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by Michael Shapiro | August 17, 2012

RED Method, an Austin, Texas-based software design and development studio, launched EventMethod this week, a cloud-based event-management platform. The platform provides a suite of event-planning tools, among them budgeting, sponsor management, site-inspection resources, registration, ticketing, marketing, agenda-building, surveying and more. It's a robust package of planning tools, but perhaps most significantly, it's been designed from the ground up to integrate mobile technology. What does that mean? Specifically, the entire dashboard of functionality is mobile-device friendly, so planners can make adjustments from anywhere, from any device. And native app downloads for iPhone/iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices are designed to be fully functional even when Internet connections are dicey or nonexistent. Changes made via any device are constantly synced to the cloud whenever a connection is present. So the platform is geared just as much for on-site usage -- perhaps the binder replacement so many planners seek -- as it is for pre-show management.

What's more, the attendee mobile guide is also built into the system, and it's very much a part of the event management process. The most obvious example: When an attendee registers, the confirmation e-mail includes a link to download the event management guide. It's an excellent way to integrate mobile devices earlier in the event process, RED Method's CEO Matt Walton explained to me. Polling and surveys, for example, may be pushed out to registrants long before the show begins.

"It's a core difference in the way we're approaching event management and thinking about the event," Walton explained. "We believe that the idea of an event is evolving, where there's no such thing as an end or a beginning to an event; it's a constantly evolving process. The more engagement, the more participation that you have from people who are considering coming to an event, the more value you get from the overall experience."

It's a sentiment in line with what industry experts recommend for attendee engagement via social media, and the importance of continuing the conversation outside of the confines of a show; what's interesting is that EventMethod was built with that principal in mind. The software has a flat pricing structure, with no limit to the number of attendees or events -- which is reflective of that same approach. "Being charged a lot per event limits the ability of planners to create ongoing conversations," Walton pointed out.

Walton's company is relatively new to the event space: The idea for EventMethod came about just last year, when RED Method was hired to develop a mobile app for Dell World. The inefficiencies inherent in a lot of event-planning technology — which is still largely based on Excel spreadsheets — inspired Walton and RED to create something new. Walton and his team set up a product council of industry experts, including #eventprofs contributors Liz King and Lindsay Fultz, and surveyed industry vets regarding their technology needs and wish lists. Meanwhile, having worked primarily on projects with the military and very large corporations, the RED Method team had a lot of experience in ironing out and solving inefficiencies.

The result, based on my demo and conversation with Walton, is a compelling new suite of tools.  And now that the official launch has occurred, RED is hard at work on new features that will be rolled out pretty regularly. Among those are enhanced social media integration and attendee check-in management.

The platform is scalable for any size event, and planners can register for a free 30-day demo. It will be interesting to see how the new Method stacks up against the solutions offered by the established tech giants in the industry.