There are many solutions available in the webinar and presentation conferencing space. Players like Citrix and Redback Conferencing have been creating various products for small businesses and enterprise level companies for years. While the technology they offer may be state of the art, the depth of data provided to conference and webinar holders post-activity still leaves a little to be desired.
Sydney-based startup Zeetings is looking to change the way participants and presenters think about online presentations. The startup, founded by Tony Surtees, Neill Miller, Robert Kawalsky and Adam Schuck, wants to enable users to turn a one-way presentation into a two-way conversation.
Zeetings claims to be tackling a couple of problems that exist within current day solutions. The first is the idea that standing in front of a room and talking at a group of people with a monologue is ineffective and no longer reflects the way people are used to interacting with each other. We live in a world where we are constantly connected and people are accustomed to and expect to have their voices heard.
Zeetings allows users to participate in a dialogue rather than just be talked at. Given these interactions are all happening through a device, it also means everything can be tracked.
“It actually allows the presenter to really understand what their audiences are thinking,” says Kawalsky. “So examples are through a series of analytics including active data gathering techniques like polling and more passive techniques like seeing how long people spend on slides as well as what questions they’re asking and comments they’re providing.”
This trackable data starts to present a really in-depth picture of what parts of a presentation are really resonating with an audience. The interesting thing about engagement and analytics is that the more ways you interact and the more engaging you are, the more analytics you can actually develop with that audience.
When you have an abundance of analytics and insights, it allows the user to be more engaging and effective – creating a virtuous cycle where ultimately you have a platform that is helping to create well-rounded effective presenters.
It’s worth noting though that the Zeetings platform is currently only visual – there is no audio function built into it. To do a presentation for multiple people remotely at the same time, the platform will need to be paired with an audio tool.
This could present an early stage bump in the road for Zeetings, especially when targeting small to medium businesses; an all-in-one solution is always a preferred option when it comes to the B2B space.
Missing features like audio might make potential users question the value of the product, however this is somewhat overshadowed by the interactivity features that already exist. For starters, users can implement live polling within their webinars, meaning that as a presenter, you can gain insight about your audience while you are still presenting to them.
Also, the audience can continue to come back and visit a Zeetings presentation long after it has been given. This allows audiences to ask further questions and continue to engage with some of the other “feedback” style features like the live questioning and comment feed – pretty handy when you think about the nature of a Skype call or Go-To-Meeting, where the presentation usually disappears never to be seen again after the event.
Right now, Zeetings is free for all users, and the current version of the application will always remain that way, according to Kawalsky. However, in the first quarter of 2016 the team plans to release a premium version. This will work as a typical SaaS model product with a monthly subscription.
The major selling points behind a premium version of the product would be deeper levels of insights, which would come about from adding even more interactive features to the platform so that users can engage their audiences.
To date, over 55,000 people have attended a ‘Zeeting’ and the startup has only just come out of private BETA. The startup has received a small round of seed funding from about a dozen angel investors, however the founders would not disclose the names of those investors or the amount that was invested.
What Startup Daily does know is that at least two to three of them have been heavily involved in the Startmate program, and one used to sit on the board of Commercialisation Australia. Our estimate is that the seed round was between $600,000 and $1 million.
According to Kawalsky, the intention is to follow a similar model to that of Canva: spend the next little while focusing on building the product and the user base and then potentially raise a couple of seed rounds close together.