Australian Startup Releases New Dual Screen Video Platform For Event Organizers

If you’re throwing a big event, like we are, than you know that the audience at home is just as valuable as the audience on site. Event organizers are constantly looking for the best way to stream their events online and give at home viewers a similar experience to what those on site are seeing.

Australian startup Cogent has launched an exciting new video platform, primarily targeted towards live events. The platform called Eventer, is a dual screen video platform. This allows viewers at home to partake in the direct feed video from the stage and possibly watch the audience or a slide presentation at the same time. There are currently other video startups working in a similar space, but none so focused on events themselves.

Eventer has already been tested in Australia and in the United States. The San Francisco Music Tech event was the first US event to test out Eventer. The event’s co-founder Brian Zisk said that the event saw viewers at home staying engaged for 40 minutes at a time. In Australia, the Sustaining Women In Business conference also tested out the technology and it worked well for them too.

The unique platform delivered by Cogent and Eventer allows viewers to see everything in real time. Viewers at home can see the slide transitions and any special effects that may be happening on stage.

We got a chance to talk to the team from Eventer, check out the interview below.

What is your Eventer?

Eventer is an industry first dual-screen video platform that shares events online and simulates a live audience experience for the viewer.

The dual-screen player gives the viewer freedom to switch their focus between a presenter and their slides, or a panel discussion and the audience’s reaction, or to view both at the same time, just as they would if they had a front row seat.

Eventer aims to grant people entry into great events from the comfort of their couch – offering them an experience that’s ‘just like being there’, whether it’s an event, a lecture or a company meeting.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Rachel Morley, co-founder, Eventer

Rachel is an old hand in digital innovation, with 15 plus years’ experience in the industry. Her experience has involved leading digital teams to deliver on user and commercial outcomes in industries like telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, education, advertising and media, travel, community development/emergency relief, building management/smart cities and agriculture.

Rachel is also a strategist and Director at Cogent, a company with skills in strategy, design and development.

Marty Andrews, co-founder, Eventer
Marty has been a software consultant for well over a decade in Australia, working for many of the local big corporates.

Marty is passionate about agile development methodologies which piqued his interest early in his working life. This interest framed his career and lead to him co-found Cogent in 2007.

Where are you based? 

Queen St, Melbourne.

What is the start-up culture like where you are based?

We have created with a lot of care a company that not only does good work, but in an ethical and values-based way. We’re proud to be one of the best places many of us have ever worked.

We have strong values and are completely transparent internally about our finances. Our profits are distributed to staff in an unusual way. We believe that everyone’s contribution is equal after their salary has been paid, so we simply take 50% of the company profits and distribute them evenly amongst all of the staff.

What problem does your startup solve?

Eventer helps share ideas in a format that ensures the viewer has the same experience as someone in the audience. Both Eventer screens are videos, not just slides. This means all slide animations, videos or live demos are captured.

Eventer also helps marketers and event planners drive greater audience numbers for speakers and in turn build brand recognition, while educators are able to communicate, inspire and teach anybody, regardless of their location.

The benefits of Eventer are:

Eventer’s two-screen viewing experience allows viewers to flick between two focus points just like being in the live audience.

The dual-screen experience offers many creative opportunities to communicate effectively:

oSpeaker and slides

oSpeaker and audience

oInterviewer and interviewee

oSpeaker and demonstration

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the start-up process?

There’s some big technical challenges we had to solve in supporting the two screen experience. Synchronising two videos, and then keeping them in synch during playback, is tricky to deal with and actually needs a different technique across browser types and mobile devices (which we’re constantly working on to improve but think we have got it looking pretty good so far).

Who are your mentors and role models?

We have a few trusted colleagues that I’ve known for a long time and seek feedback from occasionally. Dave Thomas ( is the organiser of YOW! and the original inspiration for Eventer. Local industry leaders like John Sullivan, Nigel Dalton, Richard Durnall and Paul Coia are also great sounding boards for us.

Steve Hayes, the original co-founder at Cogent, has been a great role model for us for many years. He instilled an incredibly strong sense of values in the company which still lives on today.

What’s one thing the world doesn’t know about you or your start-up?

Eventer was inspired by the organiser of a local technical conference who lamented the fact that he managed to get great international speakers to Australia but only a few hundred people could manage to see them. It’s an obvious tool for big conferences like YOW! to use as marketing and to find a much wider audience.

I think the secret sauce for many people will actually be in monetising small conferences that don’t have big budgets. Publishing videos online in a virtual conference and selling digital- only tickets opens up a much greater market for small conferences, and could give them some much needed additional cash.

What’s next for your Eventer?

There are two great events coming up in November that we’ve sponsored as part of our ongoing launch of the platform. Creative Innovation 2012 and YOW! 2012 are both on at the same time, and will see some more great content online towards the end of the year.

In the mean time, we’re working on providing a mechanism for event organisers to show supporters on the site, which provides them another opportunity for monetisation via a sponsorship model. We also have an iOS app in the works to allow people to have a similar dual screen experience on an iPad.


Check out Eventer here

Here are more startup interviews from “Everywhere Else”

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