Why Change Ventures invested in Festivality

Festivals used to be entirely offline events. People would gather, watch their favourite artists and go back home. But the mass adoption of smartphones has introduced a new set of consumer expectations and behaviours. On top of that — a technological challenge for organizers.

Event visitors used to rely on paperback brochures to find the right stage and performer. Now they expect to find everything on their phone. They used to tolerate queues to buy artist-branded T-shirts. Now they would prefer the convenience of shopping on their phone instead and having the option to get that T-shirt delivered to their home the next day. When it comes to business events, attendees expect to schedule their visit speaker by speaker, meeting by meeting. The list goes on and on. Virtually every nuance of hosting an event could be disrupted by mobile experiences.

There are over 15 million live consumer festivals and events every year, and the vast majority of these have no meaningful engagement with participants on smartphones. Why then haven’t all organizers embraced mobile already? Because it has been largely seen as a distraction — and a costly one. As if running world class events weren’t hard enough of an endeavour. But it does not have to be this way.

Enter Festivality — a full service platform for bringing events onto mobile devices. Founders Aivar Laan and Thomas Adelson are a determined duo that has the right background to take on this complex challenge. Aivar is an events industry veteran, having produced and promoted over 2,000 events and festivals, from corporate to music and film in the Baltics, Nordics and CEE. Thomas is an experienced full stack developer and software architect, who has worked on development projects with NASA, Joyent, The Economist, and others.

This experienced team saw a clear need for a better mobile user experience at live events. The opportunity is for higher attendee engagement, discovery and participation in new experiences. By combining smart technologies, Festivality offers organizers a turn-key solution for bringing their events to smartphones. But their solution goes beyond simply a mobile app for events. With Festivality, event organisers see live usage and movement data to improve participant experience (easy payments), improve conversion (special offers), introduce new offerings (promotions) and enables mobile commerce (selling branded merchandise). This vastly improves the way organizers run and monetize their events. And the best part is that organizers do not even have to be tech-savvy to tap into all that.

We are humbled to play our part in the Festivality journey to redefine how events are consumed with the help of immersive mobile experiences. Find out more in their blog post on our investment and at www.festivality.co, on Twitter @FestivalityCo.

A list of some of the larger events using Festivality:

· Tech Open Air Berlin (20 000+ visitors, 200+ Satellite events & venues all over Berlin, 150+ international speakers)

· Tallinn Music Week (40 000 visitors, 250+ artists, 80+ venues)

· Jazzkaar (25 000+ people)

· FIA ERC Rally Estonia (30 000+ attendees, 7000+ rally tourists)

· TLN Marathon (20 000+ attendees)

· Latitude59 (2300+ attendees, 50+ international speakers, 50+ start-ups)

· Robotex (16,000+ visitors, 1000 robot teams, 3000+ competitors)