April 2016

M-Powering MICE Industry

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After the successful launch of its first product ‘Carrot’ – a native mobile app for events, conferences, concerts, exhibitions, weddings and corporate events, AIDA has seen a keen interest from brands who want to continue conversations with their audience long after the event, and in creating memorable in-venue experiences. Pallav Barauh, Director & Co-founder of AIDA, shares the company’s plans and technology products, apart from why consumer engagement is more than just marketing, in an interview with T Radhakrishna of Elets News Network (ENN)

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How did the concept of Carrot evolve and what went into the making of the product?

Carrot is an idea that was born in a conference. We at AIDA observed a significant lack of digital connect at some of the conferences we attended. We spent three months speaking to event industry managers, attendees and sponsors to understand the dynamics, pain points and needs of the Indian event industry. We created Carrot keeping in mind the challenges in the event industry, including the lack of / minimal wi-fi connectivity at events, as well as the last-minute updates required to be made. The first Carrot app was sold even before the company was set up, and within six months of launch, Carrot was shortlisted under the Best Event Technology category at MICE – Asia Pacific Awards 2015.

When did it go live? What are the unique features of Carrot?

Carrot was launched in Novmber 2014 with a vision to bring the focus back on attendee engagement, and nurturing private social communities at events. The core value proposition of Carrot is the ability for event managers to design, theme and publish on their apps within one hour. Carrot is powered by a cloud-based backend that provides great flexibility and agility to event managers to manage last-minute changes, turn on/ off features, and even access content when there is no internet. Due to this flexibility, Carrot app can be used for any kind of event – business or technical conferences, medical conferences, networking events, exhibitions, trade shows and even weddings.

The backend also provides powerful real time analytics for event managers to monitor and react to the pulse of the event. Recently, Carrot launched some multilingual apps to empower event managers to publish content in more than 25 languages – Indian and Global. Its various interactive features increase audience engagement through polls, surveys, games, private chat, etc. We also have smart integrations with EventBrite to manage ticketing and registrations and with Uber to create a seamless channel for attendees to not just find the event venue but also book their ride to the venue.

What are your expectations from Carrot?

We expect Carrot to democratise event technology and enable every event big or small to adapt event technology solutions. Today, the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) industry in India is growing fast. More and more events have started to place the right emphasis on audience engagement, and to create an experience that converts passive attendees into brand ambassadors and influencers. This change is not possible without creating an interactive, conversational channel that can help the event brands hear what the consumer has to say, and react to it quickly. AIDA’s vision is to lead this change, and create the right technology that can complete the high touchpoint human interactions, without compromising on ease of use and consumer experience.

What is the roadmap for growth of AIDA?

AIDA has launched three products in the event technology and attendee engagement space within a span of 15 months. Carrot – native white-labeled event app; Ice – interactive digital games for product activations; and Hashout – live projected slideshows and social walls, are all geared towards creating a wow experience for attendees at events, and providing flexibility and real-time insights to event organisers. The road ahead for AIDAIO is to continue to provide end-to-end solutions, which can seamlessly cover the end-to-end experience of an attendee right from the time an event concept is created to much after the event.

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