How technology is transforming events


One of my speaking bureau just asked me to provide them with a few quick ideas on how technology is changing events, as one of their key clients is having an internal meeting to discuss their future use of technology in events.

I only had 10 minutes free to write something, so it’s far from comprehensive, but I thought worth sharing here.

Before events:
– Connecting with speakers and others attendees
– Identifying who you’d like to catch up with at the event
– Arranging meetings with sponsors or other attendees
– Voting on content to be covered
– Surveys to gain insights into participants and their experiences and views
– Sharing content relevant to the event
– Getting recommendations for people to meet with similar interests, projects etc., using tools such as introNetworks

During events:
– Interactive guide to schedule, including session recommendations based on profiles
– Sophisticated participant technologies such as SpotMe with features such as people radar, meeting recommendations, consensus maps etc.
– Voting and session feedback
– Questions and discussion during events
– Share photos, videos, and audio of the event, create collages and mashups
– Quizzes, competitions, prizes
– Sharing of insights generated
– Live translation

After events:
– Social networking and discussions among people attending the event
– Access to video and other event content
– Run and track initiatives generated from the event
– Suggestions for next events

As I was looking for the links above, I was interested to see that introNetworks has morphed from an events platform to an enterprise platform that helps employees to make useful internal connections, including integration into SocialText. I was also saddened to see that the excellent nTag meeting serendipity enhancer, that I first wrote about in 2002, is now defunct.

For those who are interested in the future of events, below are a couple other pieces I have written on the topic. I actually did a keynote at the Meetings Industry Association conference in 2004, in which I both spoke about and demonstrated technologies and facilitation structures that will create the future of events, however it looks like I didn’t write anything up from that. I will try to get to that.

Why traditional conferences are dying and how unconferences and audience participation are the future of events

Twitter network analysis of events – what’s possible?

  • The only thing I’d add here would be the capacity to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the event after the fact by analyzing twitter and social network data. It’s useful evaluation info. 

  • George Beaton

    Another angle is a paradigm shift. Conventional events start and end. Twitter, etc enables ‘convents’ ie continuous or rolling events.

    • Thanks George for transcending my taxonomy 🙂 Yes that’s a good direction in going beyond old, tired event formats…

  • Haodehuaide
  • Ross, thanks for the shout out – missed it when it was first posted. Yes, we are also doing Enterprise deployments now – and have found that many Enterprises use it for event-centric networking as well. Think of a large company that has a Sales Meeting for instance. The same issue (who do you know, or who do you need to know better) exists inside the organization as well as outside.


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  • sophie.cowen23

    Very interesting read Ross – and I agree with George, the event should continue for the participants after the actual day has come to an end, in terms of both networking and cementing the conference content firmly into the memory of the participants. Have you tried the mobile application Evenium ConnexMe? It facilitates a large proportion of the functions that you mentioned above..connecting with speakers and attendees through the ‘guest list’, sharing content, voting and session feedback, access to video and other content…have a look, I’d be interested to know what you make of it.