Meeting technology company Pathable is launching a new version of its Web-based “Event Experience Platform” that retains nearly all its functionality in an off-line environment and also offers a redesigned interface and several new exhibitor upsell features.
Seattle-based Pathable has been around since 2008. It was one of the early companies to build online communities for conferences, allowing attendees to create searchable profiles and communicate with one another at a Web site before, during, and after a meeting. Over the years, it has layered a more complete tool over its original networking features, providing a searchable conference agenda, meeting-scheduling tools, the ability to create personalized agendas, interactive tradeshow floor maps, session-based discussion forums, speaker profiles, an administrative dashboard that allows planners to monitor activity, and more.
Once registered for a meeting, attendees typically create their Pathable profiles, research sessions, and schedule meetings on a desktop or laptop computer, then access the mobile version of the Web site on their smartphones while on site. However, in the past, users needed Internet access to use the tool—a challenge in some meeting venues. With the upgrade (designed using html5 coding), the majority of Pathable’s features are now supported offline. While users can’t schedule a meeting with an attendee without Internet access, the schedules and appointments they’ve already made while online will be accessible, along with the attendee and exhibitor lists, agenda, and other logistical and community tools. “The entire site is downloaded onto your phone, so even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection, or your Wi-Fi connection is a little flakey, you’ll continue to have access to the system,” says CEO Jordan Schwartz who points out that the desktop interface also works offline.
The upgraded system is expected to launch November 1, and with it the company is also rolling out a new set of features that allow show organizers, if they wish, to lock away certain exhibitor tools. For example, the system can be set up so that only exhibitors who have paid the lead-retrieval premium get access to the names of the attendees who have spent time on their exhibitor pages (including information on who has downloaded their collateral or followed links).
“We believe that this will open up a new revenue source for the sponsorship and exhibitor teams on these events,” says Schwartz, explaining that this is a “more transactional model.” All exhibitor will be able to see the number of people who have come to their pages, but in order to get names and further information, they will need to click the “upgrade now” button on the exhibitor dashboard and pay the feedetermined by show organizer. In addition, the lead-retrieval upgrade adds a “request information” button to an exhibitor’s page, simplifying the process for attendees who want to get in touch. Show managers can also monetize Pathable’s private meeting scheduling tool, charging extra to exhibitors who want to use it.