yada yada yada – crowdfunding!
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"Expede develops and markets yada - the live events management app: own a slice of this £multi-billion global market https://hdtk.co/PpdOX"
— Martin Roots and 112 other supporters
Expede develops and markets 'yada', the live events mobile management platform, that lets users create and organise events; collate guests' photos, videos and comments; and combine that content to display a 360-degree view.
BACKGROUNDExpede IT Solutions was formed in 2013 to develop one of the founder's ideas for the creation of a live events platform that would enable the interaction between event organisers and attendees at any type of event, large or small. Whilst the initiative underwent market research, design, and development, the team became established and provided consultancy services into its strategic target markets. The revenue from the provision of this consultancy, and the relationships established as a consequence, will continue as yada is developed and implemented to solve a real world problem:
THE PROBLEMThe live events industry in the UK is booming, and is worth a staggering £39.1bn to the UK economy in terms of direct spend by event delegates, attendees and organisers. If we examine music festivals, Glastonbury Festival alone receives an average of 175,000 attendees. There are 262,000 weddings in the UK every year, with 92 guests attending each one on average. On top of this, consider the millions who attend gigs, sports matches and business conferences every year. The prevalent use of smartphones means that every year in the UK, millions if not billions of photos and videos are taken to document these events, but there is no manner in which to directly share this content with other guests in the vicinity. We believe that up until now, there has been no platform that allows event attendees to connect with each other, interact in real-time, or collaborate in the sharing of content. As a result, many events are lacking an enduring sense of ‘togetherness’ and event organisers and sponsors have no curated content assets to be used in future marketing initiatives. We believe a fortified sense of event-based community can be established with one simple app: yada.
THE SOLUTIONyada is a social media platform centred on events, which allows users to create events – whether public, private or moderated – and fully personalise them. yada provides a simple platform through which users can connect with other guests via the app or by scanning a QR-code, and share photos, videos and comments in real-time around the big and small events in their lives. It also allows for this content to be combined with the ‘LiveView’ feature to form a projectable, 360-degree view of the event. Event attendees can benefit from a deepened sense of community and a higher feeling of interaction and immersion, whilst event organisers can benefit from a better understanding of their attendee demographics and the option to curate collected content for future marketing purposes. For a user hosting small events, the app is completely free of charge.
THE MARKETyada is initially targeting the 18-35 age group, including students in the Higher Education sector. Otherwise known as the ‘Millennials’, these are people who typically have active social lives and high online social connectivity. Studies show that half of this group (a group which makes up 24% of the UK population) are likely to attend live events. The 18-35 age group represents 15mn (out of a total 40mn) mobile app users in the UK in 2015 , and the average 18-to-21 year old uses 3.7 social networks, whilst the average 30-35 year old uses 2.9. In the modern world where the landscape of our lifestyles has changed dramatically due to social media, and Millennials frequently interact and share snapshots of their lives, yada embraces this trend and represents a social network focused entirely around events.
PROGRESS & TRACTIONPhase one: The proof of concept (PoC) for the first phase was completed in August, 2015, and the initial version of the app following product and marketing feedback is now available in both iOS and Android versions (just search for yada events). The number of Apple Store and Google Play views, downloads, and subsequent user conversion during the initial PoC and launch stages have been encouraging. We now have 2000 active users, and the numbers are increasing daily. This app can be considered the entry onto the platform and our minimum viable product (MVP). It is offered ‘free’ to clients (but subject to a sliding scale of in-app purchases as the guest list increases beyond 30) who will be able to create events, invite their friends, and using the app, guests will be able to contribute to the event to provide the organiser with a view of the event from the guest’s perspective. This entry level version of the app could be considered the ‘party or social app’ and its focus this year is on weddings and festivals (see The Festival Guide). By July, 2016, additional functionality will be provided to the app which will enable it to be used in a business setting: this is phase two - the ‘enterprise app’. With the addition of QR-code scanning for checking in to venues (e.g. conference rooms or gigs), document upload (e.g. PDF), a calendar view, an integrated ticketing feature, polling for user interaction, and a moderation function on the LiveView to regulate the content and flow of what can be displayed, we see the app serving the Corporate Sector. It will do this by providing clients with the functionality to create and manage corporate events themselves without the need for ‘bespoke’ site and app creation by expensive professional services teams. By focusing on the user experience, rather than that of the organiser, the enterprise app will be easy to set up and use and provide a fun, ‘sticky’ platform for true delegate interaction. Phase 3 of the development roadmap (to Dec, 2016), adds functionality and improvement to the platform’s maturity. Organisations will be able to brand their events, geo-location (and iBeacon) functionality will be added to enable better definition of event location and venue (and auto-check in by ‘being there’). This, in addition to existing functionality, allows interaction with large crowds, and hence our terming this phase: the ‘arena app’. In the development of this stage we will also begin to explore the option of providing white labelling for companies wishing to utilise yada technology for their own purposes. Phase 4, scheduled for completion by July, 2017, is the disrupter to the Higher Education Sector by providing a secure platform for classroom activity and resolving a long standing issue of ensuring student engagement in university teaching and learning. Developments include integration with student administration systems and timetabling, and better reporting to indicate student behaviour. This phase represents yada’s strategic target and will allow the Company to put their expertise (and contact collateral) within the Higher Education sector into practice. By phase 5, augmented reality (information pushed through the app in response to event activity) is layered on to the LiveView, and collated media from participants will be able to be joined together to provide a pseudo 3D view. This is the point at which the current vision for the app is fulfilled, although of course this is not the end of the journey!
THE REVENUETo date, and throughout the design, development and early proof-of-concept market research stages of yada, Expede has developed consultancy opportunities and revenue from its strategic target markets, principally Higher Education. This activity will continue until revenues from the monetisation of the yada platform are at an appropriate level. Monetising the platform is really straight forward. At the social/party end the app is free for small private events and there is a sliding scale of in-app purchases for larger events. One off large events can be purchased for unlimited guests and subscription models with ticketing & advertising revenue are being developed for full-time event organisers, universities and enterprises.
THE TEAMThe team is made up of the more experienced ‘Expede team’ who provide the expertise, and the younger, fresh thinking group of recent university graduates who make up ‘team yada.’ This perfect fusion means that both knowledge and innovation come together to guarantee enthusiastic and motivated employees! The ‘Expede team’ have decades of entrepreneurial, technical and industry specific knowledge between them. Their background is in the management of major programmes of infrastructure and business change predominantly in the Higher Education sector, although many of them also have entrepreneurial backgrounds having run consultancy and software development businesses. ‘Team yada’ deal primarily with building and developing the yada brand and implementing marketing campaigns. With the introduction of fresh talent through the yada Academy, yada utilises the creative thinking and first-hand experience of Millennials.
The Company is now seeking to raise investment finance through its crowdfunding initiative for the continued development and marketing of yada. Take a look, we welcome your feedback and hope you can join us on this exciting journey!