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“If you really want to know about business, you should refer to Scott Steinberg.” -Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Meeting and Event Technology: 5 High-Tech Tips

Dozens of new high-tech advancements promise to impact the meetings, destinations and event planning fields, both from the perspective of industry insiders and everyday working professionals. Looking to give your special occasion or promotional campaign an upgrade? Here are five ways to better connect with audiences and tap into these solutions (sometimes quite literally) in coming months.

Design for Mobile Devices – The future belongs to mobile devices, with more currently in circulation than there are people on the planet. Business, venue and destination websites should be optimized for these platforms – now among users’ primary research tools. Mobile designs need to fit smaller screen sizes, present key information or callouts with fewer clicks, and feature more media designed for rapid search and sharing.

Leverage Cloud Computing Solutions – Online (a.k.a. “cloud) computing apps now let your business travel wherever you do. Solutions like SlideShare, MightyMeeting and Prezi allow you to screen presentations for clients on portable screens, while tools including Google Docs, Dropbox and Zoho allow for remote group sharing, storage and/or collaboration. The good news: All growingly liberate road warriors from their desktop.

Capture and Share Content – Not routinely recording program highlights or promotional spots on video? Stop selling your events and destinations short: Smartphones and tablets with HD camcorders now make it possible to quickly share broadcast-quality clips online at little cost. You can even live-stream the sights and sounds of dream vacations using apps like Qik or Livestream free for customers to enjoy.

Capitalize on Inbound Marketing – Search engines represent a cost-effective way to reach prospective attendees and compete for visibility with larger rivals. To boost ranking and awareness, routinely publish photos, videos, podcasts and more – every organization can share attention-getting hints, tips and advice, or information on tours and destinations, including evergreen pieces (“5 Ways to More Effectively Plan Events”) reusable for future customer reference. Feeling sneaky? Consider also buying Google AdWords (online classified ads) based on rivals’ names or associated keywords (popular search engine terms) that shoppers will see while research competitors.

Invite More Audience Participation – Boost audience engagement and awareness by using creative social outreach campaigns that invite audience participation. Example: Next time you’re running a contest, try asking customers to submit photos, videos or stories of favorite convention experiences, or designs for your next ad campaign, in order to win. All contributions can be shared or featured in ongoing promotional efforts, and provide added incentive for pass-along.

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