PowerTower Charging Stations Offer Unique Branding Opportunity at Events.
EventsInAmerica.com (EIA) spoke with Mike Maggini, Sales Manager for PowerTower, at the EXHIBITORLIVE show in Las Vegas.
EIA: Tell us about your business. What’s it all about and who are some of the customers you serve?
Maggini: We manufacture, rent and sell mobile-device charging stations. We have 3 models we can ship all over North America – two are interactive units and the other is a straight charging station. We work with festivals, events, fairs, venues, colleges, hospitals, exhibit spaces – pretty much the whole gamut – anyone who’s putting on an event. We can customize the interactive units and pre-load them with apps. Sponsors love these units for their branding potential and because they are a unique activation platform.
You have a live feed on this particular charging station.
Yes, this is one of our apps: It’s our photo booth charging station. We can customize the overlay on it with the sponsor’s branding and also include the sponsor’s pre-populated message. When a visitor takes a photo, he can share it on social media or email, and the sponsor’s branding will stay with the photo the entire time. So it’s a good exposure opportunity for sponsors. We also offer a Twitter app, if an event organizer wants to showcase an event hashtag or handle. We can also pull live feeds, play promotional videos, show the sponsor’s website or Facebook page. There’s also a reader app which can show an agenda or a floor plan or a slideshow or pictures. And then we offer unique customizations. If a sponsor is looking for something unusual, 9 times out of 10 we can accommodate that, as well.
What is the minimum length of term for a rental?
It’s a flat rate and you can have it on-site for anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Transit time doesn’t count against you. We’ll coordinate the transit. You just tell us the date you want it delivered and the date to be picked up and we’ll take care of it.
And do you do all the coordination of the Twitter feeds and other feeds, in house?
Yes, that’s something the client would forward to us, the content they want on the stations. And then we test it on our units in the office, making sure everything is compatible and working functionally. So when the client gets it, all they have to do is attach the base, attach the shelf, get it connected to the internet, plug it in and it’s ready to go. A unit can be set up in 15 to 20 minutes, tops.
How much lead time is required to send the content to your office prior to the show?
Usually, the interactive units can ship out in three weeks from the day we have everything, including the interactive content as well as our work files for the wrap. But we also offer a rush service. We’ve turned units around in as little as one day. It all depends on how quickly we can get everything; how quickly the client needs it there. And then for the non-interactive unit – that’s the straight charging station – that’s about 2 weeks, standard turnaround time. But again, there have been occasions where we’ve shipped them out within 24 hours.
Is one person able to set this up?
For the smart and the city units, which are the interactive touch screens, you need two people, for safety and because of their weight. Two people can set them up within 10 minutes. But you only need one person to set up the classic model. They’re very easy to set up.
There are several competitors in this space. Why PowerTower? What’s your unique differentiator?
Ours is all about building the engagement and unique activation for a sponsor. A lot of the other stations don’t have the branding we have or the interactive technology. Two of our 3 models are 7-feet tall so you can see them from a distance. The classic model, which is the straight charging station, is a 360° design, so it can be seen from all sides and encourages networking. With the two touchscreen models, there’s no other charging-station technology out there that engages the consumer as well as ours do. The sponsor gets the recognition for bringing the unit onsite, and while end-users are interacting with the unit, the sponsor’s brand is staring them right in the face. These units provide great exposure and positive overall experience for the event. So, for example, when the unit is wrapped in Coca-Cola branding, the attendees see Coca-Cola as being responsible for bringing a really helpful utility to the event.
How long does it take to recharge a device?
It all depends. There’s not a flat rate or timeframe. It depends on the phone and the battery life. But all of our stations have rapid-charge technology, which provides a 30% faster charge than a standard outlet. On average people will charge from 5 to 15 minutes. They’re not looking to get a full charge out of it; they’re looking to get to their next destination. And when they are interacting with the 2 touch-screen models, that 5 to 15 minutes goes by really quickly. They’re taking photos, posting on Facebook, checking the weather, tweeting, watching it show up on the screens.
And what’s the average capacity of the number of units that can charge at one time?
Depending on the model, anywhere from 15 to 18 units per station. We have a combination of cords, so the user can connect right to their phone. Or if they have their own cord, the units include USB ports and 3-prong outlets they can attach to. And it’s not just phones. People can charge their iPad, their iPod, a camera and more.
Are you launching any new products or programs?
We’re getting ready to launch our new 3.0 software, which will offer more customizations. And we’re also enhancing our cords in the ways they connect so if someone were to purchase a unit, they’ll be able to replace them very easily if, over time, they suffer any wear and tear.
In sum, then, what one or two things would you like the events community to know about PowerTower?
It’s a great amenity. Everybody has a cell phone today. Everyone needs to stay connected to the office and their family. When you’re on your phone as much as we are, the phone’s going to die and you need to stay connected. So, our stations and kiosks are a great way to do that. For event organizers, our units can increase sponsorship revenue and create a positive experience for attendees, the event and the sponsors themselves. It’s a triple win.
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