A quick chat about Conference Compass’ achievement with its founder and CEO – Jelmer van Ast
Congratulations! Conference Compass made it to the Top 250 fastest-growing scaleups in the Netherlands. What is your secret sauce?
Thank you! I think there are two main ingredients. Firstly, we have an incredible team of people, who are not just the best in their field, but also a lot of fun to work with. This was especially important when we all started working from home and pivoted our business to support fully virtual conferences. Without such a strong team and company culture, we could never have pulled it off. The second reason is our steadfast focus on building the best platform for conference engagement. That made our pivot to support virtual conferences not a drastic shift in focus, but more of continued development on top of everything that we had built up to that point.
While the pandemic crippled the event industry, Conference Compass shifted gear to accelerate product development. Looking back, has it been the right move?
Absolutely! When the pandemic hit, many believed that after a short period things would go back to normal. We all know it is taking much longer and the event industry may never be the same again. If we had decided to slow down and sit it out, we would have become obsolete by now. Instead, we now run some of the world’s largest conferences on our platform and are adding more value for our customers than ever. I’m especially proud that we expanded our team, creating many new job opportunities including a large team of support staff, who help out our customers run successful online conferences. At this time, 6 months into the year, we are well on track to more than double our revenue. That allows us to keep on expanding our team and invest in product development.
How do you see the future of the event industry? And what exciting product developments can we expect from Conference Compass?
Conferences and other business events which were forced to go virtual will return to be held physically again once the restrictions are lifted. However, they will have online elements to extend their reach, amplify their impact and reduce the risk against new restrictions. Also, the value of communities will become stronger than ever. Organizers will plan a variety of events year-round to engage the communities they represent. Some events will be in-person, others will be virtual, and yet others will be hybrid. Our community event platform is uniquely positioned to empower these event planners and their communities. We have a very exciting product roadmap ahead of us, where each release will make it easier for our customers to host ever more engaging events for their communities.