Don’t worry, be ‘appy!

Don’t worry, be ‘appy!

“I don’t want one,” says The Showmanator (TS) determinedly to the Registration Fascista (RF) in front of him, thrusting an enormous satchel at him with a flourish suggesting it contained the Crown Jewels.

“But you have to have it! It’s part of the deal,” says the equally determined RF.

“Really, not,” returns TS with a growing steeliness in his eye.

“Sorry, really can’t take no for an answer … the sponsors you know …” returns the redoubtable RF, nearing tears and with an unbecoming tic starting to up in one eye.

I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess who won this encounter and I’m sure there isn’t a person on the planet who wouldn’t recognise — and hopefully sympathise with — this tired old scenario featuring the event ‘goodie bag’ crammed with expensive, wasteful and mainly unwanted propaganda. OK so occasionally it also contains useful things like USB drives, notebooks, pens and chocolates … mmmm chocolates … but I can’t be the only person who sifts all of these then bins the bag at the first available opportunity?

I’m going to an event this week. The last email before travelling? Print this so you can be scanned in. Oh please … how last decade! Then there’s all those printed programmes — am I the only person who can hear the trees falling? And all those brochures, business cards, badges, photo-copies and similar. Why, oh why are we still printing all this stuff when we have apps capable of eliminating the lot? QR codes can be scanned just as effectively from screens (large and small), brochures may not look quite as flash in digital format but think of the cost savings and people who really want the product will cope with the brochure whatever form it’s in. Then, there’s the added bonus of being able to easily forward it to others they think will be interested — you have to be pretty motivated to send it snail or via get up and actually give it to someone.

Sadly, despite all the potential, the paperless event is still a long way away from a reality. For sure, not everyone yet has a smartphone and the mobile web apps — aka .mobi or HTIM5 apps — don’t enable scanning, but so what? If materials are only available in digital format, event goers will soon get it and hop on the mobile merry-go-round.  In addition to offering genuine alternatives for the majority of the bigger print items, in the very near future, our phones will be able to encompass everything that a range of devices now does at events; scanning, lead capture, voting etc.

As SmartShow we talk about “one app to rule them all”, but as long as people continue to hide behind the security of print, the real benefits of our mobile-enabled world will not fully kick in. So, step away from the paper mountain people. Embrace your inner digital child and don’t worry, be ‘apply. The cost savings alone should bring a smile to your face and a guilt-free experience for your participants as they bask in the eco-friendly warmth that comes with being good citizens of the digital era.

 

 

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It’s official … ShowGizmo V6.0 now in the app stores!

It’s official … ShowGizmo V6.0 now in the app stores!

The recent release of Apple’s new operating system ioS 7, has opened up a dramatically different look and feel for apps, something we’ve capitalised on big time with our just released V6.0 of ShowGizmo. With its swipe-to reveal sidebar menu format and more sophisticated design approach, our new apps feel super-contemporary and amazingly intuitive to use.

In addition to new features like public and private messaging, a private social network and event feed to capture all the commentary and excitement at your events, sponsor advertising is also taken to a new level. All the familiar features are still there … with bells on … but the jewel in the crown is the ability to configure ShowGizmo to meet the different needs of each of your events. You can add branding, change the colour-ways, name features anything you like and turn them on or off to suit your event’s specific dynamics. All via a web dashboard with no coding required.  Off the shelf – but tailored to fit.

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and are certain you’ll love it too. Contact us to get ShowGizmo V6.0 or go here to set up a free trial….

Global Event-App ShowGizmo company partners with Planet Planit in UK

Global Event-App ShowGizmo company partners with Planet Planit in UK

SmartShow Ltd, the creators of ShowGizmo (the mobile app platform for events, tradeshows and conferences), is delighted to confirm that Paul Cook and Planet Planit will be representing the company in the UK and Europe from this month.

Past President of Meeting Professionals International UK/Ireland Chapter (MPI) the leading professional development and networking body for the events industry, Paul frequently guest lectures at Universities and Trade Shows. He also writes for a number of trade journals and his opinions are frequently published by magazines and online industry professionals. His website, PlanetPlanit.biz is stacked full of tips and resources on event planning. He’s now looking forward to the challenge of developing the ShowGizmo brand across the UK and Europe:

“I’m passionate about excellent events, and finding ways to support event planners in coping with the myriad of choices they can make in terms of tools, tech and services to make their event stand out. I believe in the ShowGizmo event app and the company’s commitment to continuous innovation and I am delighted to be promoting and representing ShowGizmo in the UK – our events industry is hungry for innovative approaches to audience engagement so I am sure that there will be huge interest’.

As well as working with PCOs, organisers and venues to implement event apps in the UK, Planet Planit and ShowGizmo will continue to deliver ‘Event Camps’ together globally. These hybrid events reach online audiences in the tens of thousands, all keen to understand the edgy, exciting and emerging event concepts from around the world.

The timing of the announcement coincides with the launch of the next generation of ShowGizmo event apps on iPhone, Android and mobile web which include a private social network, enhanced lead capture using QR codes, scrolling event feed and chat space, interactive maps and live polling all in a beautiful design inspired by ios7.

For more information:

Marie-Claire Andrews, tel +64 4 499 1969 marie-claire@showgizmo.com

Paul Cook, tel: +44 (0) 1883 734 999 paul@planetplanit.biz

End-to- (what?) -end

End-to- (what?) -end

So here’s the thing. For the last couple of years, the trend in the supply of technology to events has been to meet event organisers apparent need for end-to -end solutions. This trend has seen a range of long established organisations extending their offer to include visitor and other mobile apps to compliment the registration, badging and tracking already in the line up. They’ve done this by building their own or acquiring an independent mobile development company.

Makes perfect sense you’d think? On paper, of course it does, but here’s the rub. While providing an end-to-end solution from registration to the final event survey that includes mobile is a great concept the reality is, it’s very difficult for any one organisation to do all of it well.  People who are great at building one sort of experience aren’t necessarily equally good at building another and the expectation of fulfilment by a sole provider is harder than it seems when put under the microscope.

For sure, as a buyer, it’s a no brainer to want one solution that ticks all the boxes. It’s also understandable that selecting and dealing with one supplier is preferable to having to deal with more. But there are different sizes and shapes of boxes and what we’re seeing now is a move back towards specialism as people’s experiments in building mobile add-ons have achieved limited traction. Many of the key players who have dipped a toe in the mobile app sea are getting out of the water at the speed of kids on a cold day at the beach as they realise that their apps are not cutting it because the end user experience is crap. Until recently, having an event app at all, of any kind, was innovative and a novelty for consumers. Now, it’s not good enough to just tick the box because those consumers know the difference between good and bad apps. They expect the best or they’ll quickly give it away.

This doesn’t remove the possibility of end-to-end solutions. It just means that the solution needs to include best of breed products. These are relatively easy to integrate meaning the buyer still only needs to have one touch point during the selection process and they can select a total package that will drive best value for their participants. So make sure your supplier is genuinely offering the best options, including the mobile components, before your ink goes anywhere near their paper.

Startup snapshot: Showgizmo via TechWorld

Startup snapshot: Showgizmo via TechWorld

Showgizmo is a mobile app developer from Wellington, New Zealand, that seeks to replace paper at major conferences and trade shows around the world.

Best conference ever.

The pitch

Showgizmo hopes to ride two waves — the rise of smartphones and an increasing industry focus on sustainable practices, according to Showgizmo marketing director, Josh Dry.

“One of the main reasons we’re in the industry is to reduce paper,” said Dry, who was the company’s first full-time employee.

“The events industry is one of the worst performing industries in regards to waste and recycling. Why create a program book for $5 per person for $1000 attendees when you can get an app and it’s all digital?”

The startup has been able to serve a wide range of customers with a single app that can include an event’s schedule, floor plan, session evaluation forms and other common conference material. Customers that prefer to have their own, fully-customised app can buy and self-brand a white-label version.

Since the official launch two years ago, the Showgizmo app has been used in about 200 events globally. Customers have included IBM, TEDx, Flight Centre, Reid Exhibitions and Auckland University.

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