How to light up an audience with the power of shared experience

Gone are the days of traditional advertising at live events. Images on the jumbotron, banners in the rafters and sponsors at concession stands will soon be supplanted by more efficient, digital modes of communication. 

Hurdl, a visionary company in live event marketing, approached DEPT® to overcome the challenges of engaging audiences at live events. Hurdl believes that in order to effectively engage with an audience at a live event, you need to know exactly who’s out there—and then you need to speak with each person directly.

Breaking through the noise

Today’s audiences have learned to tune out mass marketing messages that aren’t meant for them. Hurdl found a way to break through

Traditional advertising at live events was becoming outdated. Hurdl believed that for effective audience engagement, you need to know your audience intimately. With a vision for the future of marketing, Hurdl and DEPT® banded together to navigate the highly nuanced technical challenges of engaging live audiences.

Hurdl introduced an innovative concept—an SMS CRM that connects fans directly with their favourite brands. The core idea was to create a seamless bridge between live events and digital marketing, ensuring every fan felt personally connected. Hurdl’s PIXL LED wearable wristbands played a pivotal role. Fans eagerly opted in, attracted by the potential to access perks like free merchandise or backstage passes.

Connecting fans & bands

DEPT® developed a tailored Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system  that harnessed the data acquired by the PIXL wristbands during live events. This custom CRM was complemented by a cloud-based SMS technology crafted for real-time, personalised interactions between fans and brands. The approach aimed to create personalised, ongoing SMS conversations with fans during events. These messages went directly to the participant’s phone, simulating a conversation with a friend.

The solution ensured optimal scalability and performance to accommodate large audiences at live events, whilst establishing direct and meaningful connections.

Within just three months, we successfully improved and secured the firmware for the wearable device. We expanded the backend infrastructure to execute a live demonstration, engaging 23,000 Garth Brooks fans in a synchronised audience light show.

Tech like no other

Hurdl is the only technology that rapidly onboards fans at scale at live events.

Hurdl became the leader in live event data capture and personalised SMS marketing with audience adoption rates as high as 87%. DEPT® was actively involved in onboarding audiences at major shows for Matoma, The Struts and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In each case we created enhancements in the backend that have helped the platform deliver the most uniquely personal data set in the live events industry, providing direct access to demographic data in a way that lets brands develop personal relationships with their customers.


SVP of Growth APAC & Head of Australia

Evan Davey

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