Event organizers and ticketing providers using ComeTogether’s solution to provide better fan experience, as ticket fraud and scalping are prevented.
ComeTogether had the opportunity to participate in Wallifornia‘s webinar to take a look at the transition from smarter to safer live events. How do we get there – technology. The digitization of the events industry goes far beyond health safety as we move back to crowded event venues in the future.Learn More
As we all breath a collective sigh of relief that 2020 is coming to an end, 2021 looks to still present challenges in getting back to a normal lifestyle. Or does the ‘new normal’ represent life as we know it for the foreseeable future? Let’s hope that for the coming year we are somewhere in between. Maybe not fully back to our old way of life, but certainly on the path to more freedom of movement, restarting of economies and the ability to spend ‘in person’ quality time with friends and family.
Vaccination — The Holy Grail?
The world is focused on the start of vaccination programs globally. Although this is a great step forward, this still needs time. Time to inoculate. The vaccines need to be manufactured, distributed and given to individuals around the globe. Efficacy is proven in trials, but what about in real life? As we take this giant step forward, we still need to understand the immunity status of those moving about in public places. For sure 2021 will be a year of mixed results as it will take time to get different countries to the levels of protection required to signal an all clear from mask wearing, social distancing and increased hygiene practices.
Today there are already articles being published about the inequity of vaccine supplies being distributed to richer vs. poorer nations. According to a study released in early December by Duke Innovation Research Center (1), there is a huge discrepancy between rich and poor countries cases and level of vaccines order. To highlight how big the range is, Canada currently has on order enough vaccines based on the current level of infection to vaccinate each person that has already been exposed to the virus five times over. Whereas developing countries in Africa have no pre-orders in place and will need to rely on the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) organization to ensure they receive vaccines in 2021. How long will this take and does this result in pockets COVID-19 safe and unsafe locations?
Are we ready to leave the house again?
Consumer confidence in COVID-19 safety is another topic that needs to be considered. Just because people can fly or go to events, doesn’t mean they are comfortable doing so. In November, Inmarsat Aviation and APEX released their Passenger Confidence Tracker report (2) surveying 9,500 travelers across 12 countries to understand what it will take to get people flying again. The overall view on travel in the next year is still mixed. 41% of respondents say they will travel (any form of travel) less overall in the future, with 50% saying they are ready to fly in the next six months and the remainder preferring to wait longer. More than half expressed worries about catching the virus on a plane or in a foreign location. Although, when asked what they believed was the riskiest activity one could attend — the answer was a sporting event. Music events were not called out specifically, but we would expect a similar response given similar proximity concerns to other attendees.
Immunity passports — a controversial topic
The topic of immunity passports has been discussed throughout the world by many different organizations with mixed reviews. On the one hand, many are against this idea. Feeling that a restriction as to what one could do based on immunity — whether due to a vaccine or having a positive antibody test — would result in individuals purposely getting exposed to COVID-19 in order to avoid limitations of movement. As seen in countries like Sweden, the idea of herd immunity did not have the desired outcome. Resulting in higher cases and higher deaths, not the opposite. So one can see the reason for concern.
On the other hand, how do you determine who is allowed to go where, safely, without resorting to Orwellian big brother oversight? This isn’t the only choice and certainly not something that would be tolerated in most of western civilization. The key is to be able to monitor and respond to topics that are most important and to guarantee the data security and privacy. For example:
- Have you been tested
- What was the outcome (provided by an official source)
- When did this happen (we all know you could be negative today and positive three days from now)
- If you’ve recovered, do you have antibodies to protect you and for how long will they last
- Have you been vaccinated
More likely an app that carries this data securely and certified by official organizations will allow for businesses, events, airlines and others to determine who to let into their locations. Similar to requirements for vaccinations to enter specific countries or attend school.
What is known, is this journey is far from over. At least there is forward momentum now toward a return to a normal life (maybe never the same as before).
ComeTogether gives control of the entire ticket lifecycle to event organizers, with the power of blockchain. In order to support the safe return to events or any other type of activity where a group of individuals needs to be in the same place, the BackTogether COVID-19 passport app enables the verification of COVID-19 testing status, immunization and antibodies. Built on Blockchain, data is fully secure and private.
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Lazaros Penteridis, CEO of ComeTogether, speaks with ERT (Greek National TV) about the COVID-19 passport app – BackTogether.
ComeTogether recently had the opportunity to participate in two Blockchain-focused pitching events. Walking away with a win at both events!
It might seem that having a startup focused on ticketing for live events might not be the easiest sell in the middle of a global pandemic. But a mid-term expansion of focus to address the pandemic in the context of events resulted in the development of BackTogether, a COVID-19 passport app that can be used as a separate module or integrated into the ComeTogether offer to help safely restart the events industry.
The first of two events in the course of a single week was BlockStart. The partnership program has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under a grant agreement. They work with seed, early and growth stage startups by bringing them together with SMEs to develop and prototype their solutions with real-world business input. This helps the SMEs to be early-adopters of blockchain, while helping the start-ups to work with live target customer input. Industry areas of focus were Fintech, ICT and Retail.
Starting with an ideation kickoff, selected start-ups move to a four-month prototype phase in order to ensure their ideas have a relevant market fit. There is a two-month pilot phase to allow for refinement of the final customer offer.
ComeTogether competed against nineteen other start-ups to be in the final ten selected for this next phase along with funding.
Also in the same week was BlockIS. An accelerator program to build an open and collaborative cross-border, cross-sector innovation ecosystem. This is to foster blockchain technology adoption in agrifood, logistics and finance within the EU.
This structured program works with start-ups to take them through a process of innovation, experimentation and commercialization. Initially competing against forty-four other start-ups in the innovation phase, ComeTogether was among twenty-three organizations selected to move to the experiment phase. In addition to funding, technology and business guidance is provided. At the completion of these activities, ten finalists will be chosen to take their MVP to market.
The team was awarded 69,000 Euros in funding across both events. Another important aspect of these programs are the connections within the wider industry to set the groundwork for further market engagement. A great success from a busy week!
What was it like to pitch in two events concurrently? Lazaros Penteridis, CEO of ComeTogether shared his thoughts on five topics:
What was the hardest part of pitching two events in one week? The requirements for different length pitches — one of three minutes and one of five minutes meant keeping two versions of our story aligned.
What was the best new idea you got from listening to other pitches? You can say a lot in 3 minutes if you really focus your thoughts.
What kind of competition were you up against and who was most interesting? We were in the Fintech category in both events. We learned about a company working on verifiable credentials. Even though they were a competitor in the pitching they could possibly be a partner in the future.
How do you think you were able to stand out versus the others? BackTogether showcased our ability to quickly adapt in a tough market situation. And we already have proven market traction with both ComeTogether and BackTogether.
What is your advice to others who might find themselves in a similar pitching situation? Take the time to work on clarity in your pitch. Each time we have presented in one of these events we refine our materials. This has helped us to be successful by getting more and more laser focused. Additionally, don’t spend too much time on presenting the technology. It’s easy to think that for a blockchain event you should be deep in technology. The story really needs to be about how you create value for your customers.
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BackTogether COVID-19-Pass-App ermöglicht sicheren Neustart von Veranstaltungen ComeTogether hat heute BackTogether eingeführt, einen COVID-19 PassPort, der den sicheren Neustart von Veranstaltungen ermöglicht. Die App wird einen COVID-19-Test (z.B. RT-PCP, Schnell, COVID-19 Hunde) und einen Antikörperteststatus zur Überprüfung vor dem Betreten von Veranstaltungsorten ermöglichen.
Die Industrie für Live-Veranstaltungen hat für den größten Teil des Jahres 2020 praktisch nicht existiert. Mit dem Wiederaufleben von Veranstaltungen mit reduzierter Teilnehmerzahl und obligatorischen sozialen Distanzierungsanforderungen bleibt es für Veranstaltungsorganisatoren eine Herausforderung, eine angemessene finanzielle Vergütung für ihre Investitionsentscheidungen zu erzielen. Diese Herausforderung wurde kürzlich in den Weltnachrichten hervorgehoben. Ein Beispiel dafür ist eine Pressekonferenz in Großbritannien, auf der Boris Johnson die Idee für Viruspässe als seinen “Mondschuss” bezeichnete, um Live-Veranstaltungen wieder in Gang zu bringen, wobei er sagte, er hoffe, dass dies bis zum nächsten Frühjahr live geschehen könne.
Die App wird bereits in Griechenland mit Emergency Help erprobt. Dabei handelt es sich um einen Live-Test mit Gesundheitsdienstleistern, um den Status der Covid-19-Testergebnisse zu verfolgen. Bis Ende dieses Monats wird die Software auf Versicherungsgesellschaften ausgeweitet werden. Emergency Help bietet ein internationales Netzwerk von Gesundheitsdiensten, darunter Ersthelfer, Krankenpflege und Ärzte, medizinische Telematikdienste und Veranstaltungsunterstützung. “Wir sind sehr erfreut darüber, weltweit der erste Live-Test der BackTogether-App zu sein, und freuen uns darauf, die Nutzung dieses leistungsstarken COVID-19-Passes auch weiter außerhalb Griechenlands einzusetzen”, sagte Chris Nikas, CEO von Emergency Help.
BackTogether ist als ein Modul in Verbindung mit der ComeTogether-App oder auch als eigenständige Lösung erhältlich. Die ComeTogether-App wird derzeit in Griechenland und Großbritannien zur Unterstützung des Ticketverkaufs für Veranstaltungen eingesetzt. Darüber hinaus kann die Anwendung über das ComeTogether-Netzwerk als Add-on zu der bestehenden Ticketing-Anwendung über offene APIs sowie über End-to-End-White-Label-Ticketing-Tools integriert werden.
Das Team nahm an der von der griechischen Regierung veranstalteten Digital Innovation Against COVID-19 Ideas Challenge und am Antivirus Crowdhackathon teil und wurde in den beiden Wettbewerben als Finalist ausgewählt.
“Die Bedeutung des Neustarts von Veranstaltungen wirkt sich auf vielen Ebenen der globalen Wirtschaft aus, von den Ausführenden über die Organisatoren bis hin zu allen Beschäftigten bei diesen Veranstaltungen. Es ist auch wichtig die Möglichkeit für die Moral der Menschen, ihre Häuser zu verlassen und künstlerische oder sportliche Unterhaltung zu genießen”, sagte Lazaros Penteridis, CEO von ComeTogether. “Die Gewährleistung der Sicherheit für die Veranstaltungs-Community mit BackTogether wird es uns allen ermöglichen, wieder zusammenzukommen und das Leben zu genießen”.
Die BackTogether-Funktionalität basiert auf der EOSIO-Blockkette, um ein hohes Maß an Sicherheit und Skalierbarkeit zu gewährleisten. Datenschutz und -souveränität werden ebenfalls gewährleistet. Die Verwendung einer privaten IPFS – Public EOS-Blockchain-Architektur ermöglicht die Übereinstimmung mit dem GDPR und bietet einen nachvollziehbaren Verfahrensablauf. Die Einhaltung des W3C Verifiable Credentials (VCs)-Modells ermöglicht die Integration von anderen ähnlichen Lösungen und lässt sich leicht in Anwendungen integrieren, die W3C Decentralized Identities (DiDs) und W3C VCs verwenden. Es gibt darüber hinaus eine einfach zu integrierende API zur Einbindung in andere Apps.
ComeTogether has today launched BackTogether, a COVID-19 passport to enable the safe restart of events. The app will provide COVID-19 test (eg. RT-PCP, rapid, COVID-19 dogs) and antibody test status for verification before entering event venues.
The live events industry has all but ceased to exist for most of 2020. As events begin to re-emerge with reduced attendees and mandatory social distancing requirements, the ability for event organizers to make a reasonable return on their investment remains a challenge. This challenge has been highlighted recently in world news. One example is a press conference held in the UK where Boris Johnson described the idea for virus passports as his “moonshot” to restart live events, and said he hopes it could be live by next spring.
The app is already in trials in Greece with Emergency Help. This is a live test with healthcare providers to track the status of Covid-19 test results. By the end of this month, it will be expanded to include insurance companies. Emergency Help provides an international network of health care services including first responders, nursing and doctors, telematic medical services and event support. “We are thrilled to be the first live trial of the BackTogether app globally and look forward to expanding our use of this powerful COVID-19 passport to reach locations beyond Greece,” said Chris Nikas, CEO of Emergency Help.
BackTogether is available as a module in conjunction with the ComeTogether app or as a stand-alone solution. The ComeTogether app is currently in use in Greece and the UK in support of event ticketing. Additionally, it can be integrated via the ComeTogether Network as an add-on to your existing ticketing app through open APIs, as well as end-to-end white label ticketing tools.
“The importance of restarting events impacts many levels of the global economy, from performers to organizers to all of the individuals who are employed at these events. It’s also important for the moral of communities to be able to leave their homes and enjoy artistic or sports entertainment,” said Lazaros Penteridis, CEO of ComeTogether. “Ensuring safety for the event community with BackTogether will allow us all to come together and enjoy life once again.”
The BackTogether functionality is based on EOSIO blockchain in order to ensure high levels of security and scalability. Data privacy and sov-ereignty are also addressed. The use of a private IPFS – Public EOS blockchain architecture works to enable GDPR compliance and provide an auditable process. Compliance with the W3C Verifiable Credentials (VCs) model allows for interoperability with other similar solutions and is easy to integrate with applications that use W3C Decentralized Identities (DiDs) and W3C VCs. There is also an easy to integrate API for use within other apps.Learn More