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Zoho Innovates Event Management Space with New Zoho Backstage

Comprehensive end-to-end event management platform touts intuitive website builder, seamless marketing campaign integration and event mobile app for attendee engagement

Today, Zoho announced its newest product offering: Backstage, an end-to-end event management tool that allows organizers, corporations, and non-profit agencies to plan, promote, and run enterprise events ranging from large-scale meetings to conferences and trade shows. Zoho Backstage comes equipped with a broad range of features, including a multi-language website builder, agenda planner, attendee mobile app, sponsor management, detailed analytics and more. Backstage adds a completely new marketing channel to Zoho’s integrated suite of apps, Zoho One.

“Planning and running an event is a complex operation that has traditionally required different tools for each stage of the process—a website builder, a mass emailing solution, scanners for checking in attendees, and a stand-alone app for audience engagement,” said Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist, Zoho Corp. “Backstage embraces event management from start to finish by offering a unified online platform that allows you to market your event, fill your seats, and engage your audience all from within one product. Rather than getting bogged down in the complexities of the tools being used, this holistic event management system lets organizers focus on what matters: putting on a great event.”

Highlights of Zoho Backstage:

Before the Event

Dynamic event website builder: Zoho Backstage enables organizers to create a dynamic event website from scratch within minutes. The website builder includes multi-language support, an agenda planner, sponsor promotion, direct registration (for free and paid tickets), photo gallery, speaker management, and customizable labels and sections.

Intuitive agenda planner: 

With Backstage’s agenda builder, organizers can create unique schedules for each event, choosing from different session types and organizing presentations into multiple tracks. They can simply drag-and-drop the time blocks to build the perfect event for their attendees.

Sponsor and speaker management:

To get the most out of an event, external partners—such as speakers and sponsors—need to be highlighted prominently on the event website. Important speakers can be featured on the homepage to boost interest, and the dedicated sponsor page gives credit to the outside companies that made the event possible. Backstage also allows organizers to define sponsorship categories to maximize revenue.

Promotion tool: Event planners can use the built-in promotion tools to spread the word and increase event reach. Backstage also offers the option of embedding promotional banners on third-party websites and blogs. It equips event marketers with customizable email templates directed at attendees and sponsors, both for promotional and instructional purposes. In addition to this, Backstage can also be integrated with Zoho Campaigns via Zoho Flow to run email marketing campaigns.

Monitor ticket sales:

Backstage integrates with Eventbrite allowing organizers to watch in real-time as attendance grows in the days and weeks before the event. In the next couple of months, Backstage will also be releasing an in-house ticketing solution that will bring the entire ticketing process onto one platform.

Custom branded mobile app:

Event organizers can provide attendees an engaging experience with a completely custom branded event mobile app. This can be hosted on the app store and is available for both iOS and Android devices.

During the Event

Content Library: Presentations are an integral part of any corporate event. With its native integration with Zoho Docs and Show, Backstage offers a centralized content library to create and manage slide decks, files, images, and more. This ensures that on event day all the presentations are pre-loaded and the sessions run smoothly, without any disruptions.

Agenda personalization:

Personalized agendas allow attendees to keep track of all the sessions they are most interested in. This self-selected schedule makes it easy to check presentation times, speaker bios, and assigned locations on the go.

Audience Engagement:

Backstage also integrates with Zoho’s internal presentation delivery tool, ShowTime. Designed to encourage interaction during presentations, this tool allows attendees to provide speakers with feedback through virtual Q&As, slide likes, and instant ratings, all from within their mobile devices.

Community building:

Event organizers can create an online community even before the event starts. Discussion forums provide a good opportunity for participants to not just interact with the organizers, but also keep conversations going with other participants.

Attendee convenience: Large events can be impersonal and overwhelming if attendee experience is not taken into consideration. In an effort to reduce long lines on the opening day of the event, Zoho Backstage allows staff to check in attendees with the click of a button on the web dashboard or the mobile app, rather than using an external scanning device.

After the Event

Comprehensive analytics: Zoho Backstage gives organizers insight into the key performance indicators for each event, from engagement statistics for individual sessions to attendance metrics for the entire event. Speakers can be evaluated by reviewing the number of likes and comments each session receives, and reading through post-presentation attendee feedback.

Post-event feedback:

Organizers can use Zoho Flow to integrate Backstage with Zoho Survey, making it possible to gather information on how the event resonated with attendees.

Other Integrations: Zoho Backstage is integrated with Eventbrite for ticketing, and will soon have its own ticketing solution. It also work with Zoho Flow, an extensive integration platform that connects Backstage with over 100 third-party applications.

Customer Statements:

“Our Zoho Backstage experience has been very positive.  In less than an hour and a half, Backstage helped me build a two-day event with all the bells and whistles. The ability to have multiple solutions in one place that saved 5 to 6 hours of my time is just wonderful. I highly recommend Zoho Backstage.”

Josh Wagner – Director of Marketing. Fluitec International, New Jersey, United States.

“Zoho Backstage can be best described as convenient, advanced, and smart. We saved a lot of time—and time is money. This solution is definitely worth the investment.” – Quốc Vinh – Group Chairman and CEO. Le Bros, Vietnam

“With Backstage, we were able to save time and money. All it took was a few clicks to get our event website up and running. We were also able to provide our attendees with an engaging and memorable event experience through a custom branded mobile app. Backstage will surely be part of our future events.” – Ramesh C Pathak – PMP, VP Technology. PMI Bangalore, India.

Pricing and availability: 

Zoho Backstage is available immediately, both as a web app and as mobile apps for iOS and Android. Zoho Backstage offers four subscription plans: the Free plan, the Professional plan ($99 per month), the Professional+ plan ($199 per month), and the Single Event plan ($299 per event) with a custom branding add-on at $1000 per year. Custom branding includes a custom domain and mobile app. The Zoho Backstage Professional+ plan is included as a part of Zoho One.