Expo! Expo! Technology Roundup
Technology seemed to be the star attraction of the Expo! Expo! showfloor this year. Even exhibitors who were not technology companies were integrating tech into their product or service offerings. While there were no ground breaking new products launched at this event, what was new was the use of existing technology and the conversation around it.
Mobile event apps were back again this year, but whereas last year the conversation was all about usability and content, this year those vendors are focused on data and year-round communication.
GenieMobile’s Michael Douglas was talking about capturing valuable data and said, “It’s not as important to know how many people looked at something but who looked at it.”
CompuSystems has ventured into the event app world with their ConnectMe app that allows show organizers to tap into the data collected during the registration process. ConnectMe automatically matches attendees (based on indicated product interests during registration) with exhibitors that they would most likely want to visit while at the show. They can then schedule in-booth appointments with their matches.
CoreApps has a new twist on giving attendees the ability to schedule appointments with exhibitors. Instead of requesting an appointment with the exhibiting brand, attendees can view profiles of individual booth staffers, check their availability and request a meeting.
Experient also is getting into the event app market with their new Engage app. By integrating data from your event's registration system, your attendees can use the app to purchase session and special event tickets right from their mobile device.
Also interesting is Experient’s plans to incorporate wayfinding into the app. Attendees waiting for a shuttle bus to take them to the convention center can find out exactly where the shuttle bus is at any given moment. The app will use WiFi triangulation to guide attendees through the venue and track session attendance for CEU credits.
Using this type of technology, Engage also will allow show organizers to push messages to individual attendees at just the right moment. Imagine being able to send a greeting to the attendee the moment they land at the airport or arrive at the host hotel.
Companies who are putting a new tech twist on their existing services include Cadmium CD, whose focus is on the educational components of conferences and trade shows. This year, they’ve come out with a new app for the iPad, eventScribe. EventScribe, a very user-friendly app, allows conference attendees to circle, highlight, and add notes to a speakers slides or handout right on their iPad.
Freeman’s Technology Suite was announced earlier this year, and at the show, attendees got to see their newest addition, Passport. Passport is a planning tool that brings together the former Champion's Client Command Center (C3) and Freeman's iPlanner+ to create a customer collaboration tool. With Passport, Freeman’s customers can stay up-to-date on each phase of the planning process in real time.
For attendees who love to pose for pictures in feather boas, crazy glasses - and who doesn’t - a2z Inc. was showing us how to have fun with social media in their booth using their ChirpE Photo Kiosk.
The more practical ChirpE Kiosk also was new. Attendees who can’t or don’t want to go mobile just yet can use the ChirpE Kiosk to print out their personal expo floor maps, handouts and get directions.
The elephant in the room remains reliable Internet access or general lack thereof at our venues. Is this connectivity issue a problem that will be solved in time to implement all this new technology?
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.