Why license a conference web platform?

Posted on: October 25, 2018
Tim Davies

Licensing from an agency is the same as renting. Money down the drain every month, right? It’s way better to fill out a mortgage application and own your thing outright. Right?

The Event Engine team has been providing the industry with web tech innovations for over ten years. While the tech has evolved to unrecognisable degrees, the polarised philosophies of tech buyers hasn’t. Today there are still two main camps of thought: a) build your own tech, and b) license someone else’s tech. First, let’s consider the first camp’s ideal.

Conference and event companies are sometimes tempted down the path of building their own web tech with the glorious aim of gaining a competitive edge. If they find a developer who’s clever enough to lead the way and get the FD to agree on the big development quote, they’ll soon be producing the most awesome websites with the most awesome engagement tools to produce the most awesome campaign results. Why is that awesome? To see sales rocket and the head of marketing get a huge pay rise and a fountain built in the toilets with their statue proudly taking centre stage. That’s the goal. That does sound awesome. But that doesn’t deal with the real issue – the business and technological cases for a custom platform build.

Let’s jump into the second camp mindset for a moment:

The Event Engine worldview is this: we learn better, faster and far more deeply from each other than if walking alone. That’s why we’re in the business of supporting communities, conferences and events. Our company’s main tech architect is Lee Jackson. Our clients know and love him for his vast knowledge, can-do attitude, cheeky demeanour, trim beard and permanent baseball cap.

Behind the Event Engine scenes and not-as-well known to our clients, Lee runs another business. He’s the founder of digital development agency, Angled Crown. As part of that business he runs a WordPress-specific podcast aimed to address the needs of other design and digital agencies. That podcast attracts in the region of 20,000 monthly downloads. His accompanying Facebook group of WordPress agency users and developers has over 2000 members.

Lee is regarded as a leading innovator in the world of WordPress and he spoke at the last WordCamp London. And in case you’re not aware of what WordPress actually is, it’s an Open Source web platform – meaning, you can download and develop the software to tailor it to meet your needs. It runs about a third of the entire internet.

What does that mean for Event Engine and its clients? It means that the product is a direct beneficiary of a world-class WordPress developer who is, literally every day, in regular contact with other world-class developers, business leaders and tech architects. Around the clock, the community hosted by Lee is engaged in ever-evolving and deepening discussions, problem sharing, solutions and ideas. Because The Mighty WordPress is open source, any of the innovations generated within this community can be put to use at will. It means our core product is never out of development stage.

So, for us at Event Engine, the mere idea of putting together a small development team to produce a single piece of custom software under the blanket of an NDA is… to be frank… really, really silly.

The world’s just isn’t progressing that way now. It’s changing rapidly by collaboration.

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Tim Davies

Tim Davies

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