1. DIY: Designing Innovation into Your Next Event

    DIY: Designing Innovation into Your Next Event

    I have noticed that conversations keep going down the path of “what’s new?” and “what’s innovative?” Clients are looking to differentiate themselves on every level, across every event – Tradeshows, meetings, conventions, appreciation parties, awards dinners, fundraising events…and the list goes on.

    I want you to take a look at just two technologies right now, because there are so many and it is easy to get overwhelmed; One that serves as a foundation, and one to think about. In my opinion, the best way to be introduced to new technology is to focus on something we all know and love and “tweak” the expectations or functionality, and then bring in the new guy…Because it may or may not work for everyone. Here we go…

    Wi-Fi Continues to be the Lifeblood of the Event Community. The demand for Wi-Fi will continue to grow exponentially and is a basic utility for running a meeting effectively.

    Did you know that a recent survey found that the most-desired amenity of hotel guests is free in-room Internet access? Additionally, 64 percent of meeting planners said the availability of free Wi-Fi does affect their choice of venue, and 31 percent said it might. Only 5 percent said free Wi-Fi access would not affect site-selection decisions.

    The challenge for facilities is keeping up with the increasing bandwidth demands of customers who are using tablets, iPhones, and other portable devices to stream video or download large files.

    Planners and suppliers need to educate themselves so they know what they need and how to get it. Find out what venues have invested in the infrastructure to handle all the bandwidth requirements for guests to check e-mail, surf the Web, tweet, upload video and images, etc.

    Hey! New guy! Want to hang out? Google Plus Hangouts. You can get your own free Google Plus account and use Hangouts to convene small groups virtually and broadcast a video recording of their Hangout to YouTube or their own Web sites. What a great way to “meet up” at a meeting, tradeshow, conference, and discuss the sessions or keynote speaker message in real time! It could be an effective tool for planners to hold webinars or small meetings and post them to the Web, YouTube, or other social media sites. Infinite ideas for this application…

    Remember: Virtual meetings technology won’t ever replace the networking, brainstorming, and relationship building that happens at face-to-face meetings, but they are going to play an important role in enhancing and making the content and messaging relevant and accessible. 

    Till next time,

    Meghan

    Join my conversation on Twitter: @meghanwelborn

     

     

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