Staff Reporters
Feb 13, 2023

40 Under 40 2022: Sharon Yu Ong, Waveplay Interactive

A practical and consumer-rooted approach to innovation, trust in the talent of her team, and a restless creative energy have enabled Yu Ong to lead Waveplay to become a sought-after event tech company in the country.

40 Under 40 2022: Sharon Yu Ong, Waveplay Interactive
SEE ALL OF THE 2022 40 UNDER 40
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Sharon Yu Ong

CEO and chief playmaker
Waveplay Interactive 
Philippines

When Sharon Yu Ong founded interactive experience company Waveplay Interactive in 2011, brands didn’t understand what she was selling, and agencies thought innovations were unnecessary.

However, Yu Ong knew what her first goal was, and that was to let the whole country know what Waveplay was about. So she approached Eat Bulaga, the longest-running and top noon-time show in the Philippines. What followed was the launch of the world’s first interactive audience game on television—’Wave Wave Wave, Win Win Win’.

That's when the door of opportunity opened for Yu Ong. She came dashing in and soon led Waveplay to become a sought-after event technology company in the country.

In 2020, however, nearly the entire event industry was shuttered, and as a company that focuses on physical events, Waveplay was no exception. But in May 2020, Yu Ong launched Webplay, the country’s first hyper-tailorable virtual event platform which allowed brands and agencies to continue creating unique, experiential, and scalable events despite a socially distanced world. It was a success and Waveplay posted its biggest two years yet in 2020 and 2021, with 117% and 159% growth, respectively.

But she hasn't stopped there. In anticipation of the economy reopening, she launched Waveplay’s touchless and hybrid solutions, introducing six new services in the first half of 2022 alone, and hit the ground running with projects for the likes of NBA, Chivas, Netflix, Marvel, and Foodpanda as soon as physical events were permitted.

Now the world is changing again coupled with a bruised global economy. But with Waveplay’s focus on touchless, hybrid, and the metaverse, the firm saw a growth of 86% from January to September 2022 vs the same period in 2021.

Since the inception of Waveplay, Yu Ong has been championing the Philippines' event tech industry through innovation and product education. In launching the country’s first tailored virtual venues for brands, she set the benchmark for online events, which has then generated new jobs and helped agencies thrive.

Beyond work, Yu Ong is passionate about helping the marginalised gain access to quality education. She sponsored Baliuag Alliance Christian Academy’s classroom renovations for years prior to the pandemic and helped fund its transition to blended schooling, ensuring continued provision for 14 staff and access to good education for 60 students at nearly no cost.

SEE ALL OF THE 2022 40 UNDER 40
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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