My experience participating in one of the first in-person events since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic

by Kahle Williams

On July 24, 2020, the Together Again Expo took place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. It was one of the first in-person trade shows in the U.S. in a long while. CompuSystems had a booth there, and I was joined by two of my co-workers. I’m not going to lie, I had concerns about participating due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Florida. Here’s how it actually went (plus my takeaways at the end):

The flight

I got to O’Hare airport an hour and a half before my flight. It wasn’t as crowded as normal but busier than I expected given the circumstances. I boarded the plane and was happy to learn that United Airlines is keeping its middle seats open. Other than an emptier than normal flight, the only real difference was the smell of hand sanitizer (United gives out free disinfectant wipes) that subsided after about 10 minutes and a face mask requirement. I was a bit surprised that there were no temperature checks at the airport or on the plane.

The hotel

We landed, grabbed an Uber, and headed to the Orlando Hilton to check in to our rooms. I was told by the hotel receptionist, who was behind a plexiglass shield, that there were a few COVID-19 restrictions that is, face masks must be worn in the common areas at all times, and the once-standard daily room cleaning service must be requested. That was it. The gym and pool were both open but with some minor restrictions. My room was extremely clean and I felt completely safe and comfortable.

Exhibitor move-in

There was nothing out of the ordinary except for the mandatory face mask requirement and temperature check before entering the convention hall, both of which we expected. What we didn’t expect is how uncomfortable it can be to set up a booth wearing a face mask in a hot and humid conventional hall on a 93-degree day in Florida, but we managed. After we finished setting up our booth, we called an Uber and went out for sushi at one of our favorite restaurants in the area. Face masks were mandatory in the common areas of the restaurant but not in the dining areas. We found that most restaurants in Orlando were open for business.

Opening day

I can’t tell you how excited we were to see a trade show floor with people mingling and taking in sessions. Everyone I talked to was upbeat and so ready to get back to business. There were lots of interesting face masks of all colors, shapes, and sizes, and the chairs in the session area were placed 6 feet apart for social distancing. Other than that, it looked and felt like a regular trade show. Many of the booths featured interesting new products and services to help people feel safer as they start going to trade shows again. 

For the first trade show back, the turnout was phenomenal. I’m proud of everyone who participated and wanted to thank Alliance Nationwide Exposition, the producers of this amazing event, the Orange County Convention Center, and all the Sponsors that helped make this possible. One day we will look back and realize that this event was instrumental in getting our wonderful industry back up and running.

My takeaways

• Traveling and participating in trade shows with COVID-19 restrictions is only minorly inconvenient

• It feels amazing to get out and do all the things I used to do pre-COVID-19

• Overwhelmingly, people are ready to get back to going to trade shows

I hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or comments about this blog, please send us an email at marketing@csireg.com.

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CompuSystems Extends Contracts with AACR, ACS, & HIMSS

LISLE, Ill. CompuSystems has signed renewal deals with several clients. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), have all extended their multi-year contracts with CompuSystems.  

CompuSystems will provide registration, data analytics and lead retrieval services for each organization’s annual shows. This includes The AACR Annual Meeting through 2022, The ACS Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings through 2024, and HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition through 2023. 

AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional association related to cancer research. It attracts more than 21,000 attendees to The AACR Annual Meeting, which is considered the main forum to discuss cancer-related research, including population science and prevention, cancer biology, clinical studies, survivorship and advocacy.

The ACS Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings is a major national meeting for otolaryngologists head and neck surgeons and draws about 1,700 attendees to its annual event. It serves as the premier educational and technology forum for otolaryngology specialists to improve and expand their knowledge and skills, thereby enhancing the quality of patient care.

HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition is the leading health information and technology conference, bringing together nearly 45,000 professionals from more than 90 countries for education,  innovation, and collaboration related to health information and technology.

“We’re very excited and pleased to announce these renewals,” CompuSystems President Chris Williams said. “AACR, ACS, and HIMSS have all been excellent partners with us over the years and we’re happy to keep the relationship moving forward.”

 


About the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, funding, and advocacy. Through its programs and services, the AACR fosters research in cancer and related biomedical science; accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer; promotes science education and training; and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment throughout the world. For more information on AACR please visit www.aacr.org.

About the American College of Surgeons (ACS)

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information on ACS please visit www.facs.org.

About the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. For more information on HIMSS please visit www.himss.org.

About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible. 


5 Event Registration Solutions that are Contactless, Self-serve, and Support Physical Distancing

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been in regular contact with our customers and have been encouraged by the creative solutions they are finding to reopen their live events under the new health and safety regulations. We are happy to report that many of them with live events later this year are planning to proceed as scheduled.

Here are some of the safe event solutions we’ve been talking to our customers about that will hopefully give you ideas for your event.

1. Virtual Badge

The traditional name badge is replaced with an identification-only printed name tag and a virtual badge that resides on the registrant’s smartphone. The virtual badge is used to gain access to the event floor and into sessions and for lead retrieval purposes. 

Features

    • Registration confirmation includes a link for the registrant to add their virtual badge to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay pass.
    • The virtual badge will include a QR Code to be scanned for event floor and session access and for lead retrieval purposes.

Benefits

    • Eliminates the need to have a badge printed at onsite terminals
    • Registrants’ uploaded photo ID can be included in the virtual badge
    • Touchless scanning of virtual badge will allow for increased security and health safety

virtual badge on iPhone X

2. At-Home Name Tag Printing

Registrants print their own name tag on plain paper before they leave for the event. Their name tag is provided in a PDF document that is conveniently downloaded from a link on the registration confirmation or customer portal. When onsite, the name tag is easily folded by the registrant to fit into the clear plastic badge holder used with a lanyard (supplied by show management).

Features

    • Works on any type of printer.
    • Can be customized to match the event’s branding.
    • On-demand remote contactless printers are available for name tag reprints onsite.

Benefits

    • Self-serve
    • Limits onsite equipment required for badge printing
    • Increased health safety by limiting onsite printing

Want to see how the at-home name tag printing works? Click on the name tag image above to print it out.

3. On-Demand Contactless Printer

A self-serve and touchless solution for registrants to print their name tag or badge from printing stations that can be strategically placed throughout the convention hall. Registrants launch the printing application right from their registration confirmation. After punching the printer station code into their phone or tablet, their badge prints immediately. 

Features

    • Printer stations have a small footprint and fit nicely on tables or counters.
    • Stations include a printer, long-lasting onboard battery, and internet router.
    • Printing application works on any phone, tablet, or computer.

Benefits

    • Can be placed in remote locations such as airports and hotels
    • Increased security and health safety
    • Reduce foot-traffic in the main registration area 

Remote Badge Printing Station

4. Staggered Check-in Time for Registrants

One of the best ways to limit the number of people in the registration area at one time is to implement staggered check-in times for your exhibitors and attendees. Getting people to select a check-in time can be difficult so we recommend making it a mandatory step in the registration process. 

Features

    • Exhibitors and registrants will be required to choose a specific time window and location to pick their badge.
    • The time they select will appear on their registration confirmation that they will add to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay pass.
    • Upon arriving at registration, they will be required to show their scheduled pickup time to the Guard before proceeding to the contactless badge pickup area.

Benefits

    • Increased health and safety
    • Fully integrated with the registration process
    • Control the number of people in the registration area at one time

Staggered check-in Businessman using calendar on laptop

5. Contactless Express Registration Carts or Kiosks

A lot like our on-demand contactless printers, but with more capabilities. Our kiosks and mobile carts have onboard self-serve barcode scanners to support a larger influx of people that you would have in the main registration area. 

Features

    • Kiosks include a tablet, badge scanner, and badge printer for contactless printing. The registrant simply scans their registration barcode to print their badge. 
    • Mobile carts can be equipped with either a laptop and scanner or a tablet on a stand in conjunction with a badge printer. The registrant simply scans their registration barcode to print their badge. 
    • Can be placed in the main registration area or in virtually any remote location such as airports or hotels.

Benefits

    • Self serve and contactless
    • No need for badge holders
    • Eliminates the need for barcode scanners in areas that require security entry

contactless kiosk

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or comments about this blog, please send us an email at marketing@csireg.com.

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SVS, AUA Renew with CompuSystems

Downers Grove, Ill. – The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Urological Association (AUA) have renewed their contracts with CompuSystems. SVS has renewed through 2026, and AUA has renewed through 2023. 

As part of these multi-year contract renewals, CompuSystems will provide registration, data analytics, and lead retrieval services for each organization’s annual shows. The Vascular Annual Meeting is a 3-day event that brings together vascular surgeons and other health care professionals, medical residents, and allies of the industry. The AUA Annual Meeting is in its 115th year of bringing together the global community of urologists and urologic health care professionals. 

“CompuSystems has partnered with SVS since 2005 and with AUA since 2008, and both are valued partners of ours,” CompuSystems President Chris Williams said. “We’re dedicated to building upon these relationships by continuing to provide best-in-class customer service. Renewals like these are a testament to our team’s innovative efforts.”

 


About the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS)

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for more than 5,800 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. For more information visit www.vascular.org.

About the American Urological Association (AUA)

Founded in 1902, the AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community. Their mission is to promote the highest standards of urological clinical care through education, research and the formulation of health care policy. For more information visit www.auanet.org.

About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible. 


CompuSystems Launches Contactless Safe Event Plan

Downers Grove, Ill., – CompuSystems, Inc. introduces a Contactless Safe Event Plan for in-person trade shows in response to new health and safety restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  The plan was developed with the goal in mind to provide completely safe and contactless registration and lead retrieval solutions that support social distancing.

The Contactless Safe Event Plan, based on the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is broken down into the following categories: corporate office health and safety, onsite health and safety, and contactless solutions.

Corporate Office and Onsite Health & Safety Standards and Protocols – The plan includes extensive staff training, infectious disease screening and case reporting protocols, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices, the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) by staff members, and other safety precautions.

Contactless Registration Solutions – Services to enable social distancing and safe interactions with CompuSystems’s registration systems and staff throughout the process. Includes options for registrants to:

  • Add a personalized virtual badge to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay account that can be used for entrance tracking, session tracking, and lead retrieval purposes
  • Print their name tag at their office or home prior to leaving for the event to eliminate or dramatically reduce foot-traffic in the registration areas
  • Print their name tag while onsite using contactless printers – they just enter a printer station code into their smartphone and collect their name tag from the printer

Contactless Lead Retrieval Solutions Products that give exhibitors the ability to capture sales leads from attendees while maintaining a safe distance from them. CompuSystems is featuring a new product, CompuLEAD Kiosk, that is a self-serve, contactless badge scanning system that exhibitors can place anywhere in their booth. Attendees can walk up to the kiosk and scan their virtual badge without having to touch it.  

“The safety of our employees, clients, and the registrants and exhibitors we serve is our top priority,” CompuSystems’ President Chris Williams said. “We took a deep dive into our offering and found creative ways to deliver registration and lead retrieval services under new and stricter safety parameters. We’re doing everything we can to help our clients re-open their events as quickly as possible.”

CompuSystems shifted to remote operations at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and has remained completely operational as they explored go-forward strategies for the new normal of the trade show industry. 

 


About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics, and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers achieve the best possible trade show experience. For more information about CompuSystems’ industry-leading services, please visit www.compusystems.com.


decentralized registration

Decentralized Registration Becoming the New Normal

Not so long ago, many trade show organizers stopped mailing badges due to improved badge printing technologies. With a simple barcode on their registration confirmation, an attendee could print their badge at the show in a matter of seconds. What this meant though is that there were many more check-in stations required at the event. It would be normal to walk into a convention center to see massive registration areas capable of producing tens of thousands of badges over a few days. 

Before the novel coronavirus pandemic, we were already seeing fewer massive registration areas as shows began placing badge printing stations in other areas outside the exhibition venue. In light of the pandemic, massive registration areas may be a thing of the past. As the industry begins to incorporate stricter health and safety protocols in their face-to-face event planning, decentralized registration is one of the ways that will move the industry forward into this new normal.  

Here are some of the reasons why more shows would want to do away with the one central registration area.

Space is at a premium. If attendees must maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other, it would make for quite a long registration line! Having multiple areas outside of the venue, such as at the airport or hotel, not only prevents areas where people must congregate, but also enables growing shows to free up that prime space to sell to sponsors or exhibitors.

Registration technology has gone mobile. Printing badges from registration carts has become easier, as they have their own internet connection, run on batteries, and can literally be rolled to wherever they are needed. Additionally, on-demand contactless badge printing stations enable attendees to punch in a code on their phone to instantly print a badge at the station, eliminating the need for printing stations to be manned and reducing exposure to high-touch areas.

Printing badges from registration carts has never been easier. There is no longer a need to order services from third parties. A registration cart can have its own internet connection and run on batteries! It can literally be rolled to wherever it is needed.

Bring the badge to the attendee and not the attendee to the badge. What this means is to bring registration to places the attendees already are: 

    • Badge pick up at the airport. More and more shows are adding badge pickup stations in baggage claim areas. This makes it convenient for attendees. Once they pick up their bags they can stop and pick up their show badge at the same time. By keeping badge pickup areas open during the key arrival times, an event can see up to 40% of attendees get badged before even stepping foot inside the convention center.
    • Badge pick up at the major hotels. By placing badge pick up stations at all your major hotel blocks, attendees can now check into the hotel as well as the show. Many attendees will also network in the hotel lobby and hotel bars so try to get badge pickup stations near these high traffic areas and keep them open past ‘normal business hours’ to maximize output offsite.
    • Think ‘outside the center’. Utilize space outside the convention center. Registration tents can achieve the same impact as if the registration area were inside. Also, think about putting badge pickup stations strategically placed outside the convention center such as near parking lots and shuttle bus drop-offs. Remember, the key is to get as many people badged as you can before they enter the building!

Virtual badges. Perhaps the most decentralized registration option of all, some shows will eliminate printed badges altogether. Instead, they’ll send virtual badges to registrants, which can be added and stored digitally in a mobile wallet. When they’re ready to go on the exhibition floor, they’ll enter a turnstile and scan the virtual badge at a kiosk to gain access, similar to entering a gate at the airport.

Virtual badges, contactless mobile carts, and badge printing stations are a few of the offerings that CompuSystems has incorporated into its Contactless Safe Event Plan. Learn more about CompuSystems’ Contactless Safe Event Plan here.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or comments about this blog, please send us an email at marketing@csireg.com.


CompuSystems Expands Management Team

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.CompuSystems is excited to welcome several new additions to its senior management team.

Mark LoGiurato has joined the CompuSystems team as Chief Operating Officer. He will be responsible for daily operations as well as the sales, marketing, and account management departments. Mark has been in the trade show industry since the ‘90s and has held various senior executive roles in media and SaaS companies prior to joining CompuSystems, including Senior Vice President for Reed Exhibitions.


John Stuttard has joined as Head of Global Sales, responsible for all aspects of sales and business development. He has 23 years of experience in the trade show industry and has worked for many of the leading event organizers, including Reed Exhibitions, Advanstar, UBM (Informa), and Emerald Exhibitions. His experience is in delivering results through organic growth, new launches, regional and international events, and mergers and acquisitions.


Adam Forman has joined as Chief Technology Officer. He will lead all of the organization’s technical departments. He is responsible for outlining the company's technological vision, implementing technology strategies, and ensuring that the technological resources are aligned with the company's business needs. Adam has more than 20 years of extensive enterprise system architecture, engineering, and technical management along with executive leadership experience. He was previously Manager and Lead Engineering Principal for the Department of Defense (DoD) Biometric Interoperability and Standards Conformance Office and NATO Technical Architecture Advisor.


“We are thrilled to bring in Mark, John, and Adam for these executive roles,” said CompuSystems President Chris Williams. “All are industry veterans with decades of experience, and these strategic moves are essential to the growth of our business.”

In addition to these new hires, Kahle Williams has been named the Chief Marketing Officer, and his focus will be on aggressively expanding CompuSystems’ reach into new markets and branding new product offerings.

 


About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible.


CompuSystems Renews Partnership with HPBA

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) has renewed its contract with CompuSystems, which will provide registration, analytics and lead management services for its HPBExpo shows through 2022. HPBA represents and provides professional member services and industry support for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and representatives for all types of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue and outdoor living appliances and accessories. 

The largest indoor-outdoor living trade show in North America, HPBExpo draws more than 7,000 attendees and features approximately 400 leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers who exhibit and demonstrate their latest products and innovations in home heating solutions, grills and grilling accessories, fully equipped outdoor kitchens, casual patio furniture and outdoor accents, water and landscape features, all-weather entertainment products and more. 

“We are excited to continue our relationship with HPBA, which dates back to 2005,” CompuSystems President Chris Williams said. “Renewals like these are a testament to the CompuSystems team’s dedication to offering innovative products and best-in-class service to the success of each show.”


About The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) 

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) is an international not-for-profit trade association first established in 1980 to represent and promote the interests of the hearth products industry in North America. In 2002, the Hearth Products Association (HPA) merged with the Barbecue Industry Association (BIA) to form HPBA. The association includes manufacturers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, service and installation firms and other companies and individuals – all having business interests in and related to the hearth, patio, and barbecue products industries. For more information on the activities of the HPBA, please visit HPBA.org.

About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible.


CompuSystems Adds Informa Show SupplySide West

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – CompuSystems was selected by Informa Exhibitions to provide registration, data analytics and lead retrieval for their 2019 SupplySide West show this October in Las Vegas. 

SupplySide West is the largest ingredients and supply chain expo in the world for the food, beverage, supplement and sports nutrition industries. The show connects manufacturers with a global range of ingredient suppliers and distributors, and it showcases more than 10,000 of the latest and most innovative ingredients and solutions on the market.

In 2019, SupplySide West earned Trade Show News Network’s (TSNN) award as one of the “Top 25 Fastest-growing Shows in Attendance” for having one of the fastest attendance growth rates between 2016 to 2018. In 2018, the show experienced an 8% growth rate from 2017 with more than 17,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors, setting a new record for SupplySide West’s then 22-year history. 

CompuSystems has serviced more TSNN 250 events than any other registration service provider in the exhibition industry. The addition of Informa’s SupplySide West, a TSNN 250 event, reaffirms CompuSystems’ status as an industry leader. 

“We’re thrilled to add SupplySide West to our ever-growing list of shows,” said Jen Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Sales and Service at CompuSystems. “We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Informa Exhibitions by providing our unparalleled, world-class service, as we do for all of our clients.” 


About SupplySide West

Hosted by Informa Exhibitions, this annual tradeshow and conference was named to Trade Show News Network's list of top 250 trade shows in the United States. SupplySide West is all about the exploration, discovery, innovation and marketing strategy around the development of finished consumer goods that drive the global business economy.

 About Informa Exhibitions

SupplySide West is part of Informa's Global Exhibitions Division. With over 200 trade and consumer exhibitions annually, Informa Exhibitions is a global market leader in such end markets as Boating, Beauty, Construction & Real Estate, Life Sciences, Maritime, Health & Nutrition, Agriculture and Pop Culture. Through face to face and digital channels, its transaction-oriented exhibitions enable communities to engage, experience and do business. In doing so, Informa brings together people who want to buy and sell, network, do business and gain inspiration. Industry insight, coupled with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach, provides Informa Exhibitions customers and partners with the opportunity to create business advantage and access markets.

About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible. 


CompuSystems Signs Deal with Clarion Events North America

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – 

CompuSystems has reached a deal with Clarion Events North America to provide registration, analytics, and lead management services for nearly 30 shows annually through 2022.

One of the world’s leading events organizers, Clarion has been producing and delivering events since 1947. Its U.S. Division, Clarion Events North America, spans a number of product sectors. CompuSystems will be servicing shows in its Food and Beverage, Souvenir and Gift, Power and Energy, Apparel, and Gaming event portfolios, among others.

"CompuSystems has strong knowledge of event registration and lead management, which we believe will be greatly beneficial to our current and future customers,” said Greg Topalian, CEO of Clarion Events North America. “The partnership aligns well with our strategic focus for the U.S. market and will help us to provide personalized event experiences for our customers and more informed data-driven decisions for our organization.”

As part of this contract, CompuSystems will service many market-leading events, such as DistribuTECH International, FDIC International, and The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo.

“We are thrilled to have Clarion Events North America as a client,” said Jen Mitchell, SVP, Sales and Service at CompuSystems. “Our team is excited to have the opportunity to help Clarion deliver amazing event experiences to make their events the best they can be.”


About Clarion Events North America

Clarion Events North America Inc., a subsidiary of Clarion Events Limited, is one of the world’s leading independent event organizers, staging more than 200 events annually across the globe. More than 12,000 companies create custom events with Clarion each year and more than 700,000 people visit these events. From just 70 employees in one office in 2004, there are now more than 400 people working directly for Clarion Events from 13 offices in 10 different countries. To learn more, please visit www.clarionevents.com.

About CompuSystems

CompuSystems is a leading provider of registration, data management, data analytics and lead retrieval services. Our mission is to help event organizers, exhibitors and attendees achieve the most successful trade show experience possible.