After orchestrating a conference, it's hard to know if you're coming or going, let alone figure out who's in all the meeting photographs. Is that the CEO in the flowerpot hat? New York-based ImageID has a high-tech photography solution called Vividot that saves meeting organizers from having to pore over hundreds of pictures and can even help market the next event.

Here's how it works: Meeting attendees are assigned a Vividot PIN number when they register. The pin number is encoded in a uniquely colored sticker, which attendees adhere to their name badge or clothing. “Vividot works like a [UPC] bar code, but it's color,” explains Abby Greenley, director of communications for ImageID, Ltd., New York. “The tech end of it is that we have developed a software that can detect an image. It works with digital or printed photos. The algorithm scans each picture, looks for each color code and puts the pictures on the Internet. We do that through either our Web site (www.vividot.com) or a link to the event or meeting planner's site.”

The magic of Vividot is that meeting attendees themselves can retrieve the photos in which they appear. The pattern-recognition system not only identifies the people in photos (who have their Vividot sticker in view), it can also e-mail the photos to the attendee, or send them a Web site address where the photos may be viewed online.

Possible uses for the technology include generating excitement for future events. “When planners promote their meeting for next year,” Greenley says, “they can match pictures with names and e-mail addresses. ‘You know how much fun you had last year, come check us out again.’”

It also provides meetings planners with another opportunity to communicate, long after people go home. “When attendees go online to see their photos,” Greenley says, “they will see the sponsor's logo again and a note of thanks. It's an opportunity to get a message across in another way.”