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How One Convention Center Is Making Life Easier for Exhibitors

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Author: David McMillin       

When exhibitors began setting up their booths at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) for Toronto ComiCon, held from March 17–19, they were spared one frustration typically associated with move-in, thanks to MTCC’s new mobile app. Launched in partnership with trucking and logistics firm Voyage Control, the tool eliminates wasted time during the move-in process by allowing exhibitors to easily pre-reserve a time for unloading materials. It paid off immediately at ComiCon: Thanks to the app, instead of being directed to a marshaling yard to wait, exhibitors followed their scheduled times to unload, saving each around 20 minutes.

The app helped exhibitors save more than time, though. By reducing idling times and unnecessary driving for vehicles carrying materials for the 125-plus exhibitors, the venue estimates that the app cut total driving distance by 500 kilometers — the equivalent of driving from Toronto to Montréal. That translates to a 144-kilogram decrease in carbon emissions, adding to the venue’s sustainability initiatives. Recently, the MTCC’s South Building earned platinum-level certification from BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association), which recognizes buildings that demonstrate the highest standards in environmental leadership. The app “represents our ongoing commitment to innovation and offering sustainable solutions,” Vince Quattrociocchi, vice president of operations at the MTCC, said. “Moving in our events more efficiently with this mobile app is a real game-changer.”

Using Technology to Transform the Exhibitor Experience

Many in the business-events industry have focused on what mobile apps can do for attendees. With enhanced networking capabilities, social-media-sharing functionality, the ability to anonymously respond to polls, and more, apps are indeed revolutionizing attendees’ on-site experience. But the MTCC app demonstrates that technology can eliminate some of the behind-the-scenes challenges of trade shows as well. Melanie Wade, social media and communications specialist at MTCC, told PCMA that the app also allows exhibitors to receive notifications from dock staff and relay their exact location and estimated time of arrival to team members on-site. “Overall, it provides planners with an instant understanding of what is happening during move-in,” Wade said.

The app is still in its early stages — Toronto ComiCon was the first event where it was available — but Wade said that the MTCC team is in the process of introducing the app to more clients and is “very hopeful that all other clients will use it in the future.” With a full calendar of shows and conferences, it’s easy to see how the environmental impact could add up as more exhibitors download and use the mobile tool.

Interested in learning more about how meetings and trade shows can make an eco-friendly difference? Check out “Reducing Food Waste at Your Meeting” in the Convene CMP Series.

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