May saw us close off the 2016-17 financial year here in Akkroo (yes, we have a slightly strange set of dates – long story!) so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write to you as we reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the future.
In amongst the following review, you’ll also see some key numbers that we’ve achieved along the way!
As I may have shared with you before, the groundwork for Akkroo began back in 2011-12 when it dawned on us that this simple, offline data capture app that we’d developed to replace paper forms for our own use at student career fairs had much wider potential. Akkroo launched in it’s own right in 2013 and the first couple of years were very much focused on searching for the all-important Product/Market Fit, whilst building the team to deliver it.
Over the 2015-16 year, we made great strides across the business and product with solid but not spectacular growth, as we moved away from wide spanning target markets with a general range of data capture requirements, narrowing our focus towards solving the more complex challenges of high-value event lead capture, for businesses operating at scale (often internationally).
I’m delighted to report that the last 12 months has been a truly fantastic year of growth in all areas of the business.
I want to share a selection of key highlights from the past 12 months:
The Akkroo team has grown from 10 to 25 (and counting!) and we have taken the first steps in structuring the business to specialise in the respective areas of Product, Engineering, Customer Success, Marketing and Sales. We also hired our first non-UK based team mates with the establishment of a US-based support team to provide a much greater level of service to customers based outside of Europe.
We’ve experienced a strong 12 months of renewals and account expansion, with some customers entering their third (and in some cases fourth year) of using Akkroo. This is testament to the fact that Akkroo is genuinely helping our customers to both measure and maximise their return on exhibiting, delivering meaningful value, with new customers added from a wide range of sectors and countries, from multinational giants using Akkroo globally, to smaller organisations.
Too many updates to list here individually but we have made huge strides in a range of product areas, particularly when it comes to tighter integrations with Marketing Automation and CRM software, as well as exhibition lead retrieval systems.
Despite the impact of worldwide political uncertainty in recent times, the global exhibition industry continues to expand (Center for Exhibition Industry Research 2017 Index Report) and when it comes to the broader awareness and adoption of the importance of lead capture and ROI, the tide is turning in our favour.
The days of blindly throwing money at exhibiting without the ability to measure a return, alongside the widespread lead capture approach of scanning as many badges as possible, collecting business cards and paper forms, are coming to an end.
In it’s place are businesses taking a considerably more strategic view on when, where and how they exhibit. In the same way that Marketing Automation and CRM have made huge advances in the past decade, events are finally following suit as organisations attempt to align exhibiting with their existing lead management workflows.
Akkroo fits in here; providing our customers with the ability to both measure and maximise their return on exhibiting with a consistent, integrated approach to event lead capture.
We believe that Event Qualified Leads (EQLs) and Event Automation will quickly become synonymous with exhibiting in the same way MQLs, SQLs and Marketing Automation have emerged over recent years.
Akkroo is and intends to remain at the forefront of this shift.
We’re incredibly excited about the journey we’re on, and what the next 12 months holds for the business. As a team, committed to continuing to develop the most complete lead capture solution in this newly emerging category whilst providing our customers and partners with world-class levels of support and guidance along the way.
And on that note, I’d like to close with a recent (unprompted!) comment shared publicly by one of our customers on LinkedIn:
“Not only is Akkroo a leading provider, and in my humble opinion THE leading provider, of event lead capture solutions but they are also the nicest group of professionals I’ve had the pleasure working with.
I truly enjoy partnering with Akkroo on #eventleadcapture solutions and strategies, and look forward to our future partnerships.”
As ever, I look forward to working with, meeting and speaking to as many of our customers as I can and hopefully we will get the chance to speak once more in the next year and beyond. In the meanwhile, I want to thank you again for your ongoing support as we change the industry for the better.
CEO @ Akkroo