Welcome and thank you for the opportunity to propose a new venture. Looking forward to the constructive feedback from faculty and industry experts, and collaborate with fellow members of the HBAP community. My name is DJ Ursal and currently pursuing 18 month track program (cohort 9) at HBAP. As a professional in technology industry i help a diverse set of customers including startups, corporates and non-profits to develop the capabilities to successfully organize and launch innovative products in the digital transformation space.
Companies that i worked for are Salesforce, Oracle, Siebel and a few startups in emerging technology space.
Past Achievements and Awards
* 7 Oracle Patent Excellence Awards for Innovation
* Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation By Design – Award mention for the Social Good category
* Runner up for IoT Hackathon 2015 – Netherlands
* Winner for 2014 NASA’s Grand Challenge Asteroid Hackathon
In my spare time i enjoy outdoor activities, nature photography and serving local non profit communities.
The 2018 Global Economic Significance of Business Events study, commissioned by the Events Industry Council and conducted by Oxford Economics, reveals:
1.5 billion people worldwide participate in business events annually
$2.5 trillion (USD) in direct and indirect spending as a result of business events
$1.5 trillion (USD) in global GDP contribution
26 million people have direct or indirect jobs in this industry
$704 (USD) average spending by business events participants
According to Market Research.com – The market size of the Party & Event Planners industry in the US grew 2.6% per year on average between 2015 and early 2020. According to Market Research.com, there is strong demand for event planners from the household market has helped buoy industry performance. The market size of the Party & Event Planners industry in the US increased faster than the economy overall.
MARKETING SURVEY 2020 FINDINGS report that 95% of respondents believe in-person events can have a major impact on achieving business goals. 85% of respondents in leadership roles have identified in-person events as critical for their company’s success. 20% more marketers from 2019 to 2020 believe in-person events are the most important channel for achieving business goals.
According to Market Research.com Nonetheless, the demand for smaller and local event from the household market is expected to continue while the organize conventions, trade shows and sporting events, the internal event planning departments of hotels, conference centers and recreational facilities will tend to demise completely during this time due to COVID restrictions.
The trends seem to replace one large international annual event with more smaller, local events. This will be easier to manage from a health and safety point of view, and will make those events accessible to more people.
Meet Jessica and Matt,
Though Jessica and Matt decided to postpone their large wedding celebration event and gotten their marriage licenses online they still wanted to have a get together for a smaller local event in their backyard with just a very few of their closed loved ones to mark the milestone in their lives. They already knew what their budget was and who they wanted to invite. The event would take place in their backyard. Matt had a layout in mind as to how he would utilize the outdoor backyard space to bring in all the power, tents, water, bathrooms—basically a whole infrastructure that wasn’t there before. Jessica had decorations, food and simple ceremony in mind to mark their occasion.
Their biggest challenge was finding the ways and means to orchestrate the event given their budgets in a self-service manner keeping health and safety in mind . At the end of the day , they wanted to keep it small yet make it elegant and memorable.
Their voice is just one of the voices for such a need among several others in our community for all the moments that matter to us as – birthdays, bar mitzvahs, graduations , anniversaries –you need to keep those memories going long after the night has ended.
And yes, yet there is another voice. That of non-profit community. Covid-19 has driven the United States economy into a sudden and deep recession, hitting local businesses as well as multibillion-dollar corporations. Less noticed has been the immense toll on the nonprofit groups that Americans rely on for social services, medical care and spiritual needs. Conversations about nonprofit sustainability have turned into conversations about their survivability
Meet Sofia and Pedro who run a nonprofit organization as an after-school providers who serve low income youth and rely on public funding to support operations. Their organizations needs to reduce their monthly cash burn-rate to the absolute minimum in the hope of surviving until they can restart.
The challenge for Sofia and Pedro is finding donations through larger outreach to local communities for support. If only they can reach out to local communities who are celebrating a milestone in their lives as a remembrance by donating a small portion towards their cause, that would help them to survive these challenging times.
Their voice is one of the many from the local Non-profit organizations who are in need of help and support during these challenging times from their local communities
Across many studies of mammals, from the smallest rodents all the way to us humans, the data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed – Gareth Cook is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who edits Scientific American’s Mind Matters online news column.
With the recent covid impact – WE believe that associations and companies will start to replace one large international annual event with more smaller, local events. This will be easier to manage from a health and safety point of view, and will make those events accessible to more people. It’s going to fall to event industry to unify these local communities into one global community.
It is hybrid nature of the self-service event platform (onsite) with social distancing support (IoT bracelets) and live streaming capabilities that allows local communities to plan and execute events together in smaller scale and numbers and in safe manner (given current covid restrictions). Integrating the nonprofit aspect into the platform as people celebrate local events creates opportunities for people to donate for a good cause while celebrating a milestone in their lives.
This benefits people like Sofia and Pedro who run a nonprofit organization as an after-school providers who serve low income youth and rely on public funding to support operations. By registering their organization with the platform they are able to reach local communities who are encouraged to donate a small portion towards their cause.
Many in the industry, like Tony are without work and eager to put their skills to use would love to help his local community celebrate life events in a safe manner. Tony’s challenge is finding about local events needing tents or other services for workers. Tony also knows his friend Sheela who is a caterer, and can get the trucks out to the local small events.
Tony and Sheela voices is just few of the voices of such professionals in event industry among several others in our community. Tony by registering himself as an independent vendor on the platform can now cater to local events.
Taking this approach and focusing on local markets sufficiently tackles the current challenge, but also positioned the platform for growth when the markets return.
There is no company currently that provides completed end to end orchestration of journey ( market place for event planners, vendors, and people celebrating a life event) for hybrid events.
The IoT is the social distance capability that is baked into the platform that provides bracelets for social distance tracking. These are physical bracelets that get sent and are activated for social distancing and provide alerts on phone or smart watch and, vibrate to draw attention when social distance is compromise during a event.
The WithMe platform indirectly spurs economy of local communities helping it to rebuild . Strengthening local economies by bringing communities together to create a global community
Being able to diversify across time of year is important. What we’re doing to make sure that we’ve got a business that’s both sufficiently prepared for challenge, (COVID is acting as a catalyst) but also positioned for growth when the markets return.
The truth is, technology can’t make a bad event great. But the opportunities are truly boundless when we adopt it as part of our creative problem solving. As we move forward, a different league of success in this industry will be established by those who understand our relationship with technology, over those who rely upon it. The self-service, Gamification , sponsorship and the hybrid nature of the event platform with social distancing and streaming capabilities are the glue of this platform as service
Currently there are no companies that are offering hybrid nature of the event platform with social distancing and streaming capabilities. There are 3 startups that have recently raised money for virtual platforms – May 2020 -Bevy.com raises $15M to power virtual events focused on conference business . In June 2020 Hopin raised $40M Series again focuses on conference, online.
Analyst have been asking what happens when a vaccine is eventually found for COVID-19? Do events go back to normal. What WithMe the platform that we are suggesting is, to make sure that we’ve got a business that’s both sufficiently prepared for challenge, (COVID is acting as a catalyst) but also positioned for growth when the markets return.
In case of WithMe we ensure through various measures we stay aware of activity levels within the community as well as which types of users are most active. Indicators of an active community member may be the number of events created, vendors who actually delivered or contributed to an event . Nonprofits benefited and registered within the platform. Data like this is useful in optimizing the experience and finding ways to engage attendees within the platform.
Partner & Co-Marketing with influencers in party and event industry. Event Promotions – A campaign built around a specific event that’s already gathering likely acquisition targets . New Product or Program – A digital ad campaign across multiple party and event websites raising awareness of a new do-it-yourself platform .Contests – An engaging idea that invites customers to participate in a competition that relates to our brand messaging.
I have had the opportunity to initially vet out my idea with a core team of cohorts ( @Dean.M, @Craig.M@Suzan.S and @Michael. O ) exploring the different industries they have been part of and technologies they have used in terms of their business process flows and use cases that might have similarities in terms of my requirements and grateful for their time. There are few more from my April cohort section A that spent substantial amount of their time providing additional feedback . I would like to call out their efforts here – @Saima.A @Nadia.F @Swapnil.S @Todd.B @Cesar.O – THANK YOU all.