A message from Daniel Dessauges, zkipster co-founder and CEO

The last two years have been a period of great change: a time of adapting to challenging new circumstances, reassessing priorities and looking inwards, as well as looking ahead to the future. 12 years after first establishing the business, the zkipster management team also took stock: what position was the wider event industry in and, as an event business, what should our future direction of travel be?

The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the digital transformation of the event industry, with many events having to pivot to brand new virtual and hybrid formats.

However, after months of lockdown and separation, live, in-person events felt even more vital and vibrant when they were finally able to take place again, even if formats had changed and the number of guests had reduced. They remain a significant part of the marketing mix for many businesses, especially those which don’t advertise, providing the most powerful, compelling and memorable way to gather, to celebrate, and to experience brands, products, art and ideas.

At zkipster, we believe there is very much a place for live, virtual and hybrid events, and our suite of digital tools and integrated workflows reflects that; evolving and adapting alongside our clients to suit the shifting event landscape. During the pandemic we moved to a subscription model, bringing us in line with traditional SaaS businesses, and whilst we saw a small number of clients pause their subscriptions, we’re grateful that the vast majority see zkipster as an essential part of their event toolbox. We are here to help event professionals deliver the best events, whatever the format, but our focus for the future will be the world of in-person events. We will continue to strive and innovate to provide the leading digital solution for live events, doubling down on our core values of simplicity, security and scalability.

zkipster is in a strong position, despite all the challenges the past two years have thrown our way.

It is a profitable business which has grown organically and built an excellent reputation and impressive client base thanks to its market-leading product and customer service. As for our structure, we are in the unique and fortunate position of being a company that is both founder-led and founder-owned.

As the world slowed down and events were put on pause, fellow founder David Becker and I took the opportunity to review every aspect of the business. We reached the conclusion that streamlining the management team and having one founder leading on a day-to-day basis was the best way forward. It will enable governance to become faster, leaner and more effective, and will position zkipster optimally for success and growth in the years ahead. Together, we decided that I would take on the role of CEO, while David would become zkipster’s Chairman. My focus will be on execution, scale, and bringing a fresh perspective and management style as we navigate our way out of the pandemic – and beyond.

David and I have worked together for 20 years and are closely aligned in our vision for zkipster. He will maintain a high-level strategic involvement and provide a 360° perspective as the market evolves, informed by his involvement with The World’s Best Events, a curated community of international principals and executives in the event space. David and I remain on excellent terms, and the experience, insight and strategic viewpoint he brings as Chairman will be invaluable as we guide zkipster forward.

David said:

“We understand that live events have been through a critical period: zkipster has too. It has been challenging, but the way we have managed the pandemic has made us stronger and more resilient. We invested time into thinking through and tackling long-standing projects that are dear to us and strategically important, including the imminent ISO 27001 certification.

“We also put in place a team that is best suited to lead the company into the near, mid- and long-term future; a future in which live events thrive and zkipster solutions continue to be an asset for the industry. I’m so proud of the talent and events zkipster supports, and how we as a team managed to build, maintain, improve and expand a system that truly powers the world’s best events. Our ability to problem-solve and listen to customer needs has meant that zkipster has become indispensable for our clients; akin to an invisible employee. I know that the company will continue to deliver the right solutions.”

The new management structure has been in place since the summer, so the team has had time to adjust, and the New Year seemed like the ideal time to share the news. Speaking of which, zkipster’s superpower is our fantastic team. Together, we have grown to understand our customers, our market and our niche inside out. From our product and engineering team, which has been the same since the very beginning, to the sales and success teams who build meaningful relationships and provide a high level of service to our customers, we’ve assembled a talented, highly-motivated group of people from around the world (ten cities across three continents, and counting) who are fully invested in our vision and our values. I’m proud that we have retained so many talented, long-serving colleagues.

CEO
The zkipster leadership team. L-R: CRO Olivia Robinson, CEO Daniel Dessauges, CTO Décio Sousa

Olivia Robinson moves into the role of Chief Revenue Officer, aligning Marketing and Client Relations under one customer-centric roof, and is also our Sustainability Lead. Olivia was previously Global Head of Client Relations, and together with CTO Décio Sousa we make up the management team.

Olivia said:

“I joined zkipster almost six years ago after several years spent managing events, and it’s such a pleasure to work alongside people who are as passionate about events as I am. Helping our clients bring incredible events and experiences to life is what drives me, and I’m excited to see what the future holds both for zkipster and the inspiring event industry I’m so proud to be part of.”

Décio said:

“I’ve worked alongside Daniel and Olivia for several years now, and I’m looking forward to continuing our collaboration as zkipster enters this exciting new phase. As always my focus is on innovation: to bring the best functionality, in a simple, secure and elegant way.”

As David wrote here in September 2020, zkipster has always evolved to meet new challenges. Recently we’ve supercharged event check-in; enhanced guest RSVPs and made them COVID-safe; integrated CRMs and other tools for seamless, secure data sharing and demonstrating event ROI; harnessed the power of QR codes for personalized invitations, enhanced networking and guest ID, and more…but what challenges will we tackle next? We’re currently building a Relationships tool, which will empower hosts to deliver on our mission to build, nurture and master relationships with guests. Next, Teams and Permissions will allow clients to master provisioning and user permissions. Perfecting existing tools, including Invitations and Seating, is also on the agenda, before we tackle SMS invitations.

Looking back, I’m amazed by the clients zkipster has won – and retained; clients I could only have dreamed about serving when we first started out. I’m excited to see where zkipster takes us next, and I hope you’ll join us on the journey.