Our History

Our experience has enabled us to provide not only the mechanics but also the nuances, which make the registration processes of such events seamless and painless!

Perhaps the most concise means of relating who, what, where, when, and how we do our work is to present the following brief history of our organization. WalCom, Inc. is essentially a holding company, which has owned and operated a number of other businesses, all in the computer-related industry, with substantial synergies among these entities. About 35 years ago, Walton Commercial Enterprises, Inc. (WalCom’s previous corporate name) was formed to "own" a franchise territory in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area for PCR-Personal Computer Rentals, a short-term, full-service computer rental national network.

The following year, WalCom purchased the Central Ohio franchise territory from the PCR network. Later our two rental operations were no longer franchisees of the PCR network but were then identified as "WalCom Computer Rentals of Cleveland, Inc. & WalCom Computer Rentals of Columbus, Inc." These rental companies derived approximately 1/3 of their business from corporate training requirements, 1/3 of their business from special needs and/or peak demand business requirements, and 1/3 of their business from the convention/trade show industry.

In 1986, a group of commercial show managers approached me with the desire that our organization would somehow design, create, and administrate an event registration system for their respective companies. Our previous relationships had been built by providing rental computer equipment for their use during pre- & on-site registration. The myriad of problems which they were encountering were not atypical or unique to the industry. Computerized registration systems had been designed by either: A) computer programmers not familiar with the intricacies of the convention / trade show industry; or by: B) industry personnel not familiar with the intricacies of data base programming. This group of event managers were aware of my previous background in "C" language data base programming and our experience in the convention / trade show industry. After substantial prodding, we reluctantly agreed to design a moderately sophisticated registration system. Since that time we have enhanced the system with approximately 85 unique modules to address a myriad of special needs and desires. WalCom's proprietary copyrighted system is today probably the most comprehensive registration system available for events of up to 250,000 attendees!

The original brainstorming sessions provided the basis for the concept, design, implementation, and logistical processes necessary for this system. Initially the primary task of the group was the definition of a "perfect-world" list of desires for all three groups involved in the industry: 1) the attendee, 2) the exhibitor / presenter, and 3) event management. The extensive dream sheets that evolved were seriously considered and became the master reference documents for all future criteria. Examples of a few of the many features of the system derived from this constitution include: on-site check-in & actual credential printing for faster, more accurate distribution; a design limitation of a maximum of 3 minutes on-site registration time; a simplistic and economical, yet highly effective lead tracking system which will still provide the attendee with some degree of anonymity; focused collection of vital demographic information for both exhibitors / presenters and event management; frugal cost containment without sacrificing professionalism; detailed accountability and pre/on-site/post event reporting capabilities; secure credit card processing services; electronic funds transfer capabilities; in- and out- of-house auditing; and presentation quality demographics analysis. While the evolution of our system has provided us with a core system for virtually any type of event, each event in which we participate is serviced by the core system with unique modifications to the system for that special event. The diversity of events and types of clients over the years have ranged from very small (500 or less attendees) and highly complex to "large" (250,000+ attendees) and highly complex client needs. Our average tenure as registrar for a client has been in excess of 15+ years, with an atritration rate of of nearly 90% due to cessation of the event for business reasons not related to registration needs.
WalCom, in 1996, created a new business, the ultimate in computer based training facilities. The Columbus, Ohio facility had already become the national training site for corporations based as far away as Washington state. Just as our combined 30+ years of experience obtained in operating the Computer Rental entities in the temporary training environment (hotels, convention centers, etc.) had provided the expertise in creating a nationally renowned computer-based training facility; the experience of providing rental services to exhibitors and show management had provided the basis for the Registrations Services division of WalCom, Inc.

In 1999 WalCom, Inc. (51% woman owned & 49% vetran owned) divested itself of its computer rental, training facilities, specialty sales and consulting businesses. This has allowed the principals to concentrate on strictly the registration business, which has mushroomed in terms of proportionate activities and now includes logistical services as well.

Michael L. Walton, President

*Mike passed away in April 2022. We are continuing to operate in the same quality just on a limited basis.