Archive for September, 2011

Three of Twelve Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Do it yourself (DIY) mobile event apps will proliferate

September 29, 2011

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

3. Do it yourself (DIY) mobile event apps will proliferate.

One of the hottest areas of mobile development is in the low-cost DIY arena. It is possible to create a fully featured, cross-platform business app (iPhone, android, iPad and mobile web) with customized logos, colors and content using BiznessApps.com for as low as $39.95/month. This DIY site is very easy to use with video tutorials throughout.

Although BiznessApps has an “events” option among the dozens of business templates offered, there are several companies that are targeting events specifically with DIY products including: Grupio.comGenieMobile.comEventKaddy.com and even the high-end QuickMobile.com.  Often times, these will be at a fraction of the cost of a standard application built by mobile app programmers.

Advertisements

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.