The team found out the following big insight:
1. Our initial value propositions in providing larger reach to the whole student body for event hosts, and providing an event aggregation page for event goers, are still valued. But these are long term value propositions. To get there, we really need a new set of value proposition that would quickly hook these people to our site.
A change in value proposition:
The team decided to test a few new value propositions that we think would be an instant hit to immediately attract event goers and event hosts.
Instant value proposition for event goers
1. Overseas exposure for event goers:
There were a couple of students whom we interviewed mentioned that they actually thought that our app would provide a window into the events organized by top colleges in America. They revealed that they were somewhat disappointed that this wasn’t the case, considering that the app was developed by a group of overseas college students. This clearly showed the presence of a market for overseas college information, perhaps most importantly for china college students who are looking to further their studies in foreign colleges.
We did a quick test of this hypothesis to see if it could act as a quick hook for event users. We posted links of our site with the caption: Visit us to find out more about events in top overseas colleges in America! in BBS, and our renren accounts. The result: Almost 0 click through. This was a failed test.
2. Inter-college events:
We needed also to set us aside from the offerings of BBS. Inter-college events offered a good way forward. Many colleges in cities like Wuhan and Beijing are very close in proximity, and there are usually inter college events which are hardly advertised. We figured that if we can get these events on our site, we would be able to instantly attract event goers interested in such a value.
To do a quick test of this hypothesis, we organized an event between WuHan University and Hua Zhong University for the upcoming cherry blossom festival. We marketed the event through our app and our renren account. The result: 2 click throughs to view the event. This was another failed test.
3. Celebrity events:
We figured that another way to set ourselves apart from BBS was to be the event aggregator of high-profile events. This have often been suggested to us by our interviewees, and we want to put this to the test to see if it can be an instant draw.
We found 2 high profile events in Tsing Hua university and posted them onto our site. These events are events where high profile speakers come to give speeches. The result: almost 20 click throughs to the event. Looks like this has great value!
Instant value proposition for event hosts
1. Offer a multi-platform aggregator and broadcast tool
Many event hosts that we have spoken to have given us this feedback: There are several existing channels for event promotion(e.g. BBS, qqGroups, renren, feixing SMS system) , using ours just increases the effort to broadcast but with little utility due to poor user base! So we figured that if we are able to help these event hosts easily manage their events promotion channels, there will be an instant value. We will provide the service that once they create an event on our site, these gets automatically broadcasted to their QQgroups, BBS, renren accounts and feixing SMS systems and any responses to any of these sites will be scraped and returned to them for easy viewing.
Quick hack: placed an easy import and easy export button onto our create events page. Spoke to several event hosts about it. Result: This is highly desirable and fixes a big pain point of event hosts.
Summary and thoughts
After going through all those new hypothesis testing, we obtained several disappointing results, and some encouraging results. It appears that it is extremely difficult to make our site as a destination site for event goers, and we need to start thinking of our site as not a destination site for them. However, it appears that we could do something to make it a destination site for event hosts.