Monday, 8 August 2011

Event Technology to the Max!

This blog is brought to you by BrightBlue Marketing team member - Andrea Lamarsaude.

I recently attended the Trade Show Technology Summit (TSTS) held at ImagineXhibits in Richardson, Texas to learn more about the latest technology tools available for events and was amazed at all the options available!

Here is just a sample of some of the cutting edge technology offered today for trade shows and events:

According to comScore Inc., a global leader in measuring the digital world and a respected source of digital business analytics, 78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. And this growth shows no sign of letting up. We love our smart phones and we love all the applications available for them. The meeting planning industry has hopped on the smartphone application (apps) bandwagon and as a result there are an amazing array of meeting apps available for all aspects of events from searching for hotels, resorts, restaurants and attractions to operating your meeting, trade show or event. There are a number of apps designed to aid event attendees to be able to connect with each other, share schedules, and download their conference agenda or event itinerary. To see what’s available check out MeetingApps, a very organized web portal that collects mobile applications by category for event planning.

At the Summit just about every exhibiting company was using an iPad or other tablet-based PC. These highly portable devices are a perfect way to explain a product or service, conduct an interactive demo with an attendee or small group of attendees, show a streaming video to better explain a particular aspect of an offering, conduct an at show survey, gather lead data or display a mobile app in a larger version.

High-definition video conferencing is now available via Skype for free! The 5.0 beta version, with 760p high-def. video conferencing, has the ability to conference in four callers at the same time. How will this be a benefit at an event? Jessica Davis with the Tradeshow Insider’s blog sums it up nicely, “This capability will prove ideal for speakers presenting remotely at events or for conferencing customers or partners in to on-site meetings or press events. The price of video conferencing technology has plummeted, and along with increasingly more dependable Internet connections, the video reliability is excellent."

Tired of dealing with the high prices and so so connectivity of the wireless service provided at an event? Now there’s another choice – the folks at Trade Show Internet provides Internet access at trade shows, meetings, and conferences for individual exhibitors as well as entire events. They can help you measurably increase ROI by bringing down Internet costs in line with reality at hotels and convention centers. Because they work directly with cellular Internet providers they can offer Internet connectivity inside almost any venue in the U.S., including venues that may already have an 'exclusive' in-house provider. By using their Internet Kit, a completely self-contained mobile Internet hotspot, they’ll help you and your exhibitors stay connected and avoid the outrageous in-house Internet fees.

I invite you to check out an insightful article in Inc. by Christine Lagorio titled, The New Rules of Event Marketing. It’s chock full of great information on additional game changing high tech options for events including, “creating an event within an event” employing social and video media, using GPS to live track an object or objects at an event, weaving in 3D or augmented reality in your tradeshow, and using “ubiquitous social networking as a conduit for exclusivity” for attendees at events.

Of course the end goal of employing any or all of these high tech tools is to aid in maximizing the ROI of your event. We’d like to hear from you. What technology tools have you employed in your events or trade shows? What were the results?

-Andrea Lamarsaude

No comments: