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WME/IMG Launches Joint Venture to Bring High Tech to Events

Talent and event management specialist WME/IMG wants to bring sensors, cameras, wearables and other mobile technologies to events around the world. The results could help you skip the lines at concession stands, or tell bands which songs were used for bathroom breaks.

WME/IMG has teamed up with AGT International for a new joint venture that wants to experiment with new technologies to reinvent the event business. In addition to its headquarters in New York, the joint venture will also run research and development facilities in San Francisco, Germany and Israel.

The biggest emphasis right now is around hiring new talent, but some initial tests have already begun: At this week’s Toronto Fashion Week, select models were equipped with biometric sensors and cameras to offer the audience a glimpse at the experience of walking the runway.

A big emphasis of the joint-venture is to not just use sensors, but also make sense of the data gathered with those sensors. A spokesperson said that once possible scenario could involve giving concert-goers wristbands that help to locate them within a large venue, and then tell them through a connected mobile app which of the concession stands nearby has the shortest lines.

Such data could also be used to gather intelligence about event attendees, and then use it to improve events. Wearables and sensors could for example help to figure out which songs prompted attendees to leave or take a bathroom break — data that could then be used to optimize a band’s song list.

AGT International is an interesting partner for the venture because it has had a slightly different take on dealing with big crowds: The company has in the past developed security solutions for cities, governments and corporations. By partnering with WME/IMG, AGT is now trying to take its technology to the event space.

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