To keep tradeshows on track, IPS eyes RFID

Show time: A new radio-frequency tracker produced by Intelligent Product Solutions helps bring order to tradeshow chaos.

A new radio-frequency identification tool is looking to simplify life on the tradeshow circuit.

That’s no simple task: With hundreds and often thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of deliveries made to arenas and other event venues, tradeshow logistics can be a nightmare.

Enter the T3 Tracker, brainchild of Massachusetts-based general contractor T3 Expo. As the muscle behind numerous national tradeshows and conventions – they’re the folks who set it all up and then break it all down, in addition to providing other innovative “event solutions” – T3 Expo knows firsthand the chaotic mess that accompanies most tradeshows, and leveraged that knowledge into its new mobile app.

Built for Android-powered devices, the RFID-powered technology picks up where shippers leave off, helping on-site teams locate goods delivered by Federal Express, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service – wares often lost in a sea of crates and pallets in a convention center’s delivery area.

Helping to bring the T3 Tracker to life was Hauppauge-based product-design company Intelligent Product Solutions, which was “excited to incorporate our unique design thinking into an innovative app … that will help transform the tradeshow industry as we know it,” according to Vice President Bob Wild, who heads up IPS’s electrical, software and systems-engineering programs.

“When we were asked to design, create and help pioneer something groundbreaking for T3 Expo and its customers, it was all about helping save important and valuable time and effort, while incorporating disruptive innovation to how things have ‘always been done,’” Wild noted.

The app, which also incorporates each carrier’s shipment-specific tracking number, uses a custom RFID application built by IPS exclusively for the T3 Tracker. It’s designed specifically for T3 Expo employees and customers working at either a private warehouse or show site.

After a carrier marks a shipment as delivered, the system provides critical information to T3 Expo “eventgineers,” including the package’s specific location and condition and any available updates about its journey from the delivery/staging area to a specific floor-show booth.

The T3 Tracker can also report “exceptions” – missing or damaged packages, for instance – in real time via e-mail, including photos as necessary. It also lets mobile devices scan carrier barcodes and save them to T3’s proprietary database for future reference.

T3 Expo CEO Chris Valentine called the app an ideal time- and stress-saver for customers of T3 Expo, which is best known for Presta, a magnetic panel system that facilitates the easy creation of flexible exhibition booths with walls as high as 20 feet.

“The T3 Tracker allows event coordinators to track and find packages anywhere on the show floor,” Valentine said in a statement. “The new app allows faster turnaround, greater sharing of accurate information and ease of tracking, all delivering peace of mind for any tradeshow organizer.”

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