Covid kit: The tech helping fans stay safe at shows
As buildings, venues and public spaces start to tentatively reopen following months of lockdown, savvy businesses and operators are turning to technology to help them boost confidence, both among consumers and staff.
From simply supplying hand-sanitisation facilities at store entrances to sophisticated mobile phone apps, thermal testing and scanning devices, numerous products and systems are being developed to bolster personal protection measures, giving people confidence that they can safely return to the workplace and, ultimately, get back to enjoying live entertainment.
Here, IQ takes a look at just some of the products and services on offer to the live events industry, as venue owners and promoters contemplate how to entice people back to their shows, concerts and festivals…
Biosecurity-Systems offers a comprehensive range of products, facilities and staff to augment safety procedures that are implemented in buildings and venues. Rather than being in the business of selling kit, the company’s goal is to minimise infection risk and help businesses to protect customers, staff and anyone else who visits their premises.
CEO Paul Twomey observes that while many people view the Covid pandemic as a ‘once in 100 years’ phenomena, those living in Asia and the Pacific rim have a different viewpoint. “It’s a key thing for people to think about: in east Asia there has been Sars, HN1, swine flu, bird flu and now Covid. So there are major viruses every five to six years,” he says.
“In terms of pandemics, this is a bit like a 9/11 moment. There was terrorism before 9/11, but everyone thinks of terrorism differently post 9/11. Covid-19 will probably do the same for pandemics.”
Consequently, Biosecurity-Systems urges clients not to make the mistake of simply bringing in equipment purely to deal with the current coronavirus, but to rather see their actions as a long-term investment to deal with this pandemic, as well as all future pandemics.
Currently working with the likes of airports, airlines and logistics centres, Biosecurity-Systems offers a turnkey solution, as well as bespoke solutions that include disinfection technologies, triage technologies, testing technologies and artificial intelligence, if needed.
The company morphed out of an existing robotics operation in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and has strategy solutions in place that cover everything from simple health questionnaires and disinfectant misting tunnels to blood oxygen testing and robots that can continuously – and conspicuously – clean the likes of floors in airport terminals (as they do in Hong Kong). The company’s robots can also automatically clean toilets, hence protecting cleaning staff in an environment that is known to be highly virulent for coronavirus infection.
Twomey adds: “Things like temperature testing are not particularly effective for Covid-19, but consumers are demanding it, as it makes them feel secure. However, those same systems are very important in detecting other diseases – ebola, for instance. Meanwhile, blood oxygen testing does have more relevancy for Covid-19. So having such equipment should be seen as a long-term investment that can basically show people that it’s safer to come back to your facilities then those of somebody else.”
“In terms of pandemics, this is a bit like a 9/11 moment”
Ticketing operation Seats.io is using the challenges presented by the coronavirus restrictions to leverage its technology and create opportunities that should help restore consumer confidence when it comes to attending shows and concerts. Seats.io is determined to give venues and event organisers additional tools to help restart the live entertainment sector and begin selling tickets again, as soon as possible.
The company notes a key factor in these transactions will be trust: many surveys indicate that people want to go back to live events, but only if they feel they can trust that they and their loved ones will be safe in doing so.
In an effort to rebuild that trust, Seats.io believes demonstrating at the moment of ticket purchase that people will be safe is the best approach. To achieve that, Seats.io can make sure customers are aware, when they select their seat, that social distancing rules will be applied and respected.
As a result, Seats.io has configured its ticketing system with an option that shows ticket buyers how the seats around theirs will be blocked out, as they select their tickets. For some theatres, the distance required will be one seat, for others two; sometimes aisle seats will always be blocked, sometimes, not. In addition, it is essential that such a system can be integrated into any existing ticketing system, negating the need for a complete overhaul.
Seats.io says its system answers all these needs. Easily integrated, with world-class UX and UI, Seats.io can allow any ticketing platform to offer ticket buyers exactly what they need: the reassurance that they are safe, and that they can trust the event organisers to respect social distancing.
Seats.io believes demonstrating at the moment of ticket purchase that people will be safe is the best approach
Staging company Megaforce has developed a range of products and facilities to help businesses protect staff and customers from the spread of coronavirus, and has already installed its equipment at everything from kindergartens to hardware stores.
Products include biometric fever screening, carried out using a thermal imaging camera, which can rapidly record body temperature with exceptional accuracy, and can thus make a significant contribution to the containment of pandemics.
The system uses state-of-the-art sensor technology to scan up to five people’s faces simultaneously in order to determine body temperatures. If an increased temperature is detected, the system triggers an alarm or can deny access – for example, as part of an automatic access control system. The temperature check also has an automatic mask detection option, so that if the camera detects a person without a mask, the system will politely remind them that they must wear one.
The system is already being used at border controls, airports, trade fairs and events, and is also suitable for protecting healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes; and at entrances to factories, offices, shopping malls, hotels, schools and public authority buildings.
Contactless hand-washing and hygiene stations are available as single, double or triple units with diverse areas of application such as shopping malls, DIY stores, bus stations, car parks, stadia/event locations, public places, wholesale markets etc. In short, anywhere with high footfall where there are too few or no sanitary or hygiene facilities.
Added value is provided by advertising/branding spaces on all sides of the stations with the option of integrating frames or dispensers for brochures etc, making them perfect for promotional campaigns. The stations can be branded accordingly depending on the theme.
Hygiene gates are gantries/locks based on a chlorinated water solution, much like swimming pools, and can be used for semi-disinfection of equipment and people.
The main area of application is access to work, backstage or production areas. Although it is not possible to ensure 100% disinfection, hygiene gates significantly increase hygiene standards and safety.
The gates are constructed using high-quality stainless steel; they are contactless and can be combined with Megaforce’s fever screening system.
Megaforce has developed a range of products and facilities to help businesses protect staff and customers
Realife Tech has developed a Covid Safety Hub – a customer-facing technology designed to help events safely relaunch once restrictions on large gatherings are lifted.
The Covid Safety Hub has a range of mobile-based features that will guide fans through new venue policies and procedures, with messaging delivered before, during, and after events. This includes digital ticketing, checklists, location- based directives, an AI Covid assistant (powered by Satisfi Labs), real-time safety tips, and post-event messaging.
At events, the location-based safety alerts share real-time information to help reduce congestion in high-traffic areas such as entrances and exits, and provide facility updates. The assistant also comes with touch-free mobile ticket scanning, as well as contactless ordering and collection of food, beverages, and merchandise. This is a powerful tool as it runs on Realife Tech’s platform, aggregating data from multiple systems at festivals and events. These include apps, ticketing, Wi-Fi, point-of-sale, digital advertising screens and access control points. In addition to the Covid safety features, organisers can capture a single view of the customer across their journey.
The Covid Safety Hub is being deployed across multiple events and will help welcome fans back this summer, as it aims to minimise event attendees´ fear and anxiety about the ‘new normal’ through dedicated messaging, features, and protocols put in place to mitigate risk.
Founded in 2014, with headquarters in London and Los Angeles, Realife Tech is an experience automation platform that unifies data from every event venue system, then analyses the data to provide truly personalised digital experiences. The company works with more than 65 of the world’s biggest venues and events, including The O2, London; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, and Outside Lands Festival, California.
Realife Tech is the recipient of three Event Technology Awards for Best Festival Technology, Best Venue Installation, and Best Venue Solution.
Realife’s Covid Safety Hub has a range of mobile-based features that will guide fans through new venue policies and procedures
Grid claims to be a game-changing new app that enables people to socialise in safe, socially distant and contactless ways. It has already received exceptional feedback from events, such as Kiesgrube’s Stay Wild Moonchild! in Duisburg, Germany.
Grid works by digitalising events and providing a safe way for social gatherings to take place by making ticketing, F&B orders and Covid-19 registration fully digitised – even the cloakroom is handled via the app, all in line with current Covid-19 safety regulations.
Using Grid, long lines and guest lists; cash transactions and face-to-face ordering; lost tickets and wristbands; and smudged morning-after stamps, are no longer an issue. The app can also incorporate loyalty rewards.
Solutions already built by the Grid team pre-pandemic, are now helping to prevent further job losses, as well as allowing economies to thrive again and providing people with the opportunity to go out and socialise whilst prioritising their safety.
Grid works by digitalising events and providing a safe way for social gatherings to take place
Rebuild the Chain
An international consortium led by Dragon Gateway, in collaboration with Accubits Technologies Inc, FutureTech, Nexus and LL Consultancy, has launched a pandemic management solution called Rebuild the Chain (RTC) to try to help the live event sector get back to business.
In brief, RTC Sport and RTC Entertainment create a Covid-free zone around a venue in which no person or surface is Covid infected. The two apps are similar in that they harness the speed, efficiency and accuracy of rapid test kits (98.6% accuracy), a mobile app, appropriate PPE and the security of blockchain technology.
With a global network of contacts and suppliers, RTC offers all the latest Covid safety tech such as thermal cameras, sanitiser mist tunnels and so on to ensure the public feels as safe as possible. At events, real-time test kits mean that a consumer’s ‘safe status’ can be uploaded immediately to their smartphone to be checked by stewards at a green zone checkpoint and again as they enter the venue at ticket collection.
With the aim of enabling audiences to safely return to sports, festivals, concerts and even B2B conferences and exhibitions, Dragon Gateway further claims to be in contractual discussions to deploy RTC government across entire nations.
RTC creates a Covid-free zone around a venue in which no person or surface is Covid infected
Social distancing within the live event industry is an obvious challenge. Static barriers and markers will never work in a fluid environment. However, a cost-effective alternative is already available. The Bubble Band is a simple wearable social distance alarm. Worn as a wristband or on a lanyard, the Bubble Band is ideal for artists and backstage event crew. When two Bubble Bands come within the set proximity to each other they will vibrate or alert the wearers.
Bubble Band settings are managed through an app available on Mac or android mobile devices. Connecting via Bluetooth they are easy to set up and fully rechargeable. Distance and alert settings can be adjusted to meet current government guidelines.
Groups of Bubble Bands can be linked with varying settings: e.g. lighting and rigging set at 1m, backline and catering set at 2m. Available in a range of colours, the bands help to easily distinguish between working teams, as requested in the UK’s Working Safely During Coronavirus guide.
The Bubble Band is a simple wearable social distance alarm, worn as a wristband or on a lanyard
Production Resource Group (PRG) has designed a temperature scanner that can easily be installed in entertainment venues, convention centres and workplaces. PRG’s SmartXcan is a portable thermal scanner that provides instantaneous feedback on up to 700 people per hour.
“The SmartXcan is much more accurate and faster than other devices that are being modified to meet current needs,” says Mark Peterson of PRG Scenic Technologies. “We use a diagnostic tool that measures temperature in the sinus cavity and behind the eyes in 0.6 seconds.”
The SmartXcan leverages advanced fever-scanning technology developed by Kentix, a German company that develops smart building security. The temperature data is protected and not connected to identifying technology, to meet privacy laws. “We wanted to ensure that people feel comfortable using the SmartXcan, so it does not have facial recognition capabilities,” adds Peterson. “Who you are is not important to us, we are just trying to assist in reopening as safely as possible.”
Portable SmartXcan options include a wheeled pedestal, kiosk, countertop, or built-in turnstiles for automated entry control. The devices can be plugged in or operated using a built-in battery that provides up to 24 hours of continuous use. Each scanner offers hands-free scanning that quickly notifies individuals via a green or red light that they are okay to proceed.
SmartXcan “measures temperature in the sinus cavity and behind the eyes in 0.6 seconds”
London Palladium pilot event suppliers
On 23 July, London’s iconic Palladium venue held a pilot event, featuring singer Beverley Knight, to test the theatre’s readiness to deal with audiences and overall safety, ahead of a mooted return for indoor shows in England in August.
In addition to limiting the venue’s capacity to 30%, attendees were given staggered arrival times and had to pre-order drinks to allow staff to organise in-seat service.
Assisting the Palladium in the trial were:
- Hikvision, which has a range of products and services that can be used by the live events sector to bolster coronavirus safety protocol. These include MinMoe touch-free, temperature-screening terminals; crowd-density control solutions; mask-detection solutions; and thermal-imaging cameras to detect skin surface temperatures.
- In addition to developing a room disinfectant system using ozone gas, Purehold has designed a range of hygienic door-handle covers that fit over existing handles, while its door push plates use a similar silver ion coating that works continuously to combat germs deposited onto the surface by users.
- MegaHertz uses the latest technology in decontamination fogging and sterilisation, with the chemical involved tested and proven not to be harmful to humans, animals, plants or electrical equipment. The company’s fogging devices distribute the chemical into the air so that it is able to make contact with every part of the decontamination area, killing 99.999% of bacteria and viruses.
Purehold has designed a range of hygienic door-handle covers that fit over existing handles
CrowdBlink Protect has been used by essential businesses during the shutdown to assess employees daily for symptoms of Covid-19, allowing them to safely continue operating. Now, as economies start operating once again, other organisations are beginning to use the same system to reopen safely.
From construction, manufacturing, and retirement/senior care facilities to childcare centres, office buildings and more, CrowdBlink Protect is an easy, affordable solution to help keep communities safe. The company charges $49 per ‘screener’ per month, with screeners being individuals who assess others, or who can scan QR codes for people who have completed CrowdBlink’s self-assessment procedures.
The CrowdBlink plug-and-play system also allows event organisers to create and sell tickets to their events, scan tickets as people enter, and use CrowdBlink’s point-of-sale facility to sell items during the event.
On the attendee side, fans can use the Patron app to buy tickets, enter the event, add funds to their cashless accounts, make purchases on-site, and even interact with sponsors. Patron allows attendees to use the app if they lose Internet connectivity. And for anyone that doesn’t want attendees using an app, CrowdBlink can run events via NFC or RFID wristbands or even traditional printed tickets.
Screeners can scan QR codes for people who have completed CrowdBlink’s self-assessment procedures
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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ILMC speaker spotlight: John Langford, EAA/AEG
The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now just over a week away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.
Following on from the previous Speaker Spotlight, IQ talks to John Langford, president of the European Arenas Association (EAA) and AEG Europe COO.
Langford is chairing the Venue’s Venue: New builds, new brands panel to discuss what further competition and consolidation we can expect to see in the fast-evolving venue market.
He will be joined by panellists Jolanda Jansen (Rotterdam Ahoy), Brian Kabatznick (Oak View Group), Tom Lynch (ASM Global), Thomas Ovesen (Diriyah Gate Development Authority) and Harry Samuel (LiveStyled).
IQ: What do you expect to be the main talking points at your panel?
JL: I expect there will be lots of talk of new buildings and new markets. New arenas are not cheap, and returns can be limited in competitive markets or marginal locations, so what’s driving expansion and development plans? And what’s the reality of a ‘new arena model’?
Outside of Europe there are some exciting developments and new opportunities. We will look at what’s hot in Asia, the Middle East and Africa and ask whether building venues in those markets will create more demand for touring.
New arenas are not cheap, and returns can be limited, so what’s driving expansion and development plans?
With competition and consolidation in the venue market at an all-time high, has that had an affect on your day-to-day jobs?
Yes, absolutely. I am sure that each of the panel members can talk more to their experiences over the last eighteen months. From mergers to new players in the market, there’s a lot to talk about.
Would it be fair to say the large venue sector is among the most interesting parts of the music business right now?
Personally I believe that the entire live industry is in huge transformation. Specifically on the venue side, what we’re seeing in the large venue sector is mild compared to the storms facing grassroots venues. Business rates, gentrification, Brexit, skills shortages – it’s a minefield out there!
Is there anything else you’re particularly looking forward to at ILMC?
A cold Fightback lager at the end of a long day. All proceeds go to the Music Venues Trust! Beer with a conscience.
The Venue’s Venue panel is taking place at 10 a.m. on Thursday 5 March at ILMC.
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On the edge of culture and creativity: Superfly Q&A
Superfly, the company behind festivals such as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, has been making major moves in the experiential space.
Founded in 1996 by Rick Farman, Jonathan Mayers, Rich Goodstone and Kerry Black, Superfly has a history of exploring different kinds of immersive, live events from comedy festival Clusterfest to music and arts festival Bonnaroo.
More recently, the company has invested in businesses including sensory experience specialist Listen, immersive entertainment hot spot Two Bit Circus and event technology company LiveStyled, part of its commitment to marrying music with technology.
IQ catches up with Superfly co-founder and music-tech specialist Rick Farman to find out more about the paradoxical relationship between new technology and live events and the potential for music in the virtual events space.
Superfly has invested greatly in the immersive entertainment space recently, why?
There are certainly a few aspects to this. Due to Superfly’s background, we have a great vantage point for the entertainment and experiential industries at large, so we can identify companies with great potential for growth that we can have a very meaningful impact on.
With these investments, we are trying to find crossover with other companies. We have seen over the years on both sides of our business – be it as an event creator and operator, or as a brand agency business and service provider – that there’s a lot of scope for this.
At the same time, we are not a typical music company or promoter – the core of what Superfly does is create experiences that impact people in positive ways with a high level of creativity. We are interested in all different kinds of artists and art forms – anything that helps people find where their passions lie. So, as we grow our business, we are seeking to explore all different types of entertainment and create more diversification across the board.
“The core of what Superfly does is create experiences that impact people in positive ways with a high level of creativity”
How does this translate into your festival business?
We build festivals by trying to replicate that big experience on stage. It’s about performance, but with heightened participation. Outside Lands, for example, does this primarily through food and drink: people learn about wine from the region, talk to those who make it, do wine tastings etc.
What was really brand new and cutting edge for Outside Lands this year, was that we had sales and consumption of cannabis on-site. Globally, no other major festival has done this. Other events have concessions, but we built out a whole different experience from it for people to learn about cannabis – there was a smell wall, information on how it’s made, and we worked with leading brands in the cannabis eco systems. It’s all about bringing that immersive quality and tying it into that culture – that’s the general way we approach that kind of thing at festivals.
It’s like what we’re doing with the Friends and the Seinfeld experiences, too. The idea came out of our comedy festival, Clusterfest, to present immersive experiences with leading media IP from TV shows. We created the format and exported the Clusterfest ideas into standalone installations. The Friends Experience sold out in New York when it launched and recently opened in Boston too.
“It’s an interesting paradox in a way – live music is growing both because of and in spite of that innovation”
The consumer demand for the experiential has increased massively in the past few years, what are the main reasons behind this?
In many ways, there is a direct correlation with the ways in which people experience entertainment at home and the advent of a more digital lifestyle. We have seen this happen before with the explosion of the festival market, especially in the United States, which was driven by advances of technology around digital music. Having access to all that content makes sense when you can then go and see it all at a festival – they’re like mirror experiences.
This is similar to what is happening right now, but with even more interactive digital experiences – people are not just watching but participating in the digital space now, and they are looking for experiences that feed into that real world experience.
For example, visual social platforms like Instagram create a level of needing to get out and experience special events firsthand. All of this increases the desire to go to a festival or event. On the other hand, a festival is an experience that lasts for days, away from screens and technology, so it provides a respite from that digital life.
It’s an interesting paradox in a way – live music is growing both because of and in spite of that innovation. I personally think it’s awesome when these things happen – the convergence of what your experiences are in the digital world with what you’re getting from the live experience.
“Technology can be an amazing tool for artists and Superfly has a real opportunity to play within that overall emerging space”
Could you argue that technology is taking away from the real, lived music experience in any way?
For me, technology only adds to live experiences. The whole artistic universe – streams, merch, live – is being translated to a different context, where a lot of young people interested in entertainment and culture are living, so there is great potential.
The virtual events space is ripe for music to be one of the leading components. There is obviously momentum there already, the watershed moment being the Fortnite x Marshmello concert, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
What is so cool about the gaming format, and what’s developed with streaming platforms like Twitch, is that the level of interactivity that the artists can have with the fan is really incredible. We are now transcending the normal ability for an artist to participate with the audience and having more of a conversation and feedback element. Layer on top of that, all of the magic that can be created in a CGI environment and there’s something really special.
I believe that technology can be a really amazing tool for artists and Superfly as a brand has a real opportunity to play within that overall emerging space.
Do I need an app?
“Do I need an app?” is a question LiveStyled is often asked. Our answer, “Maybe not”, may seem a surprising response. However, it helps to make a fundamental point: any technology viewed in isolation of a real-world problem is useless.
Utilised properly, technology can be transformative to the customer experience and to the business as a whole. But all too often it is implemented for its own sake, in a manner poorly thought through and badly designed.
To make technology as effective as possible, the following four-step approach can help:
1. Ask ‘real-world’ questions.
These can start as simple as, “How do I get more people to my show?” Then through a process of ever-narrow questioning, the problem becomes clearer until you eventually hit on a key set of questions the whole company can focus on.
2. Get your systems to talk to each other.
Often, the genus of the answers to these real-world questions will lie somewhere within the data and systems you’ve already got. It’s vital these systems can communicate and share data while being able to digitally track every customer across their journey.
All too often technology is implemented for its own sake
3. Work with people who can analyse your data and generate insights from it.
Data is useless unless it’s actually being used to make decisions. At least one element of your technology infrastructure should therefore be able to analyse your data and test it against the fundamental questions you’ve asked. The insight produced should be able to be understood by everyone in the organisation.
4. Employ flexible and dynamic front-end technologies – which may be an app!
Once you’ve drawn insights from your data, you need to focus on whether you can change people’s behaviour in relation to your key questions. This is done by targeting the technologies they interact with throughout their journey with you. Speed and flexibility are crucial here, so whatever that technology is, it needs to be able to adapt to the individual instantly. Whether this is an app, social media channels or digital screens in the venue, dynamic adaptability is the most important factor.
With all of these steps aligned, the technology you choose and the people within your organisation using it will become much more effective. Whether this includes an app, or not, is up to you.
EAY 2018: 10 tech tips for arena bosses
Arena concert productions have become increasingly spectacular in recent years, but that is not where the use of cutting-edge technology in arenas need end – an array of remarkable tech solutions has been created that can not only enhance the concertgoing experience for fans, but can drive revenue, increase security and minimise the environmental footprint for venue operators.
1. Mercedes-Benz Arena goes green
The 17,000-cap. Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin has taken a series of innovative measures to ensure that it is one of the most environmentally friendly venues in the world.
As part of AEG’s environmental sustainability programme, AEG 1Earth, the venue recently began purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset 100% of the carbon emissions associated with its purchases of electric power. The arena’s energy is sourced through hydroelectric plants in northern Europe and is certified with the RenewablePLUS label issued by the strict TÜV Rheinland certification programme.
A block-heating power plant installed on the roof of the arena generates energy from natural gas and captures waste heat for use in the arena, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions caused by natural gas consumption are offset with ÖkoPLUS credits to support a hydroelectricity project in Malana, India.
Other measures include providing parking space for 400 cycles, biodegradable cups made from cornstarch and food sourced from local or regional producers.
The venue’s general manager, Michael Hapka, says that in partnership with energy supplier GASAG, the arena has found a way to be carbon neutral without increasing energy costs. “It was a very big step forward to 100% neutralise the carbon footprint of the arena, which we achieved in January. We don’t advertise it to the public but we have noticed that artists have taken a real interest in the environmental efficiency of the arena.”
“Artists have taken a real interest in the environmental efficiency of the arena”
Launched in 2014 by CEO Adam Goodyer, LiveStyled specialises in creating mobile apps and interactive technology designed to enhance the experience of concertgoers while boosting revenue for venue operators. “Our vision is to be the glue that binds the physical and digital concertgoing experience together,” says Goodyer.
Among the core digital functionality offered by LiveStyled, which can be embedded in a white-label app, a venue’s website or its Facebook pages, are access control and loyalty rewards, through to helping customers navigate their way around an arena. “It not only enables users to pre-order and quickly collect food and beverages – they can also easily digitally share tickets they have purchased with friends, which we are then able to pick up the data about their friendship group,” says Goodyer.
LiveStyled’s many clients include AEG, O2 and Live Nation, with the technology currently being used at 55 venues around the world, including London’s O2 Arena and SSE Arena Belfast. It also recently signed a three-year deal with AEG’s promotion division, AEG Presents, starting with All Points East and British Summer Time festivals.
Goodyer says the results speak for themselves: “It was used to run a promotion at the SSE Arena Belfast, where users were encouraged to spend more on food and beverages by being rewarded with a small digital wallet credit. That small incentive to encourage them to spend a little more resulted in a 16% increased in overall food and beverage expenditure in the arena.”
The LiveStyled boss says the next step for the technology is its integration into venue IPTV systems so that content can be personalised on every single screen around a building to reflect the known interests and tastes of the individuals gathered near each of them.
“Our vision is to be the glue that binds the physical and digital concertgoing experience together”
Award-winning British company Kino-mo, which is backed by investors including Richard Branson and Mark Cuban, has launched an innovative advertising solution that generates 3D images that appear to float in mid-air.
The system’s 3D images can not only be used to promote upcoming shows, food and beverage product lines or to draw attention to a retail outlet, but can be used by artists during a show as on-stage visuals.
The Hypervsn product, which is able to produce 3D holographic advertising visuals of up to three metres high, is made up of multiple modular units that look like propellers, with each of the arms containing programmable LEDs. The unit’s processor sends signals to each of the LEDs and instructs them when to turn on and off. As the lights change, the whole device spins and the eye perceives the light emitted as a hologram, much like those featured in the film Blade Runner 2049.
Kino-mo can create custom 3D content for clients but also offers a content creation tool that enables them to transform their existing 2D assets into 3D visuals suitable for Hypervsn. Images or videos can be uploaded and displayed using a cloud-based management platform.
Designed for commercial use at sites such as entertainment venues and retail outlets, the system is simple to install and relocate, with accessories available that make it possible to mount devices to ceilings, walls and shelves.
Kino-mo caused a major stir in January when it launched Hypervsn at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and an equally warm reception when it was showcased at ILMC in London. Among the brands already using Hypervsn are Apple, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Pernod Ricard.
“Hypervsn has already proven itself to be a powerful technological solution to create immersive experiences, drive advocacy, and articulate the value of a brand,” says Kino-mo co-founder Kiryl Chykeyuk.
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of EAY 2018, or subscribe to IQ here
LiveStyled enhances AEG ties with BST, APE apps
App developer LiveStyled has agreed a new three-year deal with promoter AEG Presents, starting with the mobile apps for this year’s’s All Points East and British Summer Time (BST) festivals.
The apps for both events, built on the LiveStyled platform, provided functionality for schedule building, site maps, artists playlists, sponsors activations and, innovatively, the ability for festivalgoers to upgrade their tickets last minute to a range of VIP options.
The deal marks the latest chapter in LiveStyled’s relationship with AEG, for which it already provides the apps for several major arenas, including London’s O2.
Jim King, AEG Presents’ festival director, comments: “It’s been an impressive first year working with the team at LiveStyled. In our first year at All Points East, we were able to successfully upgrade a large number of customers to VIP on the day, opening up a powerful new revenue stream for the festival and giving us good insight into customer movement around site.
“It’s been an impressive first year working with the team at LiveStyled”
“The app really came in to its own at BST, with a high percentage of the audience downloading. We took merchandise pre-orders through the app and the number of people choosing to upgrade their experience exceeded expectations.
“We’re now looking on to next year’s festivals and the improvements that we can bring to the apps, such as click and collect on site for food and beverage.”
LiveStyled, founded in 2014, has raised more than £2 million in investment, including £1.2m in a series-A funding round last July.
Arena tech: The groundbreakers
The global live music business is in a state of technological flux, with innovations such as virtual and augmented reality, live streaming, blockchain and bots all being touted as potential new sources of revenue for an increasingly mature industry.
But while the monetisation of live-streamed concerts is, by most estimates, still some way off, a handful of pioneers in the arena space are already delivering concrete results through clever tech to some of the world’s leading entertainment venues.
Meet Digifood, Archaio, Rukkus, Verteda, Clair Global, LiveStyled, Cast, Bottoms Up, Kontakt.io, Yondr and Hurdl: eleven innovators working behind the scenes to make large entertainment venues smarter, more connected and more profitable than ever before…
Read the rest of this feature in the digital edition of IQ’s definitive guide to the European arena market, the European Arena Yearbook 2017:
Venue app developer LiveStyled raises £1.2m
British software company LiveStyled, the developer of white-label venue apps for Live Nation’s O2 Academy brand and five of AEG’s European arenas, has raised £1.2 million in a series-A funding round led by investment firm Nash and Co Capital.
The offering – which aimed to raise £1m but was oversubscribed by 20% – brings LiveStyled’s total funding to £2m and sees Nash & Co’s Alex Buchanan join its board. The money will be enable LiveStyled to “aggressively accelerate its rapid expansion across Europe and increase its focus on global markets in the US, Asia and Australasia”, reads a statement from the company.
The identities of the other investors were not disclosed, although LiveStyled says they “range from those with interests in the live entertainment and theatre space to those who have seen great returns from fast-growing tech start-ups”.
“Investment raised in this series-A round will expedite our expansion plans over the coming months. It’s a new chapter in the story of LiveStyled”
“It is an incredibly exciting time for LiveStyled,” comments Adam Goodyer, LiveStyled’s founder and CEO. “Our team have been working tirelessly with venue industry leaders and we are proud to be delivering a best-in-class platform that meets the needs of customer-focused venues. We are grateful to Nash & Co for their advice and support, and of course to our investors for helping us get to where we are today.
“The product has now proven its ability to use data science to analyse consumer behaviour in order to target consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message. This, in turn, enhances the experience and delivers incremental commercial returns.
“Investment raised in this series-A round will expedite our expansion plans over the coming months. It’s a new chapter in the story of LiveStyled and we look forward to bringing on many new clients in these markets.”
LiveStyled lands major AEG Europe partnership
LiveStyled, a London-based white-label app platform for venues, artists, sports teams and retailers, is to develop venue apps for five of AEG’s European arenas.
The company will roll out venue-branded mobile apps for The O2 and The SSE Arena, Wembley, in London; Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin; Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg; and Tele2 Stockholm, along with the Eisbären Berlin ice-hockey team over the course of the year, with The O2 the first to move over to the new platform.
“Venue mobile apps are a key part of AEG’s strategy to embrace digital technology to enhance the customer experience,” comments David Jones, vice-president of IT for AEG Europe. “With an embedded ticket, our apps will make it easier to get into the venue, detailed maps will help our customers to find their way around and, once at their seat, they can use the app to purchase food, drinks and merchandise.
“In addition, the apps will help us to learn more about our customers, so that we can better tailor our offer and communications to them.
“We look forward to driving a mobile-led transformation in the entertainment industry”
“We are very excited to be partnering with LiveStyled to deliver this vision. Out of all the providers we evaluated from around the world, they were the clear favourite on the strength of the mobile technology platform they have built and its ability to personalise content to individual users.”
Adam Goodyer, CEO of LiveStyled, adds: “We are thrilled to have been selected by AEG Europe to deliver this project. They are an organisation which truly understands the potential that mobile has to enhance the experience for customers, as well as the importance of placing customer data at the heart of business strategy.
“By combining our expertise in leveraging mobile data and analytics to improve business performance with AEG Europe’s vision of the fan experience, we look forward to driving a mobile-led transformation in the entertainment industry.”