E-Poster Touch WCRR 2016
The event: 

During the 11th World Congress on Railway Research WCRR 2016, the most important world event about railway research, organized by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group in partnership with Studio EGA, Meetbit - TC Group has developed the E-Poster Touch software, an elegant touchscreen and richly customizable multimedia information station. During the congress, which took place from 29 May to 2 June 2016 at the Stella Polare Congress Center, managed by Fiera Milano Congressi, Meetbit has set up 16 E-Poster Touch stations thanks to which participants from all over the world could consult all the posters created by researchers from over 38 different countries.  

The following case history is the result of the work carried out by Meetbit for a team of members belonging to the Italian national association Federcongressi&eventi, formed by Studio EGA, SEM 2000 and TC Group

The request: 

Part of the organizer's need was to present about 1000 abstracts which were the result of the research of international experts during the eleventh edition of the WCRR, the World Congress on Railway Research. 

The first objective was to offer an innovative service that could integrate the classic descriptive text to the multimedia contents necessary to adequately present these projects while ensuring a high degree of interaction between authors and participants

A second objective was to spare participants coming from dozens of countries around the world the hassle of carrying around poster tubes across the globe

The third objective was to contain the spaces and costs related to the use of the exhibition area.  

The last objective was to allow authors to comment their work despite a dense scientific program which didn’t include a traditional posters discussion.  

Our solution 

After a brief and brainstorming session in close collaboration with the organizer, Studio EGA, with the client, Ferrovie dello Stato Group, and with the partner of Studio EGA for the part of management software, SEM 2000, we developed an IT solution which solved the problem. 

Meetbit designed E-Poster Touch's internal software to interact directly with the web platform created by SEM 2000 for the collection and evaluation of contributions, which was already integrated into the management software by Studio EGA. This system integration has allowed a seamless flow of data and information from the authors to the scientific committee through Meetbit.  

All this was possible also under the supervision of Studio EGA, who through its management system was able to verify and monitor the data flow at every stage, providing the client with a live update of the process. 

The multiplatform software developed by Meetbit for both the touch totems and the App has allowed the visualization of multimedia material such as video, audio and images -in addition to the classic documents in pdf format- in an organized and organic way. Moreover, the posters could be browsed not only by title and author, but also by nationality, topic and keyword. 

The need for savings, in terms of money and space, was guaranteed by limiting the number of totems and integrating this solution within the APP

The proposal developed to guarantee a good degree of interactivity included an in-APP voting system APP only for registered participants. The integration with the SEM 2000 management software provided by Studio EGA has allowed to print on each badge a personal voting code which, once it was scanned through the APP, verified the voting privileges for each participant and allowed them to express their preference according to specific criteria dictated by Ferrovie dello Stato Group.  

To overcome the lack of a specific moment dedicated to posters discussion the author recorded an audio commentary that was associated to each poster and sent to the Secretariat together with the rest of the material. This comment could be heard while viewing the work on the totems through a special headset. 

Any questions to the author could be formulated through a form present both on the APP and on the totems. 

Final result 

To create an optimal interactive experience in the use of software by more than 700 participants, among stakeholders, researchers and key opinion leaders; in agreement with Studio EGA, we set up the totems in two separate exhibition areas, each equipped with 8 multimedia stations. 

The integration within the APP of a system for attendance monitoring has made it possible to have an accurate report regarding content access, broken down by type, topic and time peaks.  

936 posters were collected and evaluated via web platform 
Over 10.000 views of posters 
79 questions asked to authors through the various platforms 

The analysis of the data provided to the client will allow an improvement in the scientific planning of the next edition of the event as this analysis included peak flow times to the area as well as the hottest scientific topics discussed and displayed.

Finally, the display of posters on a limited number of digital totems avoided that sense of solace and dispersion which is typical of a traditional poster area, restoring that feeling of vitality of the initiative for the client, the participants and the authors alike. 

Meetbit was very proud to have contributed to the event’s success with its own IT solutions, and the recognition for the project by TC Group was evident during the X Convention Federcongressi, in which TC Group was awarded the FCE Excellence Awards “for the effectiveness of the use of the E-Poster technology and the exploitation of all its potentialities also in terms of interaction and use from mobile devices, rethinking the classic poster sessions in a modern key and giving them a renewed appeal for the participants and for the customers of the event".
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