Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Out with the Old. In with the New.

The ubiquity of NFC smartphones assures the end of lead retrieval as we know itan activity that requires special-purpose devices and costs exhibitors money.

In a recent interview with Exhibit City News' assistant editor Krissy Obeng, ITN's CEO Ivan Lazarev predicts that exhibitors soon will no longer need to rent lead retrieval equipment in order to capture leads at events.

"Traditional badging as we know it will disappear," according to Lazarev.

Tomorrow's event badges will be digital. Exhibitors will capture leads by bumping their NFC phones against attendees' NFC phones.

"The digital badge will be contained in a smartphone. Exhibitors will no longer rent devices from registration companies. They won’t need registration companies to get contact data," Lazarev says.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ITN Shortlisted for Prestigious Award

ITN has been shortlisted for the 2014 Event Technology Awards.

Our use of BTAGs on the IBC Media Wall has been included in the award category "Best Use of Technology at an Exhibition/Trade Show."

Winners in all categories will be announced in London tomorrow

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Proximity Technology Trending, Says FreemanXP

Team members of FreemanXP scouted the floor of EventTech 2014 in Las Vegas this week (where ITN was an exhibitor) and nominated the top tech trends in experiential marketing based on the products they saw on display.

Heading the team's nominations was proximity technology.

"Proximity technology is growing in popularity as the barrier to entry is getting lower and lower–expect wearables, RFID, NFC, and more to play a big a role in event environments moving forward," the team reported.

Monday, October 6, 2014

ITN’s BTAGs Deliver Content at NAVC Conference

When it comes to wowing attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, content is king.
That’s why the organizers of the NAVC Conference 2014 took advantage of ITN’s new BTAG to deliver attendees content by touch inside the NAVC Conference New Product Gallery.

Thirteen companies participated in the juried new-product showcase, always a popular feature of NAVC’s annual event. The organizers provided each participating company an ITN BTAG, programmed to deliver collateral materials relating to the product on display.
NAVC Conference 2014 attendees—like attendees at every B-to-B event—were hungry for new product information, and BTAG made it amazingly easy for them to acquire it.

Simply stated, a BTAG is an NFC reader or “hotspot.” When an attendee touches a BTAG with his or her badge, the device records the touch. When uploaded to ITN’s cloud, that touch is processed as a request for digital content. The content is sent to the attendee as a link via email.
In addition to functioning as an NFC reader (able to record badge-touches), the BTAG functions as an NFC tag (able to pass information to other readers). That means attendees can also use their NFC phones to interact with BTAGs.

BTAGs are compact, self-contained, battery-powered units. Each unit is Bluetooth enabled, allowing it to connect to a mobile phone and upload badge-touches to ITN’s cloud.

At your event, you can display BTAGs anywhere by affixing them to posters, signs, walls, stands, kiosks, tables or countertops.
You can assign to a BTAG any Web content (URL) you want: Websites, YouTube pages, Facebook pages, e-literature, presentations, photos, etc. Attendees who touch the BTAG with their badges receive an end-of-day email with a link to that content. Attendees who touch the BTAG with their NFC smartphones link directly to the URL.  You manage the content assigned to the BTAG through the BCARD Portal.

And because all the BTAG touches are uploaded to ITN’s cloud, they are available for tracking and analysis at any time.
ITN’s new BTAG gives organizers an innovative tool for adding value to their events. The solution is ideal for providing content that supports keynote addresses, educational sessions, sponsors’ exhibits, and special displays like the NAVC New Product Gallery. BTAGs can also be used effectively for gamifying any event.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ITN Streamlines Valet Service at EMC World

Today’s attendees want to stay connected 24/7, which means they sometimes need to recharge their mobile devices while on the go. That’s why many event producers are now offering a valet charging service at their events.
The producers of EMC World 2014 provided just such a service on their exhibit floor this May.

Instead of waiting idly at a charging station while their mobile devices recharged—wasting time better spent networking and educating themselves—EMC World attendees could drop off their devices for recharging at a service desk, and pick them up later.

The challenge to managing the flow of devices dropped off and picked up at the service desk resides in two areas. How do you quickly and accurately identify who owns which device? And how do you keep track of every device’s whereabouts.

ITN assisted by providing a simple system that addressed the challenge.
We equipped each attendant at the valet charging service desk with an easy-to-use application and an NFC reader.

When an attendee approached the service desk, the attendant asked the attendee to touch his or her badge to the NFC reader. The attendee’s record immediately popped up on the attendant’s computer screen. The attendant then recorded the activity (drop-off); keyed in a cubbyhole number (specifying the slot where the device would be stored for pickup after it was recharged); and entered a description of the device (for example, “iPhone”). All of that information was attached to the attendee’s record. In addition, two copies of a claim check were printed immediately on a local printer—one for the attendee to hold, the second to be kept with the device for identification purposes.
When an attendee later returned to the desk to pick up a device left for recharging, the attendee again touched his or her badge to the NFC reader. The badge-read triggered the attendee’s record to pop up on the attendant’s screen. The attendant entered the activity (pickup) into the record, located the device in its numbered cubbyhole, and returned the device to the attendee—all in a matter of seconds.

In addition to supporting a valet charging service, ITN’s valet service application can be used whenever attendees avail themselves of a temporary storage service at an event—a coat check, a luggage room, etc. The producers of EMC World 2014 also used the application to manage the check-out and check-in of headsets by attendees, which were made available in connection with a free onsite translation service.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Landmark for US Event Producers

NFC—the short-range wireless technology behind “touch-based” lead retrieval, access control, session scanning and other fundamental applications used at large tradeshows, conferences and corporate events—just crossed a tremendous chasm.

“Apple’s decision to include NFC in its iPhone 6 is a landmark for US event producers,” says ITN's President & CEO, Ivan Lazarev. “Apple has made NFC mainstream overnight.”

When the iPhone 6 is released to consumers on September 19, the NFC chip in the device will support mobile payments, named “Apple Pay” by the company.

However, analysts expect that future releases will open the NFC functionality in the new iPhone to developers of other applications.

“US event producers are is going to see a surge of new and important NFC applications, as soon as open NFC in the iPhone is supported,” Lazarev says.

Since 2011, the makers of Android smartphones have shipped all their products with NFC built in, while Apple—with a 42 percent share of the US smartphone market—shunned the technology.

“NFC has emerged as a key enabling technology at US events,” Lazarev says. “But until now its benefits haven’t been easily accessible to all participants, because nearly half carry iPhones.  For the past four years, we have been enabling exhibitors who use iPhones to capture leads by providing external sleeves that add NFC functionality to the phones. That workaround is effective, but will no longer be needed when every event participant—including iPhone users—will be carrying an NFC device.”

Apple’s announcement that it will include NFC in the iPhone 6 marks a clear turning point, solidifying the central role NFC will play at events for years to come.

“The game has irreversibly changed,” Lazarev says. “Apple’s decision means we will see a massive expansion in the NFC ecosystem—and ITN, as the leading provider of NFC event solutions, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of it.”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Content Feature Makes BCARD Reader All-Inclusive

Great news for exhibitors!

ITN’s lead management mobile app BCARD Reader now provides in-app lead fulfillment. The new feature allows an exhibitor to view, select and send targeted sales collateral at the moment of capture.

The Content feature of BCARD Reader supports rich media distribution from a mobile device. You can review your own online library of collateral pieces, match individual pieces to a lead’s specific interests, and send them to the lead instantly by email from within the app.
Before an event, you create your own online library of content on the BCARD Portal. You create the library by uploading PDFs, presentations, photos, audio files, Web links, YouTube pages and other collateral. The process is easy and there's no limit to the number of pieces you can upload.

At the event, you can view your content on the mobile device you’re using to capture leads. Whenever you capture a lead, you can select the content most appropriate to the individual and tap Send. That’s all there is to it!

The lead receives a custom email with links to the content you selected. Opens and click-throughs are tracked, so you can measure product interest.
There is no extra charge to use this new feature.

The new Content feature makes BCARD Reader an all-inclusive lead management tool, providing lead capture, qualification and fulfillment.

Learn more by watching a brief video.

Monday, July 14, 2014

ITN Shortlisted for Event Technology Award

News from the UK: ITN's BTAG has been shortlisted for the prestigious Event Technology Award in the category "Best Use of Technology at an Exhibition." The judges liked the way we deployed BTAGs to support the Media Wall at IBC 2013. The winner in the category will be announced at an awards ceremony 13 November in London.

You can learn more about the IBC Media Wall by watching a brief video.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Event Producers Name Top 10 Event Tech Trends

A new research report from The X Letter, The Next Tech Trends for Live Events & Experiences, explores the 10 technologies most likely to have significant impact on live events, according to a survey of event producers.

Seven of the 10 technologies included on the list are specialties of ITN:
  • Cloud-based event planning tools captured the Number 2 spot
  • The Internet of Things captured the Number 5 spot
  • Wearable technology captured the Number 6 spot
  • RFID/NFC captured the Number 7 spot
  • Beacons captured the Number 8 spot
  • Big data captured the Number 9 spot
  • Real-time attendee analytics captured the Number 10 spot  
You can download the complete report by visiting The X Letter.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

NXP Semiconductors on BTAGs

ITN's President & CEO Ivan Lazarev recently asked Jeff Fonseca, Director of Business Development & Sales, NXP Semiconductors, to explain why his company benefits by using ITN's new BTAGs at tradeshows.  Jeff says that BTAGs enable NXP to interact with attendees at every demo area in the company's booth, while tracking their specific product interests. Jeff can also share the leads generated by BTAGs with partners at the close of a show based on the leads' product interests.

Friday, May 16, 2014

NFC Hotspots Simplify Content Delivery at Cartes America 2014

Exhibitors were the beneficiaries of a big leap in content delivery technology at Cartes America 2014 this week in Las Vegas, courtesy of ITN.

ITN, the official lead retrieval provider for Cartes 2014, provided every exhibitor who ordered a lead retrieval solution a complimentary BTAG, an innovative wireless hotspot that capitalizes on near-field communication (NFC) to simplify the delivery of content to attendees.

Attendees take advantage of the self-serve hotspots by touching them with their show badges. The touch logs the attendee’s request for whatever content the exhibitor has assigned to the BTAG.

Links to that content are provided to the attendee at the end of each day of the event through an email.  A cumulative email is also sent at the close of the event with all the links assigned to all the BTAGs the attendee touched throughout the entire event.

Email opens and click-throughs are tracked by ITN’s back-end system and reported to exhibitors.

Exhibitors at Cartes America 2014 were impressed by the BTAG’s elegance.
ITN has made it easy for exhibitors to upload product information and assign it to a BTAG. And they appreciated the fact that attendees don’t need a special device to collect that content—all they need is their event badge. BTAGs make it easy for attendees to bring home sharable product info, and easy for exhibitors to identify by attendee who’s interested in their products.

As well as functioning as an NFC reader—able to read badge-touches—each BTAG is also an active NFC tag able to pass information to other readers.  As a result, attendees can also touch any BTAG with an NFC phone or tablet to acquire content. In this case, the attendee’s device simply opens the Web link assigned by the exhibitor to the BTAG.

BTAGs are self-contained, battery-powered units that can be affixed with Velcro to any surface, including posters, signs, walls, tables, counters, kiosks and other structures.  A BTAG can also be worn by booth staff, or deployed on pods supplied by ITN.

Friday, May 2, 2014

3 Global Trends in Lead Retrieval

ITN serves more than 15,000 exhibitors around the world. Our interaction with so many clients puts us in the ultimate spot for trend-watching.

Today’s exhibitors, we've noticed, yearn for many improvements in the way they capture leads at tradeshows. But three wants seem to be trending.
Exhibitors want sales-ready leads
No matter how large or small their companies, all executives want their teams to zero in on tradeshow visitors who are “sales ready.”

Distinguishing sales-ready visitors from the rest is an art, not a science; but it’s an art that technology can vastly improve.

Aided by a custom-made lead-qualification survey—one that drills down to such all-important questions as “purchasing authority” and “timing”—any team member can quickly assess who’s hot and who’s not, and respond to the opportunity properly.
When that survey resides on the lead-capture device, the exercise of consistently qualifying visitors feels natural and seamless, and becomes standard practice among the team.

Exhibitors want more leads
While placing priority on sales-ready leads, most executives also want to increase the quantity of leads their companies capture during a tradeshow. They understand that leaving a show with buckets of new leads keeps the sales pipeline filled and justifies the marketing spend.

To boost the quantity of leads collected, the exhibitor first needs to invite visitors through pre-show promotion. Fortunately, technology is available that not only makes pre-show promotion easy, but that lets exhibitors measure precisely the effectiveness of any campaign.

A pre-show campaign can be measured, for example, by storing all invitees (in the form of a “white list”) on every lead-capture device deployed in the booth. Whenever an invitee on the white list visits the booth, he or she is flagged as a respondent to the pre-show campaign.
To boost lead quantity, the exhibitor also needs to equip its onsite team with lead-management technology that helps them raise the level of visitor engagement and lengthen visitors’ “dwell time” in the booth.

Blending gamification with lead capture and qualification is one way many exhibitors are increasing engagement. 
So that the team’s goal to capture more leads doesn’t conflict with its mandate to focus on sales-ready ones, some exhibitors are also deploying “self-serve” technology that allows visitors to qualify themselves while they explore the booth.

Exhibitors want CRM-compatible leads

Finally, more than ever, executives want to capture leads that are suitable for import into CRM systems.
There’s good reason for this. Best practice shows that an exhibitor’s sales-conversion rate climbs when its tradeshow leads are successfully incorporated into the company’s CRM system.

Two factors determine the exhibitor’s ability to import show leads into a CRM: the harmony between its lead-qualification survey and the data fields in its CRM; and the availability of a “connector” that retrieves the lead data and updates the CRM.

Seem familiar?

If your company is experiencing these trends, it’s smart to consider a custom lead retrieval solution from ITN. With a custom solution, we can help you improve your lead-management process and results significantly.

To learn more, contact Mike Sorgani at 

Monday, March 31, 2014

International CES Attendees Enjoy Bottleneck-free Badging

"The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) set out to revamp the attendee experience at its 2014 show and pulled it off, due in large part to ITN International, " says Margo Pierce, writing for EXPO Magazine.

In an effort to reduce waste and leverage technology, show managementfor the first time in International CES' history—did not mail badges to attendees before the event, Piece explains.

That meant every attendee's badge had to be generated on demand.

With more than 155,000 attendees descending on Las Vegas, all eager to pick up their credentials and dash into the show, ITN had to assure that onsite badge production and distribution was bottleneck-free.

And it did.

"Anyone could pick up their badges at virtually any time—almost anywhere," Pierce writes.

A citywide network of badge production stations was the answer.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Exhibitors Capture Leads from NFC Digital Badges

A purpose-built release of ITN’s BCARD Reader let exhibitors at Mobile World Congress 2014 capture leads from the digital NFC badges many attendees carried on their phones at the Barcelona mega-show in February.

Attendees participating in the “NFC Experience,” an onsite program designed by show management to provide a bundle of event-enhancing NFC services, received one especially practical, time-saving amenity: an NFC digital badge. The NFC digital badge allowed attendees to gain access to the venue without repeatedly needing to show a physical photo ID at the entrances. Instead, attendees accessed the venue through dedicated entrance lanes, where they simply tapped a reader with their phones.

According to show management, 10,000 attendees took advantage of the NFC digital badge.

So that exhibitors could capture leads from attendees’ NFC digital badges, ITN adapted BCARD Reader to read those badges both on Android and WP8 phones.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Partnership Lets Exhibitors Capture Leads with Their Own iPhones

DeviceFidelity and ITN International joined forces at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona to provide exhibitors an enhanced “NFC Experience” on iOS.
Using DeviceFidelity-powered Cashwrap cases for the iPhones, exhibitors were provided a unique opportunity to read conference badges with ITN’s lead retrieval app BCARD Reader using NFC on iPhone 5S, 5, 4S, and 4.
The joint effort between the companies assured that iPhone-carrying exhibitors could also capitalize on the NFC Experience promoted by show manager GSMA, in partnership with DeviceFidelity and Incipio. 
The NFC Experience allowed attendees at Mobile World Congress to use their iPhones as show badges, as well interact with signs and posters throughout the event. The official GSMA Mobile World Congress show app worked with the NFC cases, and included digital food coupons for use on site, as well as access to content at citywide NFC hotspots.
DeviceFidelity worked with ITN to allow ITN’s BCARD Reader also to run on iPhones equipped with a Cashwrap case, as well as on iPads using DeviceFidelity iCaisse products, so exhibitors could capture leads with their iOS devices.

Monday, March 17, 2014

ITN and InGo Partnering to Boost Attendance of Super Mobility Week

ITN plans to integrate InGo’s social networking tool with its registration Website for Super Mobility Week.

InGo’s tool will allow registered attendees to invite key individuals from their social networks to attend the mammoth event.

The tool also enables attendees to see who within their networks will be attending.

“We’re very excited to launch this new partnership with InGo” says Ivan Lazarev, President & CEO, ITN. “Our collaboration will further differentiate us as a leader in the marketplace and allow our client CTIA to accelerate the growth of its event and gain insight into the demographics that drive the event’s value.”

“This partnership is a comprehensive one, including go-to-market teaming, technical collaboration and custom solution development,” says Michael Barnett, CEO, InGo. “Looking down the line, I am most excited about the information-rich lead analysis that ITN will be able to provide CTIA as a result of this partnership.”

Anchored by two CTIA tradeshows—CTIA 2014 and MobileCON—Super Mobility Week will represent the largest technology event in the second half of 2014, hosting thousands of mobile professionals and executives, 1,100+ exhibitors, and 1,000+ media and analysts.

The event takes place September 9-11 in Las Vegas.

ITN is the official registration and lead retrieval provider for Super Mobility Week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Exhibitor NXP Uses BTAGs to Deliver Branded Content

ITN's new BTAG is a touch marketing tool that boosts the impact of presentations and demonstrations. A live NFC touchspot, BTAG delivers content whenever an attendee touches it with his or her event badge or NFC smartphone. BTAG lets attendees take home branded content in the easiest way imaginable—by turning their badges and phones into “digital tote bags.” Learn how exhibitor NXP used BTAGs at Mobile World Congress 2014.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

NFC Gets Thumbs Up

EventTechBrief reports that International CES is pleased with its decision to use NFC badges at its 2014 show.

Laurie Lutz, Vice President of CES Operations, told the newsletter she was pleased with the advantages the technology offers.

“NFC is the best technology to use, bar none. It’s easy to manage the data. It allows unlimited options on what you can do on site, whether it’s access control, ticketing, lead management or games. It’s fast, versatile, very simple in any environment and makes updates instantly,” Lutz said.

Lutz said it was ITN's mastery of NFC that attracted her organization to the company in the first place. 

“We wanted the International CES to be on the leading edge and make sure that we were taking advantage of the best and most innovative technology out there,” Lutz said.

Innovations in the credentialing process came into play as well.

ITN's ability to distribute onsite badge production citywide allowed International CES for the first time to forego mailing registrants their badges before the show.

“We had over 30% of people pick up their badges at remote locations we set up like the airport or 15+ official hotels before they even arrived at the show," Lutz said.

"It was amazing seeing so many people step right off the shuttle buses or taxis with their badges and be able to walk right into the show."

Read the full story.

Friday, January 31, 2014

ITN's FastTrack Cart. Distributed Event Check-In Simplified.

ITN's new FastTrack Cart is a mobile badge production unit ideal for generating badges at remote locations such as hotel and airport lobbies.

Custom-built of metal and plastic, the cart is compact, lightweight and easily portable. Rubber wheels make it easy to roll the cart over both carpeted and uncarpeted areas.

The central design component of the cart is its removable tray. The tray provides for all power management, connectivity and supplies. Because of the tray, the cart presents registrants with a clean, well-organized desktop when the cart is in operation. In addition, the removable tray can be used with other suitable furnishings (kiosks, tables, desks, etc.) without use of the cart.
Both the cart and the tray are optimized for rapid setup. Total installation takes less than five minutes. A single socket is provided for power and a single socket for Internet connection, and the unit’s large storage capacity allows for enough supplies to serve hundreds of registrants. A custom-built lid and straps also eliminate the need to dismantle the cart at night, and provide for secure overnight storage of all hardware and supplies.

The cart can be branded on three sides. Multiple carts can be networked locally.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Intel Free Press Likes ITN's NFC "Smart Badges"

Intel Corporation's Free Press has nothing but glowing praise for ITN's NFC-enabled "smart badges."

"The so-called Internet of Things is expected by industry watchers to be among the major themes at International CES in Las Vegas," Free Press writes. "More everyday objects are becoming 'smart' and that extends to the trade show badges attendees wear at the annual consumer electronics industry gathering."

That "smartness" is thanks in large part to the embedded NFC chips provided by NXP Semiconductor.

"The intent of the smart badges with wireless chips is to ease information exchanges in situations such as checking in at booths and events as well as storing information like lunch tickets for media attending the show," Free Press says.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BTAG: Your Content at a Touch

ITN's latest innovation, BTAG, is a near-field communication (NFC) hotspot that delivers content whenever an attendee touches it with his or her event badge or NFC smartphone.

BTAGs allow attendees to gather content during your event in the easiest way imaginable—by turning their NFC badges into “digital tote bags.”

BTAGs give you an innovative new tool for communicating throughout your event:
  • BTAGs are ideal for event producers who provide content for education, marketing or customer experience enhancement. They're also the perfect solution for exhibitors who want to enhance an in-booth demonstration or presentation by providing attendees collateral.
  • BTAG is a BCARD Reader (able to capture badge-touches) and an NFC tag (able to pass information to other readers). That means attendees can also use their NFC phones to interact with BTAGs.
  • You can assign to a BTAG any Web content (URL) you choose: microsites, e-literature, video, audio, slides, etc. Attendees who touch the BTAG with their badges receive an email with a link to your content. Attendees who touch the BTAG with their NFC smartphones link directly to the URL.
  • You manage the content assigned to the BTAG through the BCARD Portal. You can change the content at any time.
  • On site, you can deploy BTAGs anywhere by affixing them to posters, signs or any surface; or by asking your representatives to carry them.
  • Every BTAG is a self-contained unit, powered by a battery that lasts up to seven days. Each unit is Bluetooth enabled, allowing it to connect to a mobile phone and upload badge-touches in real time to the BCARD Portal, so you get a live picture of attendees’ interest in your content.