©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 highlight significant trends impacting meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors at events.

The ten finalists have just been selected with the winner to be announced during IBTM in Barcelona on Wednesday 30 November 2016. Eight judges with experience in the meetings industry and technology but not currently selling technology products scored the entries based on innovation, completeness of concept, and the value to the meetings industry.

Listed in alphabetical order, the companies selected highlight several paths of technology innovation.  Here are the finalists:


This mobile event app company has specialized in festivals and other large outdoor events. Using beacon technology and other geolocation services, Aloompa connects attendee behavior at the festival or event in real time with a feature called LIVESTORY. Curated artist imagery and music are then added to each attendee’s unique timeline. Found in the festival’s mobile app, each unique set list features the ability to stream and share with friends increasing attendee engagement


This cloud-based event project management application has strong Google app integration with links to contacts, calendar, Google Drive and more. Collaborators can be placed in circles allowing permissions to share documents, manage tasks, chat, emails and track time.


The EventGeek website and app enables teams to collaborate and manage event logistics, including venues, vendors, printing, shipping, travel and budgets. It also plugs into the channels (such as Twitter and Salesforce) to measure ROI and boosting team productivity. Among the features are integration with Slack, Hubspot, Eventbrite, GoToMeetings, Expensify, Salesforce, Zapier, Mailchimp, Google Drive, social channels and more.

Fly Another Day

This calendar-based international booking recommendation engine allows the user to search where and when to hold an event so that it doesn’t clash with holidays, festivals, sporting events, tradeshows, strikes or elections. It is a simple idea, but one that is novel and could be significant help to event planners.


This event app combines natural language processing, advanced algorithms and deep neural networks to "match" people at events. In addition, other event applications and registration providers can integrate with the Grip AI engine to make it easier to meet the right people at the right time and place.

Groupize, Inc.

This web and mobile app tool allows meeting planners and admins to source, book, track and manage small meetings. It gives direct communication with hotels, while implementing compliance, centralized contract signatures, enforcing preferred hotels/rates and tracking meeting spend.


This fully mobilized destination management, group check-in and event communication system fills a helpful niche for many corporate events.

Meeting Evolution, LLC

Meetings Evolution manage is a strategic meeting management (SMM) and event management platform that helps to manage contracts, room block, agenda items, room set up and generation of function sheets/BEOs. Based on the CIC’s APEX standards, the system provides the details to generate a complete event specification guide including F&B, AV, IT, room setup requirements and more. It generates change reports to keep venue updated. IT also includes sourcing for single-entry of contract information.


Shoflo allows event planners and production teams to create production run sheets, product schedules, lists and docs in real-time from a central, mobilized application with the changes appearing on all devices. Shoflo is the first end-to-end management software focused on the producing and technical planning of an event, where projects can be easily created and managed and changes can be tracked.


Visionteractive produces social media-triggered smart devices including photo booths and vending machines to help event organizers engage attendees and broaden the event social media footprint. It can help customers with brand recognition, increase visibility in digital media and maximize experiential marketing, event marketing and social media efforts to turn data into a fun, measurable experience.

Technology trends highlighted:

As in past recent past years, a significant percentage of the 60 products this year involved mobile technology. There has been a return to basics in this year’s applications including registration, project management and sourcing. Also, a significant percentage (18%) were unique or single category submissions. Here is the percentage breakdown*:

16%     Mobile event apps

13%     Registration/check-in/ticketing

12%     Project management

8%       Sourcing

8%       Networking

6%       Geolocation

5%       Marketing

5%       Abstract management

3%       Virtual site inspection

3%       Social media applications

3%       ROI measurement

3%       Polling

3%       Lead capture

3%       Gamification

3%       Destination management

18%     Miscellaneous.

*The total exceeds 100% as several products fall into multiple categories.

The Judging Committee:

About IBTM World  
ibtm world (formerly known as EIBTM) is the flagship event of the ibtm events portfolio with eight events across the globe and owned by Reed Travel Exhibitions, part of the Reed Elsevier Group. ibtm world is a 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 29 November- 1 December 2016 in Barcelona. The Technology Watch Award winner will be announced on Wednesday 30 November.

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site Corbin Ball Associates - Meetings Technology Headquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball

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