On today’s episode of the podcast we chat to Sarah Seddon, a marketer and brand consultant, and the brainchild behind Cite 360.
After decades of working with the who’s who in hospitality, Sarah was one of the first to see her industry shatter as a result of Covid 19 lockdowns. She went from not having enough hours in the day to get everything done for her clients at her marketing and brand consultancy Sabre Collective, to having nothing to do. Her first thought during these isolating times was, “how can I keep these businesses open when their doors are closed?" soon after the answer was clear.
Sarah explains to Marisa how Cite 360 is, “a great Covid story, it was born out of helplessness and necessity,” to allow a business to operate in a virtual world. Without any previous knowledge of technology, Sarah went on a steep learning curve to customise an existing technology to launch Cite 360.
Sarah goes on to explain that the Cite 360 technology uses a sophisticated camera with six eyes which takes more than 700 360 degree photos of a physical space that AI technology stitches together, to produce a high level virtual experience.
The technology took off and her client list includes Federation Square, the MCG, Block Arcade, Park Hyatt, The Windsor, and even smaller businesses like The Grand in Warrandyte, bakeries and wineries in regional Victoria.
Even after Covid, the technology has proven effective for those researching or wanting to do site visits for the places they cannot physically get to; The Grand in Warrandyte has secured three event bookings just by utilising this technology on their website.
Marisa and Sarah discuss AI, the hot topic of the moment, and Sarah states “technology has to be harnessed for good, and not evil."
Sarah remembers her first ever project was for the Shrine of Remembrance during Covid, when they couldn’t host the dawn service due to physical distancing. Sarah went in (pro bono) and created a virtual tour of the Shrine increasing traffic to their website by 300%, and virtualising their donation box so people could donate from home. They were also able to move their retail offering to online, and most importantly they were able to offer virtual visits to 60,000 school children around Victoria who couldn’t visit the Shrine.
Sarah gives Marisa her sound advice for entrepreneurs; “come at it as if there is a gap in the marketplace; is there a problem you’re trying to solve. We all have great ideas but are they all going to be commercial.” And from a technology perspective she says, “be agile, and break down your thinking, act quickly and keep the test, fail, learn mindset.”
To hear more about Sarah’s journey and her surprise career as a technology entrepreneur, tune into The Press Office by Kate & Co. PR.