Jonathan Fry recently graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with an MPhil in the research of Event Evaluation. During his time at University Jonathan set up Event Rater, a service which allows event attendees to rate events and venues using a smartphone app, resulting in valuable feedback for event managers and venue managers.
In September this year, Jonathan was presented with the award for 'Best Digital' at the South West England and Wales Heat of the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards 2014. The prize included £1,000, in addition to local business mentoring.
- Tell us a bit about the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards 2014 and how you felt to win the 'Best Digital Award'
I heard about the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards award via the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship's Twitter account and felt that it would be an excellent opportunity so I decided to apply. I was really pleased to win the 'Best Digital Award' as it was great experience and the national recognition has been useful but I think the most important thing was being allocated a local business mentor who has been very helpful.
Now, four months on how do you feel that winning the award has impacted on you and your business?
Winning the award has had a very positive impact on Event Rater. I have now had my second meeting with my business mentor (Senior Business Development Manager for Lloyds Bank) who has been really helpful in providing advice on developing a revised strategy for the business which I am currently working on.
How has Event Rater developed since you started the company?
When I launched the company I was still a student and I feel that the MPhil research that I have undertaken has helped me to develop the company in many ways. I was able to find out what the industry wants and established the prioritised evaluation questions by carrying out research involving event managers and venue managers. Now that my MPhil is complete I am able to focus 100% on the business.
Do you feel that the support offered at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship has helped?
Yes, the support has definitely helped. I have had one to one business support which has been beneficial and I also found attending the events useful. I attended Mingle (a networking event) during which I met local entrepreneurs. It was interesting to hear their story of starting up. I also attended the Spider Hack in which myself and other entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to work with Computer Science and Graphic Design students as well as industry experts, to gain feedback on our business and help with the functionality and design of the websites or apps. This was particularly helpful in terms of gaining an outside perspective and making improvements to the website.
What are your plans for the future of Event Rater?
The smartphone apps will be launched in the New Year and I am currently working on generating some PR to raise the profile of the company initially with students and Cardiff press and then within the events industry. I am planning on using the funding from the award to utilise iBeacon software. This will send app notifications to attendees upon entering the venue in order to encourage them to rate the event on their smartphone for a chance to win prizes, offers and discounts.
Jonathan's MPhil supervisor Dewi Jaimangal-Jones commented: 'Jonathan was a very determined and focused student and I'm very pleased his Event Rater business has won this award. It is testament to the hard work and commitment he has put into this business and the originality of his idea. Event evaluation in terms of direct customer feedback is often difficult to achieve without impinging on the event experience, this app will allow event organisers to gather customer feedback in a user friendly format providing valuable and timely information to aid in the improvement and development of events and the venues in which they take place.'
Further details can be found at
iPhone App Download Link: https://appsto.re/gb/n1CY2.i
Android App Download Link: http://bit.ly/1ugGLhs