Proxfinity’s Flashy Badges Might Actually Make Event Networking Easier

February 6, 2020

Debuted this week at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Haute House, Proxfinity CUE 2.0 gives event attendees an easier way to network through what company officials describe as “professionally identifiable data.”

Networking is one of the biggest challenges for many event attendees. It’s not always easy to introduce yourself to a stranger or identify who the best people are for you to talk to. Sometimes you need an ice-breaker, or a cue, to get those conversations started. Proxfinity’s new smart badge is designed to help event organizers make sparking that first connection easier for attendees, while also accumulating data that can be used post-event.

Before an event, the Proxfinity team profiles participants through a fast, simple screening process based on behavioral science and the purpose of the event. Attendees just answer a few questions online. Onsite, when the wearer is in the vicinity (5 to 10 feet) of another attendee who has provided the same answer to the designated question, the badge’s LED screen lights up and displays the matchee’s name.

The criteria and data for matching can vary from event to event. For example, at the 2019 CEMA Summit, which used a prior release of the badges, attendees answered a few questions to determine their “spirit animal” as a reception ice-breaker. However, for a traditional conference, this could be used to match skills, interests, geography, etc.   

There’s constant pressure on trade show organizers to make their event productive. And even for seasoned attendees, trade shows can be overwhelming.

“The Proxfinity CUE 2.0 solves these challenges for both attendees and show organizers,” says Lisa Carrel, CEO of Proxfinity. “Our smart badges make it extremely simple to connect with the right people in a large crowd, even if they are otherwise strangers. They also let organizers see where the crowds are making the most connections, and non-intrusively guide large numbers of people to key locations, speakers or booths.”

Carrel says that this combination of matching and insight elevates the entire relationship between an on-the-ground participant and the people running the event overall, with minimal time and tech investment. 

New features in Proxfinity CUE 2.0 include heat mapping, traffic and session tracking, live polling and gaming. The form factor is also improved from CUE 1.0 – Carrel describes the new badges as being “smaller than a smartphone and lighter than a pad of sticky notes.” 

Also new is a high-resolution, e-book-style screen powered by an accelerometer, which detects the rotation of a screen for properly oriented display. (An accelerometer is what changes the display from portrait to landscape on a mobile phone or tablet based on how you are holding the device.) When an attendee lifts their flashing badge to see who they have been matched with, the screen rotates for easy access to that information. It rotates back to position when dropped back to hang on its lanyard, so the matched person can easily see their name.

 Proxfinity badge

The CUE communicates with Proxfinity’s back-end SaaS platform, so data is saved and can continue to be used after the event. Event organizers can use this to gain further insights into attendees and help with sales and marketing outreach, or to help attendees make meaningful connections later with others they weren’t able to connect with on-site.

The lightweight Proxfinity CUE 2.0 is reusable, reprogrammable, and officials say it has three full days of battery life. Clients can brand and reprogram the badges as needed to customize them for each event.  

For more information on Proxfinity CUE 2.0, go here.


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.