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News

  • The July/August 2017 Issue of Corbin's TechTalk Newsletter/Blog Now Available +

    The July/August 2017 Issue of TechTalk is now available and is packed with new meetings technology articles, links and ideas! 
    In this issue:
    • NEW ARTICLE: The Rise and Benefits of Text Apps and Chatbots for Events
    • NEW ARTICLE:  5 Major Developments in Augmented Reality (AR) that will Impact Events, Exhibitions and Venues
    • NEW ARTICLE: 3 Digital Technologies That Are Quickly Becoming Exhibitor
Read More
  • Calling #EventTech Providers: IBTM Technology Watch Award Applications Are Now Open +

    The IBTM Technology Watch, established in 2000, is the original meetings technology award! I have had the honor of chairing the judging committee for the past 13 years and am eagerly looking forward to doing so again this year. This award has highlighted wide assortment of international events technology innovations that continue to impact the events industry. With new ideas
    Read More
  • Corbin to Chair IBTM's Technology and Innovation Watch Award for the 14th Year. +

    This award is the longest running and one of the events industry's most significant award recognizing technology innovation. I am very pleased to I have been asked again to chair the judging committee. This award is a great opportunity for technology companies to show their new stuff and get a free booth at IBTM in Barcelona as well. More information
    Read More
  • Corbin Ball & Co. Marks Its 20th Anniversary +

    In April of 1997, I left my career as Head of Conference Operations for a high-tech association (SPIE) and set out to form my own speaking, consulting and writing firm focusing exclusively on technology for events, exhibitions and meeting venues. I was the first person to do this full-time -- the 'OG' of event tech! Today, I am happy to say
    Read More
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    Latest Articles

    • 1 The Rise and Benefits of Text Apps and Chatbots for Events
    • 2 5 Major Developments in Augmented Reality (AR) that will Impact Events, Exhibitions and Venues
    • 3 3 Digital Technologies That Are Quickly Becoming Exhibitor Trade Show Essentials
    • 4 How Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality Is Making Headway at Exhibitions and Events
    • 5 Maximizing B2B Sales from a Tradeshow Exhibit
    • 6 Negotiating the Internet Landscape at Hotels and Convention Centers: A Primer for Event Planners
    • 7 Chatbots, Voice Activation and AI – What to Expect for Events
    • 8 8 Content Ideas for the Screens in Your Trade Show Booth
    • 9 Meetings and Marketing Meet: Three Ways Events Are Becoming Central to an Overall Marketing Effort
    • 10 5 Stages of Digital Marketing for Sold-Out Events
    • 11 Trade Show Traffic 101 - How To Get More People Into Your Booth
    • 12 Meetings Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2016 Technology & Innovation Watch
    • 13 How to Use Your Blog to Promote Events and Tradeshows
    • 14 Seven Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2017
    • 15 Event Data Analytics – New Options for Improving Events and Tradeshows

    Wearable Beacons for Events

    ©2016 Corbin Ball Associates

    Beacon technologies (small, digital “lighthouses” sending out signals that interact with mobile phone apps) are making headway for events. Companies such as DoubleDutch and Eventbase have been using this technology to automate event check-in, for networking, for wayfinding, location-aware polling, generating heat maps of crowd flow and a range of other tasks to improve the event experience for attendees.

    However, this technology requires that attendees have the app installed, their Bluetooth on, and their batteries charged in order for things to work. To have these criteria met for 100% of the attendees almost never happens, and, often times this percentage of active beacon users is much smaller than that.

    This is where the next generation of beacon technology comes in – wearable two-way beacons. Each attendee wears the beacon (as a badge or as attached to the lanyard). The beacon is always transmitting its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signal with a battery life of several days. With 100% of the event participants using it, this opens up many new capabilities.

    Here are four examples of how this is playing out:

    Loopd

    www.loopd.com

    Looped provides a small two-way beacon weighing less than 5 grams attached to a lanyard. These beacons enable the exchange of contact information to all interested parties, the distribution of marketing materials, gamification options and extensive analytics.  Real-time measurements of the number of attendees, the number of connections made among attendees and how much time each spent is part of the analytics package. Heat maps of crowd flow can be generated instantly. The beacons work with a mobile events app (Apple and Android) to allow each attendee to control the information on their Loopd badges and adjust their privacy settings. Each attendee has a record of the time and location where they made each connection, the session they attendees, the exhibitors they visited. The app also has messaging, in-app chat, notes, maps, personal schedule, survey and gamification components.

     

     

    Pricing:

    A $2-5/device rental for each attendee, plus $6,000-$10,000 per event for analytics plus about $5,000 for the integrated app.

    SmartTrac by Hubvents

    http://hubvents.com

    SmartTrac combines a small two-way beacon for each attendee (attached to the badge lanyard) and proximity sensors in exhibit booths, meeting lounges, meeting rooms and other areas to relay relevant insights, reporting and notifications to event audiences.

    >

     

    • For exhibitors: SmartTrac analyzes visitor profiles and behavioral attributes to identify high-value prospects notifying the exhibitor as they arrive at the booth. Additionally, the system connects with the exhibitors CRM accounts sending a notification when CRM prospects are either near or approaching the booth.
    • For attendees: Visitors get access to complete journey reports. These include details such as a timeline view of booths visited, people met at the event, including time of the meeting, duration, and location of the meeting. Visitors no longer need to collect, manage or risk losing business cards. Event visitors are informed about the tracking technology and are given the option to opt out of tracking deactivating the badge tag form any tracking or data collection.
    • For show organizers: View very detailed, granular data about every visitor based on their interactions on the show floor. Visualize macro trends based on filters that they define including heat maps, crowd flow and more.

    Pricing:  

    For conference events with no exhibition: Pricing starts at $4/per person including tracking sensors at all meetings

    For exhibitions: Typically, the system is sold as a high-end lead retrieval system by the show organizer to the exhibitor.  With no cost to the show organizer, the revenue is made as a percentage commission on the lead retrieval charges to the exhibitor which ranges from about $500-2,000 per exhibitor. This includes the event app or integration with the existing event app. Options for organizer-facing analytics and reports - without upselling to exhibitors are also available.

    Ligo by Limefy

    www.limefy.com

    With a tagline of “business networking you can wear”, Ligo uses a combination of a mobile event app and wearable beacons in the form of a smart badge. Although it has several similar features to Loopd (lead retrieval, session attendance tracking, attendee/exhibitor portals, messaging, and real-time analytics), there is a strong emphasis on real-time matchmaking.

    The big difference is that the badges have flashing lights that activate when attendees with strong like-interest come within close proximity. Attendees enter their interest areas in the app. Then, when a match is made, the beacon badge lights up. Attendees and exhibitors receive a timeline of all the contacts they have made during the event. 

     

    Pricing: A simple 1-day networking event for 200 attendees would start at $1000 for basic matchmaking. A 3-day 1,000-attendee event would start at about $4,000 for matchmaking, event analytics and lead retrieval, with a menu of la carte services in addition to the base pricing.

    EventBit by Experient

    http://info.experient-inc.com/eventbit

    Experient, in cooperation with TurnoutNow, uses a proprietary network of lead retrieval devices combined with a wearable “eventBit” beacon for every attendee:

    :

    • Attendees see all the exhibitors they visited and how much time they spent in specific sessions. Networking recommendations pair them to attendees with matching interest. EventBit also displays event/health metrics such as hours spent on the show floor and estimated distance walked. Attendees instantly see how much time they spent in specific sessions and receive recommendations based on, once again, their actual behaviors of what sessions they had already visited. Attendees also receive recommendations for attendee networking based on their cumulative behaviors, pairing them with attendees with matching interests.
     

    EventBitScreenShot 

    • Exhibitors get more information than simple lead contact data. Including total booth traffic, dwell times, traffic by demographics and more. This gives the exhibitor access not only to the hundreds of leads they collected but also to the thousands of people who browsed their booth that weren’t scanned.
    • Show organizers get real-time show floor analyses and heat maps indicating how many attendees are located where, along with their individual demographics. They can track any location by placing a small eventBit receiver anywhere: session rooms, registration areas, VIP lounges, product showcases, presentation areas, etc.

    EventBit tracks every event participant in any location desired, not just volume, but exactly who was there by:

    • Registration type.
    • Where they went.
    • What events they attended.
    • How long they stayed.
    • What content interested them.
    • What products drew their attention.
    • What educational content they consumed.

    Pricing is somewhat variable depending on how much lead retrieval equipment is in use. But, on average, the charges are $3 rental/tag and about $400 per receiver not on the show floor. So, an average cost would be $3/beacon tag rental plus about $15,000-$20,000 for a full set up and analysis package including 30-40 receivers (for sessions, keynotes, VIP zones, and show floor hotspots).

    As these technologies provide a two-way beacon for each attendee, they are more expensive than simply using mobile phone apps and location-based one-way beacons. However, the broader usage by all attendees, their ease of use, the extensive analytics, and the increased functionality may make this the technology of choice for a number of events.


    Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site Corbin Ball & Co. -- Meetings Technology Headquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball

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