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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

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 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.
 
Innovation Mentions:
 
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
  3%     Scheduling
 
*The total exceeds 100% as several products fall into multiple categories.
 
The Judging Committee:
Corbin Ball, CEO, Corbin Ball Associates (chair) 
Michelle Bruno, President, Bruno Group Signature Events 
Stephania Conti-Vecchi, Founder and CEO, EVENTagist
Christine Fuchs, Head of Sales HORIZONT Jobs,
Padraic Gilligan,  Managing Partner at SoolNua
Ruud Janssen, CMM, CEO, TNOC | The New Objective Collective 
Paul Hussey, Business Development Director, BSI Meetings and Events
 
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.

 
 
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What The Audience Is Saying

  • Fantastic seminar! Very exciting advances to come. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
    Michele Mamacos Manager of Events Services
    Northlands
  • Excellent session! Best one I have attended at PCMA. Needed to be 2 hours! Bring it back in 2014.
    Marguerite Leishman Meetings Manager
    ACTE
  • Corbin, ALWAYS a homerun presentation of great info!
    Peter O’Brien Marriott Global Sales
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