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  • The 2019 Quarter 3 Issue of Corbin's TechTalk News Now Available +


    The 2019 Quarter 3 Issue of Corbin's TechTalk News   is new available 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
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  • Calling #EventTech Innovators: IBTM Technology Watch Award Applications Are Now Open +

    Does your company have a new, innovative technology product applicable to the meetings and tradeshow industry? Would you like to get substantial free publicity for it? And a free booth at IBTM World in Barcelona as well? Further information and application form  HERE .
    The IBTM Technology Watch, established in 2000, is the original meetings technology award and one of the
    Read More
  • Corbin to Chair IBTM's Technology and Innovation Watch Award for the 16th 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 Ball & Co. Marks Its 22nd 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

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    Latest Articles

    • 1 The Event Technology Revolution – Are We There Yet?
    • 2 2019 Trade Show Trends That Exhibitors Need to Be Following to Maximize Customer Engagement
    • 3 How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Event (and Sell it Out)
    • 4 Second Screen Technology for Events: What Are the Options?
    • 5 Event Planning Technology: 6 Essential Features to Use
    • 6 The Platform or the Event Tech Deck – What is the Best Technology Choice for Event Planners?
    • 7 Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2018 Technology Watch
    • 8 6 Tips to Maximize your Tradeshow Booth
    • 9 Virtual Vs. Augmented/Mixed Reality for Events: The Pros and Cons for Each Medium and the Likelihood of Adoption
    • 10 Retrospect Article: The Revolution - The Future of Mobile Technology for Events
    • 11 Tips to Come Up with More Effective Promo Videos for Events
    • 12 As Technology Changes Events, These Five Elements Will Likely Stay the Same
    • 13 Five Trends That Will Revolutionize Trade Show Marketing in 2019
    • 14 Facial Recognition – The Next Step to Streamline Events
    • 15 Three Steps to Cope with Technology Change
    • 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
    • 2019 Trade Show Trends That Exhibitors Need to Be Following to Maximize Customer Engagement

      Industry trade shows enable companies to get the opportunity to make a lasting impact on potential clients, affiliates, and customers. Companies joining a trade show face the combined risk and opportunity of being compared with competitors and other booth designs in a live space. In a previous feature, we looked at
      Read More
    • How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Event (and Sell it Out)

      2019 Guest Post by Natasha Ponomaroff As of 2018, Instagram had an estimated 77.6 million active users. 500 million people use Instagram every single day; 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram and 23% of Instagram images are more likely to get ‘likes’ vs Facebook images. Still not impressed? How about…1
      Read More
    • Second Screen Technology for Events: What Are the Options?

      ©2019 Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES Presenters and meeting planners are often faced with the following dilemmas: In today’s multitasking environment where event participants are regularly on their mobile devices, how to keep their attention? How do you keep attendees engaged? And how can you best measure their interests and
      Read More
    • Event Planning Technology: 6 Essential Features to Use

      ©2019 Guest Post:  Callie Walker, ePly   Event planning technology can be a broad subject, but it can be boiled down to this definition: Any technology that helps you plan, manage, and organize data when putting on an event. Different types of organizations put on different events, but all organizations can benefit from
      Read More
    • The Platform or the Event Tech Deck – What is the Best Technology Choice for Event Planners?

      There are many event tech choices available to manage nearly every aspect of the meeting planning process as well as enriching the attendee experience. For example, I track nearly 1,500 event tech products in 60 categories at my website: . With so many choices, the planner’s dilemma is: how does
      Read More
    • Event Technology Innovation Trends Highlighted with IBTM World’s 2018 Technology Watch

      ©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
      Read More
    • 6 Tips to Maximize your Tradeshow Booth

      ©2018 Guest post from Shem Szot Everyone knows that tradeshows are an excellent chance to spread the word about your business. A physical presence and personal engagement can often leave deeper impressions than online interaction alone. And joining a tradeshow means you don’t have to worry about bringing in the
      Read More
    • 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

      Editor's 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 when 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
    • Facial Recognition – The Next Step to Streamline Events

      Facial 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

    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:


    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.



    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

    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.


    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

    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

    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.


    • 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 ( and followed at

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