(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles spotlighting participants in the recent “What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch” coordinated by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for The Development Corporation of Knox County. The competition was won by Erica Grant with Quantum Lock, and you can read our previous article about her initiative here.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Fred Jacob is a civil engineer by training, so he says that it is the engineering side of his brain that allows him to think. That fact, coupled with his experience running bridal shows for years and developing the BrideScan app, have opened-up several new business opportunities.
They include another app, named Scan2Scan, that Jacob pitched during the recent “What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch” (WTBI). Like its sibling, the newer app is designed to link-up business professionals and qualified attendees based on needs, availability, and contact information at an expo or trade show. In the case of attendees, it allows them to stay organized during each show and have access to all information directly at their fingertips. For the exhibitors, it captures and stores contact information electronically for follow-up, provides important analytics, and saves on the printing and shipping of numerous handouts.
A new feature for both apps allows show organizers to sell tickets through the app, providing a seamless process for the organizer and a new revenue source for Jacob. That feature will be used for worldwide registration for the Photo Booth Expo set for February in Las Vegas. That’s a huge deal considering that the attendees come from 56 countries, and the app is available for attendees in 200 countries to download and use. “Nearly 400 tickets were sold online the first week,” Jacob said proudly.
The Knoxville entrepreneur is also expanding the types of events that he might coordinate.
When we interviewed Jacob for this and an earlier article, he described a recent experience attending a local garden show that propelled him on a track of new opportunities. “You were overwhelmed by what you saw,” he said of the number of vendors and attendees. From his experience managing bridal shows, Jacob knew there had to be a better way to configure the venue, so he began to apply his engineering knowledge to the challenge.
“Instead of rows and rows of exhibit booths and dividers, I’ve come-up with quads,” he explained. “Each is an island of four squares.” So, instead of walking up and down row after row, attendees go around the quads. The layout provides better visibility for the exhibitors and a better experience for the attendees.
Jacob has also fine-tuned the moving in and out process that is time consuming and costly. What’s his solution? It’s what he calls a 30-foot driveway that actually allows exhibitors to drive onto the floor. It speeds-up both the set-up and takedown process at a show.
Like so many entrepreneurs, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jacob Marketing Inc. says he’s only constrained in his growth plans by funding for both coding and marketing.
NEXT WEEK: Anthony Ragland describes his vision for KnoxvillePage.