The organisers of Confex – an international conference for event organisers – have chosen New Zealand-developed smartphone and web application ShowGizmo, as the official web-and-smartphone application for the Confex 2011 event in London in March.
ShowGizmo helps visitors and exhibitors keep in touch with one another during an event, in the process accumulating statistics on who visits which stand and which kinds of exhibit or promotion are proving most successful at attracting traffic. This assists participants to measure return on investment, says the developer, Wellington company SmartShow.
Both exhibitors and visitors maintain a profile on ShowGizmo, which can be transferred from one show to the next under a suitable licence. The application helps companies and prospects stay in touch between shows.
SmartShow developed ShowGizmo in collaboration with web developer Enspiral. It featured last year at the CIO Summit in July and ITEX in November, both produced by Bright Star, IDC and Computerworld publisher Fairfax Media.
SmartShow is in discussion with NZ Trade and Enterprise over initiatives for the Rugby World Cup 2011 and has responded to Tourism NZ’s recent Request for Proposal for imaginative mobile applications, says the company's international market development manager, Marie-Claire Andrews.
The Confex 2011 deal, however, was done without the trouble of a competitive tender. “I just picked up the phone and pitched it,” Andrews says. There is competition in the market internationally but ShowGizmo, she believes, scores in allowing organisers to set up a web-resident virtual event site, which can carry over information between successive occurrences of the physical event.
Perhaps surprisingly in view of straitened financial conditions, the trade-show market is burgeoning, Andrews says. In spite of the growth of online retailing and promotion “some products and services are still better sold direct”. However, the market is becoming more regionalised, she says. Confex 2011 is expecting 14,000 attendees, 13,000 of which are likely to be UK-based.