Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES
As someone who sees a wide array of event designs in the 30-40 events I attend annually, it is refreshing to see a number of innovative event designs in a single conference. This was the case with the recent EventTech conference in Las Vegas produced by EventMarketer.com. Here are some of the novel ideas shown at the event.
1. The campus:
The 2½-day conference with about 700 attendees took place at the Paris Hotel. The entire program (the exhibition, five conference tracks and breakfast/lunch/receptions) took place in the 85,000-square foot (7900 square meter) Paris Ballroom. With a single, centralized location, everything was easy to find and the exhibitors enjoyed a constant flow of attendees.
2. Wireless check-in and badge printing
Check-in was quick and easy using wirelessbadge printing stations provided by Cvent. Attendees simply entered their email address into stand-alone terminals with the badge printing quickly at the check-in counter. Lead retrieval was provided via barcode printed on the badge.
3. IR (infrared) headsets for presentation tracks: During the check-in process, attendees received a small receiver and headphone provided by Conference Rental to access the session content. The main theater (Lab 1) was located in the center of the hall and the four additional track locations in each corner of the hall.
Lab 1 (the center location for the plenary sessions and one of the tracks) was set in comfortable-writing desk chairs for about 225 people (with presentation slides and audio distributed to the corner lab locations for overflow). The sound for all of the sessions was distributed via headsets. Attendees could clearly receive the audio in each room from the line-of-sight infrared transmitters, while there was no sound bleed from the educational tracks into the exhibit hall or other sessions.
4. Guided exhibit tours with RF (radio frequency) headsets:
The first two nights of the three-day event had early evening receptions (5-6:30pm and 5:30-7:00pm) leaving time for client dinners and exploring the many evening attractions of Las Vegas. Two exhibit tours were held during each reception. Each tour highlighted about 10 exhibitors (different exhibitors with each tour). Interested attendees met near the center of the hall. Each received a separate wireless radio frequency listening device (with headphones) and were guided through the exhibit hall. Each exhibitor had a 2-minute pitch about their product (a teaser to come back for more information). The RF (radio frequency) receivers made it easy for attendees to hear the exhibitors’ comments throughout the noisy exhibit hall without the need of line-of-sight reception required by the IR receivers.
5. Digital signage:
Although commonplace at many events, extensive digital signage with social links and polling were provided through the event by ETechEvents guided attendees with engaging, animated large LCD signage.
6. Silent disco:
HUSHConcerts provided a novel and very entertaining option for reception entertainment held at the north end of the exhibit hall. Three DJs provided distinctly different music channels via high-quality wireless headsets. Each headset had a channel switch – and glowed red, blue or green depending on the channel selected. This provided a range of music options for those interested while not bleeding sound into the exhibit hall or to those simply wanting to carry on conversations.
7. Networking and contact exchange:
Klik provided wristbands that made contact exchange as easy at pushing the center of the wristband and putting it close to another activated wristband. A few days after the conference, each attendee received a spreadsheet with all of the leads collected.
It is expected that an event entitled “EventTech” would showcase a variety of technology options. This meeting did not disappoint in this regard. The innovations mentioned above are just a few of the options presented.
Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP 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 CorbinBall.com and followed on Twitter www.twitter.com/corbinball. Subscribe to Corbin's free every-other-month high-content TechTalk Newsletter at www.corbinball.com/techtalk.