It might be D.C.’s homegrown offering, but according to nvite CEO Marty Ringlein, being in the business of events ticketing isn’t what it’s about at all. “We don’t look at it as events,” he said. “We look at is as community and community building.”
And where does community building happen IRL? At events. Boom.
nvite is young — the company launched in private beta in February 2014. At the beginning, Ringlein told Technical.ly, nvite focused mainly on big events with big brands. Because they were working with such high-profile clients, the site didn’t really need the kind of discoverability capacities that Eventbrite or Meetup have. Users didn’t need to be able to scroll through upcoming events — it was enough to be able to RSVP to a single event.
However, as nvite has grown, the company has seen more and more first-time hosts using the service for smaller events. And when that’s the case, discoverability gets to be a bigger deal. Nvite is still discovering how it will grow and change with its user base, but a recent hack might provide some insight.
— Marty (@smarty) January 26, 2016
During #snowzilla the nvite team put together a community events page for #dctech. Visit dctech.co today and you’ll see 30 upcoming events ranging from workshops to conferences to pitch compeitions. Some are nvite events, but others come from Meetup and Eventbrite and even the websites of the event hosts.
Nvite also recently created a similar page for the global design community.
One point of pride for the nvite team when it comes to the #DCTech Community page is the number of “community members” it boasts. As of press time, the page had over 15,400 members — defined as people who have attended a #dctech event on nvite in the past year. This is a bigger membership than the DC Tech Facebook group (4,600) and even the DC Tech Meetup group (14,600).
How does the tool pull all these events? Ringlein admits it’s pretty hand-curated.
“It’s kinda skewed towards what I’m interested in,” he said. So basically if you agree with Ringlein on what constitutes a great event then you’ll probably be happy with the list. If not, perhaps not.
So do these new community pages show a path forward for nvite?
“For now it’s fun and that’s all it has to be,” Ringlein said. Community feedback on the utility of this page (and any others) will be key in deciding whether this is just an idle #snowzilla hack, or an important new offering.
While a hand-curated list like this won’t be for everyone, there’s still something nice about it. Scrolling through the seemingly endless number of tech-related events on Meetup is time-consuming and can get overwhelming. Why not let Ringlein and nvite make the first cut?