By Claire Harrington
As technology makes the map smaller and flattens the world of hospitality, can the meetings and event industry of the 20th century rise to meet the demands of the 21st century attendee? Can your company? Can you?
The innovations available within the hospitality marketplace today have evolved beyond simple, one-service focused products to become pragmatic, sensible solutions for cost-conscious, productivity-oriented, data hungry planners while simultaneously enhancing attendee engagement, communication, and satisfaction.
Event and meeting planners are currently experimenting with technology– but if we’re honest, many are only playing with event tech on the periphery. The application of digital innovation to the events world has the opportunity to completely transform how planners create their events and interact with their attendees.
A study by Frost and Sullivan found that mobile event apps increase attendee engagement by 33%. In today’s world, attendees aren’t satisfied with good – they expect great. They could care less about wading through best practices – they want to be swimming in innovation.
They aren’t impressed by attendance, they want engagement. Here are five event technologies designed to enhance engagement:
Event App Creation: QuickMobile’s MobileEvent
Vancouver-based QuickMobile was the fastest growing technology in Canada in 2013, according to Deloitte Canada. Scalable from 1 to 1,000 events and beyond, MobileEvent offers a wide range of configurable components that help you captivate, motivate and inspire your attendees. It also offers impressive analytics to help you measure your ROI.
Diagramming & Seating: Social Tables
Social Tables is the industry leading provider of cloud-based hospitality software that positions venues to work more collaboratively and efficiently with their event and meeting customers.
More than 30,000 unique users rely on the desktop and mobile product line, which includes Social Tables On-Site, an online sales and marketing solution; 2D and 3D room diagramming; business intelligence for hotels; and event attendee management. Users have planned over 175,000 events within the company’s Venue Library, home to over 220-million square feet of meeting space.
Attendee-Speaker Communication: Catchbox
Catchbox is a professional wireless microphone that can literally be tossed from a speaker to a an audience member to create a fun connection, rather than your traditional hand mic’s being passed around. The device communicates with a receiver (included) that can be connected to any sound system. To avoid unwanted noises when being thrown around, internal electronics sense the motion of the cube and switch off the audio when it is caught, thrown, or dropped.
Networking Solution: Poken
Poken is a sleek device that enables you to digitally exchange your contact details with a touch, or collect digital content that’s stored in special stickers that we call “tags”, just by touching them. Create a digital business card with all your social network profiles, and swap it with other people simply touching pokens. Collect digital content offline (such as videos, coupons, brochures, photos), and have it all organized and available online. Poken ignites conversations, makes networking simple and fun, and creates an engaging experience for people to collect promotional literature at events.
Free: The Pocket Planner
The Pocket Planner is a free event and meeting calculator from Social Tables and the Convention Industry Council that uses CIC standards to recommend food, beverage, service and safety quantities for events based on attendance. Engage your clients and attendees in the planning process by handing them your phone to play with the number of guests to immediately see the amount of coffee, number of tables, or even required fire extinguishers they will need for their event. Empowering them from the early stages will yield a trusting relationship.
A Final Thought
As technology continues to proliferate within the events and meetings industry, the products that will be introduced will be the embodiment of futuristic. You will have a virtual tool in your hand. A pulse on your attendees through an app. A deeper connection to your programming on a mobile device.
There is a lot of ground to cover, and it needs to be done in a highly efficient and timely manner. What are your plans to keep up with the innovation permeating through the events and meetings industry?
Will you be relevant tomorrow?