A homegrown eventing platform harnessing the power of app technology will become a reality in South Africa when it launches early in 2018.
Currently in Beta testing, the Flock Eventing Platform is an app that event attendees – be they regular or ad hoc – download to their smartphones or tablets and which houses all the information they would need for those award ceremonies, conferences, exhibitions, seminars and symposiums partnering with Flock.
According to CEO and founder, Mike Lysko, the Flock Eventing Platform is being developed to facilitate so much more than the ‘shared’ experience most event co-ordinators offer event delegates or attendees.
“It’s time the industry ditched the paper and the microphone to take its events to the next level with a homegrown eventing platform priced in rands and cents – not euros or pounds – but offering the same, if not better, functionality than those developed overseas,” he said.
“First quarter 2018 is it. We’re currently deep into Beta testing and finalising the aesthetic design, and expect to announce a launch date after the traditional South African December break.”
Lysko said the current reality in South Africa is that most conference, exhibition, seminar and other event organisers have embraced the fact that their delegates will remain connected for the duration of their event, and that no amount of urging by the Master of Ceremonies will prompt them to reach for the off button.
Others have realised there’s an upside to having delegates tweet, Facebook and Instagram, and brief the MC to regularly communicate the relevant handles.
But far too few have leveraged the situation to enhance the event in a way that will impress even the most jaded digital native.
“The benefit of the Flock Eventing Platform for the delegate is that he or she only needs to download the app once to gain access to all those events partnering with Flock,” he said.
“For the event organiser, it provides a robust, online, real-time – and cost-effective – means of managing a host of activities which today’s digitally native delegates expect. Your attendees will consistently access their smartphones during your event. The Flock Eventing Platform will ensure they are engaging with your event.”
According to Lysko, the following functionality will benefit mostly attendees:
• Up-to-date event information – including dates, times, location, attendees, speakers, exhibitors and speakers, the company, exciting games and promotions, and more.
• Access information – indoor and outdoor maps, as well as floorplans displaying the venue layout.
• Agenda or schedule – including the ability to bookmark sessions to their personal schedule in their personal profile on the mobile app.
• Speaker details – including biographies, contact details, social media links and more that allow attendees to interact and connect with them.
• Speaker presentations and videos – these would be uploaded to the app after each session.
• Live Polling – to engage with speakers during sessions
• Attendee profiles – being able to create their own personal profile with all their details, making it easy to connect and network with other attendees.
• Instant messaging – to facilitate networking at the event.
These features will benefit mostly sponsors and event organisers
• Custom branding via banners in the app – to either drive additional revenue for the event, give sponsors additional value or advise attendees about special offers and promotions.
• Gamification – an in-app game to increase user engagement and encourage app downloads.
• Analytics – to gain a better understanding of the user engagement with the event content and to gain vital feedback for improvements for future events.
• Surveys – which add colour and detail to the analytics, and which can be incentivised through gamification.