The division, with offices in the sports centres of New York, US and Lausanne, Switzerland, will focus on four key areas of sport and youth, including: athletic and sporting events, religious events, academic and scholastic events and civic events.
Poken has seen 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 several of the worlds-leading sports organizations.
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 Boy Scouts on the Michigan State University campus. Poken’s digital game engine was used to bring a modern twist to the traditional Scout ‘patches’ as conference guests competed to collect digital patches by taking part in over 200 learning activities around the campus. In addition, Poken 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.
Heading the new Sport and Youth Division is Steve Smith, Director of Strategic Accounts at Poken, who will build on the high levels of engagement already created for Poken’s most youthful and athletic-minded customers.
Steve 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.
“Poken can play a huge role in increasing social engagement, but we can also use game mechanics to reward specific types of interactions.
“Growing up as digital natives, technology is central to how young people learn, communicate and develop. For event organizers, adopting digital technology creates an opportunity to achieve event objectives in a language that participants already understand. “
Poken’s CEO, Stéphane Doutriaux, has seen Poken grow from a start-up into a leading event technology services provider. Poken’s proximity to Lausanne, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and numerous sports agencies, has helped fuel that growth.
Stephane says: “Poken dramatically enhances the ability to learn and engage with others in a structured, educational format, at events where participants are encouraged to meet other attendees, check into interesting sessions, download relevant materials and participate in social and interactive games.
“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.”
The new Sports and Youth division will specifically target events in the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.