Taking advantage of this trend is the South African-based but globally-active start-up Flock, with an online solution that streamlines how events are run. Importantly, it also enhances the event experience for all event stakeholders.
Flock’s Event Platform was born from founder Mike Lysko’s passion for both technology and events. Lysko, who began coding in high school, started his first businesses hosting (and participating in) music and other entertainment events while at university.
For him, ruminating on the rapid adoption of technology, and particularly that of smart phones and apps, several years later, a technology platform that would allow any event organiser to better engage with their attendees was a no-brainer. Lysko identified the best of those already available and began customising them for South African exhibitions and conference organisers, as well as those working on the African continent.
It wasn’t long before Flock Event Management attracted the eye of global corporations; the company added several Fortune 500 companies to its client base and provided apps for them and others to more than 25 countries.
“Creating meaningful connections is the benchmark for any conference, and the guiding philosophy of our business. Everything we do is designed around making human connections easier, better and stronger. The success of the Flock platform is measured against this,” says Lysko.
“We have helped our clients reduce costs for their events, increase attendee engagement and provide additional data to improve on next events. We’re really proud to count the likes of MTN, Facebook, ABInBev and Oracle as our clients.”
However, tapping into existing platforms developed by someone else was only a short-term solution; Lysko quickly picked up on their short-comings and began coding his own. Flock Event Platform is a locally built event management platform that allows the event organiser to manage the entire process pre-event, during the event and post-event.
With the platform, event organisers have all the tools they need to manage communication, attendee registration and accurate reporting, all online. Without a single line of code, they can design custom-branded event pages, apps and emails that look amazing on every device. No developer resources required.
During the pre-event cycle, the Flock Platform provides an easy-to-use interface enabling the organiser to build a custom-branded event website. This displays all the event information (date, time, venue, costs etc) as well as the programme of events, speaker schedule and speaker biographies, videos and photographs, and the ability to compile a set of frequently asked questions.
There’s an RSVP function that synchronises to facilitate registration and attendee networking, and allows for communication.
DURING THE EVENT
To enhance the event, the platform provides organisers with a dashboard to create a mobile app, which attendees are encouraged to download. Its objective is to give attendees access to a wide range of features before, during and after the event, and act as a social media feed.
The kind of information made available via the customised app includes agenda, maps and floor plans, speaker and exhibitor lists and profiles, sponsor details, an activity feed, a feedback or Q&A section, all relevant documents and videos, live streaming from information sessions and speaker presentations, real-time updates and notifications of key events or changes, and a facility to take notes.
This can all be accessed in an offline mode and provides sponsors the opportunity for custom branding and the organiser with the ability to review a schedule of analytics, allowing for on-the-spot, real-time decision-making.
The platform’s powerful analytics software produces numerous post-event reports enabling organisers to provide meaningful feedback to sponsors or event owners, and to improve on the experience for repeat events.
“Why work with Flock?” asked Lysko. “The answer is simple: We take the pain out of the registration process. We offer increased engagement with attendees. We provide real-time, actionable data. We provide a mechanism to build additional revenue streams from sponsors and exhibitors. We extend the branding of the event and the organisation.” C
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