Event tech innovators

Asia’s thriving business events industry has created plump opportunities for homegrown event technology agencies to prosper

Active Visual
Active Visual started in 2004 providing audio-visual support to events and consumers. Over the past decade, the company grew its suite to include lighting and staging services, and the last three to four years saw the opening of a new team specialising in system integration.

It has accrued a clientele spanning government agencies, educational institutions and international event organisers. The company recently worked with Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre and Digimagic Communications to develop the ImmersiveAV Suite – a new audio-visual capability that makes use of holographic projection technology to create a more sustainable and immersive setting for experiential events.

Willy Bey, director for Active Visual, shared that the company focuses on building closer B2B relationships with its counterparts across the world – in countries such as Thailand, China, Cambodia, Japan and the US – as well as “collaborating hand-in-hand with renowned brands to provide more comprehensive and competitive solutions”.

He added: “We will focus on improving on our current technologies, such as projection mapping, LED walls and more sophisticated system integration solutions for our coming projects.”

AIQ Communications
Singapore-based firm AIQ takes pride in its patented Video and Image Recognition Technology (VIRT) which enables users to interact with still images and videos.

In 2018, VIRT was used at RetailEX ASEAN, where an app was created for the tradeshow in Thailand. To demonstrate the power of VIRT, AIQ CEO Marcus Tan made a presentation where people in the audience were able to point their smartphone camera at his slides, and instantly get the presentation file in the app which they can download and share with their peers.

Explaining the benefits VIRT can bring to an event in Asia, Tan said: “In Asia where people are generally too polite to ask questions, the technology can be used to improve interaction during a panel discussion. For example, one could point the VIRT-powered app at the session backdrop and be directed to a page where they could text their question or opinion to the moderator.”

VIRT can also provide greater value to event sponsors by allowing sponsor logos, posters, and videos on display at the event to be interactive. Sponsors can tailor the message they want to convey when their materials are scanned by the event app.

Digimagic Communications

Founded in 1999 as a multimedia and events agency, Digimagic found its niche in experiential media that was well-received by clients such as museums, corporate galleries, theme parks and events.

“One of our first experiential media projects was designing the visitor experience for the Housing Development Board’s gallery, where we introduced immersive theatre and interactive experiences like rotoscope and hologram displays,” explained Digimagic’s owner/founder Donald Lim.

Since then, the agency has worked on similar presentations around the globe. For example, in 2010, it supported the 4G network launch of telecommunications brand 3 in Indonesia with rotoscopes, holograms, projection mapping and drones across 28 cities.

Now, Digimagic provides an even wider range of technological solutions, such as interactive stations, immersive theatres, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality. Its team also serves as “turnkey consultants” who oversee every aspect of event technology, from set design to execution.

Later this year, Digimagic will launch the immersive and interactive exhibition Time Capsule at the Singapore Flyer.

Encore Event Technologies
Previously known as Staging Connections, Encore Event Technologies has an established reputation for event production that has seen it grow from humble beginnings in Melbourne to branches across Australia and beyond.

It debuted in 1986 when technology was very different with the use of overhead transparencies and VHS for video.

“We have been instrumental in bringing new products to the event services market,” said managing director of Encore Event Technologies ANZPAC, Tony Chamberlain. “We have a ‘PluggedIn’ team that is dedicated to the discovery of new products and services as well as developing new technologies of our own. Our digital range includes everything from webcasting, to projection mapping, 3D renders of what events will look
like, through to polling and conference apps.”

Encore’s services now include event styling and design, and in-house partnerships with premium hotels and venues within Australia, servicing their customers’ audiovisual and production needs.

The company has been expanding globally, with teams from New Zealand to Mexico.

It is growing its presence in Asia too, taking its venue model to countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

In other recent innovations, Encore has been using kinetic lights, which can be programmed to move in time with music or create visual experiences like wave formations, bringing an element of fun and theatrics to a business event environment.

Encore’s latest event app enables a vast number of features. The new holographic curtain creates amazing visuals to look as if content is floating mid-air like a hologram.

Evenesis – Y Us
Yusno Yunos founded his company, Evenesis – Y Us in 2010 with an audacious vision to create a comprehensive cloud-based end-to-end event management system for event planners, participants and suppliers.

His inspiration was sparked when he could not find a local automated solution that could do event invitations, guest database management, floor plans and seating arrangements in a single application.

He thus created the Evenesis software, which remains the core product for the company. In 2018, the Evenesis Facial Recognition Check-In feature was added to the software, while an abstract management and business matching software joined the line-up in mid-2019. The abstract management tool allows conference organisers to manage their abstracts/ papers submissions on the same platform as Evenesis, while the business matching software intelligently connects delegates and exhibitors.  Not only are trade visitors able to meet the right sellers in an event, conference attendees – specifically start-up founders – can now request for meetings at specific times with the closest matched potential investors.

Evenesis – Y Us is now working on an emotion analysis session tracking software that will enable organisers to analyse their attendees’ moods/ emotions during an event. This product is scheduled to be in the market by 1H2020.

When asked how Evenesis– Y Us fares against major competitors, Yusno said: “We have the advantage of being able to fully customise our product to meet the needs of event organisers with dedicated local support in developing countries in Asia-Pacific. While (the global players) are well-known in the US, we have a better presence here. In fact, I would say we have a stronger brand reputation.”

Evenesis – Y Us was the event technology partner of the Singapore MICE Forum in July, organised by the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers. The company handled online pre- and on-site registration with facial recognition capability, as well as business matching appointments.

ThinkBIT Events, Philippines
CEO Jedd Timothy Lim, together with some university classmates, started out developing software for web and mobile app in 2014. A year later, they launched ThinkBIT Events, which provides technology solutions to business events.

The company debuted with Onsite solution for fast, simple, efficient and hassle-free registration using iPad. Added features are real-time attendee count, searchable attendees, customisable fields, and personalised cover and greeting.

Its Conference mobile app offers an immersive experience by enabling live Q&A between the audience and speakers, scans the event’s programme, provides information about exhibitors and participants, and more.

It also offers a paperless raffle system and Quirk It, a self-service photo booth that adds personal touches with customised quirky GIF template that can include corporate branding.

Today, ThinkBIT Events handles a list of prominent corporate clients, and business is growing.

To keep pace with market changes, the company is innovating its existing products by enhancing and adding new features while working on adding on an RFID-based system (Radio Frequency Identification).