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Summary:

Big conferences and events are meant to be satisfying, useful and inspiring, but they often leave people flustered and unsure of exactly what to do. A new app called Bloodhound aims to help everyone involved with events — organizers, presenters and attendees — navigate through all that.

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Big conferences and events are meant to be satisfying, useful and inspiring, but they often leave people flustered and suffering from a severe case of FOMO — that is, fear of missing out. There are so many people there and things happening all at once, and often you don’t know exactly what’s available while you’re in the thick of it.

A new app called Bloodhound aims to help everyone involved with events — organizers, presenters and attendees — navigate through all that. The app has been in private beta for the last six months and is launching publicly Wednesday on with a free iPhone app, basic Android and Blackberry apps, and an HTML5 mobile site. Full versions on all those platforms are coming in the weeks ahead.

Bloodhound works like this: Event organizers add their event for free on Bloodhound’s website, add basic information and media such as logos, schedules, exhibitor lists and maps. Bloodhound then allows exhibitors to create their own profiles in which they can upload media and add detailed information about themselves. Then the organizer can invite attendees to download the Bloodhound app — and this is where it gets really cool.

First of all, Bloodhound allows you to leave your business cards at home. The app integrates with both Facebook and LinkedIn and lets users see all the people they know at the event and exchange information with new people when they meet them — without needing to become Facebook friends or LinkedIn contacts, since Bloodhound gives the option of emailing extracted contact information from those social networks.

Secondly, Bloodhound provides real-time recommendations as to what attendees should check out based on what it calls “social collaborative filtering.” In essence, it tracks which exhibitors or sessions are most popular within the Bloodhound app, and recommends the hottest exhibits and sessions to other app users.

“We use all the live data of what people are liking and viewing to provide real time recommendations within the app to people who are there,” CEO Anthony Kruemich said in an interview this week.

My only worry is that this would exacerbate the hive-mind problem at events and leave certain good sessions undiscovered, so hopefully Bloodhound will work on more personalized recommendation features as the app grows.

Bloodhound currently has six employees, five of whom are engineers. The company has taken on $250,000 in seed funding from a heavyweight group of backers including Dave McClure. The company plans to make money by providing premium customization options to event organizers, but for now the app is completely free for everyone to use. “Charging for the basic app doesn’t jive with our long term goal of being used by everyone from major conference to maybe a Beerfest in San Francisco,” Kruemich said.

I’ll drink to that.

Here’s a video of Bloodhound in action:

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  1. The Bloodhound app is great. I use it at every conference I attend and can’t imagine not using it.

    1. Anthony Krumeich Dave Wednesday, August 24, 2011

      Great!!

  2. I was just at an event where I could have used this app

    1. Well I hope you can use us at the next one!

  3. Bloodhound puts the “wow” in bow wow! Great job! So excited about it and look forward to using it at my next event…

    1. Tracie, you rock! Can’t wait to work with you :)

  4. Hi Colleen:

    I’m wondering where you got your headline? Conference Hound has been using the language “helps you sniff out conferences” on it’s site for almost two years.

    So, as I see it, Bloodhound has appropriated elements of our service marked brand name (TM pending) in the conference space and apparently, however inadvertently, you’ve appropriated our language. A great day in the neighborhood!
    Bruce Carlisle, CEO, Conference Hound, San Francisco

    1. Hi Bruce,
      The headline just came from my own head — thought the “sniff out” was a clever play on the Bloodhound name. Haven’t heard of Conference Hound, but I’ll certainly keep you on my radar. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Used this at my last conference in Vegas, and plan to use it at the rest I attend. Worked great and saved me a ton of time… Only thing it is missing is a detector to lead me to the booths with beer.

    1. Anthony Krumeich Tej Wednesday, August 24, 2011

      Ha! Love it. I’ll be sure to suggest it to the others…

  6. Anthony: Since on your LI page you suggest that email is a lousy way to reach you and since you seem to be monitoring this page, I want to alert you to please read your LinkedIn email from me regarding Conference Hound’s concerns regarding the use of “Bloodhound” and a visual “hound” logo to promote products and services in the Conference app space. Have a good party tonight. Bruce Carlisle, CEO, Conference Hound

  7. Very neat service. Filling a definite need.

  8. I am a big supporter of this app. it’s great to finally have innovation in this space.

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