Taylor McKnight, Founder of Emamo, Chose Savannah
Taylor McKnight is a serial entrepreneur with a serious passion for events. He’s also passionate about incorporating play into whatever he does, whether he’s working or not. His love for events and desire to keep work light and fun has led him to find success as a business owner and innovator with his company Emamo, an event marketing, ticketing, and registration platform.
While working as a web developer at the University of Florida, Taylor McKnight channeled his passion for music festivals through blogs and other outlets. During that time he met his former business partner and close friend, Anthony, who was working on his own project called Hype Machine, a site that indexes hundreds of music sites and makes it easy to listen to their latest posts. The goal is to help listeners stay at the forefront of the latest music releases. The two decided to combine their efforts, and McKnight helped grow his friend’s business into the company that it is today.
While in Gainesville, McKnight also began to travel and attend conferences and events, such as the renowned tech, film, and music festival South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. During his week at SXSW, McKnight would meticulously plan his days on multiple spreadsheets so he wouldn’t miss a show, a panel, or a concert. After fumbling with the spreadsheets while jumping from event to event, McKnight decided to create a web app that would hold all of that information for him thus giving birth to McKnight’s own project: Sched, an event schedule and agenda builder app.
McKnight and a few friends launched Sched in 2008, and it blew up after only a month. Major festivals, including Lollapalooza, reached out to McKnight and asked if they could use Sched. Wired referred to Sched as “This year’s Twitter.” Suddenly everyone was using the app. When we asked McKnight what the epiphany behind Sched really was, he happily told us that “It all happened so organically. I was obsessed with planning things and thought that other folks could use it too.”
After a wonderful decade, McKnight exited Sched and launched Emamo in 2019. McKnight explained his reason for wanting to reimagine Sched with a broader functionality: “Emamo is still heavily event-focused. There is a lot of overlap because that’s still my passion, but I used starting over as a way to apply a bunch of lessons I learned about infrastructure and about attracting customers.”
This is why Emamo is not only a way to schedule events and your time, but it takes on a marketing angle as well. McKnight went on to tell us that with competition popping up everywhere in the event industry, he wanted to focus on helping event organizers tell the story behind their events and what makes them special.
Emamo makes a way for attendees to stay engaged after they get their tickets and for event organizers to be able to promote and communicate with their audiences. McKnight sums it up easily as, “the same platform you use to sell your tickets is the same platform you’re using to promote the talent that’s at your event.”
Another big element of inspiration for McKnight has been travel. While at Sched, he and his wife enjoyed living a nomadic lifestyle meeting new people, and experiencing new places. His LinkedIn profile speaks to his affinity for doing “weird stuff for fun” and he shares, “Like riding a children’s motorcycle across Romania, proposing at the end of a marathon in Waco, transforming a dirty alleyway into a movie theater for kids in Philadelphia, spending $15K on a party for dogs and reading all of Moby Dick in one weekend. I’ve got photos to show you!”
When COVID struck, McKnight and his wife decided to settle in and relocate to Savannah in May of 2021. Why Savannah? McKnight shares, “Savannah was the clear winner for us. I started coming here four or five years ago because one of our clients, Savannah Stopover, had used Sched and now Emamo. I wanted to visit the festival as an Emamo user…it was awesome. That was my first time ever in Savannah. And the festival is my favorite festival in the world. We fell in love with the city.”
More About Emamo:
Share your event with the world. Emamo’s event marketing platform helps you share what makes your event special. Build a beautiful event site, sell tickets and increase registrations with social media campaigns.
To learn more, visit Emamo’s website here.