Seamlessly integrating technology into meetings and events is imperative for greater delegate experience, explain some leaders in the sector.

Event attendees care little about the secrets behind the technology at the meetings, exhibitions and events they are attending. They just want one thing: that using the technology makes their experience better.

In the exhibition space, that was made no clearer than at the recent Luxperience event at Australian Technology Park, and at The Event Show Sydney at Royal Randwick, where the organisers of each show chose to use the Sprintr registration system.

As an introduction to each show, from a delegate experience this technology is so good. Once you have registered to attend the event online you can receive an SMS which has a special number that you input into the Sprintr device at the front door of the exhibition. Literally 30 seconds later your delegate badge is being printed out and you’re on your way. Alternatively, you can wave the QR code that you were emailed and the same thing happens. It’s all a bit like self check-in for a flight at the airport but without the need to print out bag tags or change seats. And it works. Queues are minimised and time-poor attendees can get on with the reason that they’re attending the exhibition in the first place.

Much like the change in registration software, changes to venue booking software have also been coming thick and fast. President of EventBooking, Steve McKenzie, says for the past 20+ years, software companies in this space have been focused on the features and functions they offer, and not necessarily looking at the bigger picture of what a venue needs from ALL of its technology.

Some could either “do it all” in their software, or the software package was a single point solution to provide standalone functionality and reporting.

“This approach started to get a little shaky around the time mobile technology started becoming the rule instead of the exception,” McKenzie explains.

“Why was this a catalyst? Because like most drivers of change, it came from the person attending the event looking for newer, faster and better ways to get that ultimate event experience – from buying tickets to ordering services.

“The same type of demand for change can be likened to buying a TV – it used to be we expected the TV to provide access to publicly available channels. That progressed to where it had to connect to cable/satellite providers, and now to where we expect the TV to connect to the internet, to Apple TV and other devices we have in our homes. After all, why not? We want a better experience than just what the TV offers out of its box. We expect collaboration.”

McKenzie says some might argue that their software can “do it all”.

“The fact is though, that no single solution does everything that a venue needs to do. Or to put it even more succinctly, they can’t possibly do it all well. Ever heard that phrase `Jack of all trades and master of none?’ – that definitely applies in this case.

“And standalone systems that offer one set of functionality (even if they do that one thing really well) with little or no integration to anything else are equally as old school as the `all in one’ solutions. In today’s world, both of the above approaches have left venues feeling frustrated and it can potentially inhibit their growth as they try to offer new ways to do things for their clients and attendees but can’t because their core systems haven’t been able to provide the technological capabilities to do it. These days, venues want the best, easiest-to-use and most flexible systems on the market to provide them with ways to manage each of these many areas, but they also want to get meaningful insights into trends and analysis from these systems that takes into account the entire business, not each individual system.

“The future of event technology lies in collaboration. No single system can offer the breadth that today’s venue is looking for when trying to bring the attendee, the venue and the destination together to create the ultimate event experience and the ultimate benefit to the location/city.”

EventsAIR expands groundbreaking App Store for PCOs

EventsAIR, the cloud-based event management platform for PCOs and meeting planners, has released an update to their App Store.

The EventsAIR App Store offers a complete library of specialised Apps, such as On Site Check-In, Access Control, Exhibitor Meeting Matching, Audience Live Polling and more.

Designed for the needs of PCOs and other meeting planners, the App Store provides advanced functionality that was previously only available by employing costly third-party service providers.

A departure for the industry, the Apps in the EventsAIR App Store are included in the base license. Coupled with the option for unlimited registrations, the EventsAIR team has laid the groundwork for a whole new approach to managing events and meetings.

“In designing EventsAIR, our vision was to create a holistic platform that gives a PCO every tool they need for end-to-end event management,” said Trevor Gardiner, CEO of Centium Software.

“The App Store is the way our team can continuously deliver innovations for the events industry. This latest update is consistent with our commitment.”

The latest expansion of the EventsAIR App Store includes a comprehensive lead management solution for exhibitions.

The Exhibitor Lead Management app allows event organisers to offer advanced lead retrieval services without the need for specialised hardware and external databases.

Fully integrated with the EventsAIR platform, exhibitors will be able to capture the details of every visitor to their stand using any smartphone or tablet.

ICC Sydney to offer the best of the best

Opening in December, the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) promises to deliver a new standard in the industry in terms of technology explains director of audio-visual services, Brian Nash.

Created from the ground up, it is a purpose-designed digital venue which not only supports the needs of today, but has the capability to flex and adapt for decades to come.

A critical component underpinning ICC Sydney’s flexibility is the 10Gbps optical fibre backbone upon which it has been built. This provides the power and freedom for the team to truly lift the bar in terms of industry standards.

“Unlike other venues, we have been able to hard wire a high calibre, functional IT network hardwired into every room, allowing for multiple live interactive systems, video streaming, huge file transfers and much more,” he explains.

“The technological foundation of ICC Sydney also ensures the venue is consistently connected with outstanding Wi-Fi capability across the integrated precinct. Indeed, there are 955 access points which ensure there is high bandwidth, high density and robust wireless connectivity across the venue.”

In an unprecedented move, the precinct has also combined its ICT and AV departments to deliver a frictionless digital experience. All formal meeting spaces are integrated with the AV system, and can be preconfigured with optimal environmental ambiance including lighting control.

“Within the Pyrmont Theatre and the Darling Harbour Theatre, every syllable that leaves the stage will be heard with perfect clarity thanks to a cutting edge sound system and custom-designed acoustic panels,” Nash explains.

“This is the result of 3D modelling during the building’s planning phase, with the architectural finishing specified around the AV requirements of the area.”