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technology34 www.exhibitionnews.co.ukIt's not just lead reporting innovation that has captured registration companies. european-based registration company n200 is focused on bettering the quality of visitors to a show by encouraging exhibitors to entice them there in the first place. head of UK operations Peter Phillips said its latest registration software innovations make it easier for exhibitors to invite their clients to a show. he admitted exhibitors were initially resistant to such ideas for two reasons: Because they wanted to meet new potentials and it was the organiser's responsibility to attract them; and so they didn't have to release their customer database to a third party. In the last year, n200 has extended capabilities of its n200 enter platform to allow exhibitors to embed an organiser's promotional material via a URl into their own campaigns and invite customer and prospects directly. the software can also be used to see who has responded and track show campaigns."this has helped with an uplift in visitor numbers and a reduction in no-shows because it's a direct relationship between the exhibitor and visitor," Phillips claimed. "It has changed the dynamic of how you market an exhibition. the exhibition organiser sees the benefits and looks at ways to maximise opportunities and incentives. the organisers we have been working with are then employing staff to contact their exhibitors and show them how to maximise this opportunity. "It's fully automated - there is no additional costs for an organiser. you go to the registration site, pick up the unique URl then embed that into communications with clients. the exhibitor only sees who they invite."n200's second area of focus has been around developing similar tools for consumer exhibitions. traditionally, most show attendees book tickets via an agent, such as ticket Factory. Phillips said its software allowed exhibitors to sell exhibition tickets to consumers by linking to a third party's service. A different ApproAch"We're building a portfolio of content for exhibitors and visitors and getting that information in the hands of both parties at a critical point of their relationship."The first prototypes of the smartphone service were demonstrated earlier this year. Pearson said he was working on expanding its functionality out from badges to name boards and printed literature. In addition, LiveLead is being adapted to suit consumer shows, where visitors don't have name badges but still want to exchange information with an exhibitor. "Sixty per cent of connections are now smartphones. If we can get 10-20 per cent engaging with their own devices, then it will succeed enormously well," Pearson claimed. Once visitors are using the technology, Show Data can provide organisers with intelligence on the flow of visitors around their exhibition hall, highlighting hot spots and dead zones and visual profiles of the pace of business at a show. "Organisers pigeon-hole registration companies as people putting badges on the customers. We want to help to understand the flow of data in the hall and improve the show by using the registration information," Pearson added.Acquired leAd technologySO Group is also broadening the capabilities of its lead capturing system and acquired software developer Lead Reporter earlier this year to integrate its technology into its registration offering. In July, the company's SO Visit division launched two products: Visit Connect and Visit Connect Live."We want to connect pre-registration information, where people have put in their info in a clean and tidy fashion, to the lead registration process," recently installed SO Visit MD Jamie Vaughan said. Connect links to a show's visitor registration data and gives exhibitors the ability to tag each contact with an action. This could include a reference to that visitor's interest in a certain product, or the need for an exhibitor to contact an individual the next day. There are two ways of using the Connect service. Exhibitors can capture data using a traditional barcode scanner, which is then uploaded to an online lead management tool. Alternatively, using the Connect Live service, exhibitors can access and take action on a visitor's pre-registration data while talking to a visitor in real-time. The aim of Connect is to ensure exhibitors can record and disseminate the right types of information from their contact with visitors, Vaughan said. "Through the system, leads are efficiently tracked and managed," he said. For example, exhibitors can follow up the allocation of leads and the time it takes to close them."It's about collecting intelligence around the process of lead collecting at exhibitions," Vaughan added. "We make the exhibitor think about the exhibition experience and what is realistic."Melville Exhibition and Event Services recently launched its Exhibitor Dashboard, bringing its pre-show exhibitor product and services offering together with post-show reporting in one portal. The contractor also recently partnered with apps provider EventGenie to deliver apps aimed at giving visitors and exhibitors a more interactive experience at a show via a smartphone. "We've made a lot of innovations with our lead manager tool and online manual, which sit within our portfolio of organisational products," Melville commercial director Debbie Lee said. "We want to make sure that the market being developed is robust, appropriate, scalable and easy to use, so we're in the second phase of consultation with exhibitors and organisers about what they really need."Lee agreed technology innovation was critical to registration and lead capture but said any new functionality needed to be part of an integrated platform."There are a lot of disparate things going on at shows - we want to have these integrated and be simple to use," she added. other developmentsQuality Registration Services is another registration company looking to fine-tune its offering, albeit in a different fashion. In a bid to put more power into the visitor's hands, MD David Harington said it has developed the Ariadne system. The unit can be placed anywhere in the hall and used by visitors to devise a list of the stands they should visit based on their registration profile. Ariadne is not dependent on an Internet connection."When you register, you decide what you are interested in, then the system relates this back to what exhibitors will be there," Harington explained. "Conversely, a list can be provided to exhibitors. "The common thread is to make life easier for organisers and make it cheaper to provide registration services."For Circdata, innovation is being driven by giving organisers a 360-degree view of show data - from the pre-show information to an ongoing dialogue with visitors. MD James Ormiston said its Fusion data management system is the platform connecting all aspects of registration and show information. From there, Circdata bolts on new modules and applications for both exhibitors and organisers. "We're building in exhibitor zone functionality to give exhibitors more leverage," Ormiston said. On the organiser front, it is also adding functions to better manage visitor interaction. He pointed to one example where Circdata helped an organiser implement a forfeit charge for visitors who didn't attend a show they had registered for. At a visitor level, Circdata has come up with tools allowing individuals to set-up face-to-face meetings while at a show with other visitors or exhibitors. "The crux is allowing access to data efficiently," Ormiston added. "There's lots of ongoing innovation here, but all of it is about making the show a more enjoyable experience."A better exchAngeAs individuals increasingly interact with smartphone apps and social media in their day-to-day lives, they'll soon expect to do the same at exhibitions. By combining these platforms with the personal preferences of attendees, registration companies hope they can significantly improve the visitor-to-exhibitor exchange.The ultimate aim? Helping both sides find the ROI they need to continue supporting exhibitions.the biggest thing a registration company can do is get more information in the hands of visitors