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Events attendees get ‘goody bag’ without the waste
Last updated 05:00, January 26 2015
A Wellington company’s “virtual goody bag” will be part of the actual goody bag at Australasia’s largest technology expo in May this year.
With more than 20,000 visitors from 30 countries expected to attend CeBIT in Sydney, SmartShow is gearing up for the next phase of expansion.
The company produces a smartphone app, called ShowGizmo, which has been used at more than 450 events around the world.
ShowGizmo provides a generic platform from which smartphone technology is used to connect consumers to events, available across a variety of platforms including mobile web, iPhone, and Android devices.
App users can scan for information on exhibitors at an event, provide feedback to the organisers, receive real-time updates and even access a showroom map, all from their smartphone, or “virtual goody bag”.
Last week, the company landed the contract to provide the app for this year’s CeBIT technology expo, the largest of its kind in Australasia.
SmartShow managing director Frances Manwaring said the company was thrilled to have been selected.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for increased exposure internationally, particularly at such a cutting-edge technology event.
“From our perspective, being selected as the 2015 app underscores our position as one of the top apps globally and recognises our commitment to an ongoing ambitious development roadmap to keep us at the top of the pile.”
Manwaring said one of the things that set the app apart from its competitors was an integration feature created specifically for the event.
Integration with LinkedIn would automatically populate attendees’ profiles and open up the ability to share activities. The 450 exhibitors, meanwhile, could transfer information to the app in real time.
Chief executive Marie-Claire Andrews said this effectively eliminated the need for lots of pamphlets and fliers, and allowed event organisers to obtain direct feedback on their shows.
Deutsche Messe chief operating officer Jan-Peter Lauchart, who organises CeBIT, said the app was an international market-leader, with features which set it apart from the previous event apps the expo had used.
The company estimated there were in excess of 20 million events in the world every year.
Use of the ShowGizmo app can range in price from $1000 for the most basic package to $8000 for a fully customised event.
SmartShow travelled to the Middle East twice in six months over 2012 and 2013 to showcase its technology, where it hoped to secure rights on an event app for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix.
Bahrain’s government has claimed hosting the Formula One was worth over $1.5 billion to the local economy since the race meet began in 2004.
Manwaring said the company had provided an app at the circuit where the grand prix was held, but was still negotiating for the main event.
“The Middle East has been a slow-burner largely because selling there is so dependent on building relationships and trust.
“You really need to be seen to be there for several years before people went to engage, so we’ve done a lot of profile raising through sponsoring events like the Middle East Event Show, The Bahrain Business Ladies and Bahrain Social Media networks.”
Manwaring said SmartShow would need to look at overseas investment before expanding properly to the United States.
First, the company wanted to consolidate its position as the top events app in Australasia and continue expansion in the Middle East.
“We’re currently planning our next phase of expansion – watch this space.”
– The Dominion Post