Exhibition News July 2017 - Page 33

Using your noodle Meet Noodle Live, the tech company making data simple and accessible for organisers W hen EN sits down to chat with Clemi Hardie, founder of Noodle Live, she’s just recently returned from Indonesia. Coincidentally, it was in Indonesia that the name Noodle fi rst came into being. It was a nickname for the tall, gangly Hardie (pictured ) when she used to live in the country. “Noodle Live was a holding name,” she laughs. “But now a whole brand story has grown up around the name; everyone comments on the illustrations and the brand.” The uninitiated might guess that Noodle Live is part of the ubiquitous street food craze tearing through the UK at the moment, but in reality the company is all about one thing and one thing only: data. Noodle provides event organisers with event apps, RFID technology and consultancy, all with the aim of quantifying and improving live events. “We provide them with the raw data, which can then be manipulated and uploaded into the CRM systems and other marketing and sales funnels,” explains Hardie. “We also do reports for each client, picking out key data points, and visualise that data as well.” Hardie’s background lies in marketing, so the focus on data and quantifying events is unsurprising, as is her ability to see the place of tech within the entirety of an event. “We’ve been onsite, so we’ve got that battlefi eld experience,” she tells EN . “Technology is one thing, but technology in a live environment is a completely diff erent kettle of fi sh. We’ve been onsite, seen all the diff erent variables that go into an event and seen what can impact on the successful delivery of an event. We’ve been there, it’s happened to us, and we’ve built tools or made modifi cations to stop that happening in the future.” Noodle Live is in it’s fourth year, and has seen signifi cant growth in recent years in the form of successful fundraising followed by a doubling of the core team. “The experience in our team is very interesting,” says Hardie. “We’ve got our hardcore techies, the way that we develop projects comes from my marketing experience, and we’ve also got a team of super-experienced event managers as well, who really bring that calibre of experience to the table.” So why did Hardie and her team decide to focus on event apps and RFID as their technology of choice? “As a company we’re really technology agnostic,” continues Hardie. “We’re working with event apps and RFID because we believe that they are the tech solutions that solve the widest range of problems that our clients are experiencing.” Hardie fi rst came across RFID technology when she was still working predominantly in the marketing sector. Social media giant Facebook held a brand activation event allowing attendees to ‘like’ physical objects, and reading about the event set Hardie’s imagination alight. “A lot of my clients were organising events and fi nding it quite diffi cult to quantify the success of them,” she explains. ”I got really interested in how RFID could potentially bridge the gap between the digital data capture and the physical experience of attending an event. “That’s the basis of our mission statement at Noodle; we have our RFID smart badges and event apps, but what are we using those tools for? We’re helping event planners quantify their events in the same way as other marketing channels.” While many companies provide RFID technology for organisers, Noodle is perhaps unusual in that it matches its prices to other event registration companies, rather than other RFID providers. “The cost of using that technology before we arrived in the market was quite prohibitive,” explains Hardie. ”What we’ve tried to do is tie the price of our service to other onsite registration providers, with the option to provide more touchpoints. The investment is still the same, but they can do all these other things on top of that with the badge.” Since the company launched in 2013, Hardie has seen a steady increase in organiser interest in event tech such as RFID. “I think it’s a refl ection of how popular event technology is,” she muses. “There’s appetite for and understanding of these tools in the industry. I feel like our buyers are becoming a lot more experienced and are understanding the potential of the tools. It’s really exciting as a supplier, to see people not just dipping their toe in the water but really understanding the potential of what these tools can deliver. It’s creating more complex project requirements, which is very exciting for a tech company.” Looking to the future, Noodle Live will be keeping an eye out for tech that could potentially add to their data-driven off ering for event organisers. “We will always be creating tools that help people capture data and quantify their events,” Hardie concludes. “We are looking at new bits of technology – we’ve been looking at beacons – but I won’t be so naïve as to try and predict the future of technology.” Whatever the future holds, it’s clear that data will continue to be an important part of understanding, quantifying and improving live events, which for Noodle Live at least, is certainly good news. EN exhibitionnews.co.uk | July 2017 33