93: EventBoard Brings Meeting Room Management & Workplace Analytics Into the 21st Century
Let’s talk about meetings. No matter where you are in the world, I’m sure we’ve all experienced the same issues. Whether it’s banging your head against a desk as you try to book a meeting room a month in advance of the meeting you need or even if you’re lucky enough to secure that meeting room you find yourself pacing up and down outside a glass door trying to give subtle hints to people that are already in the meeting room that their time is up. People often hide behind emails, CC’ing everyone, when sometimes meeting face to face is the best way to get things done.
Some entrepreneurs are using technology to make these frustrating problems go away. I invited Zachary Holmquist from EventBoard onto the show tonight to talk about how tech can resolve all our frustrations around the dreaded meeting rooms and organizing meetings.
Can you tell the listeners a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m Zach Holmquist; I’m the co-founder and CTO of EventBoard. Day to day I work with our development and product teams to figure out how we can make the workplace more productive and optimize collaboration between the employees themselves and then give that insight to the organization so they can have a workplace that’s functional for everyone involved.
For anyone listening who has never heard of you guys what is EventBoard and where did the business idea originate from?
When you are working in an office with a bunch of other people who are trying to do a good job you often step over each other’s feet. A lot of my frustration came with the conference room itself. There was this tribal law of who was supposed to be there and when was this meeting scheduled etc. The idea came from that frustration and figuring out how to optimize productivity. Meetings shouldn’t be as miserable as they usually are.
We started with an event board outside the conference room detailing what was going on in that room, as opposed to paper and pen or nothing at all. As we’ve grown, we have begun using sensors and a lot of different technology that tells a better story of what’s happening in the office.
You recently partnered with Google. Does this feel like a real game changer moment for you guys?
It’s been incredible. When I wrote that first line of code, it was really to scratch my own itch of an issue I saw. As we’ve gone forward aligning with some of the most progressive, innovative companies we’ve seen this is a problem for everyone. This is technology; this is across the board.Being able to work with these businesses and see the pains they are feeling and working together to solve those has given us a lot of credibilities but also speaks to the fact that some of the largest companies in the world have this problem as well.
I was fascinated by the results of your recent employee happiness survey. The big takeaway for me was that baby boomer with huge salaries were incredibly unhappy compared to millennial. Can you take the listeners through this survey and the results?
We have our assumptions based on our own data, but when we actually went out and talked to people, we found out that over 40 percent of individuals who are making over $75,000 a year are just not happy. When you go pull that same percentage of millennials, who are usually making below that, you find they are incredibly happy.
When you dig into all the results a lot of people (over 56 percent) are bringing in their own technology which can cause a lot of problems for the organization. I think that also speaks to why millennials are happier. Meetings are often a huge part of that conflict, specifically meetings that run over. 60 percent of people were frustrated with meetings in general. When you put these all together: technology, people being disrespectful of time, you can start to see why there is this narrative of unproductivity in the office and why that frustration exists. Millennials are curious and more willing to try new technology.
What’s next for you guys?
We recently announced our Series B funding with Nokia Growth Partners and GE. Those are two large companies who have a big vision of the future. For us, it’s about looking beyond and seeing what we can start optimizing for mobile devices, sensors, and beacons.
For anyone who wants more information or to reach out to a member of your team what’s the best way of doing that?
The easiest way is to go to our website www.eventboard.io or our blog www.blog.eventboard.io. We’re on all the social media channels. We have a great team who is always ready to go and engage in conversations online. Or you can just give us a call.
Since this recording, EventBoard has now become Teem – Your Secret Weapon for a Better Workplace
“Whether your office is laid back or dressed up, Teem gives you intelligent tools and powerful analytics to optimize your most valuable resources: your people, places, and technology”