This article has been contributed by Kalpesh Raval, VP of Technology at a2z, Inc.
We live in extraordinary times. Our world is full of choices, mostly driven by amazing technological innovations. As a show manager, you may evaluate a number of Exposition Management, Association Management, Registration and CRM systems, and make selections based on what works best for your organization and your users. Having a wide range of options is great, but when you implement these systems, you are often left with the challenge of integrating data from these disparate systems to provide a seamless experience to your attendees, exhibitors, speakers and even your internal users (sales, accounting, exposition, finance, etc.).
One question you will always have when you are dealing with distinct technologies is, “Can these systems talk to each other?”. The answer is yes. Just the way two people use a common language to communicate with each other, today’s applications can communicate with each other using web services.
At a2z, we have always believed in providing a seamless experience to attendees, exhibitors, speakers and internal users of the system, regardless of where the data is coming from. Since 2004, a2z has provided a2z Web Services to make available relevant data housed in our applications to clients and partners. We also collaborate with our partners to create standardized web integrations between the systems to facilitate data exchange. This facilitates a seamless experience to users of the connected systems, helping them maximize their time and focus on their business goals.
In case you were wondering, here are some common scenarios where information is being used by a2z or provided by a2z through web services:
- Transferring information (accounts) from your CRM system into a2z
- Single sign-on into a2z or from a2z into a partner (association management, registration, etc.) site
- Transferring information(organizations, members, etc.) from your association management system into a2z
- Posting detailed or summary data from a2z info your accounting system
- Getting conference/session information out of a2z
- Badge registration based on the booth assignments in a2z
Below are the types of data that our clients and partners can pull from a2z using web services:
- Floorplan Information
- Exhibitor Data
- Financial Information
- Conference Information
- Company Data
Also, here is a quick list of some, amongst many, of the companies and systems we currently integrate with:
- Convention Data Service
- J. Spargo & Associates
While web services expose your data to other systems, it is very important to have appropriate security controls in place to ensure that each system is getting the data that it is authorized to get and not get other data. To accomplish this, a2z recently implemented role-based access to these web services to further protect your data by exposing only intended data for authorized use. To cover our costs and fuel continued innovations and enhancements, a2z charges nominal fee for access to these web services in some instances.
Please reach out to your Project Manager if you are already thinking of a scenario where a2z’s web services or integrations can help facilitate information flow between systems you currently use to provide a more seamless experience to your users.