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News

  • 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 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 there
    Read More
  • The March/April 2017 Issue of Corbin's TechTalk News/Blog Now Available +

    The March/ April 2017 Issue of Tech News in now available and is packed with new meetings technology articles, links and ideas! This issue is packed with articles, links, videos and ideas on how you can use technology to improve the business process for events and tradeshows.
    In this issue:
    • NEW ARTICLE: Chatbots, Voice Activation and AI – What to Expect for Events
Read More
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Latest Articles

  • 1 Chatbots, Voice Activation and AI – What to Expect for Events
  • 2 8 Content Ideas for the Screens in Your Trade Show Booth
  • 3 Meetings and Marketing Meet: Three Ways Events Are Becoming Central to an Overall Marketing Effort
  • 4 5 Stages of Digital Marketing for Sold-Out Events
  • 5 Trade Show Traffic 101 - How To Get More People Into Your Booth
  • 6 Meetings Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2016 Technology & Innovation Watch
  • 7 How to Use Your Blog to Promote Events and Tradeshows
  • 8 Seven Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2017
  • 9 Event Data Analytics – New Options for Improving Events and Tradeshows
  • 10 Social Media Channels Increasingly Becoming Event-centric
  • 11 Wearable Beacons for Events
  • 12 5 Apps to Better Share Your Next Event
  • 13 Event Planners: How Event Tech Might Just Save Your Job
  • 14 Meetings Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2015 Technology & Innovation Watch
  • 15 Six Novel and Useful Event Apps
  • Chatbots, Voice Activation and AI – What to Expect for Events

    ©2017 Corbin Ball & Co.

    A classic scene from Star Trek IV: Scotty, the chief engineer transported back to 1986, was attempting to communicate with a computer of the day. He did this by bringing the computer mouse to his mouth and speaking into it “Hello Computer” as if it

    Read More
  • 8 Content Ideas for the Screens in Your Trade Show Booth

    Guest Post from Samuel J. Smith,  SocialPoint

    If you are like most exhibitors, you have screens, monitors and tablets in your booth … but you aren’t really sure how to best use this powerful digital tech to create more impact.

    According to a 2015 white paper Tech for Trade Show Exhibitors from Skyline

    Read More
  • Meetings and Marketing Meet: Three Ways Events Are Becoming Central to an Overall Marketing Effort

    ©2017 Corbin Ball & Co.

    Events and tradeshows have posed a significant challenge to marketers. Although events are proven promotional tools, they have lacked detailed data collection and analytics capabilities found with other marketing vehicles such as email campaigns and websites. Much of what happened at the event or tradeshow,

    Read More
  • 5 Stages of Digital Marketing for Sold-Out Events

    © 2017,  Emily Taylor, Digital Marketing Manager, Tradable Bits

    Ever wonder how events like Lollapalooza manage to sell out so fast? Analysing social data from hundreds of events reveals much insight into how best to market conferences.

    Typical conferences go like this: hardly anyone talks about you before event day except

    Read More
  • Trade Show Traffic 101 - How To Get More People Into Your Booth

    ©2017 Mark Koa,  COSRental

    The value of trade shows for marketing is immense. For starters, people at trade shows are already in a shopping mindset, with 92% of attendees looking to discover and learn more about new products.

    But remember:
    Other exhibitors will be competing for the very people you
    Read More
  • Meetings Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2016 Technology & Innovation Watch

    ©2016 Corbin Ball, Chair of the IBTM Technology & Innovation Watch Judging Committee

    Established in 2000, The IBTM World Technology & Innovation Watch is the longest running and regarded by many as the most significant technology award for the meetings industry. The goals are to recognize technology innovation and to

    Read More
  • How to Use Your Blog to Promote Events and Tradeshows

    Everyone may have different goals for a trade show. Typical goals can include:

    • Educating people and raising brand awareness,
    • Adding names to an email list,
    • Networking with other people in your industry,
    • Positioning your company or yourself as an expert,
    • Handing out marketing materials,
    • Locating new clients or investors.

    You

    Read More
  • Seven Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2017

    © Corbin Ball & Co., September 2016

    These are exciting times. The rate of technology change is accelerating with thousands of ideas, apps and innovations bubbling up to help meeting planners, exhibitors, venues and other meeting participants to do their jobs better and improve the attendee experience.

    This annual review covers

    Read More
  • Event Data Analytics – New Options for Improving Events and Tradeshows

    By Corbin Ball, Corbin Ball & Co.  © 2016

    Big data analytics (the ability to analyze large volumes of data from many sources) are making headway into events.

    There has been an explosion of data collection sources before, during and after events:  mobile event apps (where every touch is trackable), beacon

    Read More
  • Social Media Channels Increasingly Becoming Event-centric

    Social Media Channels Increasingly Becoming Event-centric

    © 2016 Corbin Ball, Corbin Ball & Co.

    Social media and events, at their core, bring people together. When used properly, they should go hand-in-hand. Social media providers have recognized this and are increasingly becoming more event-centric in their product offerings.  Here are a few

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • 5 Apps to Better Share Your Next Event

     

    © 2016 By Jackie Eisenberg, Fueled

     

    It’s important to get your event out into the world quickly. It shows that you take initiative, you’re an awesome planner and you know how to get the guest list poppin’ in a second.

    Everyone knows how to create an event on Facebook,

    Read More
  • Event Planners: How Event Tech Might Just Save Your Job

    ©2016 Michael Piddock

    Okay, okay… so that’s a pretty incendiary headline; deliberately so to encourage you to click J – but please hear me out…

    Here’s my logic:

    Events – and by that I include ‘meetings, incentives, conferences and events’ – the full ‘MICE’ suite, represent (on average) the largest item of expenditure

    Read More
  • Meetings Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2015 Technology & Innovation Watch

    ©2015 Corbin Ball, Chair of the IBTM Technology & Innovation Watch Judging Committee
     
    The IBTM World Technology & Innovation Watch (formerly the EIBTM Technology Watch) is the longest running and regarded by many as the most significant technology award for the meetings industry. The goals are to recognize technology
    Read More
  • Six Novel and Useful Event Apps

    © 2016 Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES

    Mobile event apps have become the standard for many events with more than 300 products to choose from. With so many choices, we are seeing an evolution expanding from simple agenda apps to ones that can provide specialized benefits including audience engagement, advanced networking

    Read More

Coming Engagements

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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