Innovation in technology is changing the meetings market

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Historically, most technological innovations in the event industry have shared a common purpose: to offer quicker, easier and more cost effective ways of fulfilling traditional event organisational tasks, from registering delegates to distributing information. But things are changing – and fast, says Live Group’s Toby Lewis.

A tide of tech innovations are actually changing the way the meetings markets work by allowing event planners, delegates and sponsoring partners to engage in an array of exciting new activities.

Meeting smarter
Intelligent meeting management technology is letting delegates truly maximise their networking potential. Some delegate management systems support comprehensive profiling, allowing organisers to pre-select meetings on behalf of the users as well as letting users self-manage meetings.

Location, location, location
With the meteoric rise in smart phone and tablet usage and constant improvement in functionality, the ubiquitous event app is already evolving into a breed of its own. Location services are one of the key technologies to effect this change. Apple has invested heavily in indoor location services, leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy beacons and adding intelligent mapping technologies. By placing beacons strategically and using the power of real-time proximity data, event apps can deliver features such as:

Automatic check-in to registration desk
Check-in to sessions to manage audience numbers
Message delegates when entering zones
Locate users in the venue and guide them to areas of interest
Exhibitors locating delegates who fit their target profiles

Handling big data
With onsite apps, social media integration and indoor positioning solutions, there’s more post-event information available than ever before. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s too much for the human brain to evaluate quickly and efficiently. New automated data analysis solutions neatly solve this problem, crunching the numbers in minutes to dissect themes, trends and demographic comparisons – information vital for future events.

Going contactless
2014 saw the mainstream integration of contactless payment stations across the UK and phone payment took off in the US with the introduction of Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Consumers are overwhelmingly supporting these technological innovations for their convenience and ease of use and with NFC chips cheaper than ever before, the possibility of integrating contactless systems into events looks well within reach.

Toby Lewis is Chief Executive of event technology company Live Group; find out more at livegroup.co.uk. He will be delving further into this topic at clic+ 2015. For more information, visit robinson.cam.ac.uk/clic2015

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    AUTHOR

    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson