When global streaming music juggernaut Spotify hosts an event--which it does a couple of hundred times per year--it relies on Splash to get the invites out. Part online invitation platform, part ticketing service and part event showcase, Splash is "the greatest event-management platform ever," according to Ben Hindman, the company's co-founder.
Hyperbole aside, Hindman says New York City-based Splash is the first platform that allows users to manage the entire life cycle of an event, from sending out invitations and selling tickets (if necessary) to hosting post-party photos and video.
While anyone can use Splash to create a party or sell tickets to a show, Hindman says the service is ideal for branded events looking for a unique, high-quality presentation, rather than a generic template to fill in.
"Basically, I built this product for people like me," he says.
In his former job, as director of events for lifestyle site Thrillist, Hindman was in charge of throwing can't-miss events around the country. He envisioned an online tool that could help him manage parties from start to finish--one that would make the invitations irresistible and help him keep the shindigs memorable long after the lights were turned off. In 2010 he partnered with developers Brett Boskoff and Chris Clement to build out the platform; they launched the company a year later.
Clients design their invitations on the Splash site, choosing imagery, fonts and color schemes and deciding on the placement of elements such as buttons for RSVPs and ticket sales. During the event, the site streams photos and video, then keeps them online for posterity.
For individuals, bare-bones invites are free, but corporate clients readily pony up a couple thousand dollars per month for unlimited access to more invitation features, design and marketing assistance, analytics and 24/7 support. If a company charges attendees, Splash takes 2 percent of ticket sales plus $1 per ticket sold to process the transactions.
Hindman points to Spotify as an ideal client. "They're doing all these events, but they need to keep a consistent voice and brand, and they also need to collect all this information on the attendees to determine the success of these events. We help them micromanage everything, from setting up the 'save the date' e-mails to creating a photo gallery and even pulling together a Spotify playlist."
Hindman says revenue has tripled every year since launch. Last year, Splash's 12-person team helped manage 80,000 events that drew a total of 1.6 million attendees and sold $3.5 million in tickets. Clients include Facebook, NPR and the NBA; one big-name beer company is using the service to manage 50,000 events this year alone. No surprise that all that helped Splash blow past its 2014 goal by March.
An external iPhone battery case doubles as a sleek mini-server
Smartphone accessories rarely save the day, but the mophie space pack can. This rechargeable battery case can revive a spent iPhone 5 or 5s at the flick of a switch and, at the tap of its accompanying and intuitive Space app, boost the phone's memory, adding up to 32 GB--enough to store an extra 16,000 photos, 14 hours of video or 9,000 songs. An engineering marvel, the case ($150 for 16 GB; $180 for 32 GB) amps up power and storage but adds very little heft. --J.P.P.