attendees is easily viewable on the app, in a manner similar to Twitter's; the public chat feed can be either projected onto a big screen or added as a widget onto the main conference or event homepage;
- A customized event via the Topi app can showcase branding with sponsors; organizers can also include sponsor logos that rotate within the app, or hyperlinks to their Web sites of choice; sponsors can also collaborate with organizers to push out branded event updates, coupons, materials, or other content directly to attendees via the app;
Price & Availability
Topi is immediately available for download for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. The company will release official pricing by the end of the month. The cost will only apply to organizers. Topi is available worldwide, and the mobile app currently supports English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.