[SMA Insider] IT brings people ‘closer’ to each other
We’ve met xSync CEO Song Bo-geun who championed the importance of ‘face-to-face interactions’ even with the progress of meeting technology.
The CEO of xSync, Song Bo-geun, a former theater director, sought to make a difference to the culture of events and concerts where the audience had only passive roles. He searched a way to encourage the participation and bring the audience and staff to the stage together. Ultimately, he came up with the ‘Event Platform.’
Q. How would you like to describe xSync’s ‘Event Platform’?
“The Event Platform is a platform to promote the communication within the participants or with the event host during the event takes place. It utilizes the web-based applications or the one on the smartphones as a catalyst for smooth and convenient communication. For instance, the services we provide include the registration before the event, on-site ticket checks, online information desk, FAQ, surveys, quiz, small activities like stamp tours and analysis data reporting after the event.”
Q. Was there a special moment that made you think about starting this event platform?
“I participated to an event myself experienced that the parts of one event were scattered in various places. I had to buy a ticket on the internet website and downloaded an app for the event on the site. Then I had to search for the information online through different forums. The whole process was irksome and not user-friendly at all. This frustrating user experience (UX) naturally led me thinking one-spot process is necessary for improvement.”
Q. What do you think makes the xSync platform stand out from others?
“Every function is composed as a single module. For instance, there are events require a payment process module whereas other events are free of charge that it does not need one. To create an app to suit the event the best, we came up with a solution that allows event organizers to customize individual categories to fit their varying needs.”
Q. What is the biggest benefit of using the xSync platform?
“I’d say it’s security. What makes it tricky to deal with an event website is that it gets traffic of thousands of users at one time before the event and almost all of them leave after the event ends. We simulate trial versions of our websites and apps countlessly at the development stage but a sudden traffic hike can possibly cause a problem on the day of event. It’s not unusual for the PCOs to experience such problems during the event. Developing something new each time inevitably entails a risk as it is impossible to fix all of the bugs simultaneously. Such incidents, even a small one, can cause the great damage to the event. We secure the stability in running our program by deploying the system in templates.”
Q. How do you foresee the events after the COVID-19? Do you think the online events will replace the offline events?
“It might not be possible to replace the offline with online considering where the related technology stands at the moment. When online lecture was first introduced, people predicted that the lecture rooms would soon be in no use. However, people who experienced the online lecture were more eager to go back to the physical lecture rooms than the people who didn’t take any lecture online. Staying focused online for a long time is not as easy as doing so offline. It’s because contrary to what many people believe, conventional lectures and conferences involve a variety of elements such as the atmosphere of the place, eye contact with the speaker, aside from the contents of the speech given by the speaker. I’m certainly expecting that the number of online events be increased. But at the same time, I expect the increase in offline as well as there will be more thirst in face-to-face meetings. For example, this interview can also be done via phone or Zoom but the exchange of the facial expressions, gestures and so on would complete an excellent interview. In this line, I think there’d be more hybrid models where both the online and offline events are expected to support each other in one event.”
Q. What is your prospective plan for post-coronavirus era?
“The focus is always on the meeting point of people. At an event where the number of participants exceeds 50, it’s difficult to remember keep track of the people who attended and whom you want to keep in contact with. It’s also very hard to imagine to be socializing with strangers now that the facial masks are new-normal. The needs of more intensive meetings might be extended to the time periods of pre and post event. ‘Bumping into someone I haven’t seen for a while’ or ‘we happened to have a similar taste in coffee’ might not be usual scene of the event in the new era. How to have people meet up on a continuous base will be a key. We’d like to have the participants easily set up appointments to meet up and keep the app active after the event to exchange information further. Ultimately, the goal is to deliver “community-based services’ for each event.”
The fewer opportunities that people get to meet up and socialize, the greater the demands for true interactions. Meeting with people has more in-depth meaning now that CEO Song added that xSync will continue to make efforts in fulfilling the role of being a stepping stone in between the participants and event organizers. The prospective insights stir higher expectations for the future of the event industry with the force stimulated by xSync with the IT technology.