Providing enhanced social interaction services for industry exhibitors at large medical conferences

Szomszor, Martin; Kostkova, Patty; Cattuto, Ciro; Van den Broeck, Wouter; Barrat, Alain and Alani, Harith (2010). Providing enhanced social interaction services for industry exhibitors at large medical conferences. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Developments in eSystems Engineering (DeSE '10), 6-8 Sep 2010, London.



Large medical conferences offer opportunities for participants to find industry exhibitors that offer products and services relevant to their professional interests. Companies often invest significant effort in promotions that encourage participants to spend time at their stand (e.g. providing free gifts, leaflets, running competitions) and register some contact details. Attendees will use the conference to find others who also share similar professional interests, as well as keep up to date with developments on products such has pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. From both perspectives, a number of improvements can be made to enhance the overall experience by using existing active RFID technology: Vendors would be able to more closely monitor the success of their promotions with statistics on the stand's visitors, as well as find more potential customers by using real-time visualizations; Participants would be able to log their social interactions, keeping an electronic history of the people they have met. The SocioPatterns project and Live Social Semantics experiments have recently demonstrated a scalable and robust infrastructure that would support these kinds of improvements. In this paper, we propose an infrastructure that provides enhanced social interaction services for vendors and participants by using small active RFID badges worn by attendees and attached to fixed locations

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