Startup Of The Week: Exponeer
Meet and welcome Vaidas Šaltenis, CEO at Exponeer. What is Exponeer, how it works and how do they deal with the main challenges in market, Vaidas reveals in this interview.
So what is Exponeer? How it works?
Exponeer is a next generation trade shows and exhibitions model. It provides new approach to connect business globally and effortless. Traditional trade shows model is based on physical showcase of products and services. It’s a good place for brand awareness, lead generation and relationship building.However it’s is one of the most expensive promotional channel and it’s increasing every year. Exponeer eliminates all non-value adding activities from this game that makes a completely new approach.
There are three pillars that make this solution unique:
1. Digital showcases. No more physical booth’s building, equipment’s delivery on-site and back, balloons, staff accommodation and other non-value adding expenses.
2. One-stop source for worldwide visitors. Exponeer solution allows for business to attend as much venues as want and even pre-test new unknown markets.
3. Live meeting on-site with prospects. Business can schedule live meetings with prospects they got acquainted online.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
Our competitors are traditional trade shows organizers. Meanwhile Exponeer provides 10 times savings for the same service and experience. From the other side, our competitors are various online B2B platforms as well. In this case we organize live meetings for users that generate the most important business term online media can’t – human relationship.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
This solution came from my personal experience.A few years ago I had attended numeral trade shows, where the results were far away from my expectation. I saw from the inside how much business spend for temporary booths, brochures and other stuff for momental attraction that finally turns into trash. There was no other way a few decades ago, but now technologies allow to eliminate a majority of physical things.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We started in June 2016 with beta software version. The main challenge was that there was no analogous solution to get experience, thus it required to implement everything from zero and test multiple times. Not only the software, but the whole model. And I’m pretty sure that now we are on the right track.
Our manifest is to connect business which loves to develop its service more, than promote it. This is our ideal customers we want to serve.In general, we provide business-to-business service for small and medium-sized enterprises. It’s mostly interesting for export seeking companies.Exponeer serves more than 6.700 virtual venues, which means we cover the global market. Of course, we cannot organize so much live meetings yet, but enterprises can attend online wherever they want right now.
What are main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
This solution is inherent with “chicken or the egg” question. Business has no intention to try, while there is no visitors. Visitors has no reason to come, as there is nothing to see. To solve this issue we implementing features to use our software as stand-alone (e.g. to generate infographic from your virtual booth). Moreover, in the short run we are going to begin the first trade shows and then increase step-by-step.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
So far we are self-funded. We are currently in contact with several potential investors and keep growing relationship with them. But for this moment business model implementation is the main our focus.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
We are four team members. I’m alert 24/7 on this project, while other team members are partly involved.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc.)?
Our unique value proposition emerges after the full service is completed – when business get acquainted in Exponeer and meet in our organized event. It’s a quite long cycle, thus I would say it’s too early to count results.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
Trade shows industry is one of the very few not impacted of digitalization yet. Thus, we can see a huge potential for our solution to become a game changer. I would say, Exponeer is about how the trade show industry will look like in the near future. Of cause, no one can predict future but we are tend to create the biggest exhibition in the world.
Thank you, Vaidas, for his interview!