MEETINGS TECH INSIDER

Get the monthly email newsletter that cuts through the noise to show how new technologies can enhance the meeting and event experience, featuring exclusive insights from Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS.

The Event Tech Revolution: Are We There Yet?

Even as senior citizens embrace the digital revolution, the meetings and events industry continues to lag. Yes, the industry has made big strides in tech adoption, but it still has a ways to go. To stay in front, meeting professionals must fully digitize their business processes. This article outlines key steps.

Shining a Spotlight on Emerging Event Tech

The nine finalists in this year’s IBTM World Tech Watch Award reflect a maturing event technology industry, while underscoring the significance of key developments such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence.

3 Ways to Cope With Technology Change

By now it’s abundantly clear: Rather than give us more free time, the digital revolution has tethered us to our devices, leaving us time-starved and on information overload. Here’s advice on how to adapt to and embrace fast-changing technology without becoming its tool.

Advances in Data Analytics Elevates Role of Events

The explosion of event data tools could be the meeting planner’s entry ticket to the executive suite. That’s because increasingly sophisticated data collection and analytics capabilities are giving events new power in the marketing mix. Here’s an in-depth look at three key trends driving the shift.

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

Despite all the advances in event technology, too many presenters are still inflicting Death by PowerPoint on their audiences. Event planners owe it to their attendees to make sure their presenters have the know-how to use PowerPoint effectively.

Checking Up on Hotel Tech in the Guestroom

Meeting planners who aim to deliver a positive hotel experience for attendees would do well to look beyond meeting room specs and amenities to the guestroom – specifically the technology in the guest room. Here’s a rundown of top hotel tech needs for business travelers.

Selecting the Right Meeting Planning Technology – A Step-by-Step Guide

Meetings technology solutions deliver huge benefits to event hosts. But there are so many event tech products on the market, and events themselves vary so widely in their needs, that finding the best fit can be a nightmare. This in-depth article will guide you through the process, step by step.

Using Mobile Tools to Combat Mobile Distraction

Three’s no escaping it. Event organizers are stuck competing with attendees’ mobile devices for their attention. What to do? Your first and last line of defense is always to deliver compelling, exceptional content. Here’s another remedy – use second screen event tech tools to enhance information flow, engagement and learning.

Using Text Messaging to Build and Improve Events

Texting is the most popular and frequently used mobile app – by far. Because of its ubiquity, speed and ease of use, text messaging can provide significant benefits to event planners and attendees alike. Here are some ways text messaging can be used to market events, provide timely information to attendees and to get feedback from them.

Face-to-Face Vs. Digital: Which is Better?

Fears that virtual meetings will destroy the meetings industry have proven unfounded, and today even one-time skeptics can agree that virtual or digital meetings have their place. The reality is that in-person and virtual meetings both have their strengths and their weaknesses. This article examines the pros and cons of three popular digital meeting formats and of face-to-face events.

How Facial Recognition Will Streamline Events

Facial recognition technology is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. Airlines and TSA are testing facial recognition for check-in. Apple iPhone X users open their phones with Face ID. And major tech companies are investing significantly in the technology. Now facial recognition is coming to events, and organizers are just starting to realize its potential.

37 Ways to Use Video to Amplify Your Events

Video content generated at events is a powerful tool for promoting and extending your reach and driving up future attendance. Video engages attendees before, during and after an event. It is widely accessible, easily shared on social media and can improve search engine rankings. And video email marketing has high click-through rates. Not sure where to start? This article offers 37 ideas.

Leveraging Social Influencers to Build Attendance

With care and strategy, event promoters can reach specific market niches via social influencers who have small but dedicated groups of followers. It’s a powerful and affordable strategy for building attendance. Here are tips on finding and nurturing niche social influencers who can serve as your event ambassadors, along with a look at helpful tech tools.

Blockchain, Ethereum Hold Big Promise for Events

Blockchain and Ethereum can deliver major benefits for organizers of large ticketed events where scalping and fraud are common. Given their greater security, control and efficiencies, the reach and impact of such technologies are expected to expand in the future. This primer will help you understand these new technologies and their benefits for events.

For hotels, technology is key to guest experience

From hotel check-in to the guestroom bed, technology is often the key to improving the guest experience at hotels. Here’s a detailed technology checklist for hoteliers who want to upgrade critical components of the guest’s hotel stay. Following this advice will make for happier meeting and event attendees, and that’s good news for meeting professionals everywhere.

Award showcases event tech’s cutting edge

Want to know the future of meetings and event tech? Take a look at the nominees for IBTM World’s 2017 Technology & Innovation Watch Award. Finalists in each of three categories –– audience engagement, logistics/production and management/marketing –– represent the cutting edge of technology for events.

Event tech decks provide critical flexibility

Data management systems have evolved to make the integration of multiple technology solutions much easier. Today planners can use an assortment of specialized event software products as if they were a single platform – an event tech deck. Among the benefits: improved data collection and analysis, enhanced marketing intelligence and integration with CRMs.

Harnessing the power of event analytics

Attendee actions during a meeting or tradeshow yield a goldmine of data, and analysis of that data provides keener insights into participants’ interests than nearly any other marketing tool. That’s why meeting and tradeshow data analytics is rapidly becoming pivotal to larger marketing efforts. Here’s what every planner should know about meeting and event analytics.

AR holds promise for event wayfinding

Technology that helps attendees find their way around event venues has never fully lived up to expectations, especially for trade shows and exhibitions. Enter augmented reality (AR), which promises to provide hyper-local directions, making it much easier to find individual booths or exhibits. AR will also create new options for interactive booths, signs and displays and for gamification.

Direct booking platforms a boon for small meetings

Booking small meetings has long been a headache for meetings professionals, but direct online booking of meeting spaces is changing all that. Online venue marketplaces, many of them modeled after Airbnb, streamline the process for planners while providing access to a broader range of traditional and nontraditional venues.

The Rise and Benefits of Text Apps and Chatbots for Events

How can text apps and chatbots play a part in your events? What are the distinct benefits to using text-based systems over standard event apps? Here are some specific examples of how texts and chatbot apps will enhance your events and propel them into the future.

The Case for Content Capture for Events

Events generate a lot of great content, but where does it go from there? Solid content deserves a second life. Content capture increases the learning exchange to more people, whether they were at the event or not. The benefits of content capture are listed here.

5 Content Curation Tools to Boost Your Event’s Value

Content curation tools are quickly becoming must-haves for meetings and events. Amid a flood of data, these essential tools manage information overload, while creating more value for onsite and offsite audiences. Here are five content creation tools that planners can use to market and extend the life and footprint of their events.

Exhibitor Sales Lessons From a Turkish Carpet Seller

While walking the streets of Istanbul, the author encountered some of the most effective salespeople he’d ever met. Sidewalk food vendors, street artists and carpet salesmen all used simple but powerful sales techniques to make even a wary traveler want to purchase their wares. Here’s what event organizers can learn from them.

To Amplify Your Social Media Impact, Think Mobile

It’s a trend that’s hard to miss. Event participants, like all of us, are using their mobile devices to access social media nearly all the time. For event planners that means one thing: Your social media needs to be mobile! But that’s just a starting point. Here’s how to maximize the impact of your social media efforts.

Empowered Attendees Expect Active Engagement

The dynamic of meetings is changing, shifting from top-down to bottom-up as meeting participants demand a say. Armed with an array of engagement tools, today’s event participants want choices tailored to their desires and expect personalized communication. In coming years, personalization and engagement will be increasingly critical to event success.

Flashback: Meetings Tech Then & Now

The launch of the first meeting planning software in 1984 may as well have occurred a million light years ago, so much has happened in events technology since then. A look back at key advances in meetings tech over the last 30 years shows just how far we’ve come and where we’re headed. As the pace of change accelerates, we can expect events technology to become more affordable, easier to use and more integrated.

Inside Scoop: The Lowdown on VR & AR for Events

Tech companies continue to invest billions in virtual and augmented reality technologies, so it’s likely we’re still only scratching the surface of what VR and AR tools can do for us. In the meantime, event and trade show organizers are already finding exciting ways to put VR and AR to use. Here’s what’s happening now and what to expect in this innovative space.

10 Ways to Avoid Costly Technology Mistakes

Event technology used properly can save planners time and money while giving attendees a more rewarding experience. But event technology comes with a cost, and buying the wrong technology can be especially imprudent. Here’s how to choose the event technology that best fits your needs while minimizing your costs.

Event Tech Embraces Chatbots, Voice Activation & AI

First there was Apple’s Siri. Then came Amazon Alexa and Google Home gadgets. Voila! In the blink of an eye, voice command activation and text chatbots using AI have entered the mainstream. It’s only a matter of time before event planners and attendees will be using natural voice commands and AI throughout the event and trade show journey.

The Internet of Things and its Potential Impact on Events

Billions of sensors in everything from your smartphone and home appliances to buildings and power grids are already creating unprecedented efficiency and convenience. But the Internet of Things (IoT) is still just getting started. As IoT transforms our day-to-day lives over the next 10 years, watch for it to have a big impact on meeting venues, hotels, events and tradeshows.

Social Media Channels Increasingly Becoming Event-Centric

What do social media and face-to-face events have in common? They both bring people together, which is why social media and events are such a natural and powerful fit. Now social media providers like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are finding new ways to leverage that advantage by creating event-centric tools and products. And there’s more in the works.

Five Constants that Bode Well for the Future of Face-to-Face Meetings

Amid breathtakingly fast technological change, the future becomes all but impossible to predict. So, as new and exciting virtual meetings technologies and other communications tools emerge, one has to wonder: Is the demise of face-to-face meetings and events inevitable? We think not. For starters, in-person events will always sate our hunger for new experiences and social connection. We see five constants that bode well for the future of in-person events.

Participant Engagement – A Key Component for Modern Events

Every planner wants their event attendees to be deeply involved. Otherwise, why bother? But with their mobile devices always-on, today's attendees are nearly always distracted. Fortunately, tech providers offer an ever-growing array of tools to help planners build and measure attendee engagement. Used well, these tools will dramatically boost the power of your face-to-face meetings and events, delivering ROI you can count on.

Three Ways Events Are Becoming Central to an Overall Marketing Effort

Events and tradeshows can provide a gold mine of data detailing attendee preferences, interests, movements and interactions. With the recent explosion of onsite data collection and analytics tools, meetings will no longer be the "black hole" of marketing analytics. Three major trends combining event tech products, data analytics and data integration enable event planners and marketers to work together to improve events, provide a much more detailed profile of the attendee interests and desires, and elevate the importance of events within the organization.

Wearable Beacons for Events

Looking for better events analytics? Learn about the advantages of wearable event beacons over fixed beacons, and how this new technology is providing a deeper dive into attendee behavior, while providing more ease of use for attendees and show organizers. Even exhibitors can benefit from these information collection systems. Here are some examples of how several wearable beacon systems can elevate event planners' reporting capabilities and increase lead generation.

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