TechArk Reimagines Grand Prize Giveaway at TowneBank Event

Every October the TowneBank Foundation nonprofit hosts the Fall Extravaganza to raise charitable funds. Providing millions in grants and donations to the Hampton Roads community, the TowneBank Foundation’s Fall Extravaganza is always a good time. Bringing together thousands of residents, customers, and partners of the organization, TechArk was thrilled to be an active participant for the second year in a row.

Theme: Havana Nights

TowneBank knows how to throw a party, and there are always amazing prices at any giveaway they host. This year was no exception, as one of the 8 coveted grand prices was a Caribbean Cruise!

TowneBank approached TechArk to discuss ways to reimagine this marquee event. Always eager to innovate and leverage technology for new purposes, TechArk immediately got to work discussing ways to automate the previously manual process. 

Pain Points of the Manual Method:

  • On the day of the event, paper stubs for every attendee were collected in a glass bowl
  • The event attendees must periodically return to inquire whether they won a prize.
  • There was no easy way to display these prizes visually when they were announced.

#TeamTechArk to the Rescue!

Our design team developed a prize wheel, which we would activate digitally to spin, randomly selecting a prize winner.

Next we created a simple interface showing the prize wheel on one side and the list of the winners on the other side. Our development team then set out to create the database of all registered users. We also created a separate link that would reset the system so TowneBank team can test everything before the event begins.

After researching a few options, we found the Amazon IoT Button. Similar to Amazon Dash button, this nifty device supports custom code to be invoked. Crafting a string of custom code, we were ready to spin the wheel on our digital display.

Now the TowneBank event staff can simply press the button to announce a prize winner. 

Pressing the button calls a cloud-based function hosted within Amazon Web Services, which then initiates the wheel-spin. Neat, right?

The winners are randomly selected from the already populated database of registered attendees. After extensively testing the functionality of our solution, Team TechArk was ready for the party.

On the day before the event, we populated the final attendee list. Allie Wittkamp and Tara Wolicki stopped by TechArk’s office to pickup the Amazon IoT Button.

The day of the event arrived. One after another, the digital prize wheel was spun and it announced the lucky winners.

No more paper stubs; the attendees could stop by the booth anytime to see the winner list and above all, the crowd was mesmerized how a traditional fish bow of paper stubs had been replaced by an engaging digital solution.

TowneBank Foundation raised $475,000 over the course of the evening and they are determined to put it back in the community. TechArk is honored and humbled to have been a part of this event, dedicated to charitable community causes and improvements.

TechArk participated in our small way to help in reimagining this event, along with several other companies that make this event a huge success year after year.

#tbfx, see you again next year and thank you for all you do for Hampton Roads community.

Thanks TowneBank! We’ll see you next fall.

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