Washington, DC -The National Association of Broadcasters and ExpoExchange unveiled a new technology product this week that will revolutionize and streamline the way buyers and sellers meet and interact with each other before, during and after a trade show. In this exclusive interview with Trade Show Executive magazine, the principals reveal how this next generation of ROI tools will document the value of trade show participation.
Dubbed “NAB Connections™”, the product went live this week, enabling attendees and exhibitors to get a head start on the NAB show which runs April 17-22 in Las Vegas. In a nutshell, the product – which is part search engine, part matchmaker — combines predictive modeling and behavioral analytics with business networking to enable exhibitors and attendees to identify and connect with each other at the show.
What was the inspiration behind this product? Bob Lucke, President of ExpoExchange, says attendees and exhibitors in large trade shows face a special challenge — navigating through tens of thousands of fellow attendees and hundreds of exhibitors to find the best business opportunities. ExpoExchange’s SmartEvent ™ technology examines all relevant data about registrants based on the profile they submitted during the registration process. The data is then run through a built-in relationship engine which categorizes them by type, for example, reseller, buyer seller, new product ideas, etc.
Chris Brown, NAB’s Senior VP of Conventions, says NAB Connections enables participants to see how they relate to others at the show, and systematically connect to the people and products that support their objectives. “NAB Connections enables each participant to create their own personalized ‘micro-event’ around themselves, boosting value and effectiveness for everyone involved.”
Users can also set up specific searches that meet their desired business match criteria or explore recommendations that SmartEvent provides. As a result, both attendees and exhibitors will undoubtedly uncover business opportunities that wouldn’t be obvious by the company name or from a product description in a show directory. Buyers and sellers can thus arrange meetings in advance of the show to better manage their time.
“Our customers looking for better ways to create and track ROI when they need it most — before the show when they are creating their budgets,” says Mike Godsey, Senior VP of Client Services for ExpoExchange. He says this new technology documents ROI for all three stakeholders in a show: attendees, exhibitors and show managers. “Attendees will be able to justify their trip, and conduct business before, during and after the show. Exhibitors will have ‘credible expectations’ to justify their participation in the show. Show organizers will be able to bring more exhibitors into the show by showing them how their companies and products relate to the event and therefore the overall opportunity.”
Here’s how the web-based portal works. The SmartEvent ™ trade show product is based on Business Relationship Optimization™ technology. It grants each registrant access through a password-protected portal immediately after registering. The system then calculates all business possibilities one could receive from the event. It then allows the users to connect to that person and set up scheduled meetings at the event. Once the show concludes, the portal remains open, allowing users to continue to achieve value from the value rich community created by the show for a pre determined period of time before the next event.
Lucke says that show organizers typically have limited knowledge about the business interactions and transactions that happen at their show “SmartEvent analyzes what happens between people during the events, and generates detailed analytic reports regarding matches, connections, meetings and business activity taking place in their event community.” As result, show managers can demonstrate quantifiable results which exhibitors and attendees achieved from their trade show participation.”