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News

  • The September/October 2018 (20th Anniversary) Issue of Corbin's TechTalk News Now Available +

    20thAnniversary

    The September/October 2018 issue of Corbin's TechTalk Newsletter  is out providing the latest in technology to nearly 9,000 events, tradeshows and hospitality professionals in over 70 countries. This issue is packed with articles, links, videos and ideas on how you can use technology to improve the business process for events and tradeshows. 

    In this issue:

    • NEW ARTICLE: Virtual Vs. Augmented/Mixed Reality
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  • Corbin to Chair IBTM's Technology and Innovation Watch Award for the 15th Year. +

    This award is the longest running and one of the event industry's most significant award recognizing technology innovation - the "Academy Awards" of events technology. I am very pleased to I have been asked again to chair the judging committee. This award is a great opportunity for technology companies to show their new stuff and get a free booth at IBTM
    Read More
  • Corbin to be Inducted into the EIC Hall of Leaders +


    Corbin Ball, together with Henry Givray, Edward Liu, and Deborah Sexton will be 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 will occur on October 16, 2018 in Las Vegas during IMEX America. 
         Personal note: I feel tremendously honored and
    Read More
  • Corbin Ball & Co. Marks Its 21st 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 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. 
    .
    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
    Read More
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    Latest Articles

    • 1 Virtual Vs. Augmented/Mixed Reality for Events: The Pros and Cons for Each Medium and the Likelihood of Adoption
    • 2 Retrospect Article: The Revolution - The Future of Mobile Technology for Events
    • 3 Tips to Come Up with More Effective Promo Videos for Events
    • 4 As Technology Changes Events, These Five Elements Will Likely Stay the Same
    • 5 Five Trends That Will Revolutionize Trade Show Marketing in 2019
    • 6 Face Recognition – The Next Step to Streamline Events
    • 7 Three Steps to Cope with Technology Change
    • 8 50 Ideas Using Video to Market and Improve Expos and Events
    • 9 Leveraging Social Influencers to Build Meeting Involvement and Attendance
    • 10 Event Chatbot 101 - Essential Questions Answered
    • 11 7 Event Design Ideas from EventTech Las Vegas
    • 12 Blockchain and Ethereum -- How Can They Be Used for Events?
    • 13 Overcoming SMM Technology Challenges
    • 14 Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2017 Technology & Innovation Watch
    • 15 The Top 5 Benefits of Augmented Reality for Trade Shows
    • Virtual Vs. Augmented/Mixed Reality for Events: The Pros and Cons for Each Medium and the Likelihood of Adoption

      © 2018 Corbin Ball The twisting of reality is becoming common practices in the meeting, tradeshow, event and exhibition world. By using an ever-evolving array of technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, users can enter worlds created from scratch to entertain, provide demonstrations and eventually sell a
      Read More
    • Retrospect Article: The Revolution - The Future of Mobile Technology for Events

      Editors note: As part of the 20th anniversary issue of TechTalk, I thought I would include an article I wrote in 1999 -- at the turn of the new millennium (back in the time of 1G phones where even flip phones had not yet been invented). In this article, I predict
      Read More
    • Tips to Come Up with More Effective Promo Videos for Events

      ©2018 Arthur Retman, Movavi As a medium there are many ways to utilize videos for events – but one of the most popular is definitely promo videos. A promo video is basically any video that is used to promote or market the event, and boost its visibility, entice prospects, or directly
      Read More
    • As Technology Changes Events, These Five Elements Will Likely Stay the Same

      We are living in a time of unprecedented technology change. How will these changes affect meetings and tradeshows? Will they remain a central form of education, networking and marketing? Will virtual meetings and other communication technologies replace the need for face-to-face events and exhibitions? Although there will likely be very
      Read More
    • Five Trends That Will Revolutionize Trade Show Marketing in 2019

      ©2018 - Guest Post by  Ryan Gould, Elevation Marketing If you’re a business owner or marketer who’s serious about maximizing ROI, then you need to have a presence at industry trade shows. It’s all in the statistics—when it comes to efficiency, 85% of B2B marketers and salespeople say that trade shows
      Read More
    • Face Recognition – The Next Step to Streamline Events

      Face recognition (FR) is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. iPhone X users open their phone using FR as their passwords. Airlines and TSA are starting to use FR as a faster and more secure way of check-in and boarding flights. Apple, Facebook, Google and Snapchat have made recent
      Read More
    • Three Steps to Cope with Technology Change

      When laptops computers first appeared in the early 1990s, manufactures called them “freedom machines” with ads showing smiling users inputting at the poolside and the beach. We don’t see these ads anymore. People are aware that technology isn’t increasing our leisure time -- we seem to be working harder than ever!
      Read More
    • 50 Ideas Using Video to Market and Improve Expos and Events

      ©2018 By Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES Video marketing is king! The State of Video Marketing in 2018 report from Wyzowl details numerous survey statistics about the growth and increasing power of using video for marketing products and services. This applies to events. The creative use of video can help
      Read More
    • Leveraging Social Influencers to Build Meeting Involvement and Attendance

      ©2018, Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES Celebrity endorsements have been around since the start of advertising. The athletes on the Wheaties box, the movie star promoting to the TV cameras, the Nike Swoosh on sports star’s clothing all are part of advertising. Psychologists have long realized that buyers are more likely
      Read More
    • Event Chatbot 101 - Essential Questions Answered

      ©2018 Guest post by Mark Kao, COS Rental Chatbots aren’t new. Joseph Weizenbaum created a prototype in 1966 and named it ELIZA. But the idea didn’t catch on until 50 years later. Today, chatbots are the talk of the event planning and marketing town. If you’ve wanted to know more
      Read More
    • 7 Event Design Ideas from EventTech Las Vegas

      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
      Read More
    • Blockchain and Ethereum -- How Can They Be Used for Events?

      ©2018 Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES, MS What is blockchain? According to Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016),“blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Blockchain is a means of managing electronic
      Read More
    • Overcoming SMM Technology Challenges

      ©2018 Robert Walters, Meeting Evolution Recent articles have indicated that many organizations attempting to deploy a Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) technology solution have not experienced the savings and improvement they expected.  In many instances, the reason has nothing to do with the technology selected – but the internal procedures and processes
      Read More
    • Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2017 Technology & Innovation Watch

      ©2017 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
      Read More
    • The Top 5 Benefits of Augmented Reality for Trade Shows

      ©2017 Guest Post by Brendan Scully, Scully Creative Labs LLC Trade shows offer a great opportunity to promote your business and its products, but you have to do what you can to make the most of this opportunity. You are competing with other companies for attention, so it is important
      Read More

    Coming Engagements

    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 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 the app installed, their Bluetooth on, and their 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.

    >

     

    • 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:

    :

    • 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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