Near Field Technology (NFC) on the horizon. Blog post by Captix.

Near Field Technology

Picture yourself at an upcoming trade show.

You look around your booth expecting the awkward dance of attendees adjusting their badges to the light and the back and forth of scanners focusing on those awkward barcodes.  The clumsy lead-capture-shuffle is gone.  Your sales teams are collecting leads in a graceful manner, like a Broadway play of Swan Lake.  Attendee data is collected perfectly, tagged and routed to your sales team in seconds.  It’s flawless and beautiful – and available today. Read more

These tech events are on our list.

These Tech Events Are On Our List for 2017

Playing favorites with events is risky, especially because there are so many great ones out there. Nevertheless, this week we’re throwing caution to the wind and presenting a few 2015 events that have piqued our interest. We’re focusing our list on technology events because we are a SaaS company ourselves, and we’re limiting ourselves to four picks. Some of these events are industry leaders that been around for years, and some are very unique events you won’t find on the beaten path.

SXSW Interactive takes place in our neck of the woods, here in Austin, TX. SXSW Interactive is a self-proclaimed “incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity”. SXSW Interactive takes place from March 14-March 18th, and includes cutting-edge panels and discussions from industry leaders. It offers many networking opportunities, and has become known as “the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today”.  We can also tell you from experience, it doesn’t hurt that this event is really fun.

FailconThis event’s premise is in its name. Failcon’s motto is “Embrace Your Mistakes. Build Your Success.” During these international events, technology founders, investors, developers, and more share their failures so others can learn from their mistakes. Failcon events take place all over the world at varied times of year; choose to attend in many locations from Grenoble or Porto Alegre to Tokyo or Tehran.

Techweek.  If you attend a Techweek event, you’ll hear from speakers who are authorities in their respective technology ecosystems. This conference is distinctive because speakers are nominated by the Techweek audience, and each group of speakers is unique in each city.  Past speakers include celebrated technology business minds such as the founder of Reddit, and Buzzfeed’s CEO.

Small Business Web Summit.  This conference started in 2011 with the idea to create an event that would bring leaders from cloud software companies into one room. If you’re part of a SaaS company and you cater to small businesses, this will be a great opportunity for you to mingle with peers and potential partners.  Past participants include innovative companies like MailChimp and HubSpot.

Have you heard about an amazing event that didn’t make our shortlist? Let us know- we want to hear about it!


A Tiny Horror Story: Bad Wi-Fi

A Tiny Horror Story: Bad Wi-Fi

October is a spooky month so it’s a good time to share our own tiny horror story.  There is no better villain for our tale than that terrifying specter we all dread facing: bad Wifi.

On a dark and stormy night, my colleague, Elizabeth, was attending a large conference as onsite support for our lead capture application.  At the show, the exhibitor booth was using our real time reporting lead capture application on Dell Venue 8 tablets. This real-time reporting version of Captix:Scan requires a local Wifi connection to work properly.

Before the event, the exhibitors had shelled out nearly $20,000 for the costly trade show Wifi connection. However, in the middle of the show, despite everyone’s best efforts, no one could connect to the network!

It was then that Elizabeth first knew things would take a terrifying turn if they couldn’t get online. Without lead capture, leads would be lost and ROI would fall dramatically. Luckily, the clever Captix team managed to solve the problem — getting our client connected and our application running properly — but only at the expense of considerable time and manpower.

The moral of this story is that sometimes Wifi is not the answer but the problem.

In fact, there are two main benefits to staying offline at your next trade show:


1.  More Face Time: And no, I’m not referring to the popular iPhone application.

We are part of a business generation that likes to be connected, but the downside of this techno-centric mindset is that most people are glued to their phones.  If you peel your eyes away from your PC, you just might strike up a conversation with your next hot lead.

So, set down your social networks for an hour, and actually be social.  Remember, you can always Tweet or check your email during a coffee break, but you only have so much time at the trade show to make real-life business connections.  If you and your team focus on the real world instead of the online world, your booth becomes more lively and attractive to potential clients and partners.

(Not to mention, less internet time is proving to be good for your own mental health. The first person to be checked into rehab for internet addiction due to wearing GoogleGlass has happened.)


2.  Less Wifi Dependency: There are many great lead capture apps out there, but the catch is that most require you to be connected to the Internet.

Unfortunately, even if the application is working flawlessly, any bump in your Internet service can cause you to lose both leads and valuable time trying to get back online.  In essence, when you are dependent on a Wifi connection that you can’t truly control, you risk looking unprofessional.

Thankfully, the truth is that you don’t have to be online to capture leads.  As many of our own clients have discovered, it’s  much more reliable to pick a lead retrieval application that works in airplane mode by storing leads locally on your device until you’re ready to sync with the cloud.


There are still reasons to purchase and use Wifi at your show! If you have the budget, and can afford to spend hundreds to sometimes even thousands on a dedicated Wifi connection, then it can’t hurt to provide that option.

Mobile hotspots can also be very useful at trade shows.  You never know when you’ll need to hop online in a business emergency.  However, it is definitely best to restrict online time to only what is necessary for demonstrations and vital administrative tasks. Staying offline can give you an edge and help you engage with your real-life audience.

Escape the horror story. Stay offline.

(Altered) Photo Credit

MOBILE Payment, established 2014 addressing Apple Pay and other technology adoptions. Written by authors at Captix.

Mobile Payment // Technology in New York City

In casually walking Bedford Street in Brooklyn, New York, I noticed several things. First, every single person is dressed in hipster-trendy outfits, which could make you feel really unfashionable. New York City is an American hub of high fashion but walking along the homes of New Yorkers shows that these residents walk their talk.

The other thing I notice is that everyone is light years ahead on technology. Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not saying the rest of the country is missing out on the hover boards that New Yorkers have straight out of Back to the Future II. I’m saying New York, as a people, as an economically thriving metropolis, has adopted technologies in effective ways; they’re truly integrated into their lives and make things more efficient. Which is the whole point of new technologies.

A few of the technologies that are clearly integrated into New York’s daily pulse include:

  1. Mobile Payment by the customer

Many apps have been pushed out that support mobile payment. The first ones that come to mind from back home in Austin, Texas, include Starbucks (upload money, almost like a gift card, and pay from your cell phone screen in the store to stack up rewards), or Belly (offering deals through several local restaurants who offer rewards when you scan the app).

When I am in Austin and see a friend take out their phone to pay, it’s because we are at a very specific store that offers a mobile payment (i.e., Starbucks). Also, the store is likely where the friend frequents enough to remember to take out their phone to pay with (i.e., Starbucks). When a friend pays with their phone, most everyone in the surrounding proximity gives the, “Well, look at you Mr. Fancy Pants” stare or comment. Back home in Austin, paying with a cell phone is still an unnatural reach for payment, away from the casual wallet reach.

In New York City, I have seen at least twice as many customers whip out their cell phones to make a payment. They have truly started to make the switch to pulling out their PayPal app, or other scanning or Near Field Communication (NFC)-powered payment option. It’s surprising where mobile payment options are found as well. Coffee shops of all kinds (from Starbucks to Mom n’ Pop shops), clothing and retail shops, book stores, grocers, etc.

I think my favorite instance was seeing a jogger come into a cafe to purchase a bottle of water. Instead of pulling out a wallet or cash, or even a credit card, he paused his music on his phone, opened his PayPal app and scanned his screen to pay. His apartment keys were tied to his shoe lace but the rest of his life (his music, his phone, his map, his health / running tracker AND his wallet) were all on his phone. (Someday he won’t have to have his physical key tied to his shoe lace either!)

  1. Mobile payment by the business

Maybe this is obvious but, before the consumers can engage with mobile payment technology, the store has to OFFER the option. Most businesses are looking towards mobile payments.

And, if a business is not offering a “scan your mobile phone here” payment method, they at least are using their own mobile devices to accept payment. Almost everywhere I go, someone is taking orders on their tablet, with a “square” plugged in if it’s an iOS device to accept payment or they are connected to some other type of mobile phone swipe or scanning device.

Again, it’s amazing what businesses are using mobile devices to accept payments. It’s more than established businesses. It’s also street vendors, with blankets of vintage Batman signs, and “I <3 NY” shirts; it’s food vendors selling every type of non-alcoholic beverage you could want and a hotdog; it’s the vegan ice cream truck in Williamsburg or the Chinese-owned Taco shop in the Bronx. Mobile payments are everywhere.

  1. Apple Pay

Don’t get too excited. No, NYC hasn’t adapted this overnight. But I wouldn’t put it past them.

Apple’s Apple Pay is revolutionizing the entire mobile payment process for both consumers and business owners. As we have seen, several apps have tried to offer mobile payment but it’s been a hard take for the majority of users (outside of NYC). Apple Pay will store credit card information on your phone (or watch) so that you can instantly share information securely to complete a transaction. Apple has enough of a loyal customer base that it’s likely to be adopted by their iPhone users.

As for businesses, it will be a great investment. Customers will eliminate the 200 million swipes that happen with a credit card every year. Online stores will completely eliminate the hassle of typing in the 16-digit code and the not-so-secure “security code” on the back of a card. The security breaches that happened at Home Depot and Target will effectively be eliminated because information will stay private. If a phone is stolen, codes can be turned off so you won’t lose your information, like you would with a plastic credit card.

If society does adapt the concept of mobile pay, e-commerce and in-person purchases will be more seamless, increasing sales; security will change the way we handle losing our cards or getting information stolen; and, potentially the most interesting: wallets will slowly become obsolete. The one city I know we can look to to adopt this revolutionary payment system is New York City.

But what about you? What about your city? Are ‘we’ ready to make wallets obsolete and antiquated?