©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 innovation and to highlight significant trends impacting meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors at events.
The winner and 9 innovation mentions for were selected from 61 applications. Seven judges with experience in the meetings industry and technology but not currently selling any technology product scored the entries based on innovation, completeness of concept, and the value to the meetings industry.
The companies selected highlight several paths of technology innovation including:
IBTM Technology & Innovation Watch 2015 Winner:
This volunteer and staff management software system and app is a novel product for a specific challenge of managing onsite staff and volunteers. The product has been tested, the pricing is reasonable and it was deemed by the judges as a significant benefit for planners with this need.
This year’s Tech & Innovation Watch also highlighted a variety of novel and useful products for meeting professionals. Many of these products will be featured in the ibtm world Innovation Zone 17-19 November 2015 in Barcelona:
This mobile event guide app is specialized for large scientific/medical meetings. It has a number of strong features including the ability to handle very large sessions, extensive search capabilities, the use of beacon technology, offline abstracts, audience polling, text Q&A, slide distribution with notes, CME tracking, and more. There are many mobile event guides (nearly 200), some with similar features, but this was felt by the judges to be unique in its offerings and well designed.
EventCollab is project management software specifically designed for events. It provides a central source to collaborate, to share schedules/documents/budgets, track time, assign tasks, and chat. It helps to reduce email and allows better document version control with extensive use of Google business apps integrated within the system.
This data analytics engine for event marketing allows event planners to see in an easier manner what they know about their audiences, enrich the data to learn what they don't know and interact with insights to see which factors will contribute to success. With the exploding set of data points, data analytics has huge potential for events. This is a novel offering for events and could be quite valuable, especially for high-end marketing events.
Interactio system is simultaneous interpretation system designed to replace event translation equipment with a mobile solution allowing event attendees to listen to translation using their phones – and at a substantial cost reductions.
This cloud-based audience engagement software combines a number of interactivity tools (social wall, gamification, polling/surveys, social analytics, speaker Q&A, digital signage, lead capture) in a single event management control panel. Users can capture leads in a trade show booth, connect hybrid and virtual audiences, create games around content, visualize/activate social media conversations, create social media games and give attendees a voice in a large room. It can be embedded in other conference apps such as etouches for broader distribution.
Loopd uses wearable 2-way beacon technology (attached as a badge or worn as a pendant) to measure proximity-based human engagement for corporate events. Loopd enables attendees to exchange contact information, collect marketing materials and passively check-in to speaker sessions. Using real-time analytics, marketers are able to understand their most valuable business relationships and investments.
The Mash Machine is an unexpected music instrument that allows an event social experience with music. Players create music by placing blocks on a table and moving them across the surface. Suitable for everyone, no matter the age or music skills. It offers opportunities for a variety of activity formats, including music education, DJ battles and performances.
This cloud-based online learning and content management platform is specifically designed for event-based learning programs. It is optimized for event managers to distribute their meeting content to a broader audience by publishing conference recorded lectures from both live and virtual meetings, Partners include the MCI Group, PSAV, and Naylor Association Solutions.
The open-source visual presentation management system for events supports all popular presentation and video formats such as: PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Prezi and PDF. Speakers can use the system to show websites, HD/4K movies, YouTube clips and cloud-based presentations and a centralized manner.
Technology trends highlighted:
As in past recent past years, a significant percentage of the 61 products this year involved mobile technology (mobile event apps, polling, and networking). Also, the importance of connecting people at events was shown by several networking and lead capture systems. There has been a jump in event logistics tools with one in six product falling into this category. Emerging trends are second screen technologies, beacon technology, and wearables. Here is the percentage breakdown*:
16% Mobile Apps
15% Networking/Lead Capture
10% Event Logistics/Project Management
10% Mobile Polling
10% RFP Management and Sourcing
8% Social walls/Kiosks/E-posters
7% Gamification/Audience Engagement
7% Second Screen Technology
5% Beacon Technology
5% Wearable technology
5% Presentation/Speaker Management
3% Content Capture and Delivery
*The total exceeds 100% as several products fall into multiple categories.
Stephania Conti-Vecchi, Founder and CEO, EVENTagist
Christine Fuchs, Head of Sales HORIZONT Jobs,
Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua
About IBTM World
ibtm world (formerly known as EIBTM) is the flagship event of the ibtm events portfolio with 8 events across the globe and owned by Reed Travel Exhibitions, part of the Reed Elsevier Group. ibtm world is the leading global event for the meetings and events industry, held in the vibrant business and tourism destination of Barcelona. The three day event delivers a focused business environment, thought provoking professional education and networking for Exhibitors, Hosted Buyers and Trade Visitors.
The unique Hosted Buyer Program sets ibtm world apart from other exhibitions, hosting over 4,000 top level decision makers who place international business, and facilitating over 78,000 one to one appointments between exhibitors and buyers.
This year’s show dates are 17-19 November 2015 in Barcelona. The Technology Watch Award will be given on Wednesday 18 November.