We recently had the chance to sit down and learn a little more about a new event tool that’s making a big splash. Check out the interview recap and (better yet), try the tool! If you have more questions, join us for a tweetchat at 12pm EST on Wed. Nov. 30th (that’s today!). We’ll be using #PLANTECH to chat about it! Check them out on Twitter and their website!
Please tell the readers a little bit about Top Quark.
Top Quark is a professional web development shop specializing in WordPress plugins for conferences and festivals. Our client base includes music festivals, industry conference associations and event planning businesses, representing Canada, US, Australia and European markets. The president and founder of Top Quark is Trevor Mills. He chose the name based on his love of quantum physics, which he studied in university. A quark is a fundamental particle (like an electron) and the top quark is the most celebrated of the six quarks (the others being bottom, up, down, strange & charm). The goal of Top Quark is not only to provide great software, but also to provide direct, friendly and prompt service. All lines of communication lead back to Trevor, so customers get informed answers and solutions to any issues that come up. That direct line also means an open ear to feature and customization requests. We are a small business and enjoy building a personal relationship with all of our customers. We are passionate about WordPress and mobile apps and love finding interesting ways to marry the two.
What does Top Quark help planners do better?
Every event has a schedule and a list of speakers they wish to highlight. An event planner needs to get that information into the hands of attendees efficiently and effectively. The great thing about the Top Quark approach is that the schedule and speaker information resides on your own site - you have complete control over the data. Information gets entered once and then gets published both to your website (for people browsing on the desktop) and also to a mobile app (wow factor for attendees during the actual event). The Top Quark solution is a suite of WordPress plugins. If you don’t already have a WordPress site for your event, it is notoriously easy to set one up and Top Quark is available to help with that process. The suite of plugins includes The Conference Plugin (for managing the schedule/speaker data and publishing to the desktop site); The Conference App (for instantly creating a mobile web app with your event information); Sponsors (easily create different sponsorship levels and upload logos); and My Conference Schedule (allow your attendees to bookmark sessions and speakers and create their custom schedule)
Who is the ideal user of Top Quark? What kinds of events?
Any multi-day, multi-discipline, multi-talented event can benefit from using Top Quark for publishing their schedule & speaker information. The Top Quark approach is flexible and customizable to suit any event. Our ideal customer is a savvy event planner looking to provide a mobile app for their event to attendees.
How is Top Quark different from the competition?
All Top Quark plugins are released under the GPL, meaning they are open source. That means that developers are allowed to use, alter, extend and do just about anything else to the code, free of restriction. We are not aware of any other event app solution that is open source. Also, our software works within WordPress, a web platform that is ridiculously easy to use and likely already familiar to many event planners. Because the Top Quark plugins also render the schedule and speaker information to a desktop website, an event planner only needs to maintain their complicated data in one place, instead of having to upload again to a third party provider. We’ve made it even easier by allowing that data to be maintained and uploaded in a master Excel spreadsheet.
What is the single coolest feature?
It’s a small thing, but including the event’s Twitter feed in the app is as simple as entering in the desired search on the settings page. I personally love checking that feed from right within the app to see what’s being talked about and who is making waves. Another cool feature is that the app will work offline, meaning it actually gets downloaded onto the person’s device and can be accessed even when not connected to the internet. Great for someone travelling by plane to the event as it allows them to browse the entire schedule even as their phone is in airplane mode.