Event Technology – Connecting the dots
How many times have we heard “Just connect the dots…”? I think it is such an effective phrase because it quickly create a picture for everyone about how things that are typically separated and treated independently truly belong together and – when ‘connected’ – can act as one.
As show organizers, we need to start to connect the dots ourselves. We treat our three stakeholders – attendees, exhibitors / sponsors, and speakers – separately and independently. Sure – we think we treat them cohesively – but in my experience few of us do. However, with technology being what it is today and the expansive opportunities with mobile and wearable technology, not only is it possible but it is now critical that we connect these dots. As an example of what we are referring to – let me highlight some bullets that speak to each stakeholder connection –
Attendees <-> Speakers
- Preshow let speakers have access to the list of attendees who are signed up for their session and give them the ability to reach out
- Preshow let attendees send in questions and topic areas that they wish to hear more about in the upcoming session
- Preshow let the speaker provide handouts for attendees that they can get online and on their mobile device
- Onsite let speakers know who is in the room when attendees arrive
- Onsite let attendees ask questions of the speaker through their mobile device and vote on the most popular questions
Attendees <-> Exhibitors / Sponsors
- Preshow let Exhibitors / Sponsors provide information to attendees for them to download – case studies / white papers / etc. – an online library of value resources
- Preshow let attendees make appointments with Exhibitors / Sponsors for onsite demos – but do so by letting the Exhibitors / Sponsors announce the products that will be demoed and customize the experience
- Onsite let attendees “raise their hand” to become a lead for exhibitors and ask for more information directly from the attendee’s mobile device
- Onsite let Exhibitors / Sponsors be notified when attendees that they invited arrive at registration and check in
These are just some of the opportunities available to us. But – just like home electronics has turned into the “connected home”, event experiences need to create “connected events”.