It is an interesting perspective when our company exhibits at a trade show. We participate in two shows per year. As an exhibitor, we receive our kits, deadlines and other correspondence providing us the details we need to order our products and services for our booth. We have also received several e-mails from third party suppliers inquiring about our booth’s needs. In all cases except for the general service contractor, we were directed to download and complete a form, write down all credit card details for payment, and fax it to the vendor. If this doesn’t concern you, it should. Full credit card details on a piece of paper going to a random fax machine can be picked up by anyone on the receiving end. Even worse in the case of this trade show, the instructions from the shipping vendor were to complete a credit card form and fax along with a photocopy of both the front and back side of my credit card. The sales representative found it odd that I was unwilling to do this and indicated that their credit card company required full and complete information on the card. I can certainly understand that, but to require that your customers expose themselves to risk so you can cover yours makes no sense to me. I asked if I could provide it over the phone and she said no. To get her the complete credit card information, I had to send her several documents, in pieces, so that my credit card information was not in one single place together where it could be stolen.
Whether you have an order management system or not, not following the credit card industry’s best practices in handling sensitive credit card information is dangerous business. Requesting and/or keeping paper documents with complete credit card information on it is risky and exposes you to fraud and breach. Disgruntled employees just may decide to grab that file folder containing all your credit card authorization forms for your biggest show and complete their Christmas shopping…
The first and thus far only order management solution in the exhibition industry to be validated and certified against the latest PCI 2.0 standard
Durham, NH, September 12, 2011 – Telling Stone Software announces PA-DSS 2.0 certification of their flagship product, Boomer Commerce® as a validated payment application by the PCI Security Standards Council. Telling Stone received the formal notification on September 1, 2011.
Telling Stone has been named by NH Business Magazine as one of the state’s emerging “hot high tech” companies.
We industry folk know that recent good news indicates that face-to-face meetings are picking up and things look a lot better than they did a year or two ago. So now that show organizers and meeting planners are booking conventions and trade shows, how can you be sure you’re one of the venue finalists? One way is to assure your customers that you can make and keep exhibitors happy.
When we talk to venues about implementing online ordering and hear objections (yes, it happens occasionally), it’s usually one of three points: 1) we outsource most of what we offer so we don’t need a storefront on our web site; 2) online ordering is not as personal as talking to the exhibitor and determining what their needs are; or 3) the general service contractor has it so we don’t need it. All three are reasonable points, but I’d like to counter each one.
We began developing Boomer Commerce this past May and Version 1.0 is in beta right now with our first customer. It’s not just any customer… it’s one of the major convention centers on the Las Vegas strip. It’s been an honor working with them to get the details of exhibitor online ordering right, and we look forward to implementing Boomer Commerce across all their facilities. We officially go live on February 1st, 2011.
We’re still looking for a couple more early adopters who are interested in implementing online ordering in exchange for deep discounts during the first year. If you’re a facility, general service contractor or third party vendor who wants to step up your online ordering presence, don’t hesitate! Drop us a line.
Telling Stone is in the business of providing software that replaces manual forms used by exhibitors to place orders for goods and services they need in their trade show booth. That’s a good start to making things more efficient, but the exhibition industry overall needs a strategic plan to standardize and manage the data required to automate the exhibitor services portion of a trade show from beginning to end. Between show management, the venue, the general service contractor, specialty suppliers and EACs, there’s a lot of duplicate data being stored without a standard in place to support its sharing. That data includes: (more…)
It’s amazing how much we take for granted shopping online now. Shoes, books, music. And yet within the exhibition industry, we are still too dependent on forms and faxes to place orders for trade show booths. An experienced exhibitor often knows what to order, but a less experienced exhibitor can spend a lot of time trying to interpret products on the form. Then if you calculate the amount of time it takes to fill out a single form (never mind a dozen), re-write contact information and submit payment information several times on paper, it’s boggling. When the form(s) finally get faxed into a black hole, the exhibitor’s credit card data could be lying underneath the fax machine for all to see and the order never even seen by those who need to fulfill it. (more…)