Latest Technology/Solutions News & Views...
10 Productivity Apps for #Eventprofs
Liz King did a session at techsytalk LIVE about productivity apps every event planner needs.
From task management apps, email organizers and apps that help with passwords, she has shared her favorites in a post on Cvent as well.
Social Tables Secures $8 Million to Improve and Expand Its Hospitality Product Suite to Its 2.500 Customers and Beyond
Social Tables, the web-based hospitality SaaS technology that brings powerful sales and operations tools to thousands of hospitality professionals has secured $8 million in Series A funding to be led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP). Leading hospitality venture capital firm, Thayer Ventures will also participate, alongside previous investors Militello Capital, 500 Startups, Middleland Capital, and Fortify Ventures. This funding will bring the total amount Social Tables has raised to $9.6 MM. The funding was announced at a press conference held at the Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. today alongside the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray. “The hospitality and technology industries in the District of Columbia play a critical role in strengthening the city’s economy and ensuring the District remains a world-class city,” said Mayor Gray. “Social Tables’ creative approach to merging these two vital sectors has been phenomenal, and I congratulate Dan and his team for securing funding that will allow Social Tables to continue to grow and thrive.”
Read more from Social Tables.
The CIC and Social Tables Bring Convention Services Managers the Ultimate Free Meeting Planning App
The Convention Industry Council and Social Tables have partnered to release a planner-requested app, the Pocket Planner.
Compatible with all iOs and Android devices, this innovative app was born as a result of customer demand. "In speaking with planners and convention services managers throughout the hospitality industry, we found a shared frustration as it pertained to scaling product and personnel quantities to attendees," recalls Dan Berger, CEO & Founder of Social Tables. "As a company that has been shaped by feedback from our customers, we knew we had to provide a solution – that's when the idea of an app hit us."
Through 2 separate functionalities, Berger predicts that, "It will automate manual processes, allowing meeting planners and CSM's to spend more time on strategic tasks."
The Calculator function allows users to input the number of event attendees into an algorithm that recommends quantities of food and beverage (including liquor, coffee and standard drinks), safety (fire extinguishers, exit space), and staffing.
While the calculator alone was exciting, Berger realized that he wanted to do more than provide answers – there needed to be an educational component. "That's when I reached out to Karen Kotowksi," Berger says. "There is no better organization to partner with on industry thought leadership than the Convention Industry Council."
"Promoting professionalism is at the core of CIC's mission. We are committed to fostering the growth and needs of our industry's professionals through our actions. The Pocket Planner app allow us to do both of those things seamlessly. The calculations are based on industry best practices and established standards that CIC uses in our Manual, so it was a natural partnership. The app is another tool that allows planners flexibility in applying their knowledge, not a substitute for attaining it. Kudos to Social Tables for creating a useful platform that is accessible and at no cost, to everyone in the industry." Said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Industry Council.
Additionally, planners are able to purchase a copy of the CIC Manual for use in studying for the CMP, and for reference in day-to-day operations. The CIC is actively working on a mobile version of the manual, which will be added to the Pocket Planner App once it is released.
The free app is now available for download by visiting: https://www.socialtables.com/pocket-planner
About the Convention Industry Council
The Convention Liaison Council was founded in 1949 by four organizations to facilitate the exchange of information within the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. Now the Convention Industry Council, the organization has grown to include 33 member organizations.
CIC's members represent more than 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. CIC offers many tools and programs designed to support the industry and meet its challenges; facilitate the exchange of information and ideas; and educate the public on its profound economic impact.
About Social Tables
Social Tables, the award-winning provider of hospitality software, delivers the most dynamic diagramming and guest management platform on the market. The industry leading company consistently aids its 2,200 customers in achieving their sales and operational objectives. The company's diverse list of clientele ranges from hotel chains such as the Hyatt Hotel Corporation to academic special events teams from Harvard Business School to corporate meeting teams such as Genentech.
Bizzabo Reaches 4,000 Conferences to Establish Position As A Market Leader Conference Networking Platform
Bizzabo, the world’s leading networking platform and event technology, announced that it has reached a major growth milestone of 4,000 professional events who've utilized their platform. The company launched in 2012 to provide a streamlined experience for event organizers to both socialize and mobilize their events, saving them time and money. Bizzabo integrates LinkedIn and other social media platforms to build highly-interactive event communities, helping organizers, sponsors and exhibitors achieve event goals, boost visibility and increase engagement.
Bizzabo experienced rapid growth, reaching the 4,000 conferences milestone at an industry leading pace after opening their office in NYC in 2013. The company has developed a suite of tools that can be quickly implemented to help conference organizers improve the attendee experience, provide greater actionable intelligence and enhance lead follow-up for conference organizers.
“Bizzabo allowed us to engage directly with our attendees to improve their experience and provide them a tool to network with other amazing participants – it turned our conference into a community.” says Joey Ortiz, Co-Organizer of S.H.E Summit.
Bizzabo is the first choice event platform and mobile app for thousands of events ranging from small associations events to corporate events and international conferences. Bizzabo’s database now includes more than 30,000 speakers’ profiles and 10,000 sponsors’ profiles. The company plans to use that data to help event organizers streamline their events even further.
“Our vision is to make professional events more successful and impactful to all parties involved,” says Co-founder and CEO Eran Ben-Shushan. “Bizzabo has seen this impressive adoption rate because it focuses both on improving an attendee’s experience and helping event organizers reach their business goals. Moving forward, we plan to keep innovating and disrupting the meetings industry while maximizing professionals’ event experiences.”
Launched in July, 2012, Bizzabo is the leading networking and mobile platform for event organizers and attendees. Bizzabo integrates social media to build highly-interactive event communities, helping organizers, sponsors and exhibitors to engage directly with guests and seek out meaningful new business opportunities. Organizers use Bizzabo to increase engagement, word of mouth and sponsorship revenue. The social-mobile platform has been incorporated into thousands of events worldwide. Bizzabo is available online and across iOS and Android devices. The company has offices in New York and Israel and was co-founded by Eran Ben Shushan, Alon Alroy, and Boaz Katz.
Cool Tools for Meetings Planners - myMeetingTime
by Keith Johnston
Meeting Planners are awesome. We are a select group of people that might be based in Chicago, traveling to the Bahamas, and connecting with someone in Hong Kong… All on the same day. It is a wonder that we even know where we are, never mind what time it is half way across the globe.
Such is the case last year. I was in Hawaii on an incentive program and needed to speak with a hotel in Paris and my client in New York. That is a lot of time zones my friend, a lot of times zones. And math. A lot of math. Oh yeah, and daylight saving time. Ugg.
Read more at plannerwire.net
BusyEvent Enhances DataKeys Functionality to Offer Immediate Access to Event Attendee Interaction Data Directly from the Mobile App
BusyEvent Mobile announces the release of its enhanced DataKeys. The mobile platform’s optimized flagship feature makes it easier then ever for event sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers to collect, purchase, and download reliable attendee data points at any time before, during or after an event.
DataKeys monitor 25 unique attendee interactions over the course of an event’s full life cycle. This digital trail is rich in detailed data including sessions attended, exhibitors visited, check-in’s at sponsor events, social shares, and 1-to-1 interactions. The purchase of DataKeys is conducted in the mobile event app. The DataKeys can then be leveraged immediately in a booth or stand on the event floor for onsite meeting/session note taking, lead qualification and real-time prospect commentary. Leads can also be directly exported into CRM, SFA and marketing automation applications for immediate use in sales activity and campaigns.
According to Gartner, “Marketers are obsessed with data — from internal sources such as lead capture, sales systems and website analytics — and external sources such as the Web, mobile and social. But you need to know how to distinguish the signal from the noise.” BusyEvent’s DataKeys capture salient, value-driven data that provides distinct insight into activities and relevant business intelligence rather than just the traditional contact info provided by lead scanning systems.
“BusyEvent is committed to leveraging our mobile platform to provide, not only a powerful event app, but the tools to drive additive value for every participant in the event, “said David Schenberg, co-founder of BusyEvent Mobile. “We know that prospect and customer data is why most companies decide to sponsor and exhibit. DataKeys give them immediate access to what they really want, in real time, even on the show floor. It also gives significant insight into areas that were previously untracked like social occasions and general sessions. It’s a win-win, and we’re excited to see our event organizers profiting from this useful technology feature.”
BusyEvent DataKeys bring unique value to every category of event constituent, including:
Value to Exhibitors:
Value to Sponsors:
Value to Speakers:
Value to Event Producers:
Visit BusyEvent Mobile at AIBTM in Orlando in booth TC 4 in the Innovation Zone on the show floor. Or, try the platform for free via the company’s website at www.busyevent.com and follow the “Create a BusyEvent” link.
For more information, read the BusyEvent Blog, or follow BusyEvent on Twitter @busyevent.
BusyEvent is a St. Louis, Missouri-based company comprised of a team of event professionals with decades of experience as event producers, managers and operators. The team uses real-world practice creating SaaS applications to provide technology solutions that leverage opportunities, solve the challenges that event professionals face, and support events of all sizes. The mobile platform’s intelligent mobile solutions benefit attendees and drive revenue for stakeholders to provide a new ‘Big Data’ opportunity in a largely untracked industry that significantly increases ROI and business value for event participants. For more information, visit www.busyevent.com.
GenieConnect Introduces New iBeacon-enabled Audience Response Solution
GenieConnect (www.genie-connect.com), introduced a new iBeacon-enabled audience response solution for the convention and corporate events industry.
The solution utilizes the proximity awareness of iBeacons to ‘push’ session content to attendees and, if desired, locks their handset screen during the session to minimize distractions. All slides are delivered by the GenieConnect software to attendees’ devices, and all audience response mechanisms – live polling, surveys and Q&A management – are controlled by the presenter and carried out on attendees’ smartphones or tablets: this potentially eliminates the need to deploy audio/visual equipment in every session room and makes expensive custom audience response hardware redundant.
GenieConnect C.E.O. Giles Welch stated, “Conference and corporate event organizers are between a rock and a hard place – they are aware of the benefits of enhancing the attendee experience by introducing audience interaction tools; but constrained by the costs of doing so. This audience response solution is part of our sophisticated event technology software suite and makes use of the devices that attendees bring with them. It’s a textbook example of how GenieConnect integrates the latest technology developments into cost-effective solutions that give our clients the capabilities they are clamoring for.”
Session content can be pushed to session attendees using: iBeacons and – thanks to GenieConnect’s recently announced industry-first integration of Android into its iBeacon solutions – this capability can now be extended to any device equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE); or via a Wi-Fi connection. Once installed on the device, the screen can be locked for the duration of the session, minimizing the distractions often associated with smartphone or tablet use at an event.
GenieConnect has developed a PowerPoint ‘plug- in’ that allows all audience response mechanisms to be pre-set and seamlessly driven by the presenter. In the session, all slides are viewed on a smartphone or tablet, and attendees are prompted to take advantage of a variety of interaction tools: for example, to vote on a topic, with the results instantly displayed in graphical form on their screen; or to submit questions for consideration – or vote on previously submitted questions (these can be moderated to ensure that inappropriate content is not shared in a public domain). Once the session is complete, the app can be used to complete a short survey – inviting opinions immediately after a session closes invariably results in a higher completion rate and improves the organizers insight into its success.
Among the first users of the new audience response software will be attendees at Changeboard's forthcoming Future Talent Conference, the premier thought-leadership event for Heads of HR and senior HR Professionals to be held at the Royal Opera House. Commenting on the audience interaction software, Porteur Keene, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Changeboard, said, “This is an event for the opinion-formers in our industry, so it was vital for us to find a way of allowing those opinions to be shared on the day. The GenieConnect solution offers a level of sophistication appropriate to our audience whilst simultaneously being very simple to use. I’m very excited to see the kind of impact it will have on our event.”
GenieConnect was established in 2010 and has since provided digital solutions for over 1500 events across the world. For more information, please visit www.genie-connect.com, or call Sales in the US, (312) 756 0110.
Social Q&A Launches New Audience Response Tool to Forever Change How Audience Q&A is Conducted at Any Event
Chicago-based technology startup Social Q&A has launched its namesake audience response tool to change how question-and-answer is conducted in almost any environment. Accessible from any Internet-enabled device, Social Q&A allows participants to submit questions, which can then be up-voted by other audience members, giving the event host or moderator insight into which questions are most important to the entire group.
Social Q&A’s Web-based application means there is no app to download or software to install. Upon entering the app from any browser window, users are met with a clean, simple interface and the option to add a new question or view and vote on existing questions from other participants.
Social Q&A is intended for a variety of settings, including:
Social Q&A is already being used by several Fortune 500 companies.
“We created Social Q&A as a simple and powerful way for anyone to better communicate with their audience and know which questions are most important to the entire group,” said John Pytel, co-founder and CEO of Social Q&A. “By democratizing any question-and-answer session, we are transforming the way you Q&A.”
Social Q&A is an entirely turnkey solution and can be customized to match your branding. For more information, watch the YouTube explainer video, visit the Social Q&A website or get started in seconds with a free trial.
About Social Q&A
Social Q&A is forever changing how audience feedback operates. Its next-generation audience response tool is a simple and powerful way to conduct a question-and-answer session in any environment. Social Q&A is based out of the 1871 incubator in Chicago. For more information, visit www.socialqa.com.
Experts Reveal Top AV Trends of 2014
CoatChex is Changing the Bailment Industry
CoatChex took the outdated coat-checking process and developed technology to make coat checking a hassle-free experience that also captures customer data for future marketing purposes. The ticketless system uses today’s technology to connect a customer’s profile with their checked belonging, and it has been used at events and venues of all sizes, from the ESPN and Maxim Super Bowl parties to a popular college bar. The CoatChex station is collapsible and highly mobile. Event organizers can opt for CoatChex to staff the station or CoatChex can simply install it so staffers can operate it themselves. Visit www.coatchex.com for more information!
Blast of New Apps
Meeting planner apps blasted into the marketplace in 2012. Each is marketed with assurances of making the life of meeting planners easier by claiming greater organization and cost efficiencies. But with the abundance of new apps for emerging technologies, comes confusion about which app is best and most targeted to improve work efficiencies, add value to meetings and save monies by replacing higher priced technologies.
Meeting Innovation: Conference Mobile Apps and the Chicken-Egg Dance
Whenever several hundred or more are gathered for a B2B event, if there's no mobile app, people notice. They also start to wonder about how current and relevant this conference experience might be.
Read more from Donna Kastner and Cvent
Web conferencing showdown: What's the best software for online meetings?
It's become a maxim of modern business life: Your most important meeting of the year won't take place in a conference room, but rather online with all attendees viewing a common computer screen.
Read more from PCWorld
10 Apps the busy meeting professional can't live without
About a year ago I stopped carrying a laptop on short trips. It was a big — and slightly stressful moment — when I boarded a plane for a conference in San Jose with only an iPad and a presentation on iWork Keynote. But, something quickly dawned on me. Apps were made for the conference goer.
Event professionals need information on the go. And with the app market now worth over $10 billion with a staggering year-on-year growth rate of 100%, there is an app for just about every element of the business meeting experience — from the airport to the convention center and everything in between. Read More - Eric Olson, RegOnline
5 Tips to ensure virtual event success
Virtual events will never replace face-to-face events, but can be utilized as a beneficial complement. I believe that face-to-face events, virtual events, and hybrid events should all be considered within a 365 day event portfolio. Each type of event comes with its own benefits and challenges and should be used appropriate to the strategy, goals, and objectives set forth by the conference organizer and that which is best for the audience to derive benefit.
With that being said, here are 5 tips to ensure virtual event success:
Read More - Emilie Barta
Live Meetings and Events – Record Everything!
Even though I have spent most of my career working with live event technology, my career really began working in recording studios. Actually, in the beginning I mostly just hung around recording studios, and helped out wherever help was needed. I was a young musician and absolutely fascinated with audio technology. After watching thousands of hours of recording sessions I came to realize there is one rule in the studio that is paramount – record everything. Read more from Jay Ward, CTS @ Go with GoWithGenesis
The Check In Easy Android App is Now Available
The Check In Easy App is now available for Android. Check In Easy is a simple and fast guest registration, check-in, and management at events from two people to 20,000.
Below are the three most common questions about the Check In Easy App for Android:
1) Will the Android app work and sync with my iPads and iPhones - YES! All data will sync between devices even if some are iPads and some are Androids.
2) Does the Android app have all the same features - YES! The same features are on both Android and iOS apps.
3) Any other cool features in the works? - YES! In fact, we just released the ability for multiple people in you organization or on your team get notifications when certain guests arrive.
Thirteen Meetings Technology Predictions for 2013.