Technology Was Hotter Than Hot at Expo! Expo! 2018
Despite the cold front and accompanying rain that visitors endured at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2018, held Dec. 10-13 in New Orleans, technology was shining bright inside at the conference.
With an overall focus on enhancing the attendee experience, the new technologies showcased at the event did not disappoint and will likely be a strong focus for trade show marketers in the new year.
While exhibitors offered many technologies that attendees could interact with and learn about, these three stood out as trends to watch in 2019:
Getting into a ZenSpace: Exhibitors and attendees often want to find a quiet space to meet, take calls and chat. With the ZenSpace SmartPod, they can have that controlled environment. Offered with either two or four seats, SmartPods are insulated, WiFi-enabled and digitally connected modular meeting rooms with power outlets and displays that can be added for presentations and video conference calls.
SmartPods can be placed anywhere, including in a trade show booth, on the showfloor or even in the areas outside of the exhibit hall, according to Ted Simon, CMO at ZenSpace.
“We are looking to revolutionize how people meet during a conference or trade show,” Simon explained. “These ZenSpace SmartPods provide comfortable seating in a secure and insulated environment – both inside and out – and the panels allow for advertising and sponsorship opportunities.”
He added, “Exhibitors will be excited for new ways to advertise and attendees will be excited to use these SmartPods.”
Connecting speakers and attendees with PheedLoop: PheedLoop offers a portal system for conferences and trade shows that allows speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and attendees to have control over their own event experiences.
For example, via the speaker portal, speakers can managing live polls, questions and feedback in real time, as well as upload presentations and notes that attendees can download at any time. In addition, calls for proposals can be sent automatically and responses can be aggregated through private speaker accounts.
“The portals are designed for easier user interface and features to increase engagement,” said George Wong, head of partnerships at PheedLoop. “This event technology provides automation, analysis and monetization opportunities that can be used in a variety of ways for show organizers.”
Personalizing Event Check-In with Face Recognition: The use of facial recognition may not new but the way Expo Logic is using it in the events space – allowing attendees to check-in at events using only their face – certainly is.
The process is simple. During the online registration process, an attendee is asked to provide a photo of themselves, which the technology then turns into data points and measurements that are stored and then deleted.
When the attendee arrives at the show to print a badge, the Face Recognition kiosk scans their face, identifies the attendee by matching the measurements and data to their registration info, and automatically prints their badge.
“Expo Logic sees face recognition completely changing the experience at event check-in,” said Kate Dodd, vice president of marketing at Expo Logic. “Kiosks can be added easily and check-in and badge printing can take less than 60 seconds from start to finish.”
She continued, “The kiosks can be ready for use 24 hours a day, so attendees can access their badges at any time. The kiosks take up much less room, so several kiosks can replace a few check-in staff members. And with the check-in taking less than one minute, the check-in line will move that much faster.”
Not only does face recognition eliminate the need for attendees to show identification, but it also provides them with a fun and personalized experience.
Since the system doesn’t store attendee photos, security and privacy can thus be assured, creating a win-win for both show organizers and event participants.
With so many new technologies coming into the trade show space, 2019 will be an exciting year for advances in event tech designed to help show organizers enhance attendee engagement and improve the overall event experience.