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ITEM Systems recently collaborated with the Hobby Hangout trading card show, bringing an interactive experience to attendees in Melbourne through its non-fungible item technology. The event was held at the Melbourne Pavilion on Nov. 19, attracting over 1,000 attendees.

The Hobby Hangout is renowned as Australia’s premier trading card event, regularly hosting shows in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. It offers an experience that caters to all aspects of card collecting, from sports cards to trading card games and entertainment cards, along with featured panels and industry speakers.

Hobby Hangout Melbourne 2023 show floor

Event app

In a move to enhance the Hobby Hangout attendee experience, ITEM Systems introduced an event-level app featuring a unique scavenger hunt. Participation required users to locate and scan NFI waypoint plaques distributed across vendor tables within the venue.

Attendees who successfully collected all seven waypoints were entered into a drawing for spots in live group breaks during the show. Additionally, several lucky winners received custom 1-of-1 cards created by Kevin Espina, a popular sports card artist from San Diego, California. Each of Espina’s cards comes embedded with NFI technology, enabling cryptographic authentication through its digital twin.

Card created for Hobby Hangout event giveaway. Source: ITEM Systems Twitter

Beyond the scavenger hunt, the event app served as a comprehensive guide, featuring a detailed map and information about the vendors. Attendees could learn about products on offer and access vendors’ social links, enhancing the networking aspect of the show.

Speaking on the event, Tyler Adams, co-founder of ITEM Systems and COZ, said: “NFI technology takes the best parts of NFTs and applies them to useful, real-world applications, such as the Hobby Hangout event. Presenting a huge crowd of passionate collectors with blockchain technology in an easily accessible way captures the true versatility of NFI technology, while highlighting how NFIs will advance the world of collectibles. An NFI, or non-fungible ITEM, is essentially a physical asset cryptographically bound to a digital twin. This allows us to validate the ownership of tangible ITEMs and execute specific on-chain or off-chain actions.”

Andrew Perumalla, founder of the Hobby Hangout, said: “We’re excited by what ITEM Systems is able to bring to our event with its NFI technology. Not only can it be used to create a more engaging and rich experience for our attendees, but I think it has exciting applications in the collectibles world for authentication, ownership verification, and digital augmentation. At Hobby Hangout, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the trading card industry in Australia, so finding ways to work with a company that pushes the envelope like ITEM Systems is just a natural fit.”

This event follows ITEM Systems’ successful October activation in Denver, Colorado, during the DENVER WALLS festival. Similar to the Melbourne event, visitors in Denver engaged with NFI plaques attached to city murals, collecting digital signatures that can later be redeemed for rewards at local establishments.