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News

  • Corbin Ball & Co. Marks Its 23nd Anniversary +

    In April of 1997, I left my career as Head of Conference Operations for a high-tech association (SPIE) 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 Read More

  • Corbin Named as one of Prevue Meetings 21 Industry Influencers for 2020 +

    Prevue Meetings + Incentives has named 21 leaders in the meetings and incentives industry as Prevue’s Industry Influencers . These individuals are thought leaders in their respective niches and always ready to share their knowledge and expertise. I am honored to be included in this illustrious list. 

    Read More
  • Corbin Inducted into the EIC Hall of Leaders +

    Corbin Ball, together with Henry Givray, Edward Liu, and Deborah Sexton was inducted into the Event Industry Council's Hall of Leaders for 2018, the most prestigious honor in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry.  The awards celebration occured on October 16, 2018 in Las Vegas during IMEX America. 
         Personal note: I feel tremendously honored and thrilled to
    Read More
  • Corbin Named as One of the Top 30 CMP Influencers by the CIC +

    I am very happy and honored to be included with 29 other colleagues in this first peer-nominated influencers campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) program. 
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    As the 30th anniversary year of the Certified Meeting Professional Program began, the Convention Industry Council (CIC), which administers the program, wanted to recognize this milestone by honoring the CMPs
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Latest Articles

  • 1 Face-to-Face Vs. Virtual Meetings: Which is Better?
  • 2 Artificial Intelligence: The Upcoming Impact on Events
  • 3 How to Identify your Target Audience for an Event
  • 4 Planning an Auction: 4 Best Practices For a Smooth Event
  • 5 10 Ways to Integrate Trade Shows and Events Into Your Facebook Marketing
  • 6 Modern Association Management: 6 Tools You Need
  • 7 How Facial Recognition Will Disrupt the Events Landscape
  • 8 Event Registration: 4 Best Practices to Increase Attendance
  • 9 Association Community Building: Offline and Online Engagement
  • 10 The Next Big Trade Show Attraction Has Arrived: Virtual Reality Video
  • 11 8 Effective Ways To Promote Your Event On Facebook
  • 12 Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2019 Technology Watch
  • 13 A 60-Year Timeline of Events Technology Innovation
  • 14 How 5G Will Revolutionize the Event Industry
  • 15 The Event Technology Revolution – Are We There Yet?
  • Face-to-Face Vs. Virtual Meetings: Which is Better?

    ©2020 Corbin Ball This is a trick question. Actually, both face-to-face (F2F) and the range of virtual meetings have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the length and goals of the event. This article will cover them. Virtual Event Types: With the COVID pandemic shutting down nearly all F2F events,
    Read More
  • Artificial Intelligence: The Upcoming Impact on Events

    ©2020 Corbin Ball The past few decades have seen tremendous technology change and this coming decade will be no different: The 1990s brought us email and basic internet connectivity. The 2000s brought is the widespread adoption of the web The 2010s brought us the widespread adoption of smartphones and other mobile technology. The 2020s, I believe, will
    Read More
  • How to Identify your Target Audience for an Event

    ©2020 Guest Post: Donald Fomby In the age of digital media, one can be forgiven for considering live events as outdated. After all, it’s more affordable and straightforward to simply deliver content marketing materials to your target audience through social media, email and blog posts and call it a day.
    Read More
  • Planning an Auction: 4 Best Practices For a Smooth Event

    ©2020 Guest Post: Joshua Meyer, Director of Marketing for OneCause. As your organization prepares to host a charity auction, you’re handling a lot of moving parts. Tracking everything can be overwhelming, even if you’ve already put together a stellar team to run the event.   However, there are many ways you
    Read More
  • 10 Ways to Integrate Trade Shows and Events Into Your Facebook Marketing

    ©2020 Claire Divas, Editor - Likehack Introduction Facebook has over more than 2 billion active users with no sign of slowing down and acts as an ideal platform to promote an event or tradeshows. It provides the ability to reach your exact audience by age, interest, location, and behavior. Facebook is
    Read More
  • Modern Association Management: 6 Tools You Need

    ©2020 Guest post: Jake Fabbri, Vice President of Marketing at Fonteva A new decade brings new association advancements that can help increase member retention and acquisition rates. However, coping with technology change can be daunting— especially if you suddenly find yourself with outdated tools.    With new online solutions and digital resources
    Read More
  • How Facial Recognition Will Disrupt the Events Landscape

    ©2020 Electro-Media Design, Ltd. By Sara Friedman Facial recognition technology has the ability to transform the events industry, but it remains to be seen how attendees will respond to the biometrics solutions coming onto the market. Potential uses for facial recognition include simplifying the on-site registration process, tracking attendee facial
    Read More
  • Event Registration: 4 Best Practices to Increase Attendance

    ©2020 Asaf Darash,  CEO,  Regpack Hosting a successful, engaging event takes ample preparation and planning. As your organization’s event planner, you likely already know this, and have dealt with the obstacles and hiccups that inevitably come along the way.    However, the event world is constantly changing. With every technological
    Read More
  • Association Community Building: Offline and Online Engagement

    Guest Post by Jake Fabbri, VP Marketing, Fonteva, ©2020 One of the most rewarding parts of being an association member is the community built with the other members. Professional associations, usually made up of those in the same career or a related role is a huge collaborative effort of individuals growing
    Read More
  • The Next Big Trade Show Attraction Has Arrived: Virtual Reality Video

    © 2019 Guest Post: Greg Mischio is the Owner and Chief Strategist at Winbound Manufacturers who want to stand out at trade shows are incorporating a new feature at their exhibits: virtual reality (VR) video. Find out how its mind-blowing capabilities helped one manufacturer introduce a new production facility in a powerfully
    Read More
  • 8 Effective Ways To Promote Your Event On Facebook

    ©2019 Guest Post by Sarah Smith Either you are a startup or a giant business model, whether you are an online store or an enterprise, social media can do some magic to your business. In order to maintain a competitive stride, businesses are bound to clout of popular social media
    Read More
  • Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2019 Technology Watch

    ©2019 Corbin Ball, Chair of the IBTM Technology Watch Judging Committee Established in 2000, The IBTM World Technology & Innovation Watch is the longest running and one of the most significant technology awards for the meetings industry. The goals are to recognize technology innovation and to highlight significant trends impacting
    Read More
  • A 60-Year Timeline of Events Technology Innovation

    ©2019 by Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP Technology changes in the past six decades have been astonishing. This chronological list of significant technology milestones with societal technology events in “black” and face-to-face and virtual events industry-related technology innovations in “blue” shows far we have come, 1962 The Kodak Carousel slide projector was introduced. 1963 Bell
    Read More
  • How 5G Will Revolutionize the Event Industry

    ©2019 Ralf Llanasas, Whatphone 5G and the International Rollout The highly anticipated fifth generation of wireless network technology is finally a reality in countries around the world. Statistics predict that 5G networks will be full in use by 2020, with over 1 billion users connected to the technology by 2025.
    Read More
  • The Event Technology Revolution – Are We There Yet?

    I recently attended an open-air concert in the small city where I live. Before the music began, I noticed what appeared to be three generations of women sitting in front of me (a teenage daughter, mother and an elderly grandmother). I heard a phone ring and watched the grandmother reach
    Read More

Wearable Beacons for Events

©2016 Corbin Ball Associates

Beacon technologies (small, digital “lighthouses” sending out signals that interact with mobile phone apps) are making headway for events. Companies such as DoubleDutch and Eventbase have been using this technology combined with smartphone to automate event check-in, for networking, for wayfinding, location-aware polling, generating heat maps of crowd flow and a range of other tasks to improve the event experience for attendees.

However, this technology requires that attendees have a specific app installed, their smartphone Bluetooth on, and the batteries charged in order for things to work. To have these criteria met for 100% of the attendees almost never happens, and, often times this percentage of active beacon users is much smaller than that.

This is where the next generation of beacon technology comes in – wearable two-way beacons. Each attendee wears the beacon (as a badge or as attached to the lanyard). The beacon is always transmitting its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signal with a battery life of several days. With 100% of the event participants using it, this opens up many new capabilities.

Here are four examples of how this is playing out:

Loopd

www.loopd.com

Looped provides a small two-way beacon weighing less than 5 grams attached to a lanyard. These beacons enable the exchange of contact information to all interested parties, the distribution of marketing materials, gamification options and extensive analytics.  Real-time measurements of the number of attendees, the number of connections made among attendees and how much time each spent is part of the analytics package. Heat maps of crowd flow can be generated instantly. The beacons work with a mobile events app (Apple and Android) to allow each attendee to control the information on their Loopd badges and adjust their privacy settings. Each attendee has a record of the time and location where they made each connection, the session they attendees, the exhibitors they visited. The app also has messaging, in-app chat, notes, maps, personal schedule, survey and gamification components.

 

Pricing:

A $2-5/device rental for each attendee, plus $6,000-$10,000 per event for analytics plus about $5,000 for the integrated app.

SmartTrac by Hubvents

http://hubvents.com

SmartTrac combines a small two-way beacon for each attendee (attached to the badge lanyard) and proximity sensors in exhibit booths, meeting lounges, meeting rooms and other areas to relay relevant insights, reporting and notifications to event audiences.

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  • For exhibitors: SmartTrac analyzes visitor profiles and behavioral attributes to identify high-value prospects notifying the exhibitor as they arrive at the booth. Additionally, the system connects with the exhibitors CRM accounts sending a notification when CRM prospects are either near or approaching the booth.
  • For attendees: Visitors get access to complete journey reports. These include details such as a timeline view of booths visited, people met at the event, including time of the meeting, duration, and location of the meeting. Visitors no longer need to collect, manage or risk losing business cards. Event visitors are informed about the tracking technology and are given the option to opt out of tracking deactivating the badge tag form any tracking or data collection.
  • For show organizers: View very detailed, granular data about every visitor based on their interactions on the show floor. Visualize macro trends based on filters that they define including heat maps, crowd flow and more.

Pricing:  

For conference events with no exhibition: Pricing starts at $4/per person including tracking sensors at all meetings

For exhibitions: Typically, the system is sold as a high-end lead retrieval system by the show organizer to the exhibitor.  With no cost to the show organizer, the revenue is made as a percentage commission on the lead retrieval charges to the exhibitor which ranges from about $500-2,000 per exhibitor. This includes the event app or integration with the existing event app. Options for organizer-facing analytics and reports - without upselling to exhibitors are also available.

Ligo by Limefy

www.limefy.com

With a tagline of “business networking you can wear”, Ligo uses a combination of a mobile event app and wearable beacons in the form of a smart badge. Although it has several similar features to Loopd (lead retrieval, session attendance tracking, attendee/exhibitor portals, messaging, and real-time analytics), there is a strong emphasis on real-time matchmaking.

The big difference is that the badges have flashing lights that activate when attendees with strong like-interest come within close proximity. Attendees enter their interest areas in the app. Then, when a match is made, the beacon badge lights up. Attendees and exhibitors receive a timeline of all the contacts they have made during the event. 

 

Pricing: A simple 1-day networking event for 200 attendees would start at $1000 for basic matchmaking. A 3-day 1,000-attendee event would start at about $4,000 for matchmaking, event analytics and lead retrieval, with a menu of la carte services in addition to the base pricing.

EventBit by Experient

http://info.experient-inc.com/eventbit

Experient, in cooperation with TurnoutNow, uses a proprietary network of lead retrieval devices combined with a wearable “eventBit” beacon for every attendee:

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  • Attendees see all the exhibitors they visited and how much time they spent in specific sessions. Networking recommendations pair them to attendees with matching interest. EventBit also displays event/health metrics such as hours spent on the show floor and estimated distance walked. Attendees instantly see how much time they spent in specific sessions and receive recommendations based on, once again, their actual behaviors of what sessions they had already visited. Attendees also receive recommendations for attendee networking based on their cumulative behaviors, pairing them with attendees with matching interests.
 

EventBitScreenShot 

  • Exhibitors get more information than simple lead contact data. Including total booth traffic, dwell times, traffic by demographics and more. This gives the exhibitor access not only to the hundreds of leads they collected but also to the thousands of people who browsed their booth that weren’t scanned.
  • Show organizers get real-time show floor analyses and heat maps indicating how many attendees are located where, along with their individual demographics. They can track any location by placing a small eventBit receiver anywhere: session rooms, registration areas, VIP lounges, product showcases, presentation areas, etc.

EventBit tracks every event participant in any location desired, not just volume, but exactly who was there by:

  • Registration type.
  • Where they went.
  • What events they attended.
  • How long they stayed.
  • What content interested them.
  • What products drew their attention.
  • What educational content they consumed.

Pricing is somewhat variable depending on how much lead retrieval equipment is in use. But, on average, the charges are $3 rental/tag and about $400 per receiver not on the show floor. So, an average cost would be $3/beacon tag rental plus about $15,000-$20,000 for a full set up and analysis package including 30-40 receivers (for sessions, keynotes, VIP zones, and show floor hotspots).

As these technologies provide a two-way beacon for each attendee, they are more expensive than simply using mobile phone apps and location-based one-way beacons. However, the broader usage by all attendees, their ease of use, the extensive analytics, and the increased functionality may make this the technology of choice for a number of events.


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 Corbin Ball & Co. -- Meetings Technology Headquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball

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What The Audience Is Saying

  • Your session blew me away. I could easily listen to your information all day. This was incredibly informative.
    Michael McNutt Human Capital Manager
    Information Experts
  • "I've seen Corbin three times. No one works harder to keep his material fresh and relevant to events."
    Scott Stubbs President
    HB Stubbs Company
  • Fantastic seminar! Very exciting advances to come. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
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    Northlands
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