After analyzing current market conditions and listening to customer feedback, six companies detailed why they brought their product solutions to market at EXHIBITOR2014.
These products from Brumark, Aluvision, MobileLeads LLC, Modern Postcard, Eventuosity and Kaon Interactive were originally introduced as part of the New Product Showcase featuring 45 products certified as never being used.
Brumark: Gloss Flex
In the past, installing 5- or 6-foot-wide white vinyl flooring inside 10 x 10 or 20 x 20 booths challenged exhibit houses. The smaller widths caused too many seams and didn’t correctly fit inside booths.
A total flooring solutions provider, Brumark spent two years working with a manufacturer to create Gloss Flex, the only 10-foot-wide high-gloss white vinyl flooring on the market.
“We listened to our clients who wanted 10-foot-wide white vinyl flooring. Nobody in the U.S. would make it in commercial or residential; nobody wanted it, except in our market. That’s not big enough for the Tarketts, Armstrongs or others to invest in making it,” explained Stacy Barnes, vice president of sales, Brumark.
Brumark and its manufacturer found the right white vinyl formula, eliminating issues of expanding, contracting or bubbling seen in other types of white vinyl flooring. The product sold out when the company received its initial purchase orders earlier this year. One of those customers, Aura XM, an experiential agency, used Gloss Flex inside its 20 x 30 booth at EXHIBITOR2014.
The flooring complemented Aura XM’s branding aesthetics of being white and clean, according to Jordan Pollacco, vice president of strategic marketing at Aura XM.
“What makes [Gloss Flex] special is it comes in a full 10-foot width. The installation saved a lot of time. We only ran two pieces in a 20 x 30 booth. Before, we had to run three pieces. It’s also easier to lay down two pieces as opposed to three. Aesthetically, we only have one seam; before, we had two seams,” he added.
Aluvision: Puck Flex
Rather than the standard wall washer lighting used at tradeshows, Aluvision, a developer and manufacturer of modular aluminum systems, designed Puck Flex, a 17-inch cold- or warm-hued LED lighting solution.
“The versatile Puck Flex can be mounted in five seconds to any wall or extrusion system. You don’t need any tools. It just drops into the frame,” explained Stephan De Mulder, senior account director, Aluvision.
Puck Flex is available with a hinged flat head for adjustable lighting up to 1,500 lumens. For exhibitors hoping to lessen drayage, the aluminum-made Puck Flex is also lightweight. Cables run in between the Puck Flex’s two extrusions, hiding cables and allowing wire management.
MobileLeads LLC: MLeads
MobileLeads LLC introduced an easier and intuitive interface for its MLeads lead-capture software after eliminating the hard-to-find features of an older interface.
“The biggest improvement on the mobile platform is we follow the rule of three clicks and a maximum five options on one screen. It’s not overwhelming. It’s very easy to get to the information,” explained Manish Gorawala, CEO and founder, MobileLeads LLC. “We also completely revamped the look and feel of our website.”
MLeads users capture leads by speaking and digitally recording contact information; scanning a business card with a camera phone; scanning a QR code on a badge or business card; or typing a quick note that is saved as an image.
“Our platform is a one-stop solution for any sized company, any sized event. Sales and marketing professionals can do lead management and event management on our platform,” added Gorawala. “The price is cost-effective; it’s like two cups of Starbucks a month. MLeads is an $8 a month subscription similar to Netflix. We also have a 30-day free trial.”
Allowing users to access data on any device, anywhere, anytime, MLeads is also available in six international languages. This is one of the reasons Gorawala said he is optimistic the software will be adopted worldwide.
Modern Postcard: Gratzie Card
Receiving handwritten ‘thank you’ or ‘nice meeting you’ notes after events is rare but treasured because of the thought that goes into them. For those lacking time or good handwriting, Modern Postcard reinvented the process of delivering handwritten notes with its Gratzie Card.
“Gratzie Card is a great way to do follow ups after a tradeshow and sales calls. You can choose images, type the note and hit submit. It goes through our system, prints and ships the next day,” explained Catherine Christman, corporate sales executive, Modern Postcard.
Users upload a CSV file with a minimum of 50 names, either through the company’s Web browser or iPhone app. A list manager allows them to type a multitude of messages designed to look handwritten.
“[In] the same time it takes to write an email, they can send a personal card. You can change the choice of typography — masculine or feminine, blue ink or black ink. There is an array of customization features,” added Christopher Foster, vice president of marketing, Modern Postcard.
To further personalize the Gratzie Card, users choose among 130 pre-set images in categories ranging from dream cities and indulgent cuisines to natural surprises and stars and galaxies.
Eventuosity: event planning app
Other event app creators focus on project management and task management; Eventuosity’s mobile app differs by allowing event planners to coordinate their crew.
“[Our app] was something we found nobody really doing in such a direct way,” said Justin Panzer, principal, Eventuosity. “[Events] are managed in spreadsheets, emails and lots of text messages. Things get lost. There are people not sure where they are supposed to be. There are so many boxes to check, and things can easily get missed.”
Managing events of five to hundreds of people, the Eventuosity app provides a road map for event staff. When they are in transit from the airport, the app provides hotel and venue details since it’s tied into Google Maps.
Rather than texting each person individually to find out who arrived, a group message could be sent through a unified inbox asking “Who’s in Las Vegas?” This same messaging tool could be used during the event to target groups who are assigned different roles. Event staff can also view their schedules, and sub-schedules for activities occurring within a large event, their tasks and calendars, among others.
Kaon Interactive: Kaon V-Rack
Technology companies spend up to $10,000 to ship 1,000-pound network server hardware to tradeshows or product launches. This fragile hardware, if it isn’t handled properly, breaks during transit, costing companies even more money on top of drayage.
For companies selling racks of equipment, they now have a 150-pound, 85-by-24-by-28-inch virtual representation to show potential clients: The Kaon V-Rack tower, with its two-screen touch functionality, displays 3D product models in multiple configurations.
“This is not a real rack but a rack we built for [clients]. No tools are required. One person uses thumb screws to attach two touchscreens together. You just need to plug it in. Everything comes in box, and it only takes 25 minutes to put together,” explained Gavin A. Finn, president and CEO, Kaon Interactive.
Another cost-saving is the variety of configurations shown in the V-Rack when just one rack at a tradeshow isn’t that diverse. The flexibility of the rack allows customers to see any number of ways the hardware could be used and allows sales people to demonstrate solutions more effectively.