OCT 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 15 ANNUAL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT duction of new technologies reflecting the digitization of society have influenced the direction that event technology has taken. Also influential has been the increased emphasis on promoting sustainable meetings which adhere to best practices for reducing waste and pre- serving natural resources. Repurpose America has made conventions and trade shows a target for education on eco-friendly practices, recom- mending the reduction in paper promotional materials, for example, and if remaining, the practice of donating these to local schools and nonprofits for repurposing. The Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibition Green Guidelines (GMEGG) also has devel- oped energy conservation and sustainability practices for events to follow that relate to event technology. For example, GMEGG calls for all electronic displays to meet mandatory requirements, including: powering down at the end of the day, or if the equipment can't be powered down, it should be placed in the sleep mode during non-expo hours; meeting criteria for Energy Star qualifications or an equivalent energy efficient program; and exclusive use of LED and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) in booths. Event technologies now readily avail- able not only support environmentally-sound practices, but they also reflect other objectives and trends dominating the event experience, while helping event planners, sponsors, exhibi- tors and attendees gain a greater return on their convention and trade show investments, both time and financial. From Engagement to Experiential Marketing The ability to engage attendees/prospec- tive customers or business partners and also measure that engagement is a top priority for event planners, sponsors and exhibitors. Sophisticated mobile event software enables users to interact with event planners' program agendas, as well as sponsors' and exhibitors' marketing materials, and even a host cities' roster of restaurants, night spots, museums, and other local city information. By engaging event attendees in this way and capturing data related to their informational interests, event planners, sponsors and exhibitors can then leverage this "market intelligence" to drive attendees to program sessions, exhibitors' booths or other activities that would likely be of interest to them, thereby creating a better experience for those attendees. In a similar way, beacon technology can help provide market intelligence from the convention floor, in real-time by providing analytical data about the event as a whole and not from just a pinhole view. Using bea- con technology, they can capture attendees' movements throughout the venue to see which components are draws and which are not. This information can be applied for more effective, strategic planning of future events. Beacon technology also can be used to understand attendee traffic flow. It allows event managers to move refreshment breaks to other areas of the meeting space and drive attendees to areas where traffic is low. Creating a memorable experience while conveying key branding and marketing ► Timeline Timeline of some technology inventions at the foundation of today's event technologies. n 1971 – E-mail was invented. n 1973 – The first mobile phone was built. n 1973 – The first Personal Computer (PC) was invented. n 1977 – The first all LED flat panel television screen was developed. n 1980 – The number of computers worldwide reached 1 million. n 1981 – The first laptop was created. n 1983 – The first cell phone network was built. n 1985 – Badge printers were produced. n 1989 – The number of computers worldwide reached 100 million. n 1989 – The first battery-powered laptop (Compaq SLT/286) was introduced. Weighing 14 lbs., it supported an internal hard disk drive and VGA compatible LCD screen. n 1990 – The World Wide Web (WWW) was invented. n 1990 – The initial release of PowerPoint. n 1993 – The WWW technology is made free to use by the public. n 1994 – The first email is sent. n 1994 – Two Stanford University studies create "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web." It's later renamed Yahoo. n 1995 – Audio, slide projection systems and file sharers make their way into events. n 1997 – The first digital light processing-based projector was introduced. n 2001 – Digital satellite radio was invented. n 2013 – iBeacon technology was introduced.

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