In business, the more ideas, the merrier

In business, the more ideas, the merrier
(From left) Founder and chief executive of Crowdsourcing Week Mr Epirot Nekaj and Mr Roger Yuen, founder of online fashion community Clozette and a speaker at Crowdsourcing Week.

SINGAPORE - When it comes to generating ideas, too many cooks don't spoil the broth - at least that's the thinking behind a world-first event to be held in Singapore this year.

Crowdsourcing Week, as it is called, aims to show businesses how customer participation can help them grow.

International and local speakers will discuss how crowdsourcing - getting ideas or feedback from a group of people - can benefit marketing and advertising activities.

"The new business mindset has to centre on the Internet of the 'upload'... User-created content is where the Internet is headed," said New Yorker Epirot Nekaj, the event's founder and chief executive.

The five-day gathering at the Singapore Management University is aimed at firms that want to use crowdsourcing and entrepreneurs hoping to develop a business around crowdsourcing.

More than 1,000 people from around the world are expected over the course of the event from June 3 to 7. Crowdsourcing Week, which was launched in February last year in New York, organised its first one-day conference in the same city last October.

Other one-day events, which focus on a specific topic such as marketing, are lined up in Warsaw, Amsterdam and Berlin. The Singapore event breaks new ground, due to its length and wide range of topics to be covered.

Mr Nekaj said companies can make use of crowdsourcing not just to engage with customers but also to obtain services - by "outsourcing" tasks such as logo design through crowdsourcing websites. "It's a very efficient way of doing things... For a small business, it can be especially useful and might be a cheaper alternative to hiring more people to do the job," he said.

Mr Roger Yuen, founder of online fashion community Clozette and one of the speakers at Crowdsourcing Week, said that while the concept has always existed in the form of market research and surveys, the Internet has allowed for information gathering on an unprecedented scale.

Clozette, an online platform built around user-created content such as fashion tips and photographs, was started in 2010 and has over 250,000 members from more than 100 countries.

"Crowdsourcing can help businesses identify the users who are most passionate about their product or service - why would a user participate if they were not passionate?" he said.

"Companies can use the crowd to identify their fans and prospective brand advocates, and then cultivate these users."

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