Double Dutch IS Foursquare for Conventions and Events

A few months ago I wondered if location-based (LB) platforms like Foursquare could be used to maximize engagement at conventions and other events. It turns out I was not alone.  Meet Double Dutch“The only white label, location-based iPhone app.” Note:  Due out this summer is an HTML5 app that will allow use of Double Dutch on any mobile phone. 2010June3_doubledutch-logo-on-black Launched at this year’s SXSW, what I like to think of as Woodstock for the tech crowd, Double Dutch is Foursquare in a white label iPhone app that is designed precisely to be branded and customized for your convention or event – to encourage engagement, and a whole lot more. I had the pleasure this week of learning more about Double Dutch with Pankaj Prasad in Business Development.  Pankaj had noticed my previous post on Foursquare, and as a company evangelist for Double Dutch, he naturally reached out to set the record straight. How Double Dutch Differs from Foursquare The team at Double Dutch is first and foremost very complimentary of the work of Foursquare and others in this space.  They understand that there really isn’t competition between Double Dutch and Foursquare. Your Foursquare friends are typically going to be your true friends.  And at any moment they are scattered across the country – or even the globe.  Just now I opened up my Foursquare iPhone app to see one of my friends is at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, another at Washington National, and yet another at Einstein Bagels in Irving, TX.  My friends are predominantly professional speakers like me.  They travel.  This means Foursquare helps us to engage, but that engagement will most likely be virtual – from afar. In contrast, Double Dutch seeks to engage a temporary community, such as that for an event.  They understand we all have friends, and we also have what they refer to as our convention friends – those that we engage with at a specific time and place. Our convention friends are micro-communities.  We share common business objectives.  So our social engagement is typically associated with our businesses.  As a white label app, Double Dutch can be branded for any enterprise, convention, expo, or event.  In that respect its use can and often is temporary – just for the few days of a convention. However, in my conversation with Pankaj, I suggested that the added benefit for associations could be to extend the app beyond the event to encourage continued sharing, learning, and quite possibly, enhancement of membership for member associations. How Double Dutch is Like Amazon When you buy even one book from Amazon, they start to build a profile or social graph that represents a personal profile from your buying preferences.  As you make more purchases, your buying behavior reveals your interests, habits, and tendencies.   In short, it is a predictor of future behavior.  And that makes it a valuable asset for Amazon. Double Dutch does the same thing for your convention and event participants.  This tells event organizers a great deal about their core group of members, as well as those first time attendees that can be cultivated to become members. What is most interesting to me is the intensity and nature of activity at conventions.  In just a very short period of time, you develop a temporary social graph that is rich with data.  This is derived from participation at venues ranging from educational events to the types of desired social venues, such as restaurants.  And it also delivers clues to peak times and days for engagement. I have personally attended many events that seemed to be one day longer than most of us cared for.  In these times of budget restrictions, the data that Double Dutch is capable of providing can help to better manage that budget. 2010Mar18_FoursquareV2 How Double Dutch Works   Just as Foursquare is essentially an interactive social gaming application, Double Dutch is the same – with a twist of having a focus on business purposes.  The idea for effectively using Double Dutch is to establish venues for checking in that encourage everyone to maximize their involvement (and investment) by taking advantage of everything that was planned for them. Double Dutch check-ins ideally will go beyond the hotels, restaurants, and bars that are the playground of Foursquare.  Double Dutch is able to drill down to what matters most at conventions, tradeshow rental booths and educational sessions, social and fund-raising receptions, and countless other opportunities for encouraging the primary activity at events – business networking! Double Dutch customizes their platform with your logos and supports the user experience with suggested activities that make a game out of doing what participants will otherwise be doing.  The game can be thought of as a scavenger hunt with incentives provided by expo or event vendors or sponsors. If this sounds a little outside of the box, keep in mind that this is social media marketing.  It is a type of marketing that still has very fuzzy edges.  We are still defining it.  But as inherently social creatures, we know that things like giveaways and Foursquare-like badges can be the glue that can give vendors the stickiness they are looking for with the potential customers. There is naturally a fee associated with customization of the Double Dutch platform.  However, savvy organizers can easily cover that expense through sponsorships.  Given the extensive and ongoing visibility Double Dutch provides, I imagine it could actually be turned into a profit center. The Magic of Conventions If you have attended as many conventions as I have, you have discovered the magic. People let their guard down and share more than they would if they were back home. So, in the wake of all of these privacy concerns with social media, you can be assured that Double Dutch is indeed a viable vehicle for enhancing the usual outcome of your event – productive engagement. Unlike Foursquare that works through opt-in friending like Facebook, Double Dutch takes advantage of the fact that the event community is the network.  This gives you discretion that you can apply according to your understanding of your event participants. A traditional appro ach to events is to publish an attendee list.  No privacy violations there.  It’s just individual names and the companies they represent.  You could choose to plug everyone into the Double Dutch app and let them choose to activate it through engagement – or not.  Or you could make it optional. My take is that when I attend events I want an easy method for networking and learning. That’s why I dropped $200/night for a room, along with that amount times 2 or 3 for the event fee. For a small business owner, that’s a significant investment. Can an application like Double Dutch help you to to justify that for me? I think so. I don’t want to waste a single minute.  I want to share a cab ride with a colleague to the local store to buy the soundbar I liked from this article. I don’t want to eat alone.  And if there is a group that is converging from across the country that I have learned from in the past, I want to know what their plans are – so I can join in that collaboration. Double Dutch seems ripe to help you help me to engage at your event to maximize my networking and learning experience — And that highly favors my returning next year for more of the same.

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  1. Silvia Boutin says:

    Looking for solutions in this space, I found also and The latter is specially interesting, since their solution is free for any event to use.

  2. You have so many ways to subscribe, except the one I use. I use Bloglines for my blog reader.

  3. Patti – I had Bloglines in there for a while but wondered if it was being used and just took it out to clean up the sidebar.

    Say no more. It’s back in now just below my Newsletter sign-up box. 🙂


  4. Silvia – Pathable does seem to have many of the same qualities as Double Dutch.

    One differentiating quality of DD is it is intended to be a closed system – although I believe it can also integrate with the social networks if that is desired.

    Thanks for sharing. I will spend more time learning about Pathable.


  5. Thanks for the heads up on Double Dutch, I’ve bookmarked this as it’s good to know a white label option.

    With respect to being productive at conferences, I have taken to uploading the speaker list, those that I want to meet at least, into a social navigation tool and then working through a program to ensure conversation before the conference. Then, at the conference real business can be done.

    There’s nothing magic except it helps, productivity wise, to have a tool because it makes you much more efficient. With the one I use you can also create objectives for your sets of people and work towards those in the social media.

    My post is “How to prepare for a conference using social business engagement”

    Walter Adamson @g2m

  6. Walter – Thanks for sharing. I’m trying to figure out Xeesm. It seems to be private self-created platform, much like Double Dutch. Basically, you manage it all, correct?


  7. Hi Jeff, well right and wrong. Some people “get” Xeesm straight away, and others, like me, take a while. The penny dropped after discussing it one day with one of the founders and she said that she keeps it open on her desktop all day and it dramatically improved her productivity in the social web, especially around making things happen. I thought, well OK, here is an extremely social media savvy, and very smart person, who would not waste their time, so I just need to go back and get my head around it. So it needed a kind of mental shift, and then it all made sense.

    It helps you organize all the people you want to visit in groups with a purpose, and allows you to efficiently do that every day. At the guttural level it may be about lead generation, for example.

    Is it a “private” system? Not sure if I quite understand you here, it is no more private than Linkedin or Twitter or Facebook. You sign up free and manage your own profile and account. Let me hasten to add that it is not another social network, it is a social business enabler, a navigation tool with objectives. It’s actually “open” in that you can invite your customers or prospects to join with you in the system to work towards specific objectives. It helps build deep customer engagement.

    Have you seen the site http://socialminutescom that’s an instant primer on Xeesm.

    Walter Adamson @g2m

  8. I checked DoubleDutch a while back – it said it is a game – will check again.
    In response to Xeesm: I just created one for you.
    1) Now you have one URL you can use to share all your social sites.
    2) You have a “Social Address Book” where you can add your clients with their social sites
    3) You expand Xeesm to a “Social Relationship Manager” or Social CRM for yourself or your clients


  9. Axel – Thank you. I’m beginning to get the idea. How can I transfer that over to my email so that I can login and play around with it.

    You’ve got my attention. 🙂


  10. We used both double dutch and pathable and found pathable to be a bit better in terms of features and polish. pathable is a totally closed system too if you want it to be