Showing Innovation: Supercomm offers matchmaking

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Despite the postponement-and perhaps demise-of Comdex, other big IT shows are seeking innovative ways to adapt and add value.

For instance, networking show Supercomm recently launched a business matchmaking portal.

Developed by BD Metrics and unveiled at Supercomm's Whole World of Communications trade show in late June in Chicago, the portal uses demographic information collected from attendees to create a list of potential matches. The portal helps attendees find product sellers and service providers, as well as related conferences and seminars and, even other Supercomm attendees. Conversely, the portal connects exhibitors to attendees.

"[The portal] effectively connects people on a networking basis, people with similar interests who may potentially become partners," said Jack Shalden, general manager at Supercomm.

Once a list of connections is generated, attendees and exhibitors have the option of using the portal's scorecard to measure matches. "The portal contains a listing of potential connections and allows [an attendee or exhibitor] to drill in and let that other person know they are interested in meeting," Shalden said.

Interestingly, the portal is still in use. While Supercomm's trade show concluded on June 24, its portal continues to be accessed by attendees and exhibitors. "Before, trade shows were viewed as having a precise beginning and end," said Shalden, but with the portal, "the life of the event is extended."

Supercomm's June show featured 675 exhibiting companies and attracted 27,000 attendees, many of whom have chosen to continue to use the portal, according to Shalden.

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