Our world today is saturated with technology. It is nearly impossible to find a person who does not own a cell phone, tablet, or laptop. Technology has even made its way over to the meeting industry; a room once filled with pens and paper has been replaced with smart phones and iPads. As meeting planners, it is essential to be familiar with the latest technology.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Silicon Valley has taken technology to a new level by utilizing a robot (known as “Dash”) to deliver all amenities to guests. According to the hotel’s director of sales, David Wang, “Dash is fun, cool and more useful than any of us really expected.” Imagine having a robot with the ability to service the entire meeting!
If you’re looking to engage your guests with a more realistic tactic, consider the Catchbox. It is a wireless microphone, covered in foam and is safe to be thrown to audience members. Not only is this device unique and fun, it helps build rapport between the speaker and audience members. Not to mention it will ensure attentiveness, as no one wants to be the person who is hit in the head with the Catchbox.
Gamification is also an excellent way to improve meeting motivation and engagement. Gamification, as it sounds, is the act of combining game with technology. Meeting apps are a great way to create interactions among attendees, but according to Erika Blaney, about 70 percent of all app downloads are never used.” This is why it is crucial to make the app meaningful, and dare I say it, fun!
Technology has even made its mark on site visits. President of Corporate Planners Unlimited, Sherry Parks, admits that she will not visit a site without Google Glass to record and store the inspection. This way she is able to easily share the information with her colleagues and clients.
As you can see, technology is rapidly changing, but it is important to keep in mind that the device must connect with the audience. “Keeping up with technology, being able to talk the talk about what is coming and how it is going to be useful, makes the planner that much more essential,” says James Spellos, President of Meeting U. So whether you are planning on implementing a robot, or simply spicing up a meeting app, it is vital to watch upcoming technology trends and know how they will influence your next meeting or big event.
Written by Kalyn Tripodi
JNR Incorporated is a globally recognized leader specializing in creating custom programs that motivate, engage and reward the employees, customers and channel members of our Fortune 1000 clients. For over 35 years, JNR has designed and delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions including incentive travel, prepaid reward and gift cards, meetings and conferences, events and entertainment, technology solutions and marketing communications. Our programs produce measurable results and are proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.