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Wanting To Maximize The Conference Experience, This CMO & His Partners Created Bizzabo
Get To Know: Alon Alroy, Co-Founder and Chief of Marketing & Business Development for events management solution Bizzabo.
After wasting countless hours at conferences and professional events trying to identify the right people to network with and best sessions to attend, Alon Alroy, Eran Ben-Shushan and Boaz Katz recognized a huge pain point within the events industry.
Wanting to maximize the conference experience, the three co-founded Bizzabo – an events management platform that helps organizers build event websites and apps, manage registration and drive ticket sales.
“This platform was the culmination of years of work and was driven by a deep commitment to provide our customers with the most effective and comprehensive solution for event organizers,” says Alroy who now serves as the company’s chief of marketing and business development.
Managing Bizzabo’s U.S. operations, Alroy oversees the company’s marketing and business development efforts, as well as leading its sales teams. This year, Bizzabo launched its All-In-One Event Success Platform, an initiative that included rebranding and repositioning, along with a new go-to-market strategy.
“Bringing this product to market has been one of the more exciting projects I’ve ever been involved with,” says Alroy.
Graduating with honors from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Alroy was was selected to participate in the prestigious Zell Entrepreneurship program. Before founding Bizzabo, he served as a senior starups analyst for the Swiss Plenum Fund, and COO for AYADR Investments.
In 2013 Alroy was named one of the meeting industry’s “40 Under 40 Young Leaders”, as well as included in GeekTime’s top ten list of Israeli CMOs (along with Wix.com CMO Omer Shai). Last year, Alroy was selected to be part of the exclusive NYC Venture Fellows Program.
What mobile device can you not live without?
My Macbook Air.
Which apps do you use most often for work?
The app that helps me the most is Evernote. It allows me to list my ideas and thoughts, and is synced between my devices.
When prioritization is key, listing your ideas and tasks in a quick and easy manner is the first step to success.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I check Instagram often. It allows me to disconnect from work, and enjoy fun moments with friends and family.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Unfortunately, I check my email.
Since our headquarters are in a different time zone – seven hours ahead – being responsive to emails first thing in the morning can really speed up communication. Then, I check several news apps. My favorite one is Yahoo’s News Digest.
Take me through your typical workday.
I begin my morning with a good cappuccino, and then take the subway with my dog to work. Once I arrive, I spend some time doing a quick inbox cleaning.
A typical day usually involves meetings with sales, marketing and product teams, in which we try to constantly challenge ourselves and focus on efficiently growing the business.
I try to read industry news, and quickly monitor activity on social media at least once a day. I usually take a few calls with customers, and I’m constantly communicating with my co-founders.
The regular day-to-day management of a startup often throws in some surprises on a daily basis too.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
The most exciting work development of the past year has been supporting the launch of our new event management platform. We had to grow 100% in less than two months to meet our goals. Once we launched and doubled, it was a great accomplishment.
We also set out to find the best people to join us, and that’s been an exciting development for the company.
How would you define Bizzabo’s company culture?
I place the highest value on the team within our office. We call ourselves Bizzaboers or the BizzaFamily, and we truly are a close bunch.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
In the last 12 months, I’ve traveled more than 30,000 miles.
I visit our Israeli headquarters every quarter, but the most interesting place where I traveled this year was Banff, Canada.
A couple months ago I attended an amazing marketing conference called The Gathering in Banff. It was a great opportunity to bond and snowboard with talented marketers leading the world’s most prominent brands.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
As a growing startup with customers around the world, sleep is often a luxury. The challenge that keeps me up most at night is our company’s focus, and the need to keep evaluating whether our efforts – in marketing, sales, R&D and management – are focused on the right things for fast growth.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
Without a doubt, my wife has been the most influential. Riding the startup rollercoaster can be intense and involves a great deal of sacrifices. Her support, wisdom and ongoing tips are invaluable.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Optimism, out of the box thinking, a good sense of humor and a lot of internal drive are the most important traits for those wanting to succeed in my position.
Why did you go into marketing?
In my mind, marketing is the largest driving force behind any business. Marketing tells your company’s story and propels business forward.
You can have a great product, a great sales team and talented management, but without a good story to tell, your product won’t reach consumers, sales pitches will fail, and management won’t be able to share the company’s dream and vision.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Being a professional athlete in extreme sports is intriguing. I also have a passion for animals, so maybe I would go back to school to be a veterinarian.
What’s the last business book you read & what did you think of it?
The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. I loved it, and kept telling myself I wished I’d read it before. It’s a book I personally recommended for any C-level position.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
The ad campaign strategy that caught my eye was Always “Like a Girl” campaign, which first aired surrounding the Super Bowl.
I thought it sent a pretty powerful message, and served as a symbol of the shift brands are taking from selling an idealized version of the person they’re marketing to, and instead driving their ads toward the goal of “how can we make a difference?”