Info Salons CEO, Jo-Anne Kelleway, shares how they are introducing new event technology. Jo is not only a client, but an inspirational go-getter woman who consistently uses her knowledge and experience to transform our exhibition industry. Have a read of what she’s up to now…
How do you roll out the best event technology when attendees don’t use it?
Remember event apps? I know there will be many nay-sayers out there who disagree with me. But I’m not talking about tech savvy or public show attendees, I’m talking about normal B2B trade events.
Event tech’s biggest problem is that the regular trade show attendee is uninterested. And don’t bother sending them a survey. Over the past 20 years, it is our experience that most attendees don’t know what they want, or probably more exactly, they don’t know how to express what they want.
2017 is supposed to be the year that Event Tech companies finally come into their own and drive the most interest among attendees and organisers of events. It’s supposed to be all about AI and VR and how integrating these platforms will finally “grab” the attention of the attendee and make them truly engaged with our events… Really?
I’m not sure this will be the case.
We’ve been trying to understand how to engage attendees and exhibitors at live events & exhibitions for decades. That’s why we are rolling out NFC platforms at our events. After playing with lead generation tools for exhibitors, and being limited by exhibitors who don’t follow up leads, we have decided to put the responsibility back in the hands of the attendee. And we want to provide this system in the simplest way possible.
Toyota chief designer Kevin Hunter is famously quoted for saying: “People can’t tell you what they want in the future, but they know what they want now. You have to balance creativity with market acceptability.”
A lot of people attribute the success of great technology like Uber to its User Interface. For me, it’s all about the hassle-free or ‘frictionless’ ease-of-use experience. Using the NFC technology is easy – attendees just tap their badge on areas of interest on the show floor, read the show digest email at the end of the day, click on the e-brochures, and get the information. That’s it. No paper, no business cards, no app taking up precious space in your phone. A great end-to-end customer experience, made possible through the seamless connection of the attendee name badge with the back-end NFC platform.
We’ve even considered the exhibitor too. The NFC platform comes with a lead retrieval app for the proactive exhibitor to qualify their leads & take notes. Now we are seeing a different pattern of behaviour at the event. Deep analysis based on the buyers’ true interest. Not dependent on proactive exhibitors or flawed responses from registration forms, but from actual “taps” from attendee badges as they browse the show floor.
This is factual analysis of what is happening at the event. It’s not guessing why an attendee stood at a certain spot for 10 minutes (maybe they just bumped into someone they knew). Or guessing why an attendee who ticked they were interested in Product 1 on the registration form only stopped at Product 2 booths (maybe they just ticked the first response for every question). Unlike other systems, the attendee is touching exhibitor products or session rooms when they are really interested.
Our NFC products are true engagement today, using platforms that are easy, cost effective, and work. We rolled out this technology at through the whole of AIME 2017 in Melbourne. It was received well and I loved personally answering questions at the event.
What will the future bring? We cannot predict where technology will take us and I’m sure that AI will play a huge part in our lives. We just have to work out when to use the technology in our events and I believe this will be when we are all using it in our everyday lives.
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