Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

15 Excellent Crowdsourcing and Crowd Sharing Sites for Events.

September 30, 2013

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining services, ideas, answers or content from a large group of people (typically an online community) rather than from traditional suppliers.  A range of crowdsourcing tools are emerging for sharing, funding, voting, and much more. Benefits include: lower costs, greater choice, and better input – all of which can be used in a variety of ways for events.

This will change the way meeting participants will get

Sleeping rooms:

Share travel:  

Co-create event content:

Review events:

Fund/promote events:

…to name a few.

Additionally, mobile audience polling devices can be used during and event for insight capture, for market research, and real-time feedback to assist in making strategic decision making.

 Subscribe to Corbin’s Free TechTalk Newsletter

The Largest and Longest Running Meetings Tech Newsletter on the Web

Going Native: iPad use is on the rise and event planners see the advantages

January 9, 2013

It’s no surprise that attendees are using the iPad more than ever at conferences and meetings.  Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the first quarter of 2012, according to apple.com.   The device is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing mobile technology products in history.

The platform of the iPad makes it a perfect choice for meetings.  The at-a-glance aspect, screen size, ease of use, portability and speed of device all contribute to its popularity.

“The increase in iPad usage at our clients’ events is dramatic,” said Wendy Phillips, vice president of sales and marketing for Gather Digital, a mobile event app company.  “In May 2011, the iPad represented 0.8 percent of mobile device usage at our corporate and association events,” she said.  “In May 2012, iPad usage had risen to 36.5 percent.”

Because of increasing iPad usage, meeting planners are becoming more interested in event apps that are native to the iPad.  “Planners know their event attendees are using iPads more and more,” Phillips said.  “And they want to give them a native app to offer the best possible experience.”

Having a conference app that is native to the iPad takes advantage of the faster syncing capability, the enhanced graphics and the larger screen size.  Going native also allows the ability to seamlessly use other applications, such as email, as part of the conference app.

Dr. Virginia Schmith, a clinical pharmacologist and chair of pharmacometrics with the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, generally attends three conferences per year and prefers using her iPad when an app is available.  She appreciates the note taking feature that some apps offer.  “Many times you have to write a trip report,” she said. “Taking notes in the iPad is faster than writing notes.”  Schmith used an app recently that also organized the notes by session and allowed her to email them to herself for printing or saving to her desktop computer.  “And the name of the session automatically shows up in the notes.  It probably saves an hour’s worth of time,” she added.

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, a meetings technology consultant and speaker is enthusiastic about the potential for iPads and tablet computers at events. “The instant-on, intuitive interface with screens large enough to manage documents, makes iPads and other tablet computers a natural for meetings and tradeshows. They provide benefits for all parties involved: attendees (rich media, interactive conference programs, networking and way-finding tools); exhibitors (for interactive kiosks, easier lead exchange systems, appointment scheduling and survey tools); hoteliers (an intuitive, portable sales tool); and meeting planners (paperless conference binders eliminating the need to carry around 4” thick, 3-ring binders full of paper).“

Ball feels that “mobile technology will likely change events more in the next five years than technology has in the last twenty years. We are in the golden age of app adoptions for events. Very soon, if you do not have an app for an event, attendees will wonder why the event is so behind the times.”

A good native app will allow the planner to have control of content, including images, text and corporate branding.  It should also offer sponsor opportunities within the app, high attendee usability with options like messaging, one on one meeting functionality, immediate schedule updates, maps, customized my schedules, note taking ability and a social media aspect, according to Phillips.

Meetings & Tradeshows– There’s A Mobile App for That!

December 30, 2012

In 2000, I made the following prediction at the CIC Forum in Washington DC:

“Mobile phones will morph into ‘widgets’ (wireless internet devices for geo-positioning, ecommerce and telecommunication).”

I went on to forecast that our phones will become web browsers, “Walkmen” (iPods were not invented yet), still/video cameras, GPS systems, email managers, calendar/contact managers, micropayment systems and more.

Here is the actual slide shown at the conference:

What fueled my interest was the potential that mobile applications held for meetings. Meetings are mobile and inherently in need of mobile technology to manage event data!

What a difference a decade makes! All these predictions have come true and mobile apps are now the hottest line of software development. There are hundreds of direct applications for events, tradeshows, associations and venues.  Here are several of the significant ones.

Multipurpose conference applications:

These “Swiss army knife” applications provide multiple tools bundled in one application:

QuickMobile www.quickmobile.com

Quick mobile was the mobile application for the MPI MeetingDifferent and will be for the MPI WEC. It also used at major film festivals including Sundance and Tribeca. Features include: full conference schedule, personal agenda building, area guide (with Frommer’s integration), search capabilities for attendees/speakers/exhibitors, integration with social media including Twitter/Facebook/Pathable and messaging. They build apps for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and mobile web providing greater ease of use than companies that provide only mobile web versions.

Follow Me www.core-apps.com

Follow Me was the mobile app for the 2010 Consumer Electronic Show, one of the largest shows in the tradeshow industry. Features include a full conference schedule, personal agenda builder, maps, exhibit hall way-finding (you are a dot on the map), course notes/literature pick-up, session alerts, Twitter integration, and sponsorship revenue sharing. They also build native apps for the major smart phones ( iPhone, Android, Blackberry) and mobile web for the rest.

EventKaddy www.eventkaddy.com

Similar to QuickMobile and Follow Me, EventKaddy provide native apps for most  smart phones. Shows include the large 2010 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Features include full conference listings, customized attendee agenda building, attendee networking tools, interactive floor plans/maps, multimedia listings for exhibitors, digital coupons/brochures/course notes (in .pdf), conference alerts from show organizer to attendees, with extensive metrics.

EMA www.epromeetingapps.com

EMA provides multiple-platform mobile web applications (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and mobile web) including conference agenda, exhibit directory, conference alerts, hotel information, local area resources, attendee messaging and social media integration.

Zerista www.zerista.com

Zerista is as an online networking/ business matchmaking tool, but as now put much of their emphasis on mobile networking apps. Their mobile community application Zerista Pro was used at the Mobile World Congress with more than 20,000 users. Features include mobile web meeting scheduler, attendee directory, personal profiles, attendee matching, social media integration (Twitter/Facebook), personal scheduler, full agenda, exhibitor directory, booth locator, virtual booths, floor plans, and local guides.  

Event Media Concept’s Mobile Concierge www.eventmediaconcepts.com

Mobile web applications providing conference agenda, exhibit directory, conference alerts, hotel information with GPS mapping/star ratings, local area resources with GPS mapping, attendee messaging and social media integration.  Mobile web applications tend to be slower and not as user-friendly as native applications built for specific phones. On the plus side, nothing needs to be downloaded to have it work.

VisionTree www.visiontree.com

VisionTree is a service company focusing primarily on the pharmaceutical industry.  They provide mobile handsets similar to an audience polling service which can be supplemented by attendees mobile phones.  Features include audience polling, text Q&A, feedback forms, conference agenda, speaker bios.

A2ZInc’s ChirpE www.a2zinc.net

A2ZInc has been a pioneer in web-based exhibit floor plan sales, mapping and management providing services for more than 600 shows per year. They are also developing a mobile application called ChirpE. This mobile web application includes a full conference agenda, event alerts, exhibit guide, exhibit floor plan, social media integration with LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, and personalized agenda building.

A2Z has gone to great lengths to build a mobile platform that will work well with other mobile and web apps including strong matchmaking tools. They have also built some of the best social media integration and aggregation tools for mobile apps for the events industry.

Meetings2Go http://meetings2go.mobi/

This is another mobile web-based product with agenda, exhibitor information, basic surveys, searchable attendee list, basic city guide, and SMS alert sign-up.

Mission Software

http://event-master.com/mobile_phone_service_key_features.html

Mission Software, based in the UK, has Mobile Phone Service providing a range of mobile web and on-demand text services for events including agendas, exhibit information, travel info, SMS messaging, and SMS voting.

Text messaging event information services:

Text messaging has some advantages. It is cheap, is accessible on virtually all mobile phones. Here are two similar products incorporating this technology:

SNIPP www.snipp.com and XIPP www.xnip.comn

These two nearly identical products work like this: Identify everything of interest at an event (people, exhibit products, exhibit booths, course notes, articles, weblinks, etc.) with a unique ID code (e.g. A345B). Then text message this ID code to 76477 (S-N-I-P-P) for Snipp or 29292 (for Xnip). Then attendees can access the information collected anytime via a personal web page at the Snipp.com or Xnip.com websites. This provides inexpensive, paperless, and digital ways of accessing event information.

Audience polling and surveys:

Audience polling devices are a great way of stimulating attendee interaction and finding out what they are thinking. However, traditional keypads can be beyond the budget for many events (from $3-12/person/dar). Phone based polling/survey systems, although not as fast or capable as keypads, can be right for some events.

Traditional surveys methods are problematic. Paper surveys are inefficient in tallying and end in landfills. Web surveys often are captured days after the event when impressions are cold often resulting a low response rate. Alternatively, mobile survey tools are low-cost, low in environmental impact, efficient in data collection and capture the data while the impressions are fresh.

Here are several mobile survey products:

NearPod (www.nearpod.com)
iPod and iPad applications for surveys, data collection, prize give aways, presentation tools, and metric tools with applications for meetings and trade shows.

Validar (www.validar.com)

Validar is primarily an exhibitor lead management/intelligence company. Their SMS Survey product provides text messaging surveys at events. Ask attendees questions about the keynote speaker or solicit advice on which sessions met expectations and which fell short. Attendees can respond to surveys using any SMS-enabled device, such as a PDA, cell phone, or smart phone. This system has the capability to ask answer several questions with one text message, making it more convenient survey tool than those using a separate text message for every question.

Zuku (www.zukuweb.com)

Similar to Validar, Zuku provides low-cost text messaging (SMS) polling and Q&A. Responses can be projected live.

Plug and Poll (www.plugandpoll.com)

Plug and Poll is a Dutch firm providing similar SMS polling services.

PollEverywhere (www.polleverywhere.com)

PollEverywhere provides SMS polling and Q&A sessions. They also integrate with Twitter and mobile web responses, and, as with standard audience polling systems, results can be projected live. These polling questions can be integrated directly into a PowerPoint program making it easy for a speaker to use it. Try it for free for up to 30 responses.

Lead retrieval:

Traditional lead retrieval is one-way (from attendee to exhibitor), location bound (at the exhibit booth), and expensive for the exhibitor. Mobile lead exchange provides two-way, less expensive, digital ways to exchange contact information anywhere at the event.
DUB – Mobile Business Card Networking www.dubmenow.com
This app was used at the South-By-Southwest 2010 (SXSW), the same Music and Media conference where Twitter debuted two years ago. This app works with iPhone and Blackberry (with Android, and Window Mobile Media coming) to exchange electronic business cards. It allows you to locate people near you at a conference or send your card via SMS or email. This automatically syncs with your phone address book and updates to contacts are updatee automatically. It also integrates with LinkedIn and Twitter.

Bartizan’s iLeads www.bartizan.com/index.php?id=62

Bartizan has been a traditional lead retrieval service for more than 30 years. Their new iPhone app is a tacit admission that the traditional lead retrieval model is on the way out. iLeads is an iPhone/iPad app giving each attendee at a tradeshow a unique 4-6 digit code printed in 16pt.font on their name badge. Those with access to the iLeads database (usually exhibitors) log into a specific event on their iPhone, type in attendee’s 4-6 digit code, and then can see (and record) the full contact information. There are built in qualifier questions, seven standard action codes and an area for notes. All leads are date/time stamped and, using the phone cam, a contact’s photo also can be attached.

Digital show guides:

A primary focus for these apps are on the exhibitor information and floor plan:

Taptopia (www.taptopia.com)

Interactive maps, schedules, and exhibitor info for the iPhone and iTouch sold through the iTunes store.

Member management for associations:

Associations are moving to use mobile tools to provide member services. The major association management companies are expanding their product lines to include these options. Here is a stand-alone one:

VoracitySolutions: (www.voracitysolutions.com/products/mobilemembership)
A range of membership and association mobile web management tools including member directory with full contact info, member photos, personal contacts, special interest groups, staff roster/contacts, and member alerts.

Attendee management:

This will likely be a hot development area where meeting planners will be able to access all online event registration and housing data through their mobile phones.

Ooto (www.ootoweb.com)

Otto is one such example. Veteran designers from the pioneer meetings technology company SeeUThere have built a revolutionary attendee management/online registration product. It has full mobile integration so planners can access all attendee/housing data from an iPhone. The registration product is free for the first month and then only $49/month thereafter with no transaction fees.

Venue and Location Concierges

These applications are designed for the venues to provide to attendees or hotel guests:

SwiftMoble (www.imswift.com)

This nicely designed iPhone application helps conference attendees at convention centers. The “myBCEC” app designed for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is a good example of what other venues could do.  The app contains a full, interactive venue map, local area restaurant/services information, the event calendar for the facility (with Twitter event hashtag links), transit information (including airport departures, traffic alerts, directions, parking information, subway alerts), a wide range of information about the venue (venue twitter feed, lost & found), and exhibitor information (utilities, AV, F&B, cleaning, etc.).

RunTriz (www.runtriz.com/hotel)

RunTriz is a pocket concierge for hotels. Hotel guests can order room service, view the drink menu, contact housekeeping, receive messages from the hotel front desk, schedule a wake-up call, arrange transportation, and view local shopping, restaurants and nightlife. If you don’t have an iPhone, participating hotels will loan you an iTouch.

Geovative GeoTours (www.geovative.com)
Geovative provides destination marketing using multimedia GPS tours with mobile apps.

Micropayment Systems/Near Field Communication:

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range (about 4 in.) wireless communication standard used in Europe. Primarily designed for making quick payments, residents of Estonia, for example, can tap their phones on a parking meter or at a rapid-transit turnstile, making a immediate and easy transaction form the ‘e-wallet’ stored on their phone. Nokia and Samsung are among the phone manufacturers that currently offer NFC and there are rumors that the next generation of iPhone will have it as well. NFC provides great potential for meetings including lead exchange, electronic ticketing, and micropayments. If the new iPhone adopts this standard, NFC will become huge in the tradeshow arena.

ITN International (www.itn-international.com)

ITN, a high-end registration company, is a pioneer in using NFC for events and tradeshows. They provide innovated capabilities for attendee tracking, lead data collection, event micropayment systems and more.

Consumer mobile apps with event applications:

Although this article focuses on event-specific mobile applications, there are few consumer app that bear a brief mention:

Foursquare www.fourquare.com and Gowalla www.gowalla.com

These location-aware mobile applications allow people to check-in at a location to network with others and to share with friends. Although originally used in restaurants, bars, etc. these are starting to be used for events.  Both were used at the 2010 South By Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin.

Bump

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bump/id305479724?mt=8

iPhone app to share contact information and photos.

WebEx Meeting Center

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cisco-webex-meeting-center/id298844386?mt=8

iPhone app to tap into schedule, attend and start WebEx online meetings

Things

http://itunes.apple.com/app/things/id284971781?mt=8

iPhone task management

Google Goggles

www.google.com/mobile/goggles

Built for Android phones, this product holds great promise for augmented reality applications. Simply point your phone cam at a restaurant or other object, and get a link to the website. Take a picture of a business card and it converts it to data in your mobile contacts… And much more!

These are just a few! There are likely hundreds more meeting-specific applications on the way and tens of thousands of consumer mobile apps that can help attendees, meeting planners, exhibitor and meeting suppliers at events and tradeshow.  Finally, these ‘widgets” have become a reality and much more will come.


Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a professional speaker and consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site:www.corbinball.com.

9 of 12 Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Social gaming tools will be used to engage face-to-face and virtual attendees at events

November 9, 2011

This is the ninth in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows:

9. Social gaming tools will be used to engage face-to-face and virtual attendees at events

People spend more than 3 billion hours a week globally playing online games! Jane McGonigal in her noted TEDTalk speaks of how gaming can make a better world by deeply engaging people and by encouraging collaboration and cooperation. She proposes to harness gamer power to solve real-world problems.

Online gaming engages people. It can immerse in a different reality. It can be very fun!  …And it will find its way increasingly into events.

On a basic level, location-aware programs such as Gowalla.comFourSquare.com and Facebook.com/places encourage people to check in at locations. People will win badges and prizes and receive tips from others. This, however, is much more than building loyalty at a favorite restaurant. All of these free online tools have developed options for checking in at events. I believe that these location-aware gaming options can help networking at events.

Scvngr.com  is another online social gaming tool (free for non-profit groups and associations) that engages attendees with treks and challenges. This tool has been used recently at the Consumer Electronic Show and SIGGRAPH shows to guide people through the exhibit hall and to win prizes by performing a challenge such as signing up at an exhibitor web site.

Social gaming is also being used to engage virtual and hybrid meetings attendees. Contests and challenges have been proven to engage people attending virtually. The Cisco GSX hybrid conference had 19,000 virtual attendees with one million views, 13,000 active players of the “Threshold” an interactive espionage immersive reality thriller, 8,000 participants in group chats and 9,5000 playing GSX mini games.

8 out of 12 Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: YouTube and other social publishing tools will be used increasingly to promote and manage meetings and to engage attendees

November 3, 2011

This is the eight in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows

8. YouTube and other social publishing tools will be used increasingly to promote and manage meetings and to engage attendees

Much has been written about the power of Facebook.com and the other social networking sites to engage potential attendees before and event to increase attendance and networking onsite. I believe the wide range of free social publishing tools will also be used increasingly for similar purposes:

  • Twitter.com (technically a micro-blog and, therefore, a social publishing tool) is widely used at events with event hashtags to engage attendees before, during and after an event. Planners should advertise the event hashtag well in advance of their events for the broadest utilization.
  • Free blogging tools (such as WordPress.com) can be used to create event blogs to increase attendance. Ask your speakers to participate to add comments about their sessions. Invite influential bloggers to your event, and give them internet connections to spread the word.
  • Encourage attendees to upload their event photos under a designated event name (using the Twitter hashtag) to Flickr.com so everyone can share their experience. This page can then be used to help promote future events.
  • Speakers can share their slides using SlideShare.com.
  • YouTube.com (the world’s second largest search site after its owner Google) is potentially one of the most promising event promotion tools around. The old saying goes that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  A video can be worth a thousand pictures and be far more compelling than web pages or brochures full of text! Video is the most compelling language of the internet.

A few YouTube tips:

a.)   Encourage your speakers to make short video describing what they will speak on and upload this to YouTube.

b.)   Link or embed these videos at your event site.

c.)   Keep the videos short (no more than 3 minutes).

d.)   Record in HD.

e.)   Choose a compelling thumbnail image using the posting tools YouTube provides.

f.)    Enable the comments and sharing options.

g.)   Rename the videos using meaningful names (MPI-WEC-speakers.mov is much better than 38404949.mov)

h.)   Use a keyword laden, meaningful description of the video.

Two of Twelve Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Mobile technology crosses the chasm from the early adopter to the early majority for events

September 21, 2011

This is the second in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows.

2. Mobile technology crosses the chasm from the early adopter to the early majority for events

Recent data from MPI”s FutureWatch 2011 Survey and others indicate that more than 80% of meeting professionals use smartphones and other mobile devices in their jobs. Yet, relatively few planners (9%) have used mobile applications yet for their own meetings. This is about to change. There will be a very significant adoption of mobile apps for events in 2012 and 2013. If a meeting does not have a mobile app, the attendees will soon wonder why the meeting organizers are behind the times.

There are hundreds of mobile companies and mobile apps targeting meeting professionals (I have more than 200 linked at my regularly updated online web links file: http://www.corbinball.com/bookmarks/#MobileApps). Although there will likely be a shakeout similar to the dot.com deflation in the late 1990s, the companies that survive will change how we do business.

There is a very strong business case for adopting mobile apps for your events including better real-time distribution of conference information, better location-aware/way-finding capabilities, event greening through paper reduction, better onsite networking, lower cost survey/polling options, enhanced branding, better attendee analytics, better CRM, advertising revenue generation and enhanced attendee experiences. More details on building the business case for mobile apps can be found at: http://ow.ly/6i35J

Another driver increasing the use of mobile apps at events is be the growth of applications targeted at the meeting venues rather than the meeting planner. Meeting facilities managers will either resell (at low cost) or give the app customized to the event to meeting planners and attendees. Examples of this model are SwiftMobile.com and eMarketing360.com.

One of Twelve Technology Trends to Watch for 2012

September 16, 2011

©2011 Corbin Ball Associates

This is the first in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows.

The rate of technology change is increasing. Meetings and tradeshow technology continues to advance with technology products becoming better, cheaper and easier to use. Innovation is bubbling with new options. Here are some of the major meetings and tradeshow technology trends to watch for this coming year.

Trend 1: More free or low cost apps for events and trade shows

“Information technologies of all types are doubling in capability every year”

– Ray Kurzweil, Technology Pioneer and Futurist

Another way of looking Kurzweil’s observation is the cost for the equivalent technology is being cut in half every year. Web software development technology is much faster and easier than ever before. What used to take $100,000+ and a team of programmers weeks or months to do, can now almost be accomplished by a gifted teenager in his/her bedroom over the weekend.  Web services and application programming interfaces (programming standards allowing easy data sharing among websites) allow additional functionality to be added to a website or web software program in a vastly easier manner.  For example, an online registration program can work with Saleforce.com or other contact database simply and quickly without expensive and time consuming custom integration programming.

Consequently, many free or very low-cost web tools have emerged to help meeting professionals do their job better.  There are free online databases of meeting facilities (Cvent’ Supplier Network: http://www.cvent.com/en/solutions/event-planning-software.shtml); free exhibition floor plan/sales tools (Floorplangenie.com); a wide range of social media tools for promoting events (FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTubeWordPressFlickrSlideshare, etc); free HD video conference tools (Skype and Google Hangout); free collaboration tools (docs.google.com and join.me); thousands of free or very low cost mobile travel and other apps to help meeting professionals and attendees, and much more. These are just a few examples. There are many more to come.

Eleven Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2011

September 16, 2010

The rate of technology change is increasing. Meetings and tradeshow technology continues to advance with technology products becoming better, cheaper and easier to use. Innovation is bubbling with new options. Here are some of the major meetings and tradeshow technology trends to watch for this coming year.

1. Web-based software increases meeting planning ease and options.

The web has been the driver for much of the technology change we have seen in the last decade. The days of shrink-wrapped, custom-installed meeting software programs are gone — they now delivered over the web. With the development of web services, a communication standard enabling different web programs to work together, the ability to exchange attendee, exhibitor, and member data has never been easier. Rich-internet applications are giving desk-top functionality to these programs. In short, the web is providing software for nearly every aspect of the meeting planning process in a manner that is cheaper and easier to use than ever before. See http://www.corbinball.com/bookmarks/ for 1400 categorized meetings technology products in 40 categories, most of them web-based, as examples.

2. Freeconomics – the rise of free or low cost meetings and tradeshow software is increasing.

Another benefit of the web software distribution is that it is more efficient than “shrink-wrapped” software. With the plummeting costs for data storage and bandwidth, the cost for web software delivery is going down as well. There are now many meetings and tradeshow technology products that are free (with ads or upselling as a business model) or substantially lower prices than they have been in the past. See http://bit.ly/atMwXp for many examples.

3. Mobile apps for meetings are exploding.

Mobile apps are hot! This 2010 has seen hundreds of new mobile phone apps benefiting meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors – and many more are in the pipeline! Smart phone “micro-computers” are increasingly being used for networking, lead exchange, electronic ticketing, way finding, audience polling, surveys, pocket programs, pocket exhibit guides, course notes/literature collection and much more. A new website www.meetingapps.com has come online to track them.  2011 will see many of these tools working into mainstream conference use and many new ones emerge. See http://bit.ly/bEQuqu for many examples.

4. Location-aware applications are finding their way to meetings.

A hot area in mobile development is location-based or geo-position based applications. In the context of meetings, attendees are business travelers who need way-finding information as well as location-based networking. There are many applications that can help with meetings:  Google Goggles (currently only for android phones) can help with identifying landmarks, restaurants and other places of business using photo recognition and augmented reality (a layering  of web information over a phone cam image based on GPS and compass data).

Foursquare and Gowalla are networking and social review mobile apps designed to encourage loyalty at restaurants, bars and other local businesses are beginning to be used at meetings. Specific business networking tools such as Sipity (www.sipity.com) using location-aware services have direct application to events. Facebook, the 800 pound gorilla has just entered into this space (http://www.facebook.com/places) and will likely have a major impact.

We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of location-aware services and augmented reality applications for meetings. These will have huge potential in the future.

5. iPad and tablet PCs displaying options for meetings and events will be increasingly used.

As the iPhone lead the way for a whole new genre of mobile phones, the iPad will lead the way for a wide range of touch-sensitive, tablet-like PCs in a wide range of formats. Dell, for example, is coming out with two “Streak” tablets with an Android operating system in 7” and 9” versions. The Microsoft booklet PC (two 7” touch screens that fold like a book) is another proposed option on the drawing boards. Several others are on the way.

These highly portable, easy-to-input-while-standing (or walking) tools will be a natural for meetings: for surveys, for lead qualifications, for interactive displays at booths, for meeting planners to access specification data, for attendees to view streaming event video, for distribution (and annotation) of session handouts for attendees, and for a larger-version of the hundreds of mobile apps currently being developed for meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors. Companies such as Quickmobile (www.quickmobile.com) have iPod meeting apps available (conference schedule, polling, course notes/transcriptions) in a very nice format. Ootoweb (www.ootoweb.com) has integrated its online registration with an iPad app allowing planners access to meeting status, documents, and attendees on the go.

6. HD video for hybrid meetings will bloom.

Skype newest 5.0 beta version provides 760p high definition video conferencing at no charge (as well as the ability for four simultaneous callers). This is just one way that HD will lead the way to jump in hybrid meetings and speakers presenting remotely at events.

The price has plummeted, and with increasingly more reliable internet connections, the reliability is good.

On the high-end, Starwood and Marriott hotels are building public telepresence suites to provide full-size, high definition face-to-face virtual meeting spaces for small groups to meet virtually in dozens of cites with more to come: http://bit.ly/QV7n7

7.  Social media is working into the mainstream for events.

Social media continues to be a huge driver for change at meetings. Meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors are all getting their feet wet, but most have not figured out how to integrate fully a social media strategy into their marketing mix.

This coming year will see increased usage of the “big 3” – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – for event marketing with efforts in increase attendee engagement before, during and after the event. Twitter in particular, with its 140-character limitation making it a natural for mobile use at events, will see continued growth.

Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) and other social media aggregators will be used increasingly as meeting professional try to manage multiple accounts more effectively.

This is an extremely dynamic and quick-changing field. It will not be surprising to see a new platform will emerge to take a strong position, merge with or unseat one or more of the ‘big 3.”

8. Online collaboration tools will begin to replace email as a primary project management tool for events.

Email was invented forty years ago, and as means of project management for meetings, is not efficient. It is interruptive, often incomplete, it is difficult to manage a stream of multiple conversations, and people are often not on the same page with document versions.

Meeting professionals need a better way of managing these data!

Wikis (collaborative websites) will emerge as much more efficient ways of tracking conference logistics and other details among geographically distributed meeting planners and suppliers. Free tools such as Google Docs will play a role as well as other web-based project management wikis.

9. Speaker and content management systems are being adopted.

There are many tasks in setting up programming for large events:

*   Sending out requests for speaker proposals
*   Speaker selection
*   Arranging programs into tracks
*   Collecting speaker information (bios, AV requirements, session handouts, photos)
*   Providing presentation visuals onsite in multiple locations with multiple presenters.
*   Distributing session handouts
*   Capturing/redistributing presentations (video/audio/presentation visuals) at meetings
*    And more…

Historically, each of these has been a separate task, each with lots of data management required.

Fortunately, there are a number of companies (including Content Management Inc. www.cmcgc.com, OmniPress www.omnipress, One World Presentation Management www.owpm.com and others) that combine most or all of these tasks under a unified system greatly increasing the efficiency.

With the increased ease of networking in large convention venues, these systems will become standard operating procedures for large, multi-session events

10. Strategic meetings management and ROI measurement is expanded and refined to improve meetings.

Strategic meetings management programs (SMMP) have been used historically by large corporations to reduce meeting spend by using tighter controls on procurement of sleeping rooms, meeting space and other meeting services.

There is good news along this front:

·         There are several companies who are developing web-based SMMP tools with a range of pricing models (including Certain Software www.certain.com, Cvent www.cvent.com, and SignUp4www.signup4.com).  The increased competition in this field will provide better meeting procurement tools at lower costs to a wider range of companies and associations – not just for the ‘Fortune 500’ anymore.

·         SMMP programs are being refined. It is no longer just about reducing meeting spend. There is work using Lean Six Sigma framework (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma) to improve the business process. Originally designed for manufacturing, this process focuses on increasing efficiency by reducing waste, rework, and activity that does not add value to increase value added activity.

·         The communication pathways set up to track meeting spend and also be used to measure and track meetings ROI (return on investment). Additionally, ROI measurement tools are being offered with pricing tiers for small meetings and event on an individual attendee basis. For example, MeetingMetrics (www.meetingmetrix.com) has just introduced MyROI designed to provide attendees measurement tools to track their personal return on investment from meetings attended.

11. Despite the economic downturn and the increased use of virtual meetings technology, face-to-face meetings and tradeshows remain viable (a repeat from last year’s predictions).

Virtual meeting and web conferencing usage is up and conference attendance is down in these economically challenging times. However, meetings and tradeshows can still provide the best value for your education, networking, and sales budgets. Events offer unparalleled opportunities to bring buyers and seller together, to build relationships, to brainstorm, to network. For an exhibitor, it is often the best way to meet so many qualified buyers in such a short time. For buyers, it is a great chance to meet vendors of interest – all together in one location, categorized and mapped for your choosing. The events, tradeshow and hospitality industries are relationship-based and events and tradeshow are some of the best ways to build these relationships.

Although webinars are good for short information exchange, meetings offer a much richer learning experience. What happens in the meeting room is important – people have made the commitment to be there and are not as distracted as in the office. However, the conversations in the hallways, receptions and exhibit hall contribute greatly to the information exchange. Meetings provide a vastly richer, more targeted, and more focused learning experience than any virtual meeting. There is no such thing as a “virtual beer!”

___________________

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a consultant, writer and speaker focusing on events and meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. He has been named by MeetingNews Magazine for four years as one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry. He has also chaired the judging committee for EIBTM Wordwide Technology Watch for meetings technology innovation for the past seven years. He can be contacted at his extensive web site:www.corbinball.com

Freeconomics” – The Rise of Free or Very Low Cost Meetings and Tradeshow Software

July 15, 2010

We are going through a major technology transformation — we are moving from shrink-wrapped software to the web as a major means of software distribution. With the price of data storage, computer processors and bandwidth plummeting, this is leading to low cost and free tools for meetings and trade shows.

Web-based software is more efficient than shrink-wrapped software in a number of ways:

  • It does not require local installation, network configuration, local customization, local firewall protection and local backup – everything is stored, backed, virus-protected and updated remotely, usually in highly secure data farms.
  • The only requirement is a web browser and internet access — this makes the programs accessible 24/7 anywhere there is an internet connection. This lends naturally to event workers who typcially are in out-of-the office locations.
  • The web is cross-platform: A PC, a Mac, a Linux operating system, and mobile platforms can access the data.
  • With the plummeting costs for data storage, processors and bandwidth, costs are substantially lower than shrink-wrapped.

This is leading to many free web tools to market, manage and improve events.

This posting will cover a several new free or lower-cost web tools to manage events and tradeshows, and will discuss things to look for in the “freeconomic” world.

FloorplanGenie: Free floor plan management tool from A2Z
http://www.a2zinc.net/show6/public/ShowPressRelease.aspx?PRId=108
A2Z has just released a full-featured tradeshow management floor plan tool including the following features:

  • Exhibitor database integration
  • Real-time, online interactive floor plan with color-coded booths
  • Merge, split, delete, revive, resize, rename and renumber booths easily
  • Manage non-exhibit space including meeting rooms, registration area, etc.
  • Reporting engine for custom exhibitor reports, booth inventory and change logs
  • Print wizard for custom scale, camera-ready, high-resolution printouts
  • Contractor access to real-time floor plans, exhibitor lists, booth inventory and change logs

There are no hidden costs or add-on fees, and this is not a free trial. The only limitations are that it can be used for a maximum of three shows per year and that the minimum show size is 10,000 net square feet.

BabyCAD – free exhibit booth design
http://www.babycad.com
BabyCAD provides a nice set of exhibit booth design tools with the ability to print out in PDF format. It is very easy to use and free to try. If you would like to save the files and use your own branding, it is $39/month.

OotoWeb: Online attendee management/registration and mobile meeting management
http://www.ootoweb.com/
Although this is not free, the attendee management tool is substantially lower cost than most other web registration products. Veteran designers from the pioneer meetings technology company SeeUThere have built a new attendee management/online registration product using state-of-the art web technology. It looks very easy to use, but can handle large, complex events. It has full mobile integration so planners can access all attendee/housing data from an iPhone.  The pricing is free for the first month and then only $49/month per user thereafter with no transaction fees. This is substantially lower than traditional web registration vendors which charge per transaction (an average of $6 per registration).

DimDim web conferencing
http://www.dimdim.com
This web conferencing/collaboration product is similar to WebEx or GoToMeeting, but is free for up to 20 users, only $25/month for up to 50 people. Additional people or features such a HD video and recording features can be added on – but usually at a price that is less than half of WebEx.

Skype high-definition and multiple person video conferencing.
http://www.skype.com
The newly released Skype 5.0 beta version allows 5-way group video conference calls as well as high definition (HD) capabilities. This opens up the potential for free or near-free telepresence-like capabilities and will be a natural for developing low-cost hybrid events and video conference participation by speakers. Skype makes money though Skype-Out, Skype Manager and other VoIP (voice over the internet) phone offerings.

MogoTIX — Free mobile ticketing solution for events
http://www.mogotix.com
MogoTix provides mobile event ticketing using QR (Quick Response) codes. It is free for events where no fee is charged and $0.99/ticket + 2.5% of the ticket value ($9.95 maximum/ticket) for those events selling tickets via credit card or Paypal.

Free audience polling from Poll Everywhere
http://www.polleverywhere.com
Traditional audience polling keypads rent for about $10/keypad/day. Poll Everywhere uses mobile phone text messaging (similar to American Idol) to accomplish a similar result. It integrates fully with PowerPoint making it easy for presenters to use. Pricing is free for up to 30 poll participants, $15/month for 50 participants and up.

Free wikis (interactive websites) and group collaboration tools
http://wave.google.com and http://docs.google.com
Google provides a great set of free collaboration tools that are far superior to standard email for managing hundreds or thousands of event logistics details. See http://tinyurl.com/2bxeova for more details.

Mobile apps for meetings
http://www.corbinball.com/articles_technology/index.cfm?fuseaction=cor_av&artID=7856
This is one of the hottest areas of software development with hundreds of applications applicable to meetings – and several of them free.

Social media to manage and market events
http://www.corbinball.com/articles_technology/index.cfm?fuseaction=cor_av&artID=6680
This is another very rapidly growing software market, with most of the application free and most of the having direct applications for marketing and managing meetings.

Free site selection database
http://guest.cvent.com/rfp/default.aspx?wt.mc_id=CSN_Venues_Btn
Cvent provides a free searchable online database of over 100,000 event venues and service providers allowing planners to search detailed profiles of event venues and service providers, send Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to the most qualified meeting suppliers and then compare bids, supplier details and availability with side-by-side reports. Funding is made through vendor enhanced listings.

Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

These are just a few of the free and low cost meeting technology tools available. Many may ask, is ‘free’ too good to be true?

Companies need to be profitable to survive, and very few offer free tools out of pure altruism. As these tools become part of the meeting planning process, it will be important for planners to look at each company’s business model to judge whether that specific ‘freeconomic’ model is viable. Is their company stable? Will they be around through my event, next year and beyond? What will happen if they change options or drop services?  All these questions need to be asked before building into your business process.

The good news, however, is that it appears that the price of meeting planning technology is dropping along with the cost of computers and data storage. There will be more options as a lower price than ever before.

©2010 Corbin Ball Associates

Meetings and Tradeshows – There’s A Mobile App for That!

May 18, 2010

In 2000, I made the following prediction at the CIC Forum in Washington DC:

“Mobile phones will morph into ‘widgets’ (wireless internet devices for geo-positioning, ecommerce and telecommunication).”

I went on to forecast that our phones will become web browsers, “Walkmen” (iPods were not invented yet), still/video cameras, GPS systems, email managers, calendar/contact managers, micropayment systems and more.

Here is the actual slide shown at the conference:

What fueled my interest was the potential that mobile applications held for meetings. Meetings are mobile and inherently in need of mobile technology to manage event data!

What a difference a decade makes! All these predictions have come true and mobile apps are now the hottest line of software development. There are hundreds of direct applications for events, tradeshows, associations and venues.  Here are several of the significant ones.

Multipurpose conference applications:

These “Swiss army knife” applications provide multiple tools bundled in one application:

QuickMoble www.quickmobile.com

Quick mobile was the mobile application for the MPI MeetingDifferent and will be for the MPI WEC. It also used at major film festivals including Sundance and Tribeca. Features include: full conference schedule, personal agenda building, area guide (with Frommer’s integration), search capabilities for attendees/speakers/exhibitors, integration with social media including Twitter/Facebook/Pathable and messaging. They build apps for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and mobile web providing greater ease of use than companies that provide only mobile web versions.

Follow Me www.core-apps.com

Follow Me was the mobile app for the 2010 Consumer Electronic Show, one of the largest shows in the tradeshow industry. Features include a full conference schedule, personal agenda builder, maps, exhibit hall way-finding (you are a dot on the map), course notes/literature pick-up, session alerts, Twitter integration, and sponsorship revenue sharing. They also build native apps for the major smart phones ( iPhone, Android, Blackberry) and mobile web for the rest.

EventKaddy www.eventkaddy.com

Similar to QuickMobile and Follow Me, EventKaddy provide native apps for most  smart phones. Shows include the large 2010 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Features include full conference listings, customized attendee agenda building, attendee networking tools, interactive floor plans/maps, multimedia listings for exhibitors, digital coupons/brochures/course notes (in .pdf), conference alerts from show organizer to attendees, with extensive metrics.

EMA www.epromeetingapps.com

EMA provides multiple-platform mobile web applications (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and mobile web) including conference agenda, exhibit directory, conference alerts, hotel information, local area resources, attendee messaging and social media integration.

Zerista www.zerista.com

Zerista is as an online networking/ business matchmaking tool, but as now put much of their emphasis on mobile networking apps. Their mobile community application Zerista Pro was used at the Mobile World Congress with more than 20,000 users. Features include mobile web meeting scheduler, attendee directory, personal profiles, attendee matching, social media integration (Twitter/Facebook), personal scheduler, full agenda, exhibitor directory, booth locator, virtual booths, floor plans, and local guides.  

Event Media Concept’s Mobile Concierge www.eventmediaconcepts.com

Mobile web applications providing conference agenda, exhibit directory, conference alerts, hotel information with GPS mapping/star ratings, local area resources with GPS mapping, attendee messaging and social media integration.  Mobile web applications tend to be slower and not as user-friendly as native applications built for specific phones. On the plus side, nothing needs to be downloaded to have it work.

Grupio www.grupio.com

Full-featured meetings app built using native iPhone, Andriod, Blackberry platforms (as well as mobile web for the rest) starting at $1.50 per attendee (much lower than many of the other mobile players out there).  Features include event schedule, personal schedule, sponsor/exhibitor information, speaker profiles, Facebook/Twitter integration, surveys, instant polling, floorplans, push notification and SMS messageing.

VisionTree www.visiontree.com

VisionTree is a service company focusing primarily on the pharmaceutical industry.  They provide mobile handsets similar to an audience polling service which can be supplemented by attendees mobile phones.  Features include audience polling, text Q&A, feedback forms, conference agenda, speaker bios.

A2ZInc’s ChirpE www.a2zinc.net

A2ZInc has been a pioneer in web-based exhibit floor plan sales, mapping and management providing services for more than 600 shows per year. They are also developing a mobile application called ChirpE. This mobile web application includes a full conference agenda, event alerts, exhibit guide, exhibit floor plan, social media integration with LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, and personalized agenda building.

A2Z has gone to great lengths to build a mobile platform that will work well with other mobile and web apps including strong matchmaking tools. They have also built some of the best social media integration and aggregation tools for mobile apps for the events industry.

Meetings2Go http://meetings2go.mobi/

This is another mobile web-based product with agenda, exhibitor information, basic surveys, searchable attendee list, basic city guide, and SMS alert sign-up.

Mission Software

http://event-master.com/mobile_phone_service_key_features.html

Mission Software, based in the UK, has Mobile Phone Service providing a range of mobile web and on-demand text services for events including agendas, exhibit information, travel info, SMS messaging, and SMS voting.

Text messaging event information services:

Text messaging has some advantages. It is cheap, is accessible on virtually all mobile phones. Here are two similar products incorporating this technology:

SNIPP www.snipp.com and XniP www.xnip.com

These two nearly identical products work like this: Identify everything of interest at an event (people, exhibit products, exhibit booths, course notes, articles, weblinks, etc.) with a unique ID code (e.g. A345B). Then text message this ID code to 76477 (S-N-I-P-P) for Snipp or 29292 (for Xnip). Then attendees can access the information collected anytime via a personal web page at the Snipp.com or Xnip.com websites. This provides inexpensive, paperless, and digital ways of accessing event information.

Audience polling and surveys:

Audience polling devices are a great way of stimulating attendee interaction and finding out what they are thinking. However, traditional keypads can be beyond the budget for many events (from $3-12/person/dar). Phone based polling/survey systems, although not as fast or capable as keypads, can be right for some events.

Traditional surveys methods are problematic. Paper surveys are inefficient in tallying and end in landfills. Web surveys often are captured days after the event when impressions are cold often resulting a low response rate. Alternatively, mobile survey tools are low-cost, low in environmental impact, efficient in data collection and capture the data while the impressions are fresh.

Here are several mobile survey products:

NearPod (www.nearpod.com)
iPod and iPad applications for surveys, data collection, prize give aways, presentation tools, and metric tools with applications for meetings and trade shows.

Validar (www.validar.com)

Validar is primarily an exhibitor lead management/intelligence company. Their SMS Survey product provides text messaging surveys at events. Ask attendees questions about the keynote speaker or solicit advice on which sessions met expectations and which fell short. Attendees can respond to surveys using any SMS-enabled device, such as a PDA, cell phone, or smart phone. This system has the capability to ask answer several questions with one text message, making it more convenient survey tool than those using a separate text message for every question.

Zuku (www.zukuweb.com)

Similar to Validar, Zuku provides low-cost text messaging (SMS) polling and Q&A. Responses can be projected live.

Plug and Poll (www.plugandpoll.com)

Plug and Poll is a Dutch firm providing similar SMS polling services.

PollEverywhere (www.polleverywhere.com)

PollEverywhere provides SMS polling and Q&A sessions. They also integrate with Twitter and mobile web responses, and, as with standard audience polling systems, results can be projected live. These polling questions can be integrated directly into a PowerPoint program making it easy for a speaker to use it. Try it for free for up to 30 responses.

Lead retrieval:

Traditional lead retrieval is one-way (from attendee to exhibitor), location bound (at the exhibit booth), and expensive for the exhibitor. Mobile lead exchange provides two-way, less expensive, digital ways to exchange contact information anywhere at the event.

DUB – Mobile Business Card Networking www.dubmenow.com
This app was used at the South-By-Southwest 2010 (SXSW), the same Music and Media conference where Twitter debuted two years ago. This app works with iPhone and Blackberry (with Android, and Window Mobile Media coming) to exchange electronic business cards. It allows you to locate people near you at a conference or send your card via SMS or email. This automatically syncs with your phone address book and updates to contacts are updatee automatically. It also integrates with LinkedIn and Twitter.

Bartizan’s iLeads www.bartizan.com/index.php?id=62

Bartizan has been a traditional lead retrieval service for more than 30 years. Their new iPhone app is a tacit admission that the traditional lead retrieval model is on the way out. iLeads is an iPhone/iPad app giving each attendee at a tradeshow a unique 4-6 digit code printed in 16pt.font on their name badge. Those with access to the iLeads database (usually exhibitors) log into a specific event on their iPhone, type in attendee’s 4-6 digit code, and then can see (and record) the full contact information. There are built in qualifier questions, seven standard action codes and an area for notes. All leads are date/time stamped and, using the phone cam, a contact’s photo also can be attached.

Digital show guides:

A primary focus for these apps are on the exhibitor information and floor plan:

Taptopia (www.taptopia.com)

Interactive maps, schedules, and exhibitor info for the iPhone and iTouch sold through the iTunes store.

Member management for associations:

Associations are moving to use mobile tools to provide member services. The major association management companies are expanding their product lines to include these options. Here is a stand-alone one:

VoracitySolutions: (www.voracitysolutions.com/products/mobilemembership)
A range of membership and association mobile web management tools including member directory with full contact info, member photos, personal contacts, special interest groups, staff roster/contacts, and member alerts.

Attendee management:

This will likely be a hot development area where meeting planners will be able to access all online event registration and housing data through their mobile phones.

Ooto (www.ootoweb.com)

Otto is one such example. Veteran designers from the pioneer meetings technology company SeeUThere have built a revolutionary attendee management/online registration product. It has full mobile integration so planners can access all attendee/housing data from an iPhone. The registration product is free for the first month and then only $49/month thereafter with no transaction fees.

Venue and Location Concierges

These applications are designed for the venues to provide to attendees or hotel guests:

SwiftMoble (www.imswift.com)

This nicely designed iPhone application helps conference attendees at convention centers. The “myBCEC” app designed for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is a good example of what other venues could do.  The app contains a full, interactive venue map, local area restaurant/services information, the event calendar for the facility (with Twitter event hashtag links), transit information (including airport departures, traffic alerts, directions, parking information, subway alerts), a wide range of information about the venue (venue twitter feed, lost & found), and exhibitor information (utilities, AV, F&B, cleaning, etc.).

RunTriz (www.runtriz.com/hotel)

RunTriz is a pocket concierge for hotels. Hotel guests can order room service, view the drink menu, contact housekeeping, receive messages from the hotel front desk, schedule a wake-up call, arrange transportation, and view local shopping, restaurants and nightlife. If you don’t have an iPhone, participating hotels will loan you an iTouch.

Geovative GeoTours (www.geovative.com)
Geovative provides destination marketing using multimedia GPS tours with mobile apps.

Micropayment Systems/Near Field Communication:

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range (about 4 in.) wireless communication standard used in Europe. Primarily designed for making quick payments, residents of Estonia, for example, can tap their phones on a parking meter or at a rapid-transit turnstile, making a immediate and easy transaction form the ‘e-wallet’ stored on their phone. Nokia and Samsung are among the phone manufacturers that currently offer NFC and there are rumors that the next generation of iPhone will have it as well. NFC provides great potential for meetings including lead exchange, electronic ticketing, and micropayments. If the new iPhone adopts this standard, NFC will become huge in the tradeshow arena.

ITN International (www.itn-international.com)

ITN, a high-end registration company, is a pioneer in using NFC for events and tradeshows. They provide innovated capabilities for attendee tracking, lead data collection, event micropayment systems and more.

Consumer mobile apps with event applications:

Although this article focuses on event-specific mobile applications, there are few consumer app that bear a brief mention:

Foursquare www.foursquare.com and Gowalla www.gowalla.com

These location-aware mobile applications allow people to check-in at a location to network with others and to share with friends. Although originally used in restaurants, bars, etc. these are starting to be used for events.  Both were used at the 2010 South By Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin.

Bump

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bump/id305479724?mt=8

iPhone app to share contact information and photos.

WebEx Meeting Center

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cisco-webex-meeting-center/id298844386?mt=8

iPhone app to tap into schedule, attend and start WebEx online meetings

Things

http://itunes.apple.com/app/things/id284971781?mt=8

iPhone task management

Google Goggles

www.google.com/mobile/goggles

Built for Android phones, this product holds great promise for augmented reality applications. Simply point your phone cam at a restaurant or other object, and get a link to the website. Take a picture of a business card and it converts it to data in your mobile contacts… And much more!

These are just a few! There are likely hundreds more meeting-specific applications on the way and tens of thousands of consumer mobile apps that can help attendees, meeting planners, exhibitor and meeting suppliers at events and tradeshow.  Finally, these ‘widgets” have become a reality and much more will come.


Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a professional speaker and consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site: www.corbinball.com. ©2010 Corbin Ball Associates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers