Trade show badge-activated vender draws crowds

Visitors to the Ciena Co. booth at the recent New York Ethernet Expo lined up to scan their ID badges at a vending machine to receive a free t-shirt.

The machine’s touchscreen display prompted visitors to swipe their badges on a card reader below. A product selection screen then appeared, from which each badgeholder could choose a t-shirt that promoted Ciena, a provider of telecommunications networking services.

“It is a great way to give away free gifts and obtain ID badge information at the same time,” said Jeff Thibodeau of Innovative Vending Solutions, the company that provided the machine for the promotion.


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