New webinar! Event Intelligence – get empowered by the API economy

New webinar! Event Intelligence – get empowered by the API economy

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Do you find yourself drowning in a sea of data? Do you get overwhelmed by the number of event technology options and frustrated by how difficult it is to get them to work together to save you time?

APIs are the secret sauce to holding amazing events. They enable powerful event technology tools to share data and seamlessly integrate with each other. This connected data can save you time, improve your event ROI, and help you run more impressive events.

We’d like to invite you to the first in a series of free monthly webinars about Event Intelligence—designed to help you become a genius event manager.

This month’s webinar will help you understand how to select and implement different best-in-breed technology to create a unified solution for your technology needs. You’ll get actionable tips and downloadable templates that you can take back and implement in your day to day work.

By attending this webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to use tools like APIs to connect your data
  • How to use that connected data to improve event ROI
  • How to use event tech integrations to power content at your event that drives meaningful engagement

Presenter

Hosted by Hubb CEO and founder Allie Magyar, you’ll learn from her fifteen years in the event management trenches.

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Time: 10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 7am NZT

The Event Intelligence webinar series is brought to you by The Event Tech Tribe. event-tech-tribe-logo-01Who are we?

The Event Tech Tribe is a collaborative ensemble of best-in-class event technologies that have chosen to work together technically, but more importantly, to coordinate at a client level. We’ve brought together similarly minded companies and built a way of working that puts the customer first. Every member of the Tribe is run by an experienced event professional, culturally hard-wired to think like an event planner, using technology to get results, rather than just for technology’s sake.

 

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Dec/Jan key dates at ShowGizmo

Dec/Jan key dates at ShowGizmo

To our customers, partners and friends – we’re only ever an email or phone call away even during our Dec/Jan holiday period.

Please call:  NZ: 04 887 1844  AUS: 02 8599 7234 USA: 855 811 5202 and press 2

Please email support@showgizmo.com

We have a skeleton staff working from Friday 23rd December until Monday 4th January.  This means that

  • we may not be able to respond to your emails and calls as fast as we love to do, but rest assured we will attend to them as soon as we are able and always as we have agreed with you.
  • it would be great if you could send us anything you need us to do in this time, by Friday 23rd so we can schedule it in appropriately.
  • we are shipping a reduced number of apps during this period- but that’s typical for an app company as we’re also waiting for the Apple crew to come back from their holidays.
  • you may see out-of-office replies on some of our emails, there’s a few of us who will be escaping to the beach (it’s summer in NZ!) but we’ll always let you know who else to contact.

Thanks again for all your support, hope you too have a restful break!

WiFi hotspot – resources to help you

WiFi hotspot – resources to help you

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Wifi – the new basic human need!

It is vital the conference centre you choose for your next meeting can accommodate the demands your attendees will put on the broadband by connecting their devices.

Most attendees will have at least one device, more likely two.  They don’t just want to use the event app – they want to respond to emails, book tickets, post to Facebook, watch live streams….basically they want their online experience to be just like it is at home or work.

It’s a tough one for you as event planners.  Here’s our round up of awesome articles that can help you make your attendees happy.

Please comment with any others you have found so we can add to this list.

IACC’s broadband estimator

How to discuss wifi with the venue you’re considering

Our advice on Wifi in your venue

How to discuss your event wifi needs with the tech suppliers

Why poor wifi reflects on your brand – a PowerPoint to share with decision makers to convince them you need to invest in good wifi!

How to order enough bandwidth to satisfy WiFi demand at properties booked

Being there at the beginning…

Being there at the beginning…

 – the first IACC Asia Pacific Conference

So there I was in Sydney, in the hottest part of the year (January) with the biggest bronchial head cold a girl could imagine, putting the final touches on a ninety-minute presentation on disruptive technologies to International Association of Conference Centres.

Sweating much?!

But as it turns out, for no reason (well, the 35C heat was a good reason, as was the flu) as the audience there were thoughtful, engaged and keen to learn. As I got to know them over the three days I understood why.  Here’s my takeaways from the event:

1. Conference Centre managers really care about their business

What a privilege to be in a room of owner operators, of business managers with skin in the game – with a reputation to uphold, and in some cases, a long historical family involvement. I am used to working with managers, convention center administrators, employees and staff. They’re usually passionate about what they do, don’t get me wrong, but only while they’re doing it – it’s their job. This group however lived and breathed their properties, knew the insides and out of their relative performance and kept a weather eye on the industry trends that could affect their livelihoods at any time. They knew each other intimately from hanging out together at events around the world and I got the sense that they had each other’s backs. You don’t get that in every association.

2. The world is still a little bit confused about Australasia

Firstly, that there are two parts to it (New Zealand! The little bit of rock to the right of Australia!). This well-traveled group were of course aware of the geography but I did wonder why January for this first event. For those of you yet to make it to this amazing part of the world, January is holiday time – it’s sun, sand, sea and shiny hotness. It’s when families get together and cities are deserted (and the beaches are full). So planning a conference for January immediately means gathering attendees is going to be hard.  This is a tip for global event planners considering Australasia as a location! I learnt that the IACC membership across Asia Pacific is mostly centered in Melbourne too, which made the choice of Sydney as a location an extra challenge as the two cities are a two-hour flight apart. I know that at the end of the day, it was vital to just Have A Conference and we absolutely made the most of what Sydney had to offer; a highlight for me was walking over the Harbour Bridge (the pic above I took myself! It’s not a postcard!  It’s that beautiful!)

3. Where are the women?

This is not just about the IACC as this is something I yell most days (not always out loud, I do spend a lot of time in airports and they look at you funny if you yell there). But this conference had no ‘in their own right’ female attendees. Forgive me for belittling their attendance as the women who were there, were interesting, intelligent and
contributed to the conversations immensely. But one was there as the wife of the chair, one as part of the organizing venue and one as the wife of the winner of the Copper Skillet competition.  Perhaps the Americas conference will right this skew, and I’m standing by to help the IACC reach out to more women – hopefully my involvement in the Association for Women in Events can help here. On a side note, because it’s the little things, right, I did mention to the beautiful venue we stayed in that it would be awesome to consider that women might ALSO stay in their rooms and therefore extend the hanging space to allow for skirts and dresses…not just suits… 😉

4. Technology is on people’s minds

Which is a relief for us being in the technology business! I noticed a sharp eyed focus in Jo-Anne Kelleway’s expose of how WeChat will take over the world, and in Amanda’s quick fire social media strategy session. There was furious note taking and a genuine desire to understand and apply the content to business immediately. Refer back to point 1 – this audience cares!

In my presentation we spent some heated time discussing WiFi in the venues. This could easily be a half day in it’s own right for a future conference – because it’s a complex, multi layered challenge with a variety of stakeholders to understand. The IACC has already helpfully provided a bandwidth calculator, but it struck me in the conversations we had that there’s still a communication gap somewhere between providers, purchasers and users of this mission critical service or, as my presentation suggested, this basic human need!  We also discussed the use of beacons in venues, with the conclusion that they open up the very real opportunity for venue owners to directly connect with event goers in their spaces via the event app in play. This means those thousands of people that come and go from a property can now be connected with and marketed to – I am looking forward to continuing that conversation at the IACC Americas conferencelater this year.

In conclusion, it was a proud moment for me to be in the room at the very first IACC Asia Pacific conference.  Ever.  I emigrated to this part of the world to immerse myself in the pioneering attitude, and this conference exemplified that in many ways. Not the least it was Mark’s first taste of kangaroo!

Events on the Edge Part 2 – choosing event tech

Events on the Edge Part 2 – choosing event tech

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After a week on the show floor at #ExpoExpo I’ve learnt two things. Shows for show people are the same the world over!  And, despite our reputation as innovators, it’s clear we Kiwis are not the fastest off the block in our uptake of new technologies at our events.  This show had an app, a contact management system, social walls and more.

Unlike other key industries in New Zealand like agriculture and financial services that are constantly breaking new ground, our love of technology is much less apparent in the events sector. Month on month, ShowGizmo supports more events in Australia, the UK, the US and the Middle East than in New Zealand. Tellingly, our tech partners also report that moving organisers from their existing systems to newer/shinier/better ones is exceptionally hard. Social media is still an event innovation, gamification is mostly confined to ‘scan to win’ and ‘events as communities’ is a concept only really exemplified by the larger branding agencies with corporate clients.

Perhaps this is because relationships between event managers and clients are so well established; it’s harder to get new technologies over the line. Or because we’re scared to try something new in case it doesn’t work, and everyone (remember we’re separated by only TWO degrees!) will think we failed. Or simply because our rate of smartphone adoption was behind many other places for some years, our data speeds were and remain slower (only a few cities are even now on 4G) and our data costs are exorbitant.

Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, we have some catching up to do. There are exciting times ahead though. Over the next decade, more than $2 million a year is slated to be spent to almost double the economic spinoff from Auckland’s business events sector to $430 million annually. It’s a critical investment; a bigger events industry will help tackle the problem of seasonality where tourist operators are not busy year round, and if Auckland secured just one percent of the events currently held in Australia, its conference sector would be boosted by 10 percent.  With more certainty we hope there’s more capacity to be brave and experiment with the new technologies available to us — not just the homegrown ones, but the global variety too.

Our strategy for working with companies hesitant to integrate new technologies into their events is to help them think holistically. Sure, we evangelise the many ways in which having a mobile app will increase an event’s ROI (naturally!!), but we also completely understand the need to manage the introduction of new technologies carefully and to understand the implications of each proposed adoption.  As a tech company ourselves we face the same challenges — which new systems to bring in, how to future proof etc.  It’s not easy, but here are three thoughts to leave you with:

                   Keep it in perspective.

Technology is just technology, its primary function is an enabler, so go back to first principles and think about what you’re trying to achieve. Reach more people?  Retain more?  Increase delivery efficiencies?  Make your team happier?  Put the competition in its place by demonstrating a unique value proposition? Every one of those objectives will have many different ways they can be achieved, and using tech might be only one option and possibly not even the best.  At ShowGizmo, we’ve always said that event apps are first and foremost highly versatile communications tools. In that context, what matters is what you want to communicate and to whom. If all you want is to communicate a simple message to a small audience, it may be that a simple -a low-tech whiteboard would be the right solution … and I can’t believe I just said that!

                     Think holistically.

It’s important that your systems talk to each other. In this day and age there’s no reason why not. If they don’t, get rid of the one that’s the island and always check out what integrations are standard when reviewing new tech.

              Go for quality every time.

You want the best, so ask for references, review the standards of other events your suppliers are supporting, etc.  Don’t go for a one-solution-with-everything-in-it and risk sinking to the lowest common tech denominator.  A brilliant event app might include a lack-lustre ticketing system as a bolt on; a slick and powerful registration system may have a ho-hum mobile app that’s not even really an app included in the package.