By using mobile app and cloud technology to make it easier for attendees to collect information at exhibitions, Noodle Live have also found a way to give added value to conference organisers and exhibitors.
I spoke to founder Clemi Hardi about improving events with multichannel ideas.
In one sentence, what is Noodle Live?
Noodle Live uses a blend of RFID card readers, cloud storage and a mobile app to make collecting, storing and sharing information at events easier.
What problem(s) does Noodle Live solve?
As an attendee at a conference or exhibition, you always end up lugging a weight of printed materials around with you. You have to be selective about what you pick up, and when you get it all back to the office you’ve got so many brochures, programmes and business cards that you often don’t even bother looking through it all.
At an event using Noodle Live, you’re given a card that you can just swipe on a reader to collect a business card, document or video. It then gets stored on our servers for you to access it later, or via our mobile app there and then.
The app does more than store information. You can access the event schedule and plan your own time at the event, see all of the other attendees and get involved with the online discussion before, during and after the event - via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
For event organisers it’s of huge benefit. They can give real time updates to their attendees, gain access to analytics showing how successful their event has been and which stands and presentations were the most popular.
Exhibitors are more likely to get their materials into the hands of their audience, plus they get to see who they’ve reached and can engage with them via the app, extending the whole event experience.
What are your immediate goals?
We have just sponsored the Association of Event Organisers’ annual conference, and have already made a bit of a splash in the events industry.
It’s clear that there’s appetite for this kind of technology, so the next step is to get a few more exhibitions and conferences under our belts to generate some revenue.
Once we’ve done that we have many ideas for building on Noodle Live, including developing our data offering, bringing in NFC functionality and building native apps for iOS and Android, as we are currently using a web-based app.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Noodle Live?
From a technical perspective it was sourcing the right development team. Due to the nature of the project, we needed to work with a team who used an agile methodology and were invested enough in the project to think in a strategic way to identify potential additional features.
From a marketing perspective, it is quite a complex idea and product with lots of different features so to create concise brand messaging that communicated the Noodle Live concept was fairly challenging.
How will the company make money?
Event organisers pay to work with us and use the technology. We are more than a technology provider, and have a team who are experienced in the events industry and can work closely with events and marketing teams to make Noodle Live work for them. We understand that it can’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach as everyone has different needs and works in their own ways.
There is also potential to offset the costs, not least through taking away the need for printed materials, but also through various sponsorship and branding elements.
Who is in your team?
Aside from myself, there is Event Director Nick White. Nick has many years of experience in events, having spent six years as a Senior Operations Manager at Emap (now i2i Events) where he organised Spring Fair International, BETT and other major trade exhibitions & conferences. Nick knows events inside out and is brilliant at managing the delivery of everything that’s needed.
We also have a number of freelance developers who have worked on the app and digital elements, and a tech team who work at the actual events helping with registrations and making sure everything runs smoothly.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
Within the next year we would like to have created additional functionality and developed our native mobile apps for Android and iOS.
In three years time, we would like to see Noodle Live as the standard system for sharing information and resources at events & brand experiences using both RFID and NFC.
As for five years, aside from taking over the world, we would like to take the Noodle Live concept into other areas such as museums, tourist attractions and music festivals.
Other than Noodle Live, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
Well, the last few months have been very Noodle focused but in my day to day I love the following tools – all to make my busy life a little bit easier to handle!
- Flipboard – a great visual way to flick through my Twitter feed and Google Reader to catch up on the latest stories
- Basecamp – I would be lost without Basecamp! I use it to coordinate everything and it’s a great project management tool
- Lapse It – a fun little app which creates time lapse videos from your iPhone
- Halio – perfect for organising cabs in London to jump from meeting to meeting