The Sydney Olympic Games is proving to be a good workout for Australian-built event management software from Brisbane-based Amlink Technologies, but the product's developers say the biggest test is yet to come.
The software has been selected for another major event just two years away.
Amlink's EVENTS application has been used by official Games technology provider IBM, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), and the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation to organise conferences and events in the lead-up to and during the Olympics.
"SOCOG has been using EVENTS since the early days when it was a committee of not more than 10 people," said Trevor Gardiner, a founder of Amlink and now managing director. "They have used it to manage conferences and Olympic family meetings which could be as small as 50 people or as large as 300 or 400."
The software is also being used by Olympic sponsors that have taken their own licences for EVENTS, as well as by other large companies that are gaining access through event management specialists that have also licensed the software. The professional organisers use the software to control all aspects of their events, from flights and hotel bookings to event ticketing and transport to venues and special events.
"Big sponsors are bringing customers and potential customers to the Olympics in waves," Gardiner said. "For example, the Big Australian (BHP) creates a wave every three days when they bring in 500 or 600 people. Those people are potential customers of the sponsor, so the better the management of their stay, the better the result for the sponsor."
And while Gardiner acknowledges that the Olympics is "fantastic" exposure for Amlink, the company already has its sights set on bigger things.
Through a competitive tender process it has been selected to supply athlete management software for the World Masters Games in Melbourne in 2002, Gardiner said. "The World Masters Games is like an Olympics that is strictly for amateur athletes, including older people," he said.
"We are providing the entire athlete registration management system covering all events. The Masters covers a lot of sports that are not included in the Olympics, and as age is a component there are many more events. In addition, where the Olympics are attended by about 11,000 athletes, some 23,000 are expected for the Masters.
"It will be a big logistics exercise."
The EVENTS application was developed in 1987 for the Unix environment, before being released for the Microsoft DOS operating system and later for Windows. It is now licensed to more than 700 users in 29 countries, and is supported by international offices in London and Texas. All development and end-user support is managed from Australia.
The software has previously passed stringent tests at major Australian events such as the Australian Constitutional Convention and the Aboriginal Reconciliation Conference.