In 2010, 4% of all internet traffic was via mobile devices. Two years later that figure had jumped to 13%. The developing world is increasingly connected and increasingly technologically enabled. Modern technology is moving faster than we are adapting to it, and the proliferation of technology-driven devices will continue to grow in never before seen ways.
What does that mean for the hospitality industry? How can you position yourself to best serve your organization and your event shareholders?
In part one of this two-part blog, we discuss the 5 technologies you need at your next event.
iPads, tablets and mobile phones provide numerous advantages to both planners and attendees at events.
iPad Use at Events
For the planner: Creating an event app that can be launched via a mobile device gives planners immediate access to attendee statistics. From surveys to social engagement to live-audience polling to thermal imaging for locations, mobile devices provide an array of big data that was previously unavailable.
For the attendee: The triaging of paper documentation at events is one of the biggest benefits for attendees. Carrying paper programs and innumerable pieces of collateral at an event can be overwhelming. By substituting these traditional items for an app that is loaded with the same content, attendees can have immediate access to the most information about the event.
A second screen refers to the use of a computing device (commonly a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone) to provide an enhanced viewing experience for content on another device, such as a television. In particular, the term commonly refers to the use of such devices to provide interactive features during “linear” content, such as a television program, served within a special app.
The increase of second screens is having a tremendous impact on mobile event attendees and planners, as there will less emphasis on large screen rentals as individuals will be able to view and interact with the speaker right from their device.
Wearable NFC Devices
Near Field Communications (NFC) is a form of wireless communication that allows the flow of information between two devices. Wearable NFC devices are beginning to proliferate and have significant impact on the hospitality industry as attendees will demand this streamlined response to their registration, payment and engagement needs.
Example of NFC Payment: If you missed the Apple announcement on Monday, you’re living under a rock. To bring you up to speed, Apple will help consumers say goodbye to plastic credit cards with the NFC-enabled iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch using its new mobile payment service Apple Pay.
Example of NFC Engagement: Disney’s MagicBands allow park visitors to personalize their experience at Disney properties. By using these NFC-enabled wristbands, visitors can now check in at FastPass+ entrances, enter parks, unlock their hotel room doors and more.
Have you ever heard the statement, “dangle a carrot?” The carrot equivalent for meeting and event attendees is the ever-popular charging station. As a planner, you should consider renting a charging station for your meeting or tradeshow to enhance attend engagement with your booth.
Many creative exhibitors are adding comfortable chairs and/or networking icebreakers in order to encourage attendees who may not know each other to get acquainted as they visit the charging stations during programmatic breaks.
Venues have a limited amount of access points, dedicated bandwidth and raw bandwidth to support any conference or major convention. Today, there are Wi-Fi boosters available to rent that can allow event managers to move packets of data through the network faster, more reliably and in a secure environment.
One example of this technology is the Cell on Wheels (COW). Cell On Wheels trailers are customer equipment and/or equipment cabinets designed to provide temporary, expanded coverage of Wi-Fi at special events.
Check back for part 2 of this series where we will discuss the technologies you should keep an eye out for in the future.
This post was written exclusively for Social Tables by De-de Mulligan. De-de Mulligan has been an active blogger since 2009 and writes meeting and event related pieces for CRE Computer Rentals. She has been published in Social Media Today, Tech Patio, Evvnt, MPI Ohio’sDEFINE magazine, Crain’s Cleveland Business and Crain’s New York Business.