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Meetings technology firm The Active Network today launched a
suite of mobile solutions for its Business Solutions division, which includes
StarCite, that allows meeting organizers to create event-specific apps and
offers a gamification component and mobile QR code scanner.
The HTML5-based Business Solutions mobile suite features
individual options for meeting organizers, marketers, attendees and suppliers,
said Anthony Miller, vice president of strategy for Active's Business Solutions
division. Pricing will vary based on the tools selected and use of other Active
products, he said.
"We try to think of all the different stakeholders—organizers,
attendees and suppliers—and the range their needs, from simple to complex, and
try to put the right solutions in the hands of the right people for what they
need," Miller said.
Once organizers create downloadable apps for attendees of
individual meetings, they can sell sponsorships on the apps. Organizers also
can use gamification elements to, for example, display a leaderboard of
attendees who have visited the most show booths or filled out the most surveys,
"We wanted to make sure that if we created
gamification, we understood why we were doing it and what the purpose
was," Miller said. "It helps to deepen the engagement with an
attendee and helps to track the engagement to achieve the things they want to
achieve. Gamification is a buzzword that's been around for a while now, but we
believe that the technology and the understanding of the practical application
of it is at a mature enough point that it can deliver great results."
Meanwhile, a built-in reader of QR codes—the square,
black-and-white barcodes designed to be scanned by mobile devices—allows
attendees to exchange information without business cards. "We really
believe this is a game-changer for our industry in the way people network at
events and connect with each other," Miller said.
While the Business Solutions suite can help users create
apps, it is not a downloadable app itself. Miller noted that Active in recent
years experimented with downloadable apps due to customer demand, but felt
constrained. "We found that in the fast-moving, real-time world of events,
our ability to update the application was quite slow," he said. "You
have to submit updates through app stores, and that can take a while to be
approved. It didn't allow us the flexibility that we wanted and needed. So we
very quickly skipped on to HTML5."
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