Top six event technology ideasBy Kim Benjamin
05 Jul 2016
Tweets projected onto giant screens, live slidesharing enabling speakers to share their information in real-time with attendees and apps for almost anything from registration to floor plans; these are just some of the technology trends transforming the events industry.
Creating a dynamic, interactive and immersive experience for delegates is becoming more important than ever before, with personalisation the name of the game. Features such as gamification and enhanced apps are enabling delegates to customise events according to their interests, while social media is giving planners the ability to use technology to support an event before, during and after it has taken place.
We round up six of the most exciting and innovative technology currently available for meeting and event planners.
Giant iTab’s concept—using touchscreens to make a bigger smartphone to display content—was launched in 2011. It offers interactive digital signage in the look, form and function of an oversized smartphone and works like a giant iPhone or Android device. “Event planners want visitors to interact and engage more and often have lots of information for people to see and use,” says Mark Jones, Giant iTab managing director. “We all know how to use our phones, at events we make this larger.”
With a growing network of international partners, Giant iTab can deliver the technology globally and in Asia, it was used at the World Gas Conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Toronto-based EventMobi enables event planners to create custom event technology for their meetings, conferences and trade shows, using mobile tools from in-app chat, schedule building, live polling and document sharing, to registration and ticketing. “We’re building a platform to help attendees connect, learn, and engage at events,” says Courtney Stanley, industry relations at EventMobi. The technology’s latest product suite, EventMobi Live Display, offers a real-time digital signage solution with social media, gamification and event app integration, with the aim of replacing static signage and banner stands on site. The technology supports 23 languages including traditional and simplified Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean.
Set up in November 2014, Qmeeto—short for ‘quick meeting organiser’, is an all-in-one event management platform, targeting smaller corporate events such as roadshows, product launches and internal team building. With these events often having a shorter planning window, the technology aims to offer a quick and easy system that can be personalised. “Planners can create an event in under 30 seconds, build an agenda that syncs with their event website and send out corporate branded emails, tracking who has opened them,” says Yvonne Murphy, Qmeeto co-founder.
Tools include online registration, task, contacts and venue managers, agenda and branded email campaign builders and session and attendee tracking. Headquartered in Ireland, the software is currently available there and in the United Kingdom, and will be rolled out to Europe in the third quarter of this year and the rest of the world in the fourth quarter.
Cloud-based system InitLive was launched in January 2015 and includes a web service and a free mobile device app, equipping event planners, event staff and volunteers with a real-time communication system and a comprehensive scheduling service. It aims to help event planners better manage their staff and volunteers at large events with features including filtered broadcasts, in-app messaging, staff check-in, real-time schedule problem identification and resolution and staff shift reminders.
InitLive is currently targeting the North American and European markets and while it has not yet been used for any events in Asia, co-founder Melissa Pinard says the company is looking to break into that market in the upcoming year and adding new features such as additional languages and staff/volunteer availability and ranking.
Grip claims to be the first event tech company to use artificial intelligence to improve the networking experience. The matchmaking app, which connects delegates, speakers and exhibitors, combines an interface where users swipe, Tinder-style, through the LinkedIn or Facebook profiles of other event attendees, resulting in a ‘handshake’ and messaging if interest is mutual. With the artificial intelligence back end, as an attendee swipes, Grip learns what type of person they want to meet and only shows them relevant people.
“We offer several different solutions for event planners depending on their needs—you can create a community within the Grip app for your event, add extras to that community, such as schedules, attendee lists and audience interaction or even create your own branded app,” says co-founder Tim Groot.
The traditional goodie bag has been given a twist by eventbaxx. Founded in February 2015, it provides an interactive, customised micro website for content, giving partners and sponsors the chance to create digital-rich content or advertisements in seconds. These can then be shared with participants on the web while providing real-time data analysis and data evaluation.
The platform is available in German, English and Turkish and the firm says it is actively targeting the MENA and ASEAN markets, with plans to develop a yet to be confirmed Asian-language version. “One of the most important facts is that we deliver 100 per cent actionable, real-time data tracking with data analysis and data evaluation,” says Marc Grewenig, CEO of eventbaxx.
For more event technology ideas, read our June Cover Story here.