Category Archives: Data Security

Attendee List Rental 2.0 (eShowMail)

  • Exhibitors have, for years, been given or rented the registered attendee list to send pre and post show marketing emails to increase traffic to their booth and to thank those who visited. Call this Attendee List Rental Version 1.0.
  • However, privacy and SPAM concerns have all but eliminated the practice of giving or renting the attendee list to exhibitors.
  • Enter Attendee List Rental Version 2.0 in the form of eShowMail , a system that enables exhibitors to have their custom email blasts sent without having direct access to the confidential attendee data.

Benefits:

  • Exhibitors get a full service email solution to communicate with registered attendees.
  • Attendees learn what is happening at the show, their contact information is kept confidential, and they have the ability to opt-out of the email program at any time.
  • The Show Organizer gets an email program with no additional cost and no risk to the attendee list.


Important Features:

  1. Attendee Protection. eShowMail protects your attendees. Simply put, the attendee list is never shown to the exhibitor. In addition, attendees can opt-out of the overall email campaign by clicking the “unsubscribe” link that is found at the bottom of every email we send.
  2. No Cost to Show Organizer. eShowMail is free for show organizers to offer to their exhibitors. There are no setup charges.
  3. Revenue Generation. Exhibitors pay to use the service. We charge a flat fee per email blast. The show organizer has the option of generating additional revenue by marking up our price to their exhibitors.
  4. We Do All the Work. Our reps work with each exhibitor to guide them through the process. We don’t require any assistance from show staff other than final approval of emails.
  5. Custom Emails. eShowMail allows exhibitors to use their own custom HTML. If the exhibitor can’t supply their own HTML, we will build an email for them.
  6. Reporting. eShowMail includes a real-time reporting website for both the exhibitors and show organizer. The site shows statistics, but no attendee data such as email address.
  7. Scheduling. You control the # of email blasts that are sent (per day and total). At most shows, we send two blasts per day over the course of 2-6 weeks depending on the number of participating companies. Exhibitor participation has ranged from 10% to 20% depending on the type of show.
  8. Control. eShowMail gives you full control over the content that is being sent out. Before an email is sent out, a proof will be sent to you for final approval.

Raise Money for Charity

Raise Money for your Charity

Almost every association we work with has a charity that they support.  Associations typically will run a fund raising event during the show.  This can range from a party, to a 10K run, to a golf tournament.  The money raised during the event is important.  For events that want to raise additional money and awareness for their charities, we have an idea.give-to-charity

Pre and post show email marketing programs are designed to bring attention to an exhibitor’s booth to drive more traffic and generate more leads.  Integrating the event’s charity with this type of email program can also bring more awareness to the charity while raising additional revenue for a good cause.

It’s a simple idea.  Here are the benefits:

  1. A portion of the revenue from the pre-show exhibitor email marketing program can be donated to the charity.  This is the most obvious benefit, but not necessarily the most impactful.
  2. Probably the biggest benefit is bringing more awareness to the charity by getting the message out to all the attendees with multiple touch points.  Emails sent to attendees from exhibitors can include a small JPG that either asks for donations, or encourages participation in the show’s charity event. For the events we work with, we integrate the charity’s message into all our communications with the exhibitors as well.
  3. And lastly, exhibitors that use the program will be happy to know that a portion of their show marketing dollars are supporting a good cause.

eShowMail System Data Security

Data Security Text with Padlock Icon - Red Button on Black Computer Keyboard.

eShowMail System Data Security

The eShowMail system enables exhibitors to send pre and post show marketing emails to an event’s attendee list while protecting the attendees’ contact information from misuse.  To put it simply, exhibitors never see the attendee list.  Their information is protected within the eShowMail system through encryption and by limiting access to the system.

Data Storage

The only information we require to send an email is the attendee’s email address.  To secure this data within our database, we store the email addresses in a Relational MySQL table in an encrypted form using an algorithm developed using the Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA)[1].  The algorithm is show unique so the same email address will be stored differently for each show.

System Access

Only Event Technologies employees have access to our system.  Customers, exhibitors and attendees are never given access.  In addition, logging into the eShowMail system by Event Technologies’ personnel requires that three (3) variables be entered: (User ID, Password, and Security Code.)  This makes guessing the login orders of magnitude harder than the normal two (2) variables.   If our system is hacked, there is no ability to export information out of our application.

Data Retention

Any data that is entrusted to us by our clients is kept secure and deleted as soon as it is no longer required.  Show data is typically deleted within 30 days of the close of the event unless otherwise specified.  This includes attached files that have been emailed to us that contain attendee and exhibitor contact information.  These files are typically deleted as soon as information is uploaded.

System Hosting

The Event Technologies system is hosted at GoDaddy in Phoenix, AZ using a managed dedicated server that is backed up nightly.  The system utilizes Rdb Guard as a means of detecting malicious attempts to gain access to the system from non-authorized users.

Results

Event Technologies has been sending emails on behalf of satisfied clients since 2010. We have never experienced a data breach and have never shared customer data with any third party during this period.

[1] We are available to discuss the Class Files used and other general  implementation approaches by phone should the customers’ IT organization require but do not provide that information in writing for security reasons.

National Grocers Association Case Study

Customer

The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distrNGA Show Logoibution industry.  NGA’s mission is to ensure independent, community-focused retailers and wholesalers the opportunity to succeed and better serve the consumer through its policies, advocacy, programs and services.

Event Name

The NGA Show had 2,078 attendees and 1,112 exhibiting personnel for a total attendance of 3,190.  The exposition hosted 316 exhibiting companies.

Challenge

The NGA wanted to give their exhibitors an opportunity to communicate with their attendees before and after the event.  They had offered access to the physical mailing address list (without email address) in the past, but many exhibitors were requesting access to the email list.  It was against NGA policy to share the attendee’s email addresses, so NGA was looking for a solution that would protect the attendee’s information.

NGA did not have budget to pay for this program, so the program had to break even or preferably generate revenue.  In addition, many of the NGA exhibitors would require assistance creating their emails, so there had to be an option for exhibitors to submit their content as text and images and have an email created for them.

Solution

Event Technologies created an email program incorporating all of NGA’s requirements.  The program was designed to send two emails per day over the course of 4 weeks.  However, due to an overwhelming number of exhibitors signing up for the program, we opened the schedule to send up to 5 emails per day during the final two weeks.   To keep the program on schedule and ensure exhibitor satisfaction, each exhibitor was assigned to an Event Technologies representative who worked with them to help with the creation of their email content.  About half of the emails were created with the assistance of Event Technologies using a template designed for the show.

Results

36 exhibitors (11%) participated in the email program sending a total of 47 email blasts.  Over 40,000 emails were sent with an open rate over 25%.  NGA wanted to keep the price low for their exhibitors so they opted to only slightly increase the Event Technologies fee.  They were able to generate over $2,000 running the email program.

Client Testimonial

Thank you so much for being so great to work with as we transitioned the NGA Show exhibitors to your email service as opposed to my sharing email addresses with them.  I have only heard positive things.  You were timely, responsive and flexible and I really appreciate it.  I look forward to using Event Technologies in the future and have already recommended you to a couple of associations we partner with! 

– Karen Voorhies, National Grocers Association

Emails / CAN-SPAM / Trade Shows

CAN-SPAM and the Impact on Trade Show Exhibitor Emails

Tradeshow organizers gather attendee email addresses in the SPAM Imagecourse of completing attendee registrations and if they are smart, they require them to OPT-IN or OPT-OUT of receiving emails. So the question is what can be done with these email addresses? Quite simply, the show organizer can send CAN-SPAM compliant emails to the registered attendees regarding the show. In addition, they can send emails on behalf of their exhibitors promoting their activities at the show because the emails are technically coming from the show organizer. These emails can be sent until the attendees OPT-OUT. Organizers start to run into problems when they sell the list to the exhibitors as part of their “exhibitor or sponsorship package” or as an add-on benefit so exhibitors can send their own emails.

Based on our experience with exhibitor emailing, here are some things to consider:

Continue reading

QR Coded Trade Show Badges Improve Attendee Data Security

Attendee trade show badges with 2D bar codes containing demographic information and printed with the attendee’s name have been around for a long time but are gradually being replaced by ones with a QR code and a lot less data. Whether planned or by accident the current trend is helping to address a growing concern voiced by trade show attendees – DATA SECURITY!!!
QR Code Lead Retrieval
In 1996, as a founding member of one of the early companies providing third party “lead retrieval” systems to the trade show industry, I viewed the efforts of registration companies to encrypt the attendee badges as attempts to protect their lead retrieval revenue. Why else would they hide data willingly given by attendees from exhibitors who were merely trying to collect better lead data using their own devices rather than those rented from the registration company? Continue reading