From the show floor – SIES 2015

From the show floor – SIES 2015

We recently attended the Sydney International Endoscopy Symposium – SIES 2015 for short – in Sydney where ShowGizmo was used for the second time round!

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.03.36 pmOur app concierge Lauren (seen above) was a bit wary going into this event as SIES is renowned for its incorporation of live surgeries into the programme. These surgeries are streamed straight from the hospital OR! However, Lauren says she saw “minimal ‘flesh’ shots’ … a big relief!

Like many medical conferences around the globe, the SIES audience included a high proportion of the older age demographics. This is often perceived to be a barrier to having high uptake levels and engagement with the app. Despite this perception,at SIES, over half of the 600+ delegates actively used the app which can largely be attributed to the great promotion of the app before and during the event! Having a concierge onsite also allowed for troubleshooting on the day and fast resolution of any access issues.

The organisers successfully made the app an integral part of the event by using a number of key features well and highly visible promotion – like the AMAZING app concierge desk above!

1. Live polls were used in an interesting way. During the six featured surgeries questions were directed to the audience from the surgeons regarding the procedures and intercut with ‘flesh’ footage- proved to be a great engagement tool! Some MC’s and surgeons were more into it than others which resulted in higher participation levels – getting the right people briefed/involved is key! What ways could live polling be used to engage the crowd at your event?

2. The organisers also offered a daily prize – $100 gift voucher for the most active app delegate – which was an effective and simple idea that got people favouriting, messaging and evaluating! Could you offer a similar prize at your next event to encourage active app usage?

3. Promotion of the app included a detailed PowerPoint with screenshots and text that demonstrated the main features of the app. This was shown at the beginning of the first day and on screens in the exhibitor hall! How could you better promote your app to delegates?

While results were positive there is always room for improvement – there was potential for getting exhibitors more involved, providing the audience with the ability to ask questions via the app and providing delegates with more content such as presentations and patient updates which both sides can take on board for the future!

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….

A perfectly professional alliance

A perfectly professional alliance

SmartShow is delighted to announce a partnership agreement with The Association of Administrative Professionals NZ (AAPNZ). This partnership will see top event app ShowGizmo used at AAPNZ’s annual conference and Administrative Professionals Day (APD) in 2014 and made available to AAPNZ partners and alliances.

The event smartphone app of choice at more than 240 events around the world in 11 countries on 5 continents, ShowGizmo was created by Wellington-based SmartShow Ltd in 2010 to leverage the smartphone revolution. ShowGizmo, has since become one of the international market leading event apps.

“We’re the #1 app for New Zealand event producers. This year we are gunning for the top spot in Australasia, something that will be delivered by developing long-term strategic alliances with organisations such as AAPNZ where we can work closely together to help their members get the maximum out of their investment in attending events,” says Marie-Claire Andrews, SmartShow’s Chief Executive. “Having been a member of AAPNZ at the start of my career, I’m personally delighted to be working with the association again”.

Representing nearly 500 members throughout New Zealand as well as being affiliated to those professional associations overseas; AAPNZ is the professional association for administrative assistants, administration managers, executive assistants, executive officers, clerical assistants, office managers, personal assistants, receptionists, secretaries and typists — in fact all administrative professionals. Teachers, trainers and consultants in an administrative position are referred to as AAPNZ Licentiate members.

By using ShowGizmo, AAPNZ will be able to make all its event information available to attendees. When they download the ShowGizmo app to their phones, attendees in effect get the event in the palm of their hands. They can select which sessions they wish to attend, rate and review speakers and sessions, vote, collect brochures, request meetings, have their say in public chat, see what’s going on and who’s saying what via the event feed.

“Mobilising our events using an app like ShowGizmo will be a game changer for our organisation and recognises the role technology plays in contemporary life, particularly the reliance on mobile devices as an essential tool connecting and staying in touch,” says Wendy Rapana who is Chair of AAPNZ Professional Development Limited (PDL) which focuses on PD opportunities and career pathways for the association’s members.

The partnership means that ShowGizmo will also be available to AAPNZ’s strategic partners and affiliate organisations, including the New Zealand Institute of Management (NZIM), on advantageous terms.


For more information contact:

Wendy Rapana on 027 2758531 or email

One of the seven wonders of the 21st century … or Apple’s mid-life crisis?

One of the seven wonders of the 21st century … or Apple’s mid-life crisis?

… ground breaking … everything is in flux … it’s seismic … polarising … Apple has set fire to iOS … it’s an opportunity that only comes along every 3 – 5 years …

A lot of extravagant claims are being made about the launch of Apple’s much-anticipated new operating system iOS 7, but from many the response is more muted, including the suggestion that Apple is experiencing something of a mid-life crisis.

So what’s all the fuss about? There’s no question that Apple’s operating system has undergone an extreme makeover. In addition to many new features and the something like 1,500 new APIs that developers will be diving into like the hungry into a cornucopia, there are new navigation and structural standards which The Showmanator is told are way beyond any previous UI changes. It’s also going to be faster, a real bonus for all of us event app users chasing the holy grail of rapid load speeds.  There’s also a lot of technical stuff that is making our dev team jump up and down in excitement.

But what does all that really mean to the average punter? Largely, it translates into a vastly different look and feel — apps developed on the new OS will be great looking, fast and equipped with all those APIs that make Geeks look starry-eyed. Many apps built for earlier iOS and updated are going to look old and tired very soon, even if they can overcome the technical barriers. Phew, just as well our fantastic new app that’s being released in November has been designed and built on iOS 7, although it will still run effectively on iOS 6 and iOS 5 too.

The fundamental design change is the move from skeuomorphic to flat design. If you don’t know (most of us Gizmologists didn’t), Skeuomorphism is a design concept which is about making things look as if they’re something else. Who knew? Skeuomorphs are deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, or to embrace habits too deeply ingrained to wash away. It allows the user to tell what an object provides or does based on its appearance … like app ‘buttons’ which by looking like … er … buttons … inspire people to press them. An example is the iBook App with its tacky wooden bookcase suggesting your personal online library. The developers didn’t quite extend to providing ‘ex libris’ stickers to complete the metaphor, but they might as well have. At the time, in the new-fangled world of appery, it probably made sense so users would know what to do without the need for lengthy instructions.

With iOS 7, Apple has finally ditched this look-alike approach — presumably on the basis that app users no longer need metaphor to ‘get it’?  Instead, Apple has gone for simple, clean two-dimensional graphic lines which are as different from previous iOS as … well … Macs used to be from PCs.  The seeming flatness opens up a multi-layered approach offering exciting visuals that look fab and feel intuitive and very now — much closer to one of the new seven wonders rather than the result of an Apple mid-life crisis. In fact, our team love it and can’t wait for all the gorgeous new apps that are surely poised to be launched on the back of it.

How hard can that be?

How hard can that be?

This is a question — in the context of adding to ShowGizmo’s feature set or functionality — that has quite dramatic effects on our development team. Responses have been known to range from a simple vacant stare to varying degrees of eye-rolling accompanied by unbecoming frothing at the mouth or, in the most extreme cases, rolling around on the floor clutching head and screaming hysterically!

Those of us who are not burdened by the knowledge of how things work in ‘Geekdom’, have never really been able to get our heads round these seemingly over-the-top responses. After all, how hard CAN it be to change the background colours in our BlackBerry app for example? Just a little tweak surely? Apparently not. That particular request only induced a bark of laughter, but then we were talking BlackBerry and nothing relating to BlackBerry apps is apparently easy or straightforward.

If sales people actually had the blindest idea how difficult such minor tweaks were to achieve, many innovations would never happen. It’s a bit of a demonstration of hope (sales thinking) triumphing over experience (development head space) but as we move closer to launching our new app interfaces, all we can say is a big hallelujah for both.

So on to …. “How hard can it be to include 1 and 2D Bar Codes as well as QR codes in ShowGizmo?” We thought this would be a case of light the blue touch paper and stand back! Again, apparently not.  This suggestion didn’t even justify the most minor of eye-rolling and what a difference this would make to life the universe and everything … including event budgets. Imagine a world where one app really does rule them all? A world in which polling, badging, registration, scanning all sit in one, fantastic value for money package. Well, from where we are now, it’s not that big a stretch … or that far away.