(ATLANTA – Sept. 24, 2015)Your stomach starts grumbling.
But you can’t afford to break away to go foraging for a meal and leave your post unattended at a convention with thousands of potential customers and industry contacts passing by. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have lunch delivered directly to your booth without having to take a single step outside of the convention hall?
Now Georgia World Congress Center exhibitors and customers can do just that – and the power is right at their fingertips. Atlanta-based Mobl Tabl, a new online/mobile food service at the Georgia World Congress Center, is designed to feed hungry and busy conventioneers, without sacrificing productivity and also minimizing disruption.
The service debuted at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo held in the GWCC’s Building B on Sept. 16-18.
“This exciting news will be a great opportunity to provide a new service to Show Managers and Exhibitors while enhancing the overall experience at the Georgia World Congress Center,” said Adam Covington, Director of Operations for Levy Restaurants, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s food and beverage partner.
Here’s how it works:
Users go to www.gwccfood.com or scan Mobl Tabl’s QR Code on their smartphones or tablets, which brings up a menu of food items and prices. After validating your amount and placing your order, you enter your booth location, your name, phone number and e-mail address and any notes. The next steps involve entering credit card details and clicking on the pay button to submit an order.
A few minutes later, your food and receipt will be delivered directly to your booth.
“I think this product is going to help to sell exhibitor food services in the booth and keep exhibitors in the booth and have them sell to their potential customers because this allows them to stay in there and not have to go out looking for food, whether it’s in another food service area or across the street,” said Mark Zimmerman, GWCC’s General Manager. “I think it’s going to help revolutionize what we do as far as exhibitor offerings go.”
While technology-based food delivery is commonplace for such things as ordering pizza at home or work, the convention center industry has lagged behind, said Mobl Tabl CEO George Verghis, who lauded the GWCC and Levy for leading the charge.
“When you look at it, GWCC is ahead of the curve by implementing something like this,” said Verghis. “This concept of pulling up a phone and placing an order isn’t technologically advanced when you look at other industries, but from the convention center space it hasn’t grown that far.”
How do Levy’s food couriers find the right spot to deliver each order during busy conventions in a massive, multiple-floor 3.9 million square-foot facility such as the Georgia World Congress Center? By utilizing heat map technology developed by Mobl Tabl. Once an order is placed, Levy’s crew can look on a computer screen with a map layout customized specifically for each show or expo and pinpoint the exact delivery location.
You can also track your order status and receive updates via text messaging.
In its trial run, Mobl Tabl is offering cold food only – sandwiches, wraps, salads, gourmet cookies and drinks – said Covington, but hot foods may be added to the menu as the service grows, Covington said. And Mobl Tabl is only available during show hours.
Why is a QR Code used instead of a Smartphone app?
“The adage that ‘there’s an app for that’ has gotten a little old,” said Verghis. “Most of the customers have gotten to the point where they’re overwhelmed with apps. The choice of using an app, downloading an app for five minutes before you can order food is a lot of times a big barrier to purchase. Our goal is trying to give the customer the least amount of hurdles before they get to an order screen.”
You’re also not required to create an account before you can order, Verghis said.
“Our idea is to make it as seamless as possible,” said Covington. “The idea really is looking at exhibitors that don’t have time to get away from their booths. Their No. 1 job and focus while they’re here is to sell the product that they have – but they also need to eat.”
Senior Staff Writer
Georgia World Congress Center Authority