Latest Technology/Solutions News & Views...
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center Introduces the Fastest Hotel WiFi in Kansas City, MO
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, one of the largest flexible meeting spaces in the Midwest, now offers one of the fastest hotel Internet speeds in the city, as well as the Midwest, with 1GB Internet bandwidth split between the two hotels. The hotel complex, located in Kansas City, MO, worked with local partner Computers & Tele-Comm., Inc. to increase their bandwidth 500-percent, making the switch from wireless delivery to fiber and upgrading routers and switches to be able to support the new speeds.
“Fast, reliable internet access is critical to the success of today’s meetings. As such, we continue to invest in an enhanced technological infrastructure to provide a seamless online experience,” said Steve Shalit, Complex General Manager, Sheraton Kansas City Hotel and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. “This latest development is one of the many new enhancements that guests can look forward to as they plan their meetings with us.”
Each hotel has a 500MB bandwidth, which is up to five times the bandwidth of other hotel properties in the city, a valuable selling point for the MICE market. The complex also has flexibility to shift bandwidth from meeting spaces and guest rooms to accommodate groups of different sizes.
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel and The Westin Kansas at Crown Center complex has 1,454 guest rooms, 52 meeting rooms, 30 parlors, two ballrooms that seat up to 2,000 people each, 19 breakout rooms, the 45,500 square-foot Crown Center Exhibit Hall and a total of 150,000 square feet of meeting space. A $22 million renovation began in December 2011 in both hotels that included significant upgrades to Sheraton’s guest rooms and improvements to both Sheraton and Westin’s meeting rooms and lobbies. Featuring the largest hotel ballroom in Kansas City and a variety of versatile meeting spaces, the complex can accommodate events of any size. For more information about the hotels’ meetings offerings, please visit www.crowncentermeetings.com.
PHIND a new way to explore life at APPNATION's Garage
PHIND, the new visual search app for iOS, is pleased to announce that it will be presenting during The Garage at APPNATION at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). PHIND gives users information on locations, attractions and landmarks that are directly in front of them with a one-button push of the camera by utilizing location based services and comparing user photos against its database of over 100 million photos.
"Presenting at APPNATION is going to be a grand unveiling for us and we can't wait to showcase everything that PHIND can do to the tech-savy crowd," said PHIND Co-Founder & CEO Rishi Jhunjhnuwala. "PHIND is an excellent companion for all CES attendees to learn more about what Sin City has to offer, first-timers and veterans alike. PHIND stands apart from location-based apps by knowing what you are looking at by comparing the photo the user takes to our database of photos."
PHIND has access to over 100 million photos of locations, attractions, landmarks, and places in its database. If a CES attendee uses PHIND to take a photo of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, they would receive information on when it was built, the owner and other fun facts about the iconic hotel. Additionally, they would find out about the restaurants, bars and stores that are available. PHIND also works on smaller landmarks like statues by providing information on the artist and the history of the piece. Complimenting its patent-pending visual search algorithm, PHIND narrows its search results down based on the user's location. All of this is done in a matter of seconds.
Additionally, PHIND builds contextual bridges that aggregate information on locations from Foursquare, Yelp, and Wikipedia along with many of the other major content providers to present historical facts, photos, reviews, hours of operation, social media profiles and more. PHIND also easily connects users to Uber to help get them to any destination.
PHIND works across the United States and in key international cities all over the world. Future releases of PHIND will see Android compatibility, the ability to share locations on social media accounts, purchase tickets for attractions and more.
Taking place January 5 & 6 at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, APPNATION's Garage demo area features cutting edge, up-and-coming developers and entrepreneurs from around the world. APPNATION gives young start-ups an opportunity to showcase their apps, products, and innovations in front of thousands of marketers, advertisers, agencies, carriers, device manufacturers, and angel and venture investors. PHIND will be presenting alongside other start-ups like Nestdrop, HelloTel, PuzzleBox, ZipZap and more established brands including Facebook, Nike, Spotify, Marriott and more. APPNATION attendees are invited to stop by PHIND's booth at the Garage for a one-on-one demo.
PHIND is available for download in the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phind/id898016251?mt=8. Users can sign-up for a PHIND account either by using their Facebook account or signing up for a native user ID.
For more information, please visit http://www.phind.it, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/phindapp and follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/phindapp.
Metalcraft Announces RFID Adhesive-Closure Wristbands
Metalcraft has announced availability of RFID Adhesive-Closure Wristbands designed for affordable, efficient access control, visitor tracking, event management and more. The RFID wristbands feature a durable adhesive-closure, reducing revenue loss from reuse and pass-along. Full-color printing and durable construction make these RFID wristbands ideal for indoor and outdoor attractions and events.
“Metalcraft understands RFID’s effectiveness in helping venues control access and track movement,” said Metalcraft president and CEO Steve Doerfler. “Metalcraft’s RFID wristbands deliver a lot of value as a comfortable, durable and eye-catching means of improving the user experience at concerts, sporting events, festivals and other events as well as venues like amusement parks, aquariums, museums and zoos.”
The wristbands feature inlay options to create both Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and High Frequency (HF) Tags; the tag can be programmed to match constant or variable data printed on the wristband. Metalcraft’s full-color, subsurface digital printing ensures crisp details coupled with durable, permanent materials.
“Metalcraft encourages event managers and venue owners to explore RFID with us,” said Doerfler. “The technology unlocks new possibilities for multi-tiered access, social media connection, mobile commerce and much more.”
For more information or to receive free samples contact a Metalcraft ID Specialist at 641-423-9460 or visit http://www.idplate.com.
SmartCrowdz Opens to City and Municipal Event Market
SmartCrowdz announced today that it has unveiled a new campaign aimed at the city and municipals event market that host and manage community events.
Specifically designed for community events, like a parade, fair, or festival, cities and towns can create a website and mobile app, allowing them to manage the event and engage with their audience. Features available at no charge in this offer include providing the main activities and attractions for the event, creating an interactive map for all activities, assigning important tasks to help manage staff and volunteers, posting critical alerts to communicate with all members, and sharing pictures and messages throughout.
“Parks and Recreation departments, and other event-oriented city officials, have told us their budgets are tight and they often have limited resources to plan and execute effective events,” said Mike Lanese, cofounder and managing partner of SmartCrowdz. “When it comes to creating an event app, they want something that’s free, comprehensive and really easy to use, and that’s exactly what they get with SmartCrowdz.”
Once the event website and mobile app is created, residents and visitors can interact with the event on their laptop, tablet or mobile device. Attendees, participants and volunteers can actively engage with the event by reading the event overview and its main activities, reviewing the activity schedule and syncing those of interest to their online calendar, inviting family and friends to join the event via email and social media, using the interactive event map to get directions, and posting messages and pictures of experiences at the event.
“We want to help city officials connect with their residents through fun, engaging events,” said Randy Smith, cofounder and managing partner of SmartCrowdz. “Our event app allows cities to market their event to its residents, engage them at the event, manage staff and volunteers, and monetize the event to cover expenses.”
QuickMobile Releases Second Annual Mobile Tech Predictions for Meetings and Events
In 2015, the single mobile event app will cede passage to the multi-event app platform as large organizations consolidate travel and meeting departments, work to control spend and more strategically manage and use assets and resources. This is one of seven predictions released today by QuickMobile as part of its second annual predictions white paper, which details the impending impact of mobile technology on meetings and events in 2015.
“7 Predictions for the Mobile Event App Industry in 2015” includes predictions for two segments of the industry: event planners and marketers from associations, trade shows and conferences; and the enterprise world, where mobile is emerging as a vital platform for day-to-day business operations. In addition, the paper includes more than 25 predictions from eight industry influencers who provide their perspectives on what’s in store for meeting and event technology. The white paper is available to download for free at QuickMobile.com.
Enterprise Meetings Will Push The Envelope
QuickMobile pioneered the mobile technology that completely changed engagement for the meetings and events industry, and today, 48 of the Fortune 100 are using the company’s app platform. This segment of the market is the first to deploy Strategic Meeting Management Programs (SMMP), which centralize procurement policies, and track and rationalize spend practices for meetings and events. At the same time, these large organizations are at the forefront of mobile-first operational strategies. The result will be an increasingly receptive market for mobile apps for meetings and events.
“Due to these shifts in operations and financial management – among other forces – we are on the verge of a perfect growth scenario for mobile event apps,” said Robin Jones, Chief Marketing Officer of QuickMobile. “As one example, the multi-event app platform gives organizations the economies of scale and cost effectiveness they’re seeking to deploy mobile apps for all their meeting types and locations.
QuickMobile also predicts that as a result of the movement towards a single, enterprise-grade mobile app platform, mobile apps will become increasingly more common at smaller meetings, including those with less than 100 people. The platform makes it easier for organizations to extend the use of existing mobile technology and embrace the new 24/7 mobile work lifestyle.
“Mobile event apps are nowhere near mainstream, and there are literally millions of events taking place without a mobile app, in many cases because the technology is not easily accessible,” stated Jones. “As more event planners, organizers and attendees grow accustomed to using apps at high-profile meetings, they will demand the technology for all size events. With a multi-event app platform, it will actually be easier to plan, manage and execute a meeting with an app than without one.”
Industry Influencers Weigh In
In addition to its own seven predictions, QuickMobile invited industry influencers to provide their thoughts on how technology will impact meetings and events in 2015. The paper includes more than 25 predictions from experts such as Ruud Janssen, Co-founder of The Event Model Generation; David Lutz, Managing Director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting; Jason Paganessi, VP of Business Innovation with PCMA; Maarten Vanneste, President of the Meeting Design Institute; Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group; Michelle Bruno of Bruno Group Signature Events; Corbin Ball, President of Corbin Ball Associates; and Joe English, an Event Futurist.
To download QuickMobile’s free seven predictions paper, visit QuickMobile.com.
Corbin Ball Shares Tech Trends for 2015 with IAEE-TV
Meeting Planner Creates Her Own Mobile App
My name is Sara Schnack and I’ve been an MPI member since 2003 and using my 18 years of experience as a corporate planner I believe I’ve created a mobile app that will change the way meeting professionals manage meetings while on site.
I have created an iPhone app for meeting planners based on my history as a planner. I have been using it for six months and no longer have to carry around a notepad or binder while on site; everything I need is within this one simple app.
About a year ago, I was on site for a meeting and a couple of things happened: first, the hotel was taking too long to ring chimes to get people to move into the meeting room and, second, I misplaced my note that had all the tips I had paid out during the conference. On the plane heading home, I thought to myself "I need a mobile app for on site management of meetings!" I then made a list of all the things I wanted in a mobile app.
A year later —thanks to a great mobile app developer— we've created OnSite Assistant for the iPhone!
Here are a few ways I currently use OnSite Assistant while on site:
My clients appreciate the detailed wrap-up I send them after each event, and it is helpful not to have to return to the staff office to find a contract or BEO when I need to verify a detail. In addition, I’ve shared the app with some banquet captains at hotels, and they are especially excited about the Beverage Tracker, Numbers Served, and Chimes features.
The app is only $5.99 and, after some research, I have found that most companies will reimburse you for the purchase because it is a tool that makes you more efficient.
You can purchase the app by going directly to this link from your iPhone or check out the website at www.onsiteassistantapp.com.
If you have any questions, please contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 773.454.8111.
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.