The green event platform

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
When walking out of an event, you’ve often got your pockets full of lanyards, the odd free pen, and more importantly, business cards galore. While most people are likely to add them to a pile in a drawer, Poken, has decided to go one step further, by not only collecting things but connecting people on a green digital platform. “With Poken it’s possible to go green while boosting almost every aspect of an event, since the digital ‘touch’ makes it so easy to network and obtain qualified leads,” Stephane Doutriaux founder of Poken tells EN. The firm provide the tools and technology for trade show managers, exhibitors and event organisers to create interactive and exciting events, while measuring their ROI through the use of Poken’s patented and brandable USB sticks. Doutriaux says these USB’s allow visitors to collect any information they’re interested in, with a touch. “Poken makes it possible for events of all sizes (generally 400 visitors to over 20,000 visitors) to go green. By touching their USB-stick poken to another poken, visitors exchange business cards with each other or with an exhibitor. “By touching their poken to a digital sticker (Touchpoint) on an exhibitor’s booth or in the conference hall, they collect digital documents (the presenter’s slide deck, product information, etc). “Since everyone in an event gets equipped with a give-away ‘reader’ attached to their badge (the small USB-memory-stick-form-factor Poken device), it creates an environment where everyone networks a lot more and engages with exhibitors on a whole other level.” The firm originally focused on boosting networking, and connecting the real world with all the burgeoning online tools such as LinkedIn and Dropbox, that make business follow up much more efficient. “I started thinking: Why are most of the people I am connected with on LinkedIn not the ones I have actually interacted with in the real world? I get digital invites from people I’ve never met, but all the people I meet that are relevant to my business, rarely make it into my LinkedIn because it’s so tedious to search and connect with each person individually,” he adds. “The idea behind Poken was to be able to ‘poke’ people and things (documents) and that they would then just magically be stored in my online business tools. That’s pretty much what we have achieved.” More than 1,600 event clients have used Poken’s tool set for live events in the past 18 months, as the firm caters worldwide, with local teams located in the USA, Switzerland, France, the UK, Mexico (covering LatAm), South Africa, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Poken can count the likes of travel industry trade show Indaba, American Express Meetings & Events, Fira de Barcelona, UBM and Novartis as key clients. “We are particularly proud of our work with the International Olympic Committee – the past two editions of the Youth Olympic Games (Innsbruck 2012, Nanjing 2014) used Poken as the core web, mobile, and visitor engagement platform.” Expanding further, the firm recently joined forces with leading service provider for exhibitions and events in France, Tech-Event, to provide advanced ‘touch-to-collect’ technology to the French events market. While working side-by-side on a number of shows the two companies found their teams had great synergies and enjoyed working together. “This merger will boost the collaboration on sales, marketing, and event deployment. We’re keen to find similar partners in other countries,” he says. “From a product perspective we want to continue building the key features that make it relevant for every event to use Poken. Our original challenge was that we provided digital business card swapping, but we weren’t well integrated into the basic, yet mandatory processes: registration, badge issuance, exhibitor management platforms. “For the past 18 months we have been able to cater completely seamlessly to almost any event, having integrated with all registration platforms, and built enough of the core event tech pieces ourselves that we can deliver what most legacy event technology players can, but with better results.” From a business perspective, Doutriaux says, Poken hopes to continue with its fast-paced growth. “The industry has reacted with surprise, and excitement with our products. “I think that many people sensed that this kind of tool would be useful for all event stakeholders, but nobody had come up with the right mix: the right set of tools and the right business model.” This article was first published in the November issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Elsewhere on EN

Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Industry initiative Fast Forward 15 is looking for its third intake of mentees.
ESSA partners with Department for International Trade

ESSA partners with Department for International Trade

The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) has announced it has entered into a partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) aimed at giving members resources for overseas trading.
Hiring companies announced for The Eventice

Hiring companies announced for The Eventice

Apprentice-style competition The Eventice has announced that Bluehat Group, Artexis Easyfairs and Identity Group will be offering event industry roles to the winners.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.
2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

Sarah Mayo, marketing director EMEA, Freeman and FreemanXP talks about her new role, playing golf with Westlife and the skills needed in our industry.

Latest News

Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Industry initiative Fast Forward 15 is looking for its third intake of mentees.
ESSA partners with Department for International Trade

ESSA partners with Department for International Trade

The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) has announced it has entered into a partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) aimed at giving members resources for overseas trading.
Hiring companies announced for The Eventice

Hiring companies announced for The Eventice

Apprentice-style competition The Eventice has announced that Bluehat Group, Artexis Easyfairs and Identity Group will be offering event industry roles to the winners.

Latest Galleries

London Boat Show 2017

London Boat Show 2017

Award-winning British actress Joanna Lumley OBE was on hand when the London Boat Show officially opened to crowds at ExCeL London.
NHM’s last dance with Dippy

NHM’s last dance with Dippy

The Natural History Museum hosted a New Year celebration for 600 revellers to make history and be part of the final event with the iconic Dippy the Diplodocus in the Hintze Hall.
Christmas lunch at ExCeL

Christmas lunch at ExCeL

Mash Media, ExCeL London and Brand Events came together with other industry bodies to host a festive lunch across East End London for Newham communities.

Latest Opinions

10 years in the making

10 years in the making

As the association has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years, Andrew Harrison, ESSA director talks achievements, expertise and knowledge.
The Dealmaker in January

The Dealmaker in January

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
‘We are the torchbearers’

‘We are the torchbearers’

Julian Agostini, Mash Media MD, on the importance of sticking to your guns and not making excuses.