Former SAP exec launches event management platform

Events marketing cloud mobile SAP Vinay Iyer
Goombal hopes to shine a spotlight on events tech

Former SAP VP of Global Marketing, Vinay Iyer, has launched Goombal, a cloud event management platform, he told TechRadar Pro on May 15. Goombal is designed to leverage cloud and mobile technologies to help event planning teams run events with more flexibility and greater insight into return-on-investment (ROI).

Iyer touts the new platform as a tool that will help organizations automate the data collection, reporting, project tracking and document management associated with pre-, post- and live event management. The solution's key functions are tasks, onsite punch-lists, contacts, attendee lists, budgets, revenue, expense summaries and personal notes. Goombal aggregates information from event management teams across multiple events and generates reports on things like ROI, sponsorship levels, attendee preferences and behaviors, and event spend analytics. The platform is available on Android and iOS.

Goombal pre-launch customers include Share Our Strength, a service dedicated to ending child hunger, TiEcon 2014, the world's largest entrepreneur conference, and software company Satmetrix. Non-profit organizations receive up to 50% off of standard Goombal pricing. The company's price structure is based on how many users will be using the tool, how many activities are planned and the level of support Goombal provides. Pricing is structured in three tiers: small teams of up to five users that have planned no more than 1000 activities, medium-sized teams of up to 10 users that have planned no more than 2500 activities, and large teams of more than 10 users.

Iyer's background

Iyer said marketers consistently spend 15-25% of their budgets on events, but he felt it was one of the few areas of marketing that hadn't truly benefited from technological innovations.

"I lived the pain of event management at SAP and at Siebel," Iyer said. "Events are an integral part of marketing for any high-tech company. There is an unmatched need for a good solution to transform events marketing. There's a lot of software available for tracking email marketing and social marketing but no one understands what's working in events management."

Iyer was VP of Global Marketing at SAP from 2005 to 2012 where he focused on CRM marketing thought leadership and go-to-market strategy and execution. Iyer said he left SAP to launch Goombal, which he's been working on since August of 2012.

"I've always wanted to do a startup," he said. "I've been looking for good opportunity to try it out. Having lived in Silicon Valley I've always felt like an armchair entrepreneur. But there's nothing like doing it on your own."

Prior to SAP, he worked at Siebel Systems and Bachelor Controls. He's co-author of the book "The Customer Experience Edge" and he's a graduate of The Wharton School.

The name Goombal comes from the Tamil language (Iyer's native tongue) and means "gathering of people with a purpose." Goombal is part of the TiELaunchpad accelerator program, which brings together B2B tech startups and helps them secure growth capital.