Crowd Mics Declared Most Innovative Event Tech at SISO’s Event Innovation Battlefield

August 17, 2014

Ovation Hall in Atlantic City’s Revel Hotel and Casino was filled with the who’s who of independent show organizers earlier this week.  

They were gathered there to witness the second annual SISO Executive Conference Event Innovation Battlefield in which three event technology companies would try to convince the audience their product was most deserving of being named the overall winner.

Spectators were taking their seats and the tension was mounting in the back of the hal,l as competitors were putting the final touches on their presentations and getting mic’d up. With just six minutes to wow the audience, this was not a situation you wanted to go in unprepared.

The lights dimmed and “Gonna Fly Now”, the “Rocky” theme song reverberated through the venue. David Adler, CEO and founder of BizBash Media and head of SISO’s education committee, took to the stage and kicked off the battle saying, “when people in our industry adopt technology, it acts as a market maker.”

Adler added that this event was a cross between “American Idol” and “Shark Tank”, because each audience member would be voting on the eventual winner. Just by being there, he added, each participant was a winner.

The first competitor up was David Rose, CEO of PRSONAS. Joining him onstage was his hologram partner, Charity, standing at just 18 x15 inches and requiring just one power outlet, but with the ability to speak any and all languages.

Rose tantalized the audience by demonstrating how brands could create a hologram customized through look and dress, or bring former executives back to life as Novo Nordisk did. Novo Nordisk recreated their founders from the 1800s, who then gave a presentation on how they discovered Insulin and started the company.

The second competitor was Derek Pacqué, CEO of CoatChex. Pacqué had a slight advantage with competitive experience, as he had already performed on “Shark Tank”, where he turned down an offered investment. Pacqué was clearly no pushover.

CoatChex automates and speeds up the coat check process and creates new ways to connect with your audience turning inconvenience into an opportunity. Through iPad or iPhone apps, attendees can check their coats and quickly retrieve them.

But CoatChex is not just for coats. They’ve even expanded into providing Mophie devices to charge attendees’ phones as well.

Playing to the audience, Pacqué pointed out the sponsorship opportunities and ways events can use the transaction points to gather voluntary data from each attendee using the service.

The final contestants to present were another tag team, Tim and Sean Holladay, brothers and co-founders of Crowd Mics.

Crowd Mics turns the audiences iOS and Android devices into wireless microphones, and includes a polling feature and text commenting. All this is done through the Crowd Mics app and works by connecting through the event’s WiFi.

The Holladay brothers used an interactive approach to their performance by having the audience connect via their mobile devices and actively participate during their presentation.

Using their smartphones, audience members tossed out questions and answered polling questions, while the microphone runners took a much needed break, or contemplated the fact they could soon find their jobs eliminated at future events.

The program culminated in a brief suspenseful moment when the audience placed their votes for most innovative technology presented. There was a clear winner, with 67.9 percent of the votes going to Crowd Mics and an almost even split between CoatChex and PRSONAS for second place.

Riding on a high from his win, Tim Holladay said, “We are excited to have another win under our belt, but I'm more encouraged by the reaction from these industry leaders.”

David Rose echoed Adler’s earlier sentiment that every presenter was a winner by saying, “the SISO Event Innovation Battlefield was a great event for PRSONAS. I would drive from North Carolina to Atlantic City every day for the opportunity to connect with that group of event industry executives and thought leaders."

To learn more about the technology presented, you can read our overview, “Crowd Mics, CoatChex, PRSONAS Will Fight for SISO’s 2014 Event Innovation Battlefield Award.”

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