The breakthrough company, Magency Digital, from its Paris headquarters and offices in New York and Tokyo offers its clients all-inclusive mobile solutions for audience engagement. In four years, Magency has hosted over 500 events on five continents, in 29 countries in 20 different languages. Through awakening corporate audiences around the world, Magency Digital has definitely become the global leader in the digital events and training industry. KITE Invest spoke with the mastermind behind Magency, the CEO & Founder Vincent Bruneau to see how this young company is creating a name for itself.
KITE Invest: Magency claims to use magic to inspire its technology. Please shed light on the creation and launch of Magency Digital.
Vincent Bruneau: I was a professional magician for 15 years and a tech-illusionist for the last ten. My vision as a magician was to create engagement and emotions for events. The magic business was doing the same thing over and over again for ages and I wanted to reinvent and disrupt it. We know that magic creates emotion and engagement, but I wanted to help people have different perceptions, so that’s when we started to create apps, mixing magic and technology.
It was a big challenge because when you develop an app, there’s no emotion; it’s just functional. I wanted to create an app where it was like a game and take it to the next level. It was more about how we could develop the WOW factor. The first magic on our event platform was not about the interface; it was more about audience interaction.
It’s not about the magic, but the effect. Magic is more about helping to change your perceptions and how you perceive it. It’s about being creative, thinking through the box, inside the box, outside the box, and changing the perceptions of how you think around that. Changing perceptions of someone helps create empathy and that works also with customers.
KITE: In the past four years Magency has truly gone global, would you consider that the trajectory of the company has mirrored the original business plan? How has it differed?
VB: We’ve been pivoting in different directions for the last four years. This is where I think our story is real. At first, our goal was to create engaging apps with magic. Our business strategy was about how we were going to integrate audience engagement to our event app and have 300 participants interact in a different way. But, in 2010, people weren’t using apps for corporate events. In general, it was new for everyone to use mobile apps.
We weren’t thinking about our app as a functional roadmap, because it was really new for our customers and us. We were learning our clients and what they needed. When we started, HTML 5 wasn’t that advanced, Apple was just launching iOS, and Android didn’t exist. So, we were using what was working at the time and people were just starting to become mature in their use of technology. Our clients are more comfortable now with our app than before.
We’ve created our business strategy with our customers. Even if we have a lot of creativity and we know what we’re doing, we develop our products, and as a company, with our clients.
KITE: The company has worked with corporate giants such as H&M, Nissan, Saint-Gobain, Nespresso and many more. What are some of the basic guidelines that Magency follows to ensure excellence and value creation?
VB: Creativity and making sure we focus on engagement and the human factor for participants. This is something that sets us apart from our competitors. Even though we’re a tech company, we never lose sight of the main objective. It’s looking beyond the app.
KITE: What have been some of the greatest milestones and toughest challenges since Magency began?
VB: Our main focus right now is the growth of the company. Growing from 10 to 20, then 20 to 30, and now 30 to 50, can be challenging, because it’s a startup. It’s challenging to grow as a company and keep everything structured. But it’s an achievement to be growing at a rapid pace.
Evolving our app is been one of the biggest challenges. You can’t just copy and paste an app for each event. For example, each event is different because everyone has a different level of digital maturity. We’re constantly figuring out what’s best for each of our unique clients and personalizing our product and service.
KITE: Specifically, Magency Digital products include cross-platform applications, branded interface, multi-lingual platform and easy content management. Could you explain in more detail a few of Magency’s products? Does Magency use demos and trial runs to ensure success?
VB: Magency takes the bestof gamification, audience interaction and collaborative learning, and put all of them into one, easy-to-use, customized application existing on each attendee’s mobile device. Magency’s solutions are made for corporate seminars, conferences, collaborative workshops and classroom training, to provide effective networking, brainstorming sessions, interactive presentations, and assessments for attendees. Magency also provides digital entertainment with modern performances and interactive installations for high-stake events and public events like the French Open, Roland Garros.
We run “fake operations” – meaning testing our modules as if we were working on an actual event – on a monthly basis, to make sure we don’t have any bugs and ensure a smooth sailing event or training.
KITE: What can be expected from Magency in the short term? And what are your long-term goals?
VB: The short terms goals are to redesign everything, not just our products, but putting more of a WOW factor into everything we do. In September, we’re releasing a lot of new features and our products will be different. We’re going to have a cross platform version of our event and training platform, more activities and modules – overall, an even more enhanced experience for users.
As for long-term goals, we’re increasing our research and development and finding more time to develop our long-term ideas. Machine learning, deep learning…and this takes time, but when you’re really focused on your customers and selling your product, you don’t have time for R&D. Also, making sure our company is very international and growing globally.