For the last couple of years, a product called PhotoTap has been used at some of the events where our event-management system has been helping to run the show.
Based in Florida, PhotoTap supplies photographers who attend the prestigious events we help to run and are on hand to take photographs of the delegates during the event. You know the sort of thing: at the keynote speeches and sessions; in the workshops and roundtables; at the gala dinner and even – if the delegates get the chance – on the golf course. The snapper/photographers have been a staple of these events since the camera was small and light enough to hang around the neck.
However, we are collaborating with PhotoTap to bring corporate photography to the leading edge of the smart, digital age. Gone are the days of the photographer having to ask everyone who they are – and possibly mishearing and misspelling names, companies and job titles – or landing some junior in the marketing department the task of trawling through the photographs for weeks afterwards: “Are you sure that’s Frank from Wisconsin?”
To cut out such fun and games, on arrival every delegate is given a unique, wearable tag. After taking the delegate’s photograph, it is a moment’s work for the camera operator to also scan their tag using a device on the wi-fi and NFC-enabled [near field communication] camera, which then digitally identifies who is in the picture.
That in itself is pretty smart, making the task of capturing the event much more efficient, but this year we were asked to become involved with PhotoTap and we’ve pushed things along even further.
We succeeded in integrating the data that had been on PhotoTap’s tag into our badges which are linked to our event-management software. Our badges are the size of a credit card and use a unique serial number as the key for data posting. The result was neater (one less badge) and smarter.
A backend API [application programming interface] operation automatically fed the data we had on the badges to PhotoTap’s servers.
By doing so, PhotoTap were able to post each individual’s photographs in their personal app.
This was a new development for PhotoTap, previously the delivery had been by email only.
So imagine: you’ve just had a great photograph taken of you with some colleagues at an event session and the next moment it is on the secure event app on your phone.
The app is polling all the time so if it’s on it will receive the latest photograph.
After that, what the delegates choose to do with the image is up to them. Don’t worry, we’ve sorted out the privacy issues beforehand. The image is personal to the individual and no one else, unless those caught on camera, can choose to share it.
That means individuals are free to use the image on their favourite social media channel if they wish, it’s entirely up to them.
PhotoTap’s servers also automatically send the image to the email address the delegate has provided.
Cutting down on the number of badges the delegates required made life just a little easier for them and saved the client some money.
Making all that work – such as pushing all the data up to PhotoTap – wasn’t a big issue for us, although it did take some time. We did have to overcome one or two technical hurdles: for instance, delegates could have multiple badges so we had to allow, in our specifically-designed code, for the fact that they could present any of those badges for tapping but they still needed to receive the image.
It was great to work with PhotoTap and we look forward to collaborating with them again. We also think the process and work we did was a great snapshot (so to speak) of Celadin’s flexibility and ability to work with other software services to make our clients prestigious events run even better.
Integrate with anything
Other examples of integration include Celadin securely connecting to IBM’s identity-management and event-registration systems thereby allowing access to data such as travel arrangements and logistics, including which flight a delegate is on, which hotel they are booked into and which activities they are due to attend at the event.
Celadin pulls data from IBM every five minutes during the event to ensure changes such as travel arrangements are managed well. So, for example, delegates will be told when check out is due and where to meet the transport for the airport transfer.