Event platform Poken has launched a new division, ‘Poken Sports and Youth’, which it says will directly target events in this growing sector.
A new game engine to drive fun and engagement at events is part of the initiative for the new division, which will have offices in New York, US and Lausanne, Switzerland and focus on four key areas: athletic and sporting events, religious events, academic and scholastic events and civic events.
Poken says it detects a rise in interest from organisers in the sports and youth event sectors who are looking to add higher levels of engagement and interactivity through the use of technology. Recent customers include the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Indiana State University, Gulf Youth Conference, and other global sports organisations.
In 2015 Poken created a fully immersive interactive experience at the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow Conference, which hosted 15,000 Scouts on the Michigan State University campus.
Poken’s digital game engine was used to create digital ‘patches’ for 200 learning activities around the campus. Poken also delivered digital interactive content to screens throughout the campus showing live interactive statistics, helping guide visitors in real-time to activities, and providing instant alerts and daily contests.
Steve Smith, director of strategic accounts at Poken will head the new Sport and Youth Division and says: “Poken has grown from a pure social networking product into a fully-fledged engagement and gamification platform for events. The sports and youth event space is diverse and growing rapidly.”
Game mechanics can be used to reward specific types of interactions, Smith notes, and adds: “Growing up as digital natives, technology is central to how young people learn, communicate and develop. For event organisers, adopting digital technology creates an opportunity to achieve event objectives in a language that participants already understand.
Poken’s CEO, Stéphane Doutriaux says the company’s HQ proximity to Lausanne, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and numerous sports agencies, has also helped fuel this latest growth.
“Combining Poken’s unique know-how with technologies such as NFC and iBeacon, and using our patented ‘touch’ devices and gamification platform, this new sector is a natural evolution for our business,” he says, adding that the new division will specifically target events in the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.