Back in August Techcrunch wrote about Outside Lands Music Festival and how they had nailed it with their festival apps and approach to social. They did. The apps, produced by Aloompa, were awesome. The emphasis was on providing an integrated festival experience, including social and local; and making the app more than just a repository of stage listings and artist bios. It’s a trend that will continue, and there are companies like Greencopper who are doing truly innovative work in this space (for example creating a very cool “enhanced reality” AR module for Nuit Blanche).

At Echoer we’ve had a very keen eye on the event and festival space. Since the early sketch-pad days of the app we’ve believed that it would be the perfect compliment to multi-venue events. Location-based, real-time, visual, and focussed on relevance in the here and now. Then in Summer 2012 we had the chance to collaborate with the Montreal Jazz Festival, the world’s largest, as well as the Montreal Gazette. The results exceeded what we’d hoped for, with excellent re-engagement metrics, a wealth of great content from users and partners, and serious interest from local retailers and stakeholders wanting to see how they could join the buzz taking place around the JazzFest in Echoer.

We’re excited to take this even further over the next year. And one of the key steps to doing that will be integration of Echoer into a seamless “single festival app” experience. We dont want to give the whole game away here, but we’ll be focussing on a few key things:

1. User experience: ensuring Festival/Event goers have locally relevant information only a tap away within the event app. Out of towners in particular loved what we did at the JazzFest. We’ll be making that even easier and integrated.

2. Surfacing the best content in and around the event: this content will come from users and from our growing network of bloggers and local experts. During the JazzFest we were able to process and “echo-ize” thousands and pieces of festival content in a matter of hours.

3. Making it relevant in the here and now: based on time, crowd-sourcing of information, and intelligent analysis of signals from in and outside of Echoer. At JazzFest we even tailored the look and feel of Echo Spaces, and content, to fit what was going on at that venue.

Our smartphones and the apps on them can do more and more sophisticated things by the day. The art is to seamlessly bring all of this together to enhance, and not distract from what you’re doing in the real world.

Watch this space.


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