by Michael J. Shapiro | March 02, 2017
Etouches, an event-management software provider, has acquired the event-tech startup Loopd, a platform that uses Bluetooth sensors and beacons to connect attendees and collect data. The entire Loopd team, including the co-founders, have joined Etouches. Loopd founder Brian Friedman is now Etouches' director of product for mobile, data and engagement.
 
"The acquisition is another step in the same direction we've been going, which is leading the charge in innovation," said Oni Chukwu, CEO of Etouches. "And it really speaks to how event data is becoming a critical piece in how people measure the value they're getting out of events."
 
Loopd has a unique approach to acquiring and processing that data. At the heart of the platform is the Loopd badge, a bidirectional beacon that attendees attach to their lanyards. The beacon communicates with those worn by other attendees, as well as with sensors placed around the venue. Using the Loopd mobile app, attendees can find exactly who they're looking for, or the types of attendees they wish to meet among other attendees nearby. 
 
Loopd also has a dashboard-driven analytics engine that is updated in real time. So event organizers and marketers can log on to see attendee traffic flow on a daily basis, or even as the event progresses, to see where people are spending the most time. The reporting is much more in-depth, as well, regarding who is networking with whom, which exhibitors are getting the most interest and other such information.
 
Additionally, attendees can log on after the show each day to get a list of who they interacted with, which booths they visited, what sessions they attended and more.
 
"After the development of our in-house event-performance solution, Loopd was the logical choice to help continue our journey to offer clients data-driven technology to enhance their events in real time," said Shane Edmonds, CTO of Etouches. "Once integrated into the Etouches platform, Loopd's technology will be exposed to an entirely new audience that will be able to take full advantage of the offering."
 
Loopd engineers currently are working on integrating the company's key products -- Loopd Badge, Loopd App and Loopd Analytics -- into the Etouches ecosystem. The integration should be complete later this year. Etouches executives intend to provide more updates in the coming weeks.