Home' micenet eMag : micenet February 2016 Contents Next Generation Event Management
One App Does It All
Combining traditional event app services with registration, webpages
and social interaction into one complete platform.
Phone (0)2 9002 0943
rowdcomms has been
technology for over five years.
The business helps event
planners, both locally and globally, use
technology to create and manage better
Crowdcomms has built more than 2000
event apps and developed the mobile
audience interactive platform, Pollevent.
Back in 2010, crowdcomms was one of the
first Australian producers to build a silent
auction platform (Galabid). Galabid now
manages more than 350 silent auctions per
year and has raised over $20m for charity in
Although the company has dedicated
teams in Europe and the US, crowdcomms’
CEO, Pete Hair, believes Australia offers the
best conditions to develop event tech.
Starting with more than 15 years’ industry
experience, Pete launched crowdcomms five
years ago from the humble, and not
particularly comfortable, surrounds of his
home garage. The business now operates
from dedicated offices in Sydney’s Brookvale
(the new Silicon Valley according to Pete!).
In crowdcomm’s infancy, Pete attended a
number of charity auctions. He found most of
them were hindered by small bids scribbled
on scraps of paper that often failed to find
their way to the auctioneer. Pete realised
that technology could make the process
Think of the global powerhouses of event tech development and Australia
may not top your list. But companies like crowdcomms are right up there.
more efficient and boost donations. But, with event technology gathering pace, he assumed
somebody else was already putting his idea into practice.
“When we came up with idea of creating a mobile silent auction platform it seemed so
obvious,” he said.
“We assumed we’d find a bunch of developers ahead of us.”
However, Pete found few global providers offering the service and none in Australia.
Pete explains that this gave them the perfect opportunity to develop the right technology.
“Although there were some products available in the larger markets, like the US, there was
nothing in Australia.”
“It meant we could create a product, from the ground up, that was absolutely right for this
market. We didn’t get distracted by any industry noise that was happening globally.”
It might seem counterintuitive to suggest that a small, untested market like Australia could
provide fertile ground for innovation, but Pete believes it was ideal for identifying the full range of
“The Australian market obviously wasn’t as big as the US or Europe. In those regions, silent
auction platforms tended to focus on large events. Australia needed a platform that could also
accommodate smaller events,” he explains.
“We realised the potential in creating something with the flexibility to meet the requirements of
every type of auction event. Australia made us understand the local and global market better.
We needed to build a product that could accommodate every auction; from school trivia nights
to glitzy showcase events attended by thousands.”
It’s not just Australia’s market profile that has helped crowdcomms innovate. Pete believes
that the size and relative youth of the Australian tech industry means it’s conducive to attracting
the right people.
“We’ve been able to access the very best developers, largely because the competition for
talent is smaller than it would be in, say, the US or Asia.”
Although crowdcomms has experienced significant growth in 2015, Pete is committed to
keeping his development focus on Australia.
“We’re looking to make some major changes to our product offering. We will be streamlining
our services so event organisers only have to manage a single platform for multiple functions.
Our goal is to provide an end-to-end service that covers the whole event experience, from
registration to post event analysis. It’s a big undertaking, but Australia is the right place to make
it happen.” m
TECHNOLOGY | PETER HAIR
70 | micenet
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