Corbin Ball Associates recently posted their "12+ Meeting Technology Trends to Watch for 2012". Today, lets highlight the technology trends that apply to the event audio visual rental industry.
Mobile applications, iPads, and Tablets will provide a new medium for accessing data at events.
According to MPI’s FutureWatch2011 Study, only 9% of planners have used mobile technology for their own meetings. According to Ball, there will be a very significant adoption of mobile apps for events in 2012 and ’13. If meetings don’t offer mobile meeting apps, attendees will wonder why the event organizers are so far behind the times.
There is a strong business case for adopting mobile technology. Rent iPads or Tablets for your attendees to realize the following benefits:
- Better real-time distribution of conference materials and information
- Better location-awareness (GPS)
- Interactive exhibit floor plans
- Event greening through paper reduction
- Better on-site networking, through applications like Sonar
- Attendees can take notes and upload to their own email
- Polling options
- Speaker Q & A
- Enhanced branding of your sponsors through video, photos, and PDFs
- Enhanced attendee experience through social media and gaming applications
- Product display for booth exhibitors
- Information kiosks at the booth or in front of the exhibit hall
In addition, the iPad or Tablet have the following benefits when compared to a laptop or conference binder:
- Lightweight, usually weighing less than 1 pound
- Highly mobile, can be used sitting, standing, or walking
- Highly intuitive, should be able to teach an attendee how to use the application in a matter of minutes
- Large iPad screen allows easy readability
- Secure, because attendees return to event organizers at the end of the day
- Long battery life, usually around 10 hours
Easy access to Wi-Fi is expected by attendees.
According to Ball, Internet bandwidth is important and most venues cannot handle unexpected demands for the system. If 500 attendees pull out their iPads to access HD video, all at the same time, chances are the average venue cannot handle that kind of bandwidth and it will bring the Wi-Fi system to its knees.
Event planners need to make special arrangements for:
- Dedicated bandwidth
- Dedicated IP address
- Robust and Secure System
Wi-Fi network arrays can be rented, thus boosting bandwidth and accessibility to the users. In my opinion, this is not going to be a "nice to have" in 2012, it’s going to be a "must have".
Social media will engage attendees.
- Blogging can create buzz about your event.
- Facebook can be used to promote your event, position your fan page, and increase attendee connections on a personal level. Most people nowadays are blurring the personal and professional lines, using Facebook for both uses.
- Twitter allows for an interactive, real-time dialog between attendees, speakers, and event organizers before, during, and after the event. The use of event hashtags creates an online community for all postings to go there.
- Flickr can be used to upload event photos under your event name.
- Speakers can share their presentations via Slideshare.
- YouTube can capture video about your event and be easily uploaded. The link can be distributed to attendees, as well as, people who missed the conference.
AV Event Solutions, a California event services company, has state-of-the-art technology tools ready to meet your rental needs. They provide iPads, iPad2s, Tablet PCs, Wi-Fi network arrays, and much, much more. Give them a call today (or submit Express Quote) to learn more about their services and products.