Event Tech Lab Expands Partnerships with Event Technology Start-ups

May 25, 2018

International virtual marketing and communications incubator, Event Tech Lab, is continuing to do its part to mentor and develop the next generation of event technology companies by growing its start-up partnerships. 

“There is a global remit to work with start-ups worldwide that specialize in production and logistics technology, marketing and management technology and attendee engagement technology – three areas that cover almost all event technology types,” explained James Morgan, who founded UK-based Event Tech Lab in January of 2015 as a partnership community for event tech providers and users.

He added, “These companies often do not have the contacts, communications expertise or wherewithal to communicate their products, so we help here.”

Event Tech Lab’s most recent partnership is with Rabbit, a connected lead retrieval device that enables custom branding.

Rabbit’s “Internet of Things” data-driven lead generation platform unveils visitor product preferences and movement data to event planners, data that can be used to acquire visitor lead information via the tap of a card on a reader.

Both the organizer and exhibitors as well as sponsors can set points of interest to gather leads that will automatically be synchronized with CRM systems. The technology also monitors visitor’s activity and reports back on visitor content preferences. In addition, Rabbit can work without wifi or a power supply. 

“Using Rabbit, we could analyze what type of content participants were interested in at our event which is key for real success,” said Gabriella Szanto, communications director of HUNGEXPO. “Exhibitors, in turn, could follow up on their leads the same day when they collected them.”

In addition to Rabbit, Event Tech Lab’s event tech start-up partners include:

Zenus BiometricsHelps streamline the event check-in process through facial recognition. The solution – an API that can be integrated into any registration or ticketing platform – recognizes an attendee’s facial features, checks them in and prints out the badge, facilitating individual event entry in seven seconds. 

BoomsetAutomation software solutions that provide event registration and facilitates fast entry with efficient onsite flows via self-service kiosks with on-demand printing. It also features in-show NFC tracking, area access control and session management/scheduling. Organizers can offer Boomset’s lead retrieval app, using an exhibitor’s personal devices, to scan and prioritize leads, take notes and download reports directly from the app to an email inbox for post-event follow up.

“(It was) so speedy, smooth and simple that there was never a line at ONUG 2017, never a hesitation, wait or hiccup for check in!” according to Paige Buck, partner at Kennedy Events.

MIO TechnologiesMio is a sociable and helpful robot that cruises busy shows to assist attendees. The robot can deliver merchandise, provide a sampling platform or sell items. Mio also entertains and can engage attendees in games such as Tic Tac Toe or can be used as a feedback mechanism in real-time.


EventBotsSciensio makes AI Chatbots such as Betty that allow attendees to get information about an event and venue anytime, anywhere, across multiple messaging platforms, without the need to download a new app. The solution is low-friction, delivers exceptional customer support and experience, all while saving exhibition organizers time and money by having staff available to answer basic questions.  

NvytesAn easy-to-use event marketing platform that allows show organizers and exhibitors to send customizable digital invitations through email, social media and other digital marketing options. Each project can be custom-designed to match the event’s branding, while the platform is built to serve any size show.

Giant iTabA large format touch screen tablet solution that mirrors the standard smartphone, these solutions are often used in exhibition booths as a familiar and interactive way to display content and apps. From wayfinding to displays of event apps, floor plans or exhibitor web-based technology, Giant iTabs are the same as a smartphone, just a lot bigger. 

“When it comes to showcasing apps in front of large crowds, sometimes big is beautiful,” said Judy Elvey, senior marketing manager, Europe for Cvent.

She continued, “At Cvent, we create great event technology products and we want to show them off. For this we need more than a second screen display, we want high-quality hardware that replicates the experience of a smartphone or tablet. For this, Giant iTab is perfect and we use them for all our showcase events – they support both our products and our people perfectly.”

GripAn AI-powered event networking solution that empowers professionals to facilitate quality interactions. At its core, the proprietary technology drives intelligent business recommendations through Grip’s self-learning artificial intelligence matchmaking engine. The software uses natural language processing, advanced algorithms and deep neural networks to constantly learn about the professional goals and the interests of visitors, exhibitors and sponsors. 

To join the lab, start-ups can apply or be invited, although Event Tech Lab looks for new technologies that haven’t been used or developed before, Morgan explained. 

“Companies approach us for advice way before they launch,” Morgan said. “For example, Zenus Biometrics chatted to us quite often before the launch of the facial recognition technology as they were not event specialists, so we advised on the development and market proposition before they joined the lab.”

The group also works with exhibition organizers to provide start-up pavilions, such as at International Confex and ibtm World; works with event teams at agencies and companies to help them adopt new technology, and creates a supportive community where start-ups can exchange knowledge, contacts and experiences.

Recently, Event Tech Lab extended its reach into start-up education via a partnership with UBM, GES EMEA and Easyfairs to launch the Start Up Clinic, a vehicle to mentor and help develop the next generation of event technology companies.

Start-up companies from countries across the globe, including Australia, Egypt, South Africa, Finland and Singapore applied for the program, with 15 finalists chosen and then whittled down to four winners: UK-based Event Pro Finder; U.S.-basedNvytes; Russian-based Radarioand Canadian-based Snöball

This “Class of 2018” will be mentored by experts within the sponsoring companies on their product proposition and development in an effort to point these fledgling companies in the right direction to succeed. 

Meanwhile, mentors will be collaborating with each company and building customized mentoring programs, meeting with the start-ups on a bi-monthly basis and potentially take these technologies for a spin at live events. 

To learn more about Event Tech Lab, go HERE.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.