Having just spent a couple of days at the Web Summit in Dublin, I know the feeling of being overwhelmed at a conference. This particular conference was attended by over 10,000 people – so making sure I met the right people was a bit of a nightmare. It just so happens, that there is a Swedish startup tackling this problem – Shpare, started by ex-Tablefinder founder Anders Fredriksson.
So, what is Shpare and how exactly does it fix this problem? Essentially, Shpare delivers ‘pre-qualified leads’ to exhibitors at trade shows (or conferences). The idea is that a company can spend less time with ‘time-wasters’ and more time with potential customers.
When I proposed the notion that it was a crowded space, Anders tended to disagree:
However, the space isn’t that crowded when it comes to solutions that work. Most competitors are either trying to make a great event-app with information about the event, or they are trying to replace the attendee book with a searchable directory online.
Instead, Shpare creates a curated list of the “most important people to meet” for each company/user. In addition, the app is designed to make the “scheduling” of the meeting painless and quick (read: no emails). One really cool feature is the Shpare conducts all the legwork, even pre-creating the accounts for each attendee before the event – meaning that no one actually has to sign up for the service, instead they just accept an invite.
Shpare have been up and running for a few months now, and been active at a number of more tech-orientated trade shows. Anders tells me that within 6 months they want to be live in the US, which is the primary market for Shpare. They are planning to relocate to SF and also open sales offices in Las Vegas and New York.