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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

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 in business-to-business marketing budgets. The data backing this up is here, and my own experience of running B2B marketing teams concurs.

Why’s that? Because face-to-face meetings simply work, particularly in B2B, where Company A might be selling to Company B, but really it’s a human-being in Company A selling to another human being (or beings) in Company B.

Relationships matter, and relationships are formed, nourished and cemented face-to-face. Direct meetings help, but events of all types remain a great way to get a lot of key people in one place at one time and get the deals done.

Event budget cuts – what happens next?

So businesses spend a lot running their own events or attending industry conferences, and supporting this with dinners, hospitality, sponsorship, etc. and the costs rack up, and they’re correctly attributed to the ‘events’ line in the marketing budget.

So what happens if (or when) we hit a recession, slowdown, or ‘bump in the road’ caused by something like a Brexit, Trump becoming US president or simply another banking downturn? If history is anything to go by, our finance directors and procurement teams will start looking at marketing budgets. Where will they look first? Probably at the top of the list – the big expenditure items – like the 25% of the budget spent on events.

And as I said – this is what happened in the last downturn. Marketing budgets were slashed more or less across the board, but events took the lion’s share of the cuts in the B2B space, and were slower to recover when the economy got going again.

But one area of the marketing budget seemed to escape the FD’s wrath – and it’s no surprise that it was that spent on digital marketing.

How did digital marketing escape?

While it’s fair to say that digital marketing has grown astronomically since 2008, I think it’s also fair to say that back then most of the people making the budget cuts didn’t really get that. What they did see, however, is that every pound, dollar or euro spent on digital marketing could be measured and its effectiveness tracked. Adwords led to website visits, which led to conversions which led to clients.

When it came to fighting for budget, our friends in digital marketing had a war-chest of useful data that could be used to prove that what they were doing worked, and cutting back was a false economy.

Meanwhile, in the events space, ROI wasn’t so clear cut. Back then, the data wasn’t great, and it wasn’t easy to quantify the success of X Conference versus Y Seminar. The measure of the success of particular events might have come from the more influential salespeople, and with the axe swinging their primary focus would have been saving their heads, rather than sticking up for an expensive line item in the marketing budget.

And so meetings, incentives, conferences and events budgets got cut, and unfortunately, many excellent and hard-working events planners got cut with them.

Event technology means the world has changed

Fortunately, now things are VERY different…

This time round, event planners have access to data. They have efficient marketing, ticketing and registration platforms to acquire attendees and ‘digitise’ them easily. They have social media networks and related tools to build valuable communities on and offline so that events are a key element of a broader marketing strategy, rather than just isolated activities. And event planners have access to a huge amount of technology to engage audiences at events, understand their needs, measure their interests and preferences, and convert them into loyal customers.

Event technology – including event apps, interactive presentation software, audience response systems and feedback tools – is capturing data. This is the data that, used well, will give event planners the arsenal of information they need when the accountants start running the rule over the marketing budget.

We’re seeing loads of event planners really starting to understand this and realising just how powerful technology can be – not just to engage audiences with participation or interactive Q&A – but also to simply gather data. Yet there are so many events still being run without a reliable means of measuring their success or impact.

So back to that headline…

Event technology might not save you your job. Your events might be smashing it and your job might not be at risk at all. However, event technology does provide you with a great way of really proving the value of what you do. Fight fire with fire – or rather, fight finance people with the sort of data they understand and can’t argue with…

So… if you’re not already, futureproof your budget by using event tech and data capture....


Mike Piddock is the founder and CEO of Glisser - an interactive presentation software solution that live-shares slides to audience devices, and integrates audience Q&A and polling to gather data at live events, big and small. Previously Mike ran marketing and events teams for global corporations and fast-growth companies, across the telecoms, IT and financial services industries.

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