a2z Integrates Floor Plan Module with The Freeman Companies' CAD system

a2z, Inc. has developed new technology to transfer floor plan changes from show manager to service contractor with ease. Using a2z’s web-based software a2zShowTM, show managers have been maintaining their floor plans online in real-time, to make the most current version of the floor plan available at all times on their event websites. Now, service contractors can download the changes made to that online floor plan directly into their CAD software.

Director of Technology Services for the Freeman Companies, Mike McCool, commented on what this integration means from a service contractor’s perspective.

"What a2z has been able to achieve represents a significant advancement for the exhibition industry. Historically, show management has relied on their general service contractor to update their floor plans. Now with web-based tools, such as a2zShow, show managers can do this themselves. Up until this time, however, there was no integration between the web-based software and AutoCAD®, the primary floor planning software that most service contractors use. This was a concern. To successfully execute an event, and manage our show properties and costs effectively, an accurate, up-to-date floor plan is crucial. a2z has filled a huge gap. It’s a win-win-win situation for show managers, contractors and exhibitors. Their new technology keeps everyone up-to-date and in the loop, at no additional cost to anyone."

President of a2z, Rajiv Jain, added, "No longer will service contractors need to maintain floor plans for their customers served by a2z. It will all be automated."

a2zShow’s floor plan management tools allow show managers to merge, split, and delete booths from a trade show hall. a2zShow’s simple interface makes it the software of choice for many show organizers to put their floor plans online and sell booth space. However, most service contractors prefer to use their own CAD software to maintain trade show floor plans. a2z’s latest innovation brings both worlds together, allowing the show manager and the service contractor to each use the software that best suits them. There are many benefits to this arrangement.

One benefit is improved communication between the show manager and service contractor. With a2z’s new technology, the service contractor can see exactly what changes the show manager has made to the floor plan. Both the show manager and service contractor will have the same accurate and up-to-date copy of the show floor in front of them when discussing changes and layout, which of course facilitates communication.

The direct integration of a2zShow’s floor plan module with CAD software also means less room for errors to be made. First, when the show manager makes changes to the floor plan in a2zShow, certain rules are set to prevent the show manager or staff from making unacceptable changes, such as double booking booth space. Second, because the changes are imported directly to the CAD file from the a2zShow floor plan, it is next to impossible for the show contractor to misinterpret a show manager’s requests. This is a big improvement over relaying changes over the phone, fax or by scribbling on a print-out.

The reduction in confusion alone is a big time saver. Add to that the fact that only one person has to make changes to the floor plan, and that the transfer of the floor plan file from a2zShow to a CAD program takes merely minutes, and you can begin to guess how much time this new integration feature saves both the show manager and the service contractor.

In short, with this new capability, everyone stays on the same page. The show manager, attendees and exhibitors see the latest floor plan online on the show website, while show contractors can download it at any time into their own software on their own desktops. There is less mess, less confusion, and less time and money is spent on the process . . . with better results.