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Derek Andersen - Co-Founder and CEO at Bevy
Derek is a founder of multiple startups including Bevy, which is a customer to customer community management platform that helps brands build their community in real life. He also co-founded Startup Grind which brings the world's greatest founders and investors to tell their stories on stage.
Derek’s Background (02:11)
I started my career at Electronics Art. I was an intern there on a video game called the Godfather One. I loved the creativity of working in a video game company.
After college, I went back and worked there for three years, primarily on a game called Burnout.
After that, I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Along the way, I started hosting this event series called Startup Grind with a friend of mine. We wanted to bring other entrepreneurs together to just help each other.
I did the first event and I shared some of the learnings I had from something I just launched. Now Startup Grind is available in 150 countries around the world.
The Philosophy Behind In-Person Communities (07:49)
We adopted phones, social networking and all these things to make our lives better. And what happened is it’s isolated, everyone. The other thing - people don’t trust what they read online anymore. People are starting to value real community again.
The Process for Building a Community (13:14)
The first thing you need to do is launch a form on your website. Just put a form on your website that says ‘Start a chapter’ with some information about what that means to run a chapter. See if anybody feels it but do not promote it. After that, you can get them on a video call and see what kind of person they are.
The second part is to define what you want the program to be. Two questions are important here. What do you expect from these leaders and what can they expect from you?
Maybe there are some perks that you could provide for your local chapter leaders.
After doing 5 to 10 events, you pretty much will know what's going to work and what isn't.
How To Fill The Room (18:38)
You can use products like Meetup and Eventbrite which are great event aggregators. In the beginning, you don’t need a lot of people. You've got to have a marketing list, you've got to send email reminders, you've got to publish it in places where people are looking for events.
Bigger brands already have a customer base to pull from.
Get somebody in the top of the funnel. You have to reengage them, remind them when the event is going to be. When it comes to the day of the event, make sure that people know when and where it's going to happen.
The Purpose of Bevy Labs (02:52)
Bevy helps companies build community in real life at scale. In just 30 seconds you can build an events page. We allow people to target and tailor their emails so that they look beautiful and that they reflect their brand. You can also manage your sponsorships, invoicing, putting logos on the pages and emails.
These tasks are repetitive and we've basically taken out all the repetition by threading the data together.
How Events Convert Into Business Action (07:37)
It’s all through APIs. If you're not understanding and extracting appropriate ROI or at least quantifying that, your program is not going to continue to get funded. The programs that are successful and the programs that have longevity are the ones that figure out the ROI. Most of them will do that through our APIs which then pump up into their systems of record.
We have customers who directly track new customer growth through their events program.
Other Tools Outside of Bevy (09:34)
I think the RFID stuff is really interesting. You put it on a wristband and you can be tracked where you’re going, where you’re spending time, which stalls you’re visiting etc. It’s expensive but it’s great.