Convening Leaders, the annual meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), has always endeavored to bring new, and sometimes experimental, concepts to attendees. That has meant (in part) finding ways to integrate and educate conference-goers on the event technology that impacts them now and in the future. Even without a trade show component, PCMA found myriad ways to highlight state-of-the-art technology.
Most event organizers rely on some form of technology to execute their events. It’s also an excellent way to expose attendees to leading technology providers. The official event mobile app (provided by Core-Apps) was among offerings in this category. Freeman designed a giant video wall called The Mix, which broadcast nine simultaneous live and archived presentation and social media feeds. Other providers, such as etouches and Experient drove the registration and housing for the meeting.
The Mix presented by Freeman
PCMA does a great job of “keeping the love alive” with post-event content. Video “Tech Spots,” which were live streamed from an on-site production studio during the event were also rebroadcast a few weeks later. Because PCMA provides the native video files to participants, Gleanin was able to enhance its Tech Spot—a brief overview of the Gleanin product suite and audience Q & A—and distribute it on social media. Plus, articles about technology featured at Convening Leaders have begun appearing on the PCMA and Convene magazine websites.
PCMA provides technology companies with opportunities to present on topics during more traditional breakout sessions. But it also recognizes that there are many less formal opportunities for collaboration and education that don’t merit participation in a request-for-submissions process. Thus, Convening Leaders featured multiple learning spaces inside its Future of Face2Face area (a tech extravaganza by itself), including the Evolving Business Models theatre where technology was a consistent theme.
Tamar Beck, CEO, Gleanin (fourth from the left) waiting to present on Future Tech 2020
In the absence of a traditional trade show, Convening Leaders has, over the years, offered different exhibit configurations (from kiosks to pods) to technology companies. This year, its Tech Pods served as micro-exhibit spaces and demonstration theaters. They were located both inside and along the entrance corridor to the Future of Face2Face experience. A freestanding, branded hard wall gave visitors an instant understanding of what type of technology was being featured at each pod.
Tech Pods in the Future of Face2Face space
The Tech Bar from Dahlia+ has become a staple at Convening Leaders. It’s best described as a petting zoo for cutting-edge technology. Tech experts at the bar demonstrated a 3-D printer, Mevo (camera for live streaming), Snapchat Spectacles, Jibo (social robot), Kubi (telepresence robot), Fuelbox (charging solution for mobile devices) and Tiles (object trackers), among other products. They also made themselves available to troubleshoot and field questions from meeting planners about event technology.
Tech Bar team from Dahlia+
As the interest in event technology among meeting planners has increased, PCMA has worked diligently to bring it to the surface, educate its users and weave it into the fabric of its premier event. Event organizers seeking information on what it’s like to experience a conference immersed in event technology can contact Tamar Beck directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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