BizBash Magazine conducts a yearly evaluation of the best and most creative uses of technology for the year. Below are some of the ideas they thought to be the best and will certainly be used by the event meeting services industry in 2011 and beyond.
Wireless Handheld Devices
Instead of paper bid sheets, attendees of the 2010 Leukemia Ball and the William & Mary D.C. Alumni Association Auction received an Apple iPod (which can be rented) pre-loaded with every auction item including description, value, bid increments, photo, and donor information. After browsing the silent auction area, guests could view all the items on their handheld device and continue to bid from anywhere at any time throughout the event. When outbid, guests received a flashing red alert on their device giving them the option to up their bid.
The results were substantially higher revenues, despite a down turned economy, and more fun and excitement for guests.
At the end of the auction BidPal, the software provider, automatically notified winners of what they had won and how to check out, while an instant check-out report categorizes each bidder’s items for event meeting services organizers.
At New York’s Robin Hood Foundation fundraiser each guest was giving a wireless audience response system. The room was divided into three teams, creating competition between them. Total team pledges were posted on large-sized plasma screen rentals, helping spur competition by alerting each attendee in real-time as to which team was in the lead. These real-time updates encouraged those who could afford to continue donating to open their wallets just a little bit more.
In just 18 minutes of competition, over $72 million was raised for the fight against poverty by the crowd of 3,100 attendees. More importantly, audience participation increased from a typical level of 3% to an astonishing level of 72%. All in all, the foundation raised $87.8 million dollars, a new fund raising record.
Projection Screen Rentals
At the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, there were dynamic sets of layered projection screens. "We were really excited about the set this year in that it was largely rooted in projection," said executive producer Audrey Morrissey. "It was a very interesting blend of projection surfaces and brick-and-mortar physical set pieces. The screens were cutout in architectural shapes and the images we projected onto those surfaces were in fact architectural surfaces unto themselves with a lot of depth. I don’t know that many places that are using projection as architecture. Since it’s projection, we could create several looks and the whole place changed on a dime. We’re loving the effect—its very all encompassing, very impressive, epic feeling."
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Samsung created a pavilion that allowed guests to take photos and have them projected on the sharing projection screen. These screens also served as live feeds for Olympic events and demonstrated 3-D technology.
Part 2: The Year of the iPad will be posted on Wednesday, December 1st.