©2018 Corbin Ball, Chair of the IBTM Technology 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.

Nine finalists have been selected. The winner will be announced during IBTM in Barcelona on Wednesday 28 November 2018. Seven 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. In alphabetical order, they are:

CadmiumCD: Meeting room scheduling and resources tool

Cadmium has been providing a range of content capture, speaker management and other tools for some time. The Conference Harvester Logistics tool managing room scheduling, highlighted in the entry, adds to this.

Trend: Although there have been other session/logistic scheduling products available for some time, Cadmium CD differentiates in offering a broad range of other event management tools (speaker management, abstract management, exhibitor management, signage and more). The trend is toward more comprehensive logistics management tools are becoming available for events.

Eventfolio: Multi-event management/registration/marketing/CRM system (with a focus on membership-based organizations)

There are hundreds on attendee management/registration products. The differentiators for this one are: focus on multiple events, focus on membership-based groups, high level of personalization, open-source development, and flat-fee (no charge for registration transactions).

Trend: With the large competitive field in registration/attendee management, the trend is toward specialized niche development in this space.

Event Tech Tribe (including Hubb and MeetingSelect): Cloud-based cooperative of event tech products

The Event Tech Tribe is a group marketing for several cloud-based event tech products including MeetingSelect, Swoogo, Hubb, Glisser, TRC and InsightSM

This collective of nimble cloud-based event tech products is designed for each product to work separately or together. Hubb (a management system for speakers, abstracts, content, exhibitors, staffing, scheduling, appointments and an event app) has been combined with the Event Tech Tribe entry. MeetingSelect is a venue sourcing site that is highly international in scope (with translations into seven languages) and white-label options for destination management/CVB organizations as also been included.

Trend: The Event Tech Tribe is an excellent example of how newer, nimble cloud-based software companies can work together as one. Planners can choose the products they need from these separate companies and expect them to integrate well.

Fielddrive/ Zenus: Facial recognition software for event registration

These two separate entries have been combined into a single one. Zenus is the creator of the software. Fielddrive has been a very significant implementor of the product exploring and measuring the onsite best cases for use. Together, they have mand a strong team to develop facial recognition for the events industry.

Trend: Facial recognition is a rapidly developing field. Airlines are beginning to use this for boarding. iPhone users unlock their phones; hotels in China are using it for room check-in and more. These two companies are among the earliest to bring this to events.

IVvy: A type of GDS (global distribution system) for meetings and events

There are many direct/immediate event space booking sites, but are not as robust as Ivvy and these others typically follow an AirBNB format and often in non-traditional venues. Ivvy is an ambitious effort to bring this into normal hotels. This could be useful, especially for small, simple meetings with few room nights.

Trend: IVvy is moving the hotel industry toward more automated methods for booking meetings spaces.

Kubify: Interactive e-poster system and app

Kubify is a simple and creative way to improve the standard poster session. Attendees use and app to search posters by subject/keyword, interact with the poster, post comments, ask questions and rate/cast a vote for the best poster. It has a well thought out FAQ file and other support services

Trend: Kubify offers a fresh, interactive way to manage this important segment of many scientific meetings.

Radario: Event marketing and analytics platform -- primarily for large group ticketing

Radario uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain insight on purchasing behavior to provide better marketing. Also, as part of the EventBrite spectrum, the product is likely highly interoperable.

Trend: AI will increasingly be used for event marketing. Radario is a good example on how this will be used.

Sava Events: Abstract/speaker management system with event app, digital signage, agenda web widget and chatbot.

The entry was focused on the chatbot using artificial intelligence component.

Trend: The AI chatbots market is growing for events. They are valuable pieces of technology in the event space.

Spacebase: Direct, immediate booking of unique venue meetings space

Spacebase offers an AirBNB-like interface for direct booking of event venues in ten countries in three languages with offices in seven countries, making it more international than many.

Trend: Direct, immediate booking of meetings space is an important trend.

*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 27-29 November 2018 in Barcelona. The Technology Watch Award winner will be announced on Wednesday 28 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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