Riddle me this: What do
all have in common? They are extremely popular events and according to Skift, who recently published The Future of Meetings in Hospitality they use new and evolving technology platforms to engage their audience.
Gone is the lecture style. Gone are classroom and theater seating.
In are crowdsourced, hybrid events with interactive presentations.
But what they found that may shock you is, innovative technology solutions often do three things:cut costs, save time and open up attendee dialog with you and other attendees.
- Cutting costs.
I think meeting planners automatically assume technology is going to cost them NOT save them money. But let's face it; every time you automate something you save resources – whether it be time or money.
For example, when renting Audio Visual equipment, one option is to rent iPads. This will save money on many fronts – no more printing, copying and assembling of large conference binders. No more shipping and drayage costs. And you are being green. Always, calculate your and your staff's time when considering costs.
- Improving efficiencies.
If you utilize a digital document library, all your documents will be one place on an iPad or laptop rental. Everything can be categorized and indexed. All the attendee needs to do is type in a keyword in the search box and away they go. Any changes to the program can be instantly communicated to the attendee's mobile device and displayed on a video wall.
Because most meeting apps are web-based and accessed on a real-time basis, changes and shifts to the program can happen with that same level of flexibility.
In addition, because cloud storage is free or very inexpensive, it makes sense to have attendees access important documents from the cloud versus printing or emailing it to them.
- Opening new lines of communications.
If you only email and send out direct mail before the event, you are missing a whole section of potential clients. Communication needs to occur across 4-5 generations and everyone is different in how they want to receive and respond to information. Use all methods – email, direct mail, social media, website, phone and texting to get your message across. See where your attendees are and communicate there.
If you have a Twitter hashtag for the event, promote it before, during and after the event.
The one thing you do need to pay attention to is your estimated bandwidth demand if you go from paper to paperless. If you need help in this area, check out the 5-part article I wrote on event and venue Wi-Fi connectivity for SmartSource's sister company, CRE Computer Rentals. There are also some great articles on that page about going paperless and the value of a green meeting.