Museums, Mayors, ITV and Downing Street

The last few months at Sparta have been nothing short of incredible. We’ve been traveling the length and breadth of the country: showcasing our work at museums, being interviewed by ITV, exhibiting at The International Business Festival and attending Number 10 Downing Street, it’s safe to say we’ve been busy!

The Natural History Museum – 09/05/18

On Wednesday the 9th of May, we were kindly invited to Cisco’s Digital Museums event, hosted at London’s Natural History Museum! At the event we showcased the cultural applications of the buzzin app, prime of which is the #ManchesterPlinth feature.

The #ManchesterPlinth project, is a series of massive orange boxes (plinths) scattered around Manchester which are not all they seem. Each plinth has a hidden secret which can be only revealed by scanning the marker with the buzzin app. Once scanned, buzzin reveals a three dimensional piece of artwork (in augmented reality). Viewers are then able to walk around the object, read its story and interact with its inbuilt animations. See it in action here…

This function excited and resonated with all of the attendees. Many of whom started to theorise about the potential applications of this technology for the cultural industry. We would have been happy with things finishing here… however they didn’t.

Michael Ellis MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism was scheduled to speak at the event however had to pull out at the last minute. Instead one of his parliamentary aids attended the event and was instantly impressed by the Manchester Plinth and the CityVerve project. This then led to a rather special email invitation, which i’ll get onto later…

ITV Granada Interview – 07/06/18

Following our success with the Manchester Plinth we were commissioned to develop a walking tour feature within buzzin. Being Spartans, we couldn’t just build a standard walking tour app so we set ourselves the challenge of creating an Augmented Reality tour guide. Our partners over at Chime developed the theme of “City of Firsts”, produced the content, and we got to work on with building the platform. After many months of hard work the technical development was complete but we were blissfully unaware of the media interest about to come our way.

The day the initial press release hit desks we received interest from a number of local publishers including: the M.E.N and That’sTV Manchester. Day two: we went national with interest from ITV Granada News and VRFocus. Day seven: we thought things were starting to dry up until we recieved notification that video clips would be featured on the international CNBC News!
Watch the full video here…

The International Business Festival – 13/06/18

On Wednesday the 13th of June, we attended The International Business Festival in Liverpool as an exhibitor, displaying our CityVerve work including the buzzin app and all its features.
The event ran between the 12th and the 28th June and hosted thousands of industry professionals, two hundred world-class speakers, celebrities and state figures. Persons of particular note include: Prince William, and ex footballer Jamie Carragher. On the day we exhibited Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham, Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotheram and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were all in attendance.

After Mayor Andy Burnham and Mayor Steve Rotheram completed their panel duties, they were pointed in our direction. We grasped the opportunity to fill them in further about our work, CityVerve and possible future collaborations with the Cities of Manchester and Liverpool so watch this space…


Last but definitely not least…

10 Downing Street – 13/06/18

Following up from our showcase at the Natural History Museum, we received an email with the subject line:

“CHASE EMAIL: Invitation to a reception to celebrate the UKs tech sector at 10 Downing Street [OFFICIAL]”

To our delight this wasn’t a prank and we’d really been invited to showcase our work at 10 Downing Street, as part of the London Tech Week event! The event was scheduled to take place on the same day as the International Business Festival. Invites were limited so we had to pick carefully who would attend which event. In the end Sparta CEO Zulf Choudhary and Commercial Manager Kevin Moss attended (not at all jealous).

I am told (still not jealous)… the event was fantastic with 200 individuals from leading tech organisations worldwide in attendance alongside key Members of Parliament and staff. Prime Minister Theresa May made a fleeting appearance (to be fair she’s pretty busy at the moment!) and although she didn’t stop to chat. We did however have some great conversations with high profile politicians including Liam Fox and Jeremy Hunt who were both very impressed.

Where Next?

It’s going to be tough to top an invite to Number 10 but we’re going to give it a go. Anyone got any contacts at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Buckingham Palace?