Case Study: Driving engagement and measuring interactions at ibtm arabia 2017

ibtm-arabia-networking-3(Check out the video case study here)

A capstone event for the MICE industry, Reed Travel Exhibitions ‘ibtm arabia’ is a 3 day event that hosts a community of approximately 300 exhibitors, hosted buyers, press and officials from around the world.

Rather than a traditional trade show format, ibtm arabia is a pod show, where each exhibitor has a ‘pod’ exhibit, that includes two full days of pre-scheduled, 20 minute, one to one meetings with hosted buyers. Additionally, 9 networkring events are held at the venue, as well as various locations around Abu Dhabi.

Poken employed a system of digital and physical products and services, that allowed people to engage with each other and activities, track meetings in real time, provide lead capture services for exhibitors, all the while
providing rich data to organizers.


The primary event objectives were to:

-Forster a tight community’ amongst all international MICE profs in attendance and develop relationships that serve to develop business

-Drive engagement with event activities, as well as between people.

-Gain detailed metrics about interactions between people

-Have better insight and tracking of meetings attended


Features and products utliized were:

Interactive USB devices-

Poken interactive USB devices enabled visitors to collect digital business cards and digital documents, with a simple touch, and additionally, check into meetings.


ibtm-arabia-meeting-check-in-1Poken Real time touchpoints-

Simply touch a poken to a touchpoint. When the poken interacive USB glows green, the digital information contained within has been collected and stored on the visitors online event portal.

Poken utilized this technology to not only share information and capture lead data, but to register interactions, so as to track meetings in real time via the nfc device, and the Poken Event Manager Cloud.


Online Visitor Portal-

Visitors could log into their online visitor portals to download all their new contacts, see the information they have collected and review meetings attended.


Event Manager Cloud-

Event Manager cloud software for organizers to manage and track meetings in real time, manage visitor information, access interaction reports and update content for distribution.


ibtm-arabia-meeting-checkin-2Event delivery

Before arriving in Abu Dhabi, attendees were invited to log into their visitor portals and add to their profiles. This served to not only inform them and engage them before arriving onsite, but also added to the value of the transactions, as people added social media, and profile pictures to their accounts.

On arrival, all attendees were issued a Poken interactive USB with their registration badge. For the entire duration of the event, the device acted as the person’s digital business card, and meeting check-in tool. Simply by touching the interactive USB to another person’s, the small device glows green, and the persons contact information is exchanged. The result was infectious, as people would see the glowing green hand and instinctively touch poken’s with their neighbours. In doing so, opening a new conversation and relationship, while also capturing the person’s details.

ibtm-arabia-netwokring-2All the new contact information could be then collected on each person’s individual online visitor portal. Poken’s interactive USB not only allowed for contact details to be shared between people, but created opportunity for people to meet one another in a casual and fun way. The device was the ice breaker to foster engagement between attendees, particularly during the discovery day. The adventurous nature of the ‘discovery day’ meant that traditional business card exchanges were not suitable (as people often didn’t bring them along). Poken interactive USB devices were carried by all, and utilized thoroughly.

The result was a total of over 5700 connections made over 3 days, from a total attendance of 312 guests.

It was necessary for ibtm arabia organizers to know precisely who had attended their registered meetings and at what time. To achieve this, real time touchpoints were stationed on each exhibitor pod. The 4cm x 4cm nfc readers could track all the meetings in real time. At the commencement of the meeting, attendees simply touched the reader with their interactive USB to check in. Furthermore, exhibitors received reports detailing all the people with whom they had met, for a thorough lead generation. Poken real time touchpoints measured that approx. 88% of all meetings were attended over the course of 2 days. As touchpoints tracked meetings in real time, organizers were also given insight into periods of heavy and lower meeting attendance, thus allowing them to adjust and improve the format for the next installment.


Poken has come up with a solution that makes collecting information, let that be your contact information, or even information or services about a particular exhibitor much easier, with the tap of the Poken device; what we call a technology ‘high five’.

It’s very easy, its secure and its easy and quick to reproduce information for later use. We found a solution through Poken, yes. ‘

-Shinu Pillai

Exhibition Manager,Reed Travel Exhibitions.


Want to drive engagement at your own event? Speak to one of our event professionals today.

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