Some people see a problem and give reason why it can’t be done. Others see a problem and start looking for how to solve it. People like Micheal Purnell.
Michael Purnell believes the “best seat in the house” for the next concert or event can literally be in your own home.
His company, Sievent, uses virtual reality to help event planners market events, and give customers a 360-degree view of the latest events from the comfort of their home.
The app is a social experience app that helps event organizers and attendees stay connected with information before, during and after an event.it is an end-to-end platform that handles all facets of an event such as promotion, ticketing, payment, event analytics and social media management.
Originally from North Carolina, Michael studied computer science at North Carolina A&T State University. The kernel for Sievent started there when he wanted to play pickup basketball games, but had a hard time finding people beyond his Facebook friends. Around the community, Purnell noticed that nonprofits, churches and other local organizations didn’t necessarily have the technology to reach their target audiences.He moved to Sacramento in 2012 for a job opportunity at Intel where he worked at Intel for 5 years as a Software Engineer. Shortly after he and his co-founder, Wesley Alexander, took their experience to create Sievent.
The initial funding for Sievent came from family and friends, which helped Purnell and Alexander make a mock-up of the app and write a mini-business plan. So far, with development and marketing, Purnell says they’ve spent around $70,000. For every paid ticket sold through Sievent, the startup receives a service fee of 2 percent plus 89 cents per transaction. The organization that hosts an event receives 100 percent of the proceeds. Within coming months, Purnell plans to expand the business model to include memberships to local groups at $9.99 a month, offering exclusive discounts and VIP access to events for users who accumulate points.
According to Michael ‘The problem that we found is it’s usually hard for organizers to promote and spread awareness about their event without breaking their marketing budget on social networks like Facebook and even though they pay to promote, they don’t always get their return on investment, hence their event not being sold out. Also, current platforms don’t do a good job when it comes to the overall event experience outside of buying a ticket. Originally, attending an event was solely done in person; now we have the ability to watch events via Livestream on our mobile devices on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. However, you still can’t match the energy of being at the event in person.What initially attracted me to this space was that I noticed there were a lot of events happening that could benefit members of the surrounding communities. Whether it was a concert, conference, financial seminar, gardening workshop, or a pick-up game, there was always something going on, but people still weren’t aware of them. In addition, despite other successful event platforms being offered across the industry, surprisingly 40% of tickets still go unsold every year. I felt that there wasn’t a platform truly dedicated to not only increasing awareness of what’s going on but also letting you interact and experience an event like you’re actually there’.
“For us, events are more than just parties, concerts and spectacles,” Purnell says. “We want to enable the nonprofits and businesses to create a better awareness of their events, and that leads to better attendance and engagement.”
Source: black enterprise.