Corbin's March/April 2017 TechTalk Newsletter

Volume XIX, Issue 2

Welcome to Corbin's TechTalk Newsletter, in its 18th year of providing the latest in technology to nearly 11,000 events, tradeshows and hospitality professionals in over 70 countries. 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
  • NEW ARTICLE: 8 Content Ideas for the Screens in Your Trade Show Booth
  • NEWS

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 were a microphone. As funny as it seemed at the time, computers and mobile devices are finally catching up to where voice commands envisioned in Star Trek are working their way into computers, mobile devices and in the home through Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home gadgets.
This article will cover trends advances in artificial intelligence (AI), voice activation commands and chatbots and how there are being adopted by the meetings and hospitality industries.

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 Exhibits and Access Intelligence, most exhibitors are still putting PowerPoint slides or their own websites on the screen.  That’s probably because they don’t know how easy it is to create content that will go beyond websites and PowerPoint and generate more leads and sales.

So here are eight better ways that you can use your screens to draw people into the booth and engage them once they are there.

Corbin's January/February 2014 TechTalk Newsletter - <a href=
"Corbin's Favorites", the web's most comprehensive list of categorized web links on events and tradeshow technology has just been reorganized and updated. If you are looking for a specific meetings or tradeshow technology product, it is very likely on this list.
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 are many dozens of "techno-evangelists" to help guide our industry in this continuingly rapidly changing field. It has been, and continues to be, a very fun ride. I wish to express my hearty thanks to my clients, to those who have attendended my sessions over the years, and to you, the loyal readers of this newsletter (started in Sept. 1998)! Your support is much appreciated!
Etouches expands its modular events tech portfolio by adding Loopd, the wearable two-way beacon and onsite intelligence platform.
GES, one of the largest exhibition services and experiential marketing companies, acquires Poken, the wearable NFC-based attendee engagement and measurement system.
Freeman, another major exhibition design, AV and experiential marketing company expands it virtual reality and augmented reality offering. The announcement was made at the most recent PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Austin. Freeman  demonstrated the product in the PCMA Tech Central innovation showcase featuring more than 40 technology companies, 'holograms', a tech stage, tech bar, a start-up competitions, social media hubs, and much more. 


Got fun videos? Or helpful business or meeting planning links? Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6 Meeting Industry-Related Sites: 

  • Peerspace: Alternate meeting space site with a clean "AirBNB-like" interface. Another way the sharing economy is competing with hotels.
  • The Art of Venue Negotiation - free ebook from Event Managers Blog
  • TapToSpeak: New mobile phone audience mic and polling system. Similar to CrowdMics.
  • Shmoozfest: Interesting, new, free networking, speed networking, table assignment app and more.
  • Event Scribe Boost: Finally a robust app for meeting planning logistics from Cadmium CD
  • Bizly: Very interesting small meeting booking tool.

6 Business/Utility/Reference Sites:

6 Sites Just for Fun:

"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility" -- Albert Einstein
"Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75." — Benjamin Franklin
“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clark
"The amount of misguided ingenuity which has been expended on these two problems of submarine and aerial navigation during the nineteenth century will offer one of the most curious and interesting studies to the future historian of technologic progress." - George Sutherland, 20th Century Inventions (1900)

"A web of naked fancies." - A critic's reaction to the publication of physicist George Simon Ohm's theory of electricity (Ohm's law) in 1827


Please send along any questions, ideas or suggestion on how to make this newsletter more useful for you: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
My March/April 2017 travel schedule brings me to Pendleton, Hong Kong (via webinar), New York City, Las Vegas, Antibes, Los Angeles, Havana and a few other places as well via webinars. Click the link above for specific details and links. I would love to make your city one of my destinations as well, so please contact me and let's set a date.

Want to help sponsor Corbin's Tech Talk Newsletter sent to nearly 11,000 subscribers in more than 70 countries interested in meetings, events, trade show and hotel technology?  Find out the details at the TechTalk Sponsorship Page
Your, e-mail address and any other information will never be sold, traded, rented, bartered, or given away. Nor will it be used for any other purpose than to communicate with you.    


Check out the TechTalk FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) File or send a message to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Know someone who would like to stay current on the latest in meetings technology? Please forward them this newsletter or send them to the TechTalk Subscription Page.


Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS
Corbin Ball & Co.
506 14th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 USA
Phone: 360-734-8756
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Skype: corbinball

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©2017 Corbin Ball & Co. 
This newsletter and its content are proprietary products. All rights reserved. Please forward the entire letter to anyone you feel may be interested.

Thanks to our sponsors who make TechTalk possible:

Cvent is a leading provider of event management technology offering integrated solutions for venue sourcing, registration, event management, checkin, badging, mobile guides, RFID attendance tracking, lead capture, event feedback, metrics and analytics.
Helping associations leverage their content with content capture/distribution, live streaming, webinars, online education services and INCREASED revenue. 


etouches is a global end-to-end event management software solution. The success-oriented and cloud-based platform delivers innovative technology solutions to streamline the event process and increase ROI. With a focus on event sourcing, registration, marketing, logistics, engagement and data, the software solution has been able to serve more than 20,000 event professionals in corporations, associations, agencies and educational institutions.

by Centium Software is for event organizers needing a turnkey solution to efficiently manage events. Easy to use and mobile optimized, it features unique capabilities, including real-time data, mobile apps and multiple productivity tools in a secure cloud environment. It's an end-to-end solution developed by and for event professionals.


ITN International
ITN International, the world leader in mobile NFC and cloud-based event solutions, serves corporate event producers, event agencies, tradeshow managers, and exhibitors on six continents.

Meeting Evolution (ME) - a web-based Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) platform managing the entire meetings lifecycle. ME SMM includes event request processing; sourcing of venues, custom contract management, post-event reporting and meeting spend analysis; event planning to create BEO's; attendee registration and housing with a dynamic on-line/mobile APP for your attendees.


Ungerboeck Software has 30+ years of experience providing event management software to the world's top exhibitions, conferences and associations. Ungerboeck offers an industry-leading solution that contains a CRM system designed for booth sales, a comprehensive event registration system, modern CAD floor-planning tools, and integrated accounting. Visit for more information.
Simplify and organize your event management process and grow your events, attendees and ROI. Attendease is an event automation platform that empowers event marketers to effortlessly create and manage their entire event portfolio.
LIMITED-TIME OFFER: Book a call before January 31st and get your first month of subscription for free!

AttendeeNetAttendee Management Inc.
AMi breaks down the barriers to online registration, housing, travel and e-marketing. No license fees, no software to manage, just dedicated, experienced service. Pay only for what you need, and provide the solutions your attendees and clients expect. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 512-847-5174

At CadmiumCD we focus on the technology needs of event planners. We specialize in technology tools and services to collect, manage and distribute educational materials at conferences and events.  Our services include: Call for Papers, Speaker Data Management, Conference Proceedings, Audio Recordings, Electronic Meeting Posters, Online Itinerary Planners, Conference Apps and Online Evaluations.
is the leading provider of event management solutions for the global meetings and events industry. Certain's innovative solutions deliver to meeting and event professionals streamlined processes, reduced expenses, greater return on investments, and improved overall value of meetings and events. Certain's event management solutions support a full range of events -- from small meetings and educational sessions, to large conferences and world events. Headquartered in San Francisco, Certain has operations and sales offices in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.
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