EventStir, the "Kickstarter for events" based in the District, is going mobile. The startup, which launched in 2012 with a crowdsourced yacht party, also just hired a new employee.
"Twelve to thirty percent of our [website] traffic comes in on mobile," says cofounder Sajad Ghanizada, "on iPhone, Android, and tablet, in that order. People want to engage with us [that way], so we're building a mobile platform to tap into contacts and Facebook friends to better market and engage with events."
EventStir turns traditional event planning on its ear; instead of shelling out for a venue, caterer and music and hoping enough people show up to cover the costs, a user or event planner uses the platform to get people on board first. Once a predetermined tipping point is reached, the planning actually begins.
"We want people to be able to gauge the success of their event before they start getting a venue or caterer," Ghanizada shares.
In addition to easily integrating with contacts and friends, Ghanizada says that a mobile app will allow users to have direct input into what happens at an event—at a concert, for example. "If the band says, 'If half of you pledge $5 each, we'll play another half hour,'" he explains. "[Users] can determine the quality of the event."
The applications for this kind of interactivity go beyond concerts. Ghanizada points to the world of nonprofits and fundraisers. "People are always hoping for more donations at an actual fundraising event. They're always saying, 'Get out your checkbook.'" EventStir's mobile app will offer one-click donations at the event itself. "No cash, no checkbook and no swipe card reader," he says.
Over the next two months, EventStir will be working hard on its mobile offering. The company recently brought Ralph Marx, founder of Acteva, on board to helm business development. In June, they're planning a mobile launch party on the West Coast. According to Ghanizada, that doesn't mean EventStir is leaving the District.
"We'd like to stay in D.C.," he says. "There are so many opportunities for different markets [here], especially charities and nonprofits, that aren't available out west. [We would be] one of thousands out west. In D.C., we get exposure and we have a strong network."