Small Market Meetings

JUL 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 19 of 45 Managing Meetings 18 Courtesy Pathable "Instead of coming in cold and having to talk about the weather, you come in con- nected," said Martin-Bilbrey. "And it allows event planners to create a more engaging event culture and community without work- ing so hard." Event apps can also serve as two-way com- munication tools between the attendees and the exhibitors or speakers. During a moder- ated Q&A session, people can use the app to send their questions to the speaker or mod- erator. For instance, if a lecture focuses on a particular case study, the speaker might invite his listeners to share their questions and reflections on a virtual message board throughout the session. Brown noted that if you can get people to download this kind of service onto their personal devices, then it is no longer just one person speaking to 500; it is 500 people speaking to each other. Use the app to track attendance. Advanced features like iBeacon technology or session check-ins make it easy for planners to track attendance. iBeacon technology involves setting up "beacons" imbedded with Bluetooth chips throughout the event that activate welcome notifications and other information on attendees' phones when they walk within range. It also identifies their locations so that other attendees can keep track of who has arrived and which sessions are more popular. "It can be a cool way to let people know who is there, or for a scavenger hunt," said Brown. Attendees can also use a session check-in system to mark their locations, which often entails scanning a bar code from the app at different stations. Pathable's apps offer detailed analytics, which meeting planners can use to customize events in real time.

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