Like everyone else in the MICE industry, Yusno Yunos, CEO of Malaysia-based event tech provider, Evenesis, was impacted in the early stages of Covid-19. But he pivoted quickly and found strength — and success — in numbers.
Through what he calls “grollaboration”, a concept of growing together by collaborating with bigger players, Yunos said the company managed to strengthen its position.
“The early days of Covid-19 were a challenging time for the industry and us. We could no longer sell our services for onsite events because events were not allowed to be held. So we pivoted instead, working with partners like Zoom and ClickMeeting to educate the market on how to use these tech solutions to bring their events online.”
Such partnerships allowed them to do more with less, he said.
“We wanted to build lots of tech. But when you don’t have a wealth of internal resources, you look to external resources through collaboration. We scouted for partners in Europe and the US, tested lots of tech and searched for suitable solutions that we could integrate with our existing products and services to serve the market.”
Education was also a big part of the Evenesis growth journey during the pandemic.
“I conducted a lot of webinars, ran workshops, and did product demonstrations. I also engaged with the media to reach out to industry players and spoke to university students simply to get them all familiar with event technology.”
Yusno also worked closely with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) to educate the association’s members. “I even developed a framework that would help event organisers understand and identify what technology to employ at their events.”
Through this “grollaboration” business model, Evenesis garnered huge buy-in from industry players and the Malaysian government. The company successfully delivered a three-day exhibition and conference using virtual reality event solutions for a major client, developed a crowd detection and control technology to alert event organisers of any breach in social distancing, and got its facial recognition technology — a contactless registration solution — approved and endorsed by Malaysia’s National Technology Innovation Sandbox.
Evenesis recently launched a Virtual Event Platform (VEP) solution which consolidated all the products they created last year into a solution for hybrid events — which Yusno believes is the future.
“Once vaccination programmes have been rolled out successfully, people will want to go back to physical events. But don't forget that with technology, you can extend your event to people who can’t travel or afford the event fees. Tech can take events to a whole other level… they can be more global, more inclusive.”