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Loopd’s product Badge claims to deliver high-quality business analytics through wearables that fit seamlessly with how trade shows currently operate.

Badge is worn around the neck as any trade show identification card, and involves technology that tracks attendee movement throughout the trade show’s physical space. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy to exchange information with other attendees through the app or with a tap.

Allen Houng, the Taiwanese Head Developer at Loopd, explained, “We can bring new-age analytics to events that are stuck in the past. We can enhance these events by letting the organisers or sponsors exhibiting at the booth know deep analytics that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

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The three main participants in a tradeshow or convention are event organisers, exhibitors and attendees. Badge aims to provide value to all three.

Organiser and exhibitor value: Qualified leads and data-based decision-making
The hardware-software combination is appealing to exhibitors and event organisers who can track the movement of each attendee as they move throughout the event. There is a significant value in the analytics portion, as Badge tracks movement and how long attendees stay at any given booth.

This provides insights into which events and booths attendees go to, how long they stay there, which salespeople actually connect at the booth, and comparisons with competitors.

High-quality decisions come from understanding attendee behaviour and interpreting what they do. Badge provides the data to identify the factors behind exhibit performance based on location, interaction, and attendee experience at any given booth, so as to start making fact-based strategies for differentiation through location, format, décor, material placement, and sales techniques.

Among the most useful insights that can be extrapolated from the data that Badge delivers is lead ranking. Based on the time spent at the booth and patterns of movement throughout the trade show, sponsors can identify high-quality leads and allocate resources appropriately toward moving them down the sales funnel.

Attendee value: Fast check-ins and professional connections
Badge and its app also adds to the attendees’ experiences by expediting check-ins and facilitating the exchange of professional information. If an attendee is already registered with the event, Badge can provide Bluetooth gates that can automatically sense when an attendee arrives, avoiding the long lines associated with registrations.

By downloading the app, attendees can add others on LinkedIn, share and save professional contact information and marketing material, and by using the proximity app they can see and connect with other attendees within 10 feet.

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Houng said, “You can automatically get people’s information by tapping the badges together.  You don’t have to exchange business cards. Everything goes electronically through the app or to your email.  You can also get marketing collateral, so you don’t need a tote bag. You can just get electronic material instead of paper material.”

The elegant wearable
The Badge sidesteps one of the biggest obstacles to wearable technology: users’ habits.  The problem with wearables is that users have to remember to put them on, especially if the accessory does not fit into their already established habits.

Badge fits seamlessly into the trade show convention of wearing an identification badge around your neck, making the adoption by attendees frictionless.

Taiwan’s role: Hardware and software talent
Taiwan plays an interesting role in the company.  Houng, a key member of the team, is a Taiwanese national operating out of Taiwan, giving the team close contact with the contract manufacturers, while also gaining an advantage for sourcing high-level engineering talent, without the immense premium found in Silicon Valley.

Loopd has just closed its seed round with prominent investors involved, but is keeping its investors and valuation under wraps for now.

One of Loopd’s first clients is Tony Hsieh, the Founder of Zappos.  Hsieh is creating the Downtown Project, which has raised US$350 million for the “revitalisation of Downtown Las Vegas”.  The purpose is to attract entrepreneurs and create a social environment for people and idea mixing.  Loopd will be delivering the analytics for the Downtown Project.

It has been mentioned elsewhere that Loopd is a team that will be “acquired by LinkedIn” in the near future.  This is a company to keep your eyes on.