18th June 2012
Sherpa currently offers a mobile app platform called ActivTouch and a Wi-Fi heat map system called ActivMetrics.
ActivTouch was awarded EIBTM’s WorldWide Technology award in 2010 and is used by some of the largest show organisers, such as Reed US, Reed Latin America, Business Journals, Questex, Penton and Nielsen, to name a few. It equips exhibitors and attendees to achieve their objectives by helping them connect with each other and stay-on-track while on-site.
Sherpa is releasing its ActivTouch version 2 this summer which will feature, among other things, an upgraded, fully customisable skin, a brand new architecture allowing for greater flexibility with last minute edits and an in-depth analytics dashboard which will give our clients the most detailed metrics currently on the market.
ActivMetrics is a Wi-Fi heat map system that tracks attendees by their mobile devices and accurately measures on-site traffic throughout the show floor in real time, giving organisers a unique insight into attendee behaviour. ActivMetrics is currently the only system of its kind on the market.
The system is made up of small, battery-operated sensors that are positioned throughout the show floor creating enough zones to provide optimal coverage. They are easily installed within a few hours and then are collected after the show. They do not require the use of the venue’s built-in Wi-Fi infrastructure or electrical services and are immune to interferences.
ActivTouch has always been one of the most advanced platforms on the market with extensive search functions of exhibitors, products and sessions, as well of a host of intuitive features that allow users to find new and interesting material at a touch of button. It is one of the very few platforms on the market that generates significant new revenue streams of organisers. We work very hard to ensure ActivTouch not only generates new revenue for our clients, but also plays a pivotal role in their events. We are proud to say that our clients have generated millions of dollars by using ActivTouch.
The reason organisers would use ActivMetrics is to discover how they could generate new revenue with their current floor plan. For example, ActivMetrics is the key to dynamic booth pricing based on location and timing. Exhibitors want to invest in the booth that gives them the most value, whether it's at the centre of the show floor or an area frequented by a specific demographic. ActivMetrics arms organisers with accurate data to deliver better value and better offerings to their exhibitors.
With ActivTouch, I love all the search functions and the 'Book Appointment' and 'Request Callback' buttons in featured exhibitor listings. It makes it so easy to find the exhibitors I know, discover ones I might be interested in by category-based searches, and the appointment and callback requests let me initiate contact with must see exhibitors even before I arrive at a show. It’s like being able to start the show even before it opens.
One of the most interesting features of ActivMetrics happens when you use it in conjunction with ActivTouch. Because ActivMetrics monitors phones, when it picks up a phone using ActivTouch, it is able to record the attendee’s registration info. What this means for organisers is that they can know things like 45% of people at a particular session were doctors from LA. This arms organisers with detailed show floor traffic data.
Our products are best suited to organisers of larger tradeshows and conferences who want to make a difference in the experience of their event and who also want to generate additional revenue. Tradeshow floors are important because without exhibitors, organisers won’t find many sponsors. Conferences use ActivTouch because of its advanced data management features. For example, ActivTouch cross lists sessions by speaker, time, date and track.
ActivMetrics is for organisers who want to learn about their event’s attendee traffic patterns and then see how they can leverage these numbers and turn them into new revenue. ActivMetrics works for any sized event.
As mentioned, Sherpa will be releasing it’s ActivTouch version 2 this summer and three additional modules will be added to the platform that are very exciting: SmartRoute, SmartReview and SmartItem. SmartReview is a brand new search engine within the app that factors in the users' preferences and then creates a detailed list of all products, exhibitors and sessions they may be interested in. This then takes the user to SmartRoute, which organises the their favourites from SmartReview and then factors in the schedule. It will then show them the best route through the show floor to see everything and everyone they need to. For example, if a user has 1.5 hours between sessions, the app will show them the most efficient route and suggested time with each exhibitor they need to take so they can see everything they need to, while not being late for their next session.
While SmartReview and SmartRoute were created for attendees, SmartItem is a module that both exhibitors and organisers can be very excited about. SmartItem is a QR Code bookmarking system. Our clients are very enthusiastic about this technology because it represents a completely new revenue stream. Every exhibitor will have self-adhesive QR Code stickers for as many products as they like. These codes will be linked to a product page within the app that has a description, photo, handouts, etc. Anyone who is using ActivTouch can go to a booth, quickly scan a code with the app’s built-in QR code scanner and the app bookmarks the product with all its relating info. The user can also request the exhibitor give them a call-back or they can share the info with both app users and non-users. What makes this a great tool for exhibitors is that it physically brings buyers into their booths, they will be able to see their return on investment. It is also another avenue for buyers to contact them.
As organisers become increasingly tech savvy, they will begin to pick up new technologies for their events faster and faster. Which means in the next few years, the event industry is going to change dramatically in the way we use technology and more importantly, what we expect from it. New technologies like mobile apps will stop being add-ons to an event and start playing a pivotal role in how people interact, connect and do business. Mobile technology is exceptionally interesting in terms of growth and use in the industry because of the unprecedented adoption of smartphones in general.
It is important for organisers to invest in technologies or procedures that give them detailed event intelligence because, as the market continues to become more and more competitive, it will be the organisers who have the most knowledge who will be able to meet the demands of their stakeholders. And as technology evolves, this data is becoming increasingly more accessible, so at this point there isn’t a reason to start investing.
The ActiveTouch homepage.