How to create interactive Association events.

Professional Associations play an important role in many industries. The events organized by these organizations provide great opportunities for networking and developing new skills.

The American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) is a national non-profit association dedicated to developing cosmetology, beauty and wellness as a career of choice through the professional education of beauty students, beauty educators and beauty school owners/administrators.

The association specializes in updating its members with information about new teaching methods and current industry trends through a series of seminars, conferences and conventions held throughout the year.

In this years’ Spring Operations Conference, AACS partnered with Poken to create a dynamic networking environment, and an interactive experience for participants through the distribution of digital content offline. Equipped with poken devices, all 530 event participants could digitally exchange their contact details with other Association members, and collect from pokenTAGS session handouts, power point presentations, and information about products being exhibited at the conference.

The success of the event was confirmed by the 62,000+ poken interactions registered between participants, the 13,000+ digital materials collected from pokenTAGS, and the feedback survey implemented by AACS, which revealed that 98% of respondents loved or liked the “Poken experience” at the event.

To discover how Poken can help you create interactive and dynamic events, visit our new site:

E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards recognize Poken's innovation in the event industry.

Poken has been awarded silver in the 2012 E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards, a prize that recognizes excellence and innovation in tradeshows and events. Winners in each category were unveiled last Friday in Baltimore, USA. Poken submitted a case study on ABB’s Automation and Power World tradeshow, in the category Best Use of Integrated Media in a Sponsorship.

Our touch-marketing platform and NFC+ products were implemented at the 2011 edition of ABB’s annual premier event, hosted in Orlando, Florida. Poken was integrated to the event’s registration system and lead generation strategy.

Participants exchanged digitally all their contact details with each other and with vendors, and exhibitors engaged booth visitors distributing digital content (videos, photos, presentations, links etc) about their products, while generating high quality sales leads.

As a result, in only 4 days, there were more than 121,000 contact details exchanges between the 4000+ attendees, and more than 25,000 digital brochures were collected from pokenTAGS during the event.

A feedback survey implemented by ABB revealed that 89% of participants enjoyed the “Poken experience” at the tradeshow, which led ABB to include Poken in the 2012 edition of its Automation and Power World.

This prize gives our team even more motivation to continue developing products and solutions to create engaging experiences for event participants, and provide return on investment to organizers and sponsors.

You can find the complete list of winners for the 2012 E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards here.

Poken announces exclusive UK partnership with event supplier Smart AV.

Event supplier Smart AV has partnered with Poken to offer our touch-based solutions for events and tradeshows in the UK.

Smart AV is very excited to become the exclusive UK Partner for Poken. We are constantly striving to stay at the forefront of new technology, and adding a social media product which incorporates NFC technology to our extensive interactive product portfolio is an exciting prospect,” said Darren Poultney, Managing Director of Smart AV.

Established in 2005, Smart AV UK is an Audio Visual, IT and interactive supplier to some of the World’s most prestigious exhibitions, conferences and events. The company works in partnership with Associations, Charities, Exhibition Organizers, Stand Builders and Design Agencies around the globe.

Its forward thinking attitude towards innovation, and its highly respected reputation within the exhibition, conference, and events marketplace makes Smart AV Poken’s ideal UK partner.

Meet us at IMEX 2012, in Frankfurt.

Once again, the Poken team will be present at IMEX, the essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, taking place in Frankfurt, from May 22th to 24th.

With more than 3,700 hosted buyers and 3,500 exhibitors from 157 countries (representing national tourist offices, major hotel groups, airlines and destination management companies), IMEX is THE place to be!

Poken will be showcasing its touch-marketing platform and NFC+ products. Discover how you can revolutionize your events with our innovative and simple solutions to generate high quality leads, get unprecedented insight into people’s interests, and boost networking between participants.

Meet us at the Tech Tap village, Halle 8 of the Messe Frankfurt, to get a FREE Poken. You won’t miss us. Our booth is all GREEN!

See you there!

Experience Poken's touch-marketing platform in London.

Poken is the technology sponsor of the “Meetings Innovator London Summit”. The one-day encounter will showcase new interactive technologies for events, as well as provide useful insight about the future of the industry.

It’s a great opportunity for meeting technology decision makers, top executives and event planners to experience the latest innovation in action, including Poken’s touch-marketing platform and the Poken Media Wall.

Access to senior level executives and attendees from the world’s top companies, who are at the forefront of shaping the future of the event industry.

Panel discussions with recognized thought leaders on the latest technologies, shaping tomorrow’s events today. Sharing ideas and best practices to keep you up to date on industry changes, and how to create and run more successful events.

Strictly limited vendor involvement to maintain a laser focus on participating, networking, learning and living an interactive experience that may change your entire mindset about how you run your future events.

Pre-Register now for free to attend the “Meetings Innovator London Summit” on Thursday 7th June (British Library Conference Centre).

Why is Poken the leading Content Management System for NFC?

By Stéphane Doutriaux, Founder & CPO, Poken.

In the past few years a number of Startups have successfully grown new low-cost SaaS offerings that are disrupting the market. Old-timers like IBM (FileNet), EMC (Documentum), Microsoft (SharePoint) are facing new competition from the likes of Alfresco,, Egnyte, Dropbox, etc. These traditionally hardware-intensive services have successfully moved to the cloud, and achieved the scalability and reliability expected from the toughest enterprise customers.

This reflects an emerging trend that hardware be associated with a service – an attempt at making complex technology disappear, in favor of simple and clean configuration interfaces. Such an evolution puts powerful technologies in the hands of more people, increasing opportunities and overall business growth.

When will NFC finally hit the market?

People often ask of NFC “When will it finally hit the market”? A question whose answer is not straightforward, as Near Field Communication is a technology that, without being associated with a service, does not provide utility in itself. Following the trend driven by cloud computing, only recently have end-to-end solutions started appearing, using NFC as part of new and exciting value propositions.

Poken is leading the way with an end-to-end platform that combines cloud-based services that manage content, devices that help integrate users and function, and mobile UIs that extend the reach and manageability of it all. NFC is a small yet powerful piece that sits in the middle, providing the soul of a full-featured touch-based experience.

We refer to Poken’s offering as a “Content Management System, for NFC”. How can Poken’s platform be characterized? What is the role of a CMS in deploying touch-based services? And How has Poken overcome the market challenges inherent to NFC, to achieve its lead?

Read on for answers.

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Prepare your business for the NFC revolution.

NFC is a growing component of mobile marketing and lead generation. The technology creates innovative possibilities for advertisers and brands to engage their customers in new and exciting ways. But very few industry professionals understand what NFC really is and how the technology can be implemented.

The NFC Bootcamp is a hands-on NFC training designed to help retailers, brands and marketing agencies gain insight into the marketing capabilities of NFC, expand reach of campaigns, and drive sales. Being offered regularly in different cities around the globe, the course has brought together many of the leading technology businesses involved in the creation of the NFC ecosystem.

Touch-Marketing Kit

Those who sign up for the Atlanta, London or New York sessions will have the opportunity to meet Stephane Doutriaux, Poken’s founder. During the boot camp, you will be trained to create a touch-marketing campaign using our Partner Tools.

You will also be given the opportunity to pass our Poken Apprentice certification, walking away with a complete touch-marketing kit, which includes tags, pokens, smart posters, and free access to our Partner Hub.

If you are interested in joining the NFC Bootcamp, which includes a full half-day of hands-on touch marketing campaign creation using the Poken platform, refer to


What makes a company successful?

By Stéphane Doutriaux

From the onset, Poken has been driven by passion. The utility that we’ve built into our products derives from a passionate desire to make things simpler, more colorful, more social, and more fun.

Making things simple, fun and social can only be done by people who have those traits within them. The energy that flows between all members of our team is what is delivered into our products and our business.

But how do we keep this positive energy flowing? How do we communicate it throughout our organization, so that it can be replicated by all those joining us?

I’ve been asked many times to show an organization chart, but it just didn’t feel right to show it in a traditional, pyramid form. I couldn’t figure out how to effectively communicate how ideas flow, how process flow, and how information circulates to make things happen.

I searched online and found caricatures of the structure of organizations that we hate, that we love, and that we love to hate (you can guess which one). And it got me thinking about how Poken could be characterized.

Click on the image to see it in a larger size.

I took our old org chart, which already had people’s faces, names, and position, and also included many of our partners. I cut it all up with a pair of scissors, and started placing people back onto a large white poster, in a way that showed how they relate to each other in our everyday interactions. I used colorful markers to show how projects flow, how ideas bounce from one person to the next, how they get validated and then turn into awesome new features and products that ultimately get delivered to our customers. And that is how the FlorgChart(TM) was born.

The FlorgChart shows the organization in a way that highlights information flow and processes (hence the Flow-orgChart). The inputs are customer needs as expressed by our sales partners, and strategy as defined by a number of people involved in making sure we’re all aligned on a big objective, providing general direction. On the chart at left, these look like a stem and water flowing alongside.

Click here to download a large PDF of the FlorgChart.

The core teams are illustrated as colorful ovals. What we create flows outward: tools for our partners to deliver customers (B-to-B) campaigns, a consumer-focused user hub, mobile apps, and an informative website. All of these are offshoots of the collaborative effort. They grow out from the core, nourished by new ideas, by customers and by new people joining at the stem, providing our lifeblood (sales!) through the roots of this growing organism.

While it may look complicated at first, I encourage you to take a good, detailed look at it. What makes Poken special, and attracts such awesome people, is the collaborative nature of our organization – within the core, and beyond as we live in symbiosis with our partners.

This gets us back to how our organization can be characterized. You’ve all noticed it by now the FlorgChart happens to be in the shape of a flower. In all its symbolism, Poken is a flower that is growing thanks to many nourishing elements, and some powerful forces.

Positive energy cannot be artificially created. We need to feel it. And that comes from living by a set of values that we respect and that we aspire to share with others. Values drive culture, culture drives employee fulfillment, fulfillment drives satisfaction, and satisfaction drives creativity and productivity.

And that’s what makes a company successful.

Improve participant engagement at your event through “touch” voting.

Online blogs and digital media benefit from easy feedback systems, such as “starring videos” on Vimeo and YouTube, and “liking” blog posts, pictures and other media with the simple click of a mouse. This feedback is invaluable to the content creator, and it plays an important role in the viral spread of information.

In the event world, traditional surveys are paper-based, which makes them inflexible and time-consuming to evaluate. They often result in inconsistent data, as participants are asked to provide feedback in bulk, rather than gradually, as they experience the event. Electronic based feedback systems have overcome some of these problems, but to be effective, they need to be simple, inviting, and user-friendly. For the organizer, deploying a feedback system needs to be uncomplicated, fast, flexible and reliable.

In November 2011, Swisscom – Switzerland’s leading telecommunications provider – was looking for a new way to get real-time feedback at its annual innovation fair (INOfair). The organizers wanted a feedback system that would provide effortless evaluation of the demos presented at 45 booths. In addition, they wanted to engage participants through an interactive game to increase participation in its visitor survey.

By using a series of “starred” pokenTAGs placed on each demo kiosk, Swisscom used Poken’s platform to obtain instant feedback from the 900+ visitors. Equipped with a Swisscom branded poken, participants could “like” or “star” the exhibits by simply touching the appropriate tag. Visitors could also use their poken to collect information about the innovations, and to exchange their contact details with each other.

The experience, for the participant, was much like browsing media on the Web. They walked around, looked at different exhibits, and “touched” here and there to vote on the ones they liked.

Each demo booth had 5 pokenTAGs: 4 for voting and 1 for “liking” the demo on Facebook. Using Poken’s Leaderboard Widget, a set of big-screen TVs displayed attractive infographics with the survey results, in near real-time, showing the ranking of the most popular demos and the most active participants, who were rewarded for their level of engagement.

The stats stored in the pokenTAGs were downloaded periodically by event staff by simply touching each tag with an Android phone equipped with Poken’s Mobile Admin App for event managers. Using Near Field Communication technology, the phone offloads the data, within seconds, when it touches a tag. The data is synced wirelessly and appears instantly on the dynamic graphics projected on the TV screens.

Since November, many other customers have used Poken’s platform as a voting and feedback system. During its Research Center Events (Helsinki, Beijing, San Francisco), Nokia used Poken’s Leaderboard Widget to enable visitors to rate their favorite speakers and demos, as well as to collect digital information. To further engage visitors, Nokia used game mechanics and rewarded the most active participants.

Check out the Poken experience at INOfair 2011 and at the Nokia Research Center Event by watching the video bellow.


Poken wins the prestigious Best Innovation in Mobile Advertising Award.

Poken has just won the Best Innovation in Mobile Advertising award at the World Mobile Congress 2012, beating six other nominees including Google Wallet and innovations by other big names from the mobile industry.

The panel of judges was made up of independent industry leaders, analysts, journalists and academics.

The feedback from the judges is encouraging. They liked Poken “because it combines NFC with a smart understanding that the nature of ‘mobile’ is quickly going to move beyond smartphones and tablets. We really like the technology and the CMS ecosystem that has been built out to be leveraged by consumer partners.”


Poken has created an online marketing application that enables brands to deploy touch marketing campaigns. Our products and platform have been providing customers with better reach, more impact, improved lead generation, unprecedented insights into customer interests, and higher return on investment than traditional marketing.

This award is a confirmation that the mobile industry shares our conviction that Poken is a game changer in the mobile space.

High four!