Is Spotlime the Next Big Thing in Event Apps?

A new app has hit the Italian Market and has taken the city of Milan by storm. Spotlime, an Italian event app has become ever more popular in the Fashion capital. For now, functional only in Milan, the app allows users to easily find events around them on a map through geolocation, offers promotional coupons for said events (ex. one free drink) and offers the ability to purchase tickets directly through the app. Call it the Italian Eventbrite, but for a younger trendier crowd.

Founded by four Italian students, all under 30 years old, the startup has been selected by the Mind the Bridge Foundation in San Francisco for funding but has also earned the interest and support of angel investors such as Iban, which has granted a loan 200,000 euros.

So how does it work?

Upon downloading the app it prompts you to select your preferences for different types of events (do you prefer clubbing, dinners etc.). Then a filtered list of events is displayed according to these preferences; available in map or list view. For now the list of events and participating businesses is pretty limited, but it boasts an impressive 45 thousand users.

How do businesses get involved?

Anyone wanting to advertise their event on Spotlime is offered a trial period, then after this period the business pays per Spotlime user who attends the event (information gathered through geolocalization). The App is advertised as a last-minute channel to display events and sell unsold tickets. Paying businesses based on Geolocation could be tricky, what if someone who has the app goes to the event but found out about it somewhere else? Users may become apprehensive about the app if they come to realize how it works, the idea of being tracked never sells well, especially if they are turning your location data into profit.

Francesco Rieppi

Francesco Rieppi; Spotlime Co-founder at the Mobile App Awards

Does Spotlime have potential?

For now its hard to tell, but for the most part Spotlime has a lot of potential, but I see the app as having some flaws. Like I said the list of events is rather limited and not really appealing to different groups of people. So I did some digging. I contacted Spotlime about the process of putting up an event as a business owner. The process was slow, and rather selective. They wanted to know what my business was, why I was interested in Spotlime and all communication was done through email or on the phone. Most likely this was done in order to form an adequate pricing plan and see if my business matched their desired client profile.

I don’t know about you, but google and Facebook are my go-to in finding events. The point is, there is so much clutter and its hard to find out about events. As a consumer I want variety, I want to find out about the events that are the best-kept secrets of the city. I don’t want a list of 5 businesses to choose from, I want to be able to see them all. In my opinion, Spotlime’s B2B communication process hinders the type of expansion and diversity the event industry so desperately needs. And of course there is always the invasive location tracking which may ward off users.

The internet offers massive amounts of information. I am waiting for one of the big players such as Google or Microsoft to leverage the information and tools they have such as Google maps to blow this app out of the water. Imagine google maps with event information on business descriptions? I think that will be the future of the event industry, and unless Spotlime starts now, they will be left to drown in the back waters.

Do you like Spotlime’s business model? Have you used it before?