29ish and Holding
A.C.T. Inc. Was Established in 1986
1986 was also the year of the world’s worst nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Power station, Prince Andrew & Sara Ferguson were married becoming the Duke & Duchess of York and the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just after take-off. Musically we heard Madonna’s True Blue and Paradise City by Guns’n’Roses and it was the year Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera make their debut. We watched Paul Hogan become Crocodile Dundee and Alf became the new hit television series and the top three most popular shows were The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers.
A.C.T. Inc. (Applied Computer Technology, Inc) began in the computer aided design field offering services for PC based CAD beginning in 1986. With the combined knowledge of hardware and software by the principals, the company expanded and supplied turnkey solutions for Fortune 500™ companies such as Amoco, McDonalds and Motorola who needed CAD capabilities for design and engineering. ACT became very active as a reseller of leading CAD products, becoming president club members and one of the largest resellers in the Midwest.
Working with General Service Contractors provided insight to create more intelligent, automated software programs that would streamline work flow and communications in the industry. With our extensive knowledge in computers, CAD, engineering & software programming, EXPOCAD® blended the better of 2 worlds. Our developers created a new genre of CAD software using smart data to drive the graphics and automated many tedious and time consuming techniques. What used to take hours, days or weeks to accomplish turned into a matter of minutes.
Using these same techniques and tools that were originally created for the professional CAD designers, we took it a step further and created a simpler version for show organizers. Using the original layout from the decorator and putting it into EXPOCAD® allowed the show organizer instant access and control over simple functions such as modifying booth space on the fly as space was sold. Originally this did not go over so well with the decorators in the industry and we received lots of push back for allowing organizers to actually manipulate and manage their own day to day operations - the nerve of us!
Fast forward to more modern thinking and Contractors can now pull the EXPOCAD client's show into their software, known as EXPOCAD® Contractor, to run a complete audit report that provides all exhibitor data, exhibitor moves and floorplan changes. So it is easy peasy and accurate communications between Contractors and their clients that use EXPOCAD®.
On the organizer side we have expanded over the years to include extensive and optional financials, reporting and invoicing features and exhibitor marketing tools with really awesome ROI opportunities. Many of our customers now take advantage of our marketing services too. We estimate to have over 4000 trained users worldwide and EXPOCAD® is now part of the curriculum at several colleges.
First to Market
Historically we have been first to market with several of our products that were ahead of their time which included VR2 (yes, Virtual Reality) with its first release in 1999. It was our first interactive online floorplan generated from within EXPOCAD® that was available by individual show or a site license which allowed customers to display as many floorplans as they desired.
On January 28, 1999 we conducted the Largest One Day Internet E-Commerce Event in Trade Show History. Read about it in this 1999 press release.
Another first and fun fact was the release of EXPOCAD® for Palm Pilots which was way ahead of its time in 2002! Palm handhelds were Personal Digital Assistants, or PDA’s, before cell phones became our personal computer assitants and mobile versions of events became standard. In fact, there is no need to create a 'mobile event' as EXPOCAD® FXand EXPOCAD® WEB auto-switch to mobile view when accessed through any portable device.