Recently, Olivier Wauters from Eventonline was interviewed by two marketing students from Antwerp University. Piotr Pietrzak and Paulina Kuczynska were two Polish students on an Erasmus exchange project. They were very much interested in Eventonline’s communication strategy regarding collaboration with other companies and open innovation. “It was a pleasant experience”, Olivier Wauters commented. “Their questions were to the point. What’s even more, today’s marketing students will be tomorrow’s marketers or event planners, so they might return to our website and find there the tools they need for their jobs.” By the way, Olivier received a thank-you letter from both students with a little remark: “The interview is complete and the highest grade achieved from the University of Antwerp.” Eventonline, always looking for excellence!
You can find the entire interview below:
Interview with Event Online
Innovative MICE Enterprise
By Paulina Kuczyńska & Piotr Pietrzak
Name company: Event Online
Industry: MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions)
Number of employees: 2 (but they work with many other people)
Position of interviewee: Managing Director
- Are you personally involved in marketing communications by the firm?
- If yes, can you briefly describe your role?
Yes, in 100 %. We are marketing company, they are working with portal websites, so every day I am involved into marketing communications.
- Are you personally involved in co-creation processes of the firm?
- If yes, can you briefly describe your role?
We have in Event Online over 950 clients. Hundreds of people are on their website everyday.
- In how many different co-creation processes is your firm currently involved?
– None – 1 – 2-3 – 4-7 – > 8 – No idea
- How would you describe the experience of your company with co-creation?
– No experience
– Few experience
– Some experience
– Large experience
- What’s your position inside the company? How would you describe your daily responsibilities in the firm?
Person to whom we talked to was responsible for the marketing inside the company. His responsibillity is to contact with the clients, find new ways of expanding the business, make up new ideas of the future of the company.
- Do you consider your company as innovative? Why (not)?
Event online is considered as an innovative company because they always think what can be done more. In the XXI century they are following all the modern trends that help them expand their business on the internet. Google officially said that there are more than 50% mobile searchers, and that’s confirmed by the statistics the company made on their case. More that 35% of entries are via mobile, and the number is still increasing. Moroeover, the company is the first in Belgium who send the personal newsletters in a responsive way.
- How would you describe the way your company innovates?
All of the work being done with the marketing is carried out based on a modern way. The company sees that a great opportunity lies in the power of the Internet so they consider all of their work to look nice on both computers and mobile devices. The company also uses modern and reliable IT statistics tools like Google Analytics to measure the traffic on their website and on websites of their business clients.
- Are you familiar with the concepts of open innovation and co-creation? (if not, please explain briefly)
The company is of course familiar with that concept. The main point of that is just the Internet and the way company adjusts their business with the newest trends proposed by the IT providers.
- Is the development of new products/services mainly internal, or does your company applies mainly open innovation?
The company is always thinking about innovation. They cooperate with the technical partner, graphic office,
- In which co-creation projects is your company involved in recent years and today? (ask following questions for each project)
- Please describe the process
- What is/was the outcome of the co-creation process?
- Who are the co-creation partners in these projects?
- Which roles do the different partners (your company and the other partners) take in the co-creation process?
- Who are the end users of the co-created innovation?
The company is conducting mostly co-creation projects. More than 900 current clients are involved into this process. The company posts their content on their client’s websites. They measure the traffic on that website using statistical tools like Google Analytics.
- Did innovation through co-creation had positive/negative outcomes for your firm? And for the other co-creation partners?
Of course positive, the company is getting more contracts now.
COMUNNICATION ABOUT CO-CREATION
- Through which channels do you communicate with your clients? How does your firm attracts new clients?
The company gets its clients by many ways. The current clients recommend the company further on. To get new clients the best way is to use the internet and in this part the Event online are doing a really good job.
- What and how do you communicate to your clients?
Phones, internet, meetings, newsletters
- Do you ever communicate about your co-creation activities? (give interviewee enough time to think about examples and if needed help the interviewee to remember examples)
All the time
- What do you communicate?
- Do you communicate about all co-creation activities, or only a part of it?
- Are there specific reasons why you do (or don’t) communicate about these co-creation activities?
- Do you communicate during the innovation process or only when the process is finished?
- Do you communicate only about radical innovations, or also about small, incremental innovations?
- Do you refer to your specific co-creation partners by name or remain general? Is this dependent on the number of co-creation partners?
The communication with the client is just the innovative approach. The company helps to get a client the proper venue its looking for that’s the first part, and the second part they put the content on their clients website, so they have to communicate about it, about what SEO should be used to rise the traffic.
- Through which channels do you communicate this information?
Phone, Internet, meetings
- We discussed your communication about co-creation activities and how this influences perceptions and business outcomes. Do you think your current communication strategy is good? Do you see any opportunities to improve your communication strategy?
The tool we base our communication tracks these days is just the Internet. It’s been increasing its range and opportunities day by day. Our company uses the new trends and chances that Internet provides. If there is a new tool we can use for our job, we will just use it.
- Before we end this interview, we would like to ask whether there are certain things that come to your mind which we forgot to ask or may be important in relation to our research?