By now I am sure you have read the latest “State of the Meeting Industry” survey of over 380 meeting planners conducted by the US based organization Destination Hotels & Resorts. The survey mapped out the business of meetings and how those meeting planners surveyed see our industry shaping up for 2013. In a recent blog I touched on some of the upcoming trends that were identified in the survey like meeting location, budgets and green meetings. In that same survey over 36% of those questioned stated the “use of meeting technology is on the rise” and all signs suggest that will only continue grow. The survey also stated some of the more widespread uses include web conferencing, streaming media and onsite video production.

Grab Event Technology by the You Know What!

It’s been said over and over, an event and meeting planner’s job is a tough one. Chock filled with an unheard of amount of details, details, details that at some point must be pulled together to become a successful meeting or event. No matter what I always feel like I go one step forward that results in taking two steps back when it comes to meeting and event technology. Sometimes I feel like I’m from the stone ages as I continually try to wrap my brain around technology, what’s available and how it can help me do my job in a better and more efficient way.

I am definitely not one to make New Year’s resolutions but this year I vow to get a handle on all things technology.

Event Technology, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps

In 2012 the sale of smart phones according to TechCrunch, grew by a whopping 42.7% and those in the know expect that figure to increase in 2013. Special Events Magazine shares that we can absolutely anticipate advances in technology to guide the events and meetings industry this year. When it comes to planners and planning meetings one of the greatest developments is the use of mobile apps and utilizing them for events and meetings. And really it is all about the delegates and communicating. So the name of the game when it comes to mobile apps is find the right ones that will provide the wants and needs of the planner while delivering the availability as well as the information for the delegates. We already use our smart phones for so much; scheduling, taking pictures, listening to music and as the trend of mobile apps increases engaging delegates will also. And depending on the app we can easily share, involve, engage and meet the needs of our delegates.

Event Technology and Social Media

It has been said that if you are a planner and not using the various social media applications including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to engage delegates you are definitely behind the eight ball. We all feel it, the stress to provide effective planning, better access, quicker circulation and up-to-date communication. No matter what you’re social media scenario now is the time to get on board. So far what I have absorbed when it comes to using social media for events is it’s all about the ROI of time. To save time you must take time to first and foremost verify the platform your delegates utilize. And then you”ll know that is exactly where you want to be. Learn about the platform, its importance and what it will bring to your event or meeting. And take the time to understand, organize and figure out the best approach and plan when it comes to implementing this growing tool. Like anything there are challenges but social media plays an extremely important role in the business of planning meetings so get on board.

Event technology is an important tool in the meetings industry and will continue to grow and enhance the business of planning meetings. It helps us plan, communicate and accomplish our jobs in a better more valuable way. And who isn’t for that? But rest assure it will never be a substitute for online and live meetings. I plan to take the time to understand and accomplish my vow (not resolution) I set out for myself and to learn as much event technology that I need to help make me be a more efficient and effective planner. What about you?

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