End Users Want to See RFID Solutions

By Mark Roberti

We asked registered attendees of RFID Journal LIVE! 2008 what would most likely get them to visit one vendor's booth over another's. Their responses indicate they are looking for RFID technology they can deploy—now.

At RFID Journal, we are deeply committed to providing value to end users interested in using radio frequency identification technologies to improve the way they do business, and to providers of RFID hardware and software products and services. Each year, RFID Journal LIVE! is the one opportunity for these two groups to come together, face-to-face, and do business. To help each group get the most value out of the event, we asked end users already signed up to attend LIVE! 2008 what would most likely get them to visit one vendor's booth over another's.

Of the end users that responded to the survey, 100 percent said they would visit a booth where the vendor was exhibiting a solution for their industry. Fully 90 percent said they would visit a booth that was exhibiting a new product offering. And more than 75 percent said they would visit the booth of a company speaking at the event.

These results indicate attendees are ready to deploy RFID technologies. Most are no longer coming to LIVE! to learn how to spell RFID—they are interested in learning about solutions that solve real business problems in their industry. And they are looking for very specific products and services that meet their needs.

Given the large number of submissions we received for the new Best in Show category at this year's RFID Journal Awards, it would seem many vendors have heard this clarion call and responded with new products that address pain points in a wide variety of industries.

To help attendees locate these vendors, and to help the vendors make their new offerings more visible to attendees, we've created a floor sticker that vendors can purchase for a nominal fee. In addition, the LIVE! 2008 Program Guide will list the new products of those companies that purchase the sticker. We've also created a "Best in Show Finalist" sticker for the 10 companies chosen by the RFID Journal Award judges as having the best new products at the event.

It's not just about new products, however. Some products that have been on the market for months are excellent, but vendors are moving beyond "Here are our tags and readers or middleware or applications; you figure out what to do with them." They are now listening to customers and partnering with other vendors to create complete solutions.

Those attending the supplier meeting Sam's Cub is hosting prior to our event are interested in the hardware and software that can help them meet tagging requirements and achieve internal benefits. These folks will be looking for EPC-compliant technology, so we've worked with EPCglobal to create a floor sticker that identifies vendors offering EPCglobal-certified products. The stickers will help Sam's suppliers and others looking for EPC technologies to easily locate such vendors.

Finally, we're encouraging vendors exhibiting at RFID Journal LIVE! 2008 to categorize themselves and list their products at RFID Connect, our online community tool that enables attendees to search for products and vendors, as well as arrange meetings online. Vendors can use this technology to search for end users interested in their products, to request a meeting (attendees can choose whether or not to reveal their personal information).

I hope attendees and vendors will both take advantages of all we are doing to ensure they have a successful event. If there is anything else we can do to help end users connect with the vendors they want to meet at LIVE! 2008, please let me know.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.