Reimagining How Events Are Done in Southeast Asia
Event management made easy with real-time analytics
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
PouchNATION, a start-up that is digitalizing events and which now has operations in Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand, began when its founders saw how archaic and cumbersome it was to organize an event in Asia.
“My partners and I used to join many events as sponsors for an old product we had. During these engagements, we noticed how manual event management was and coming from tech backgrounds, we knew we could improve both the management and experience with technology. So we got to work,” says Graeme Perkins, the chief marketing officer and co-founder of PouchNATION, which recently closed a seven-digit round from a group of private Singaporean investors and Cradle Seed Ventures.
PouchNATION is an all-encompassing solution that begins at the ticket purchase when guests can opt to buy tickets, load credit, and even have their wristbands delivered to their home or office.
“Then we see them at the event!” Perkins says. “Their wristband will have their ticket access, loaded tokens so they don’t have to queue. They start having fun right away.”
Of course, just as events may be new to a platform like PouchNATION, some users may be as well. The company thus explains the concept and how to use it via tutorial videos, instructional graphics, and newsletters. These materials are aimed at helping make sure that guests know what to expect.
Once users buy into the concept, the value proposition for venues is high. “The benefits to a venue range from heat mapping guest movements, live analytics, automated sales for shorter queuing, better security and data collection,” Perkins says, pointing out that these are powerful tools to business owners, but they also benefit the guests.
According to Perkins, PouchNATION is able to collect data that other companies cannot collect. As an example, GPS can tell where a person generally is, but it cannot give precise data on their movements and interactions there, which PouchNATION can. These insights will help the company’s bid to transform itself from an events platform to an analytics company.
Converting venues and vendors
According to Perkins, most organizers have traditionally held their events at venues with little to no infrastructure. PouchNATION fills in this gap with the infrastructure to better understand and monitor the performance of their events.
“Since our solution works both on and offline we can literally apply it anywhere and it will always run smoothly,” he says.
Perkins explains that the company has been very proactive with reaching out to organizers, but word has spread fast and they are on the receiving end of many inquiries. The company boasts impressive numbers. In 2016 alone, they were represented in over 50 events across Southeast Asia, where they logged more than 1 million transaction records and collected more than 30 million data points.
The push back that PouchNATION often gets is in fact not from venues, but from vendors. As many of them are medium and small enterprises, they may not be used to conducting business through a platform like PouchNATION. However, Perkins noted that once they become familiar with PouchNATION, they would usually be enthusiastic enough to ask if they could have it for future events.
While PouchNATION has gotten significant traction, Perkins admits that expanding across Southeast Asia is often difficult.
“Taking on new territories can be tricky. The most important part is having a strong team to make it happen fast and efficiently. Luckily we have been able to build such a team,” he says.
For 2017, PouchNATION will be focused as much on product development as geographical expansion. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our current features but also add more to ensure we create the most outstanding experience possible,” Perkins says.
For all those who consider events a drudgery, a disorganized circus of networking and boring speeches, PouchNATION is for you.