37 | EIBTM Show Daily | day 1                                                                                             ...
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Eibtm showdaily2010 Crisis Management and Event Technology article Sam Smith and Ruud Janssen


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Article from EIBTM's Show Daily (With credit to Eric Mottard of EventoPlus for the creation of this article)

CRISIS MANAGEMENT? Technology can help, say Ruud Janssen and Sam Smith

The two famous tech-savvy consultants of our industry are back this year. This time, after a year in which many events rediscovered crisis management, they will talk about how technology can save an event by doing things like maintaining communication or finding alternative broadcasting solutions. You too have to be ready, so read on.

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Eibtm showdaily2010 Crisis Management and Event Technology article Sam Smith and Ruud Janssen

  1. 1. 37 | EIBTM Show Daily | day 1 Tuesday 30th November TECHNOLOGYCrisis management? Technology can help, Isn’t it hard for people to follow And the winner is…say Ruud Janssen and Sam Smith a meeting from their computer? Email and thousands of cool web Sherpa’s pages are calling out for a user’s attention... Who would leave the Mobile AppThe two famous tech-savvy consultants of our industryare back this year. This time, after a year in which What was the most interesting example of how technology helped a meeting mouse alone and focus? Ruud: Distractions are possibly the big- wins EIBTMmany events rediscovered crisis management, they will when the volcano erupted in Iceland and grounded many flights? gest threat to the ability for anyone to concentrate on a single stream of infor- WorldWidetalk about how technology can save an event by doingthings like maintaining communication or finding Ruud: I was asked the same in a tweet after the volcano erupted. As a result, I mation. But allow me to draw the com- parison to the effect of an average book Technologyalternative broadcasting solutions. You too have to be wrote an account of my personal experi- ence when I was due to speak at an event or that of a page-turner that you read back to back through the night. The key Watchready, so read on… in Poland and all speakers got grounded. word is audience engagement. We created a plan B which used the sim- In September, Sam and I were involved plest tools, ones practically all present- in a hybrid event experience where audi- ers were comfortable using. All speakers ence engagement was at the core of the reverted to a remote presentation using event design. Event Camp Twin Cities was Skype and phone as a backup. an experiment around innovation, col- The other case was the creation of laboration and social experimentation. a spontaneous event when many del- The results show me that if we learn egates were stranded in London after how to design hybrid events correctly, the Skoll World Forum in Oxford. One of we can engage audiences. Participants the stranded delegates took the initia- want to be heard, listened to and engaged. tive to organise a spontaneous TEDxVol- When they feel they are being served, cano, one that was live streamed and put they withstand the distractions and pay together in less than 24 hours. attention. What we must not do is try to replicate the type of events we have always participated in live and then try Ruud’s advise: to “televise” them. It is called ActivTouch and it is a “The key in any If these technologies enable mobile application for trade shows.Elevator pitch: tell me one technology I should consider for my next sales crisis plan is delegates to follow the conference’s content and connect It manages the relevant “here and now” data of the event. How doesconvention, and why. opening up a direct with others remotely, won’t it work? Information on speakers, attendees, exhibitors and productsRuud: Making a connection point with Sam: I see too many people chasing shiny meetings turn into continuousthose outside the room. Use a conversa- objects and wanting to use a technol- communication online connections? If the “place” are stored in the ActivTouch databasetion aggregator (preferably a rich con-tent) to start the dialogue and keep it ogy because it is cool. Before looking at any specific technology, I ask event line to your key dimension disappears, won’t the “time” element also disappear? and can be accessed at any time via the mobile web. For example, entergoing. Make the content, context, con- planners this question: What are your audience members” Sam: Yes, we are going to see more and the name of an exhibitor or a product and the device automatically gener-nectivity and continuity of the dialogue objectives? To increase attendee dialogue more meetings and events turn into athe core priority whether the dialogue and interaction? Extend the duration of single touchpoint in a continuous stream ates a map of the show floor, withis public or proprietary. In both cases your event? Include more participation? What should a meeting planner do of conversations and dialogue that will a highlighted route from the cur-content aggregators exist to give eve- Make operations more efficient? Once I during the next volcano eruption: last all year. However, we are still social rent location to the desired booth.ryone a voice and chance to contribute. understand the event’s objectives, I can have a logistics plan B and a creatures and we still want to meet face- recommend technology tools that can technology plan B? to-face. Also, we are still going to want match these needs. Ruud: The key in any crisis plan is open- to work together on projects, both online ing up a direct communication line to and offline. I recently organised a con- The solution combines your key audience members. Participants, ference where we had over 550 people a database of allRuud’s advise: Sam’s advise: speakers, key suppliers and organising working online with attendees in three exhibitors, products remote sites to brainstorm and rank“Making a “I see too many team members must know where to look for reliable up-to-date information on those solutions. By working together, and sessions with a localisation solutionconnection point people chasing the event. The organisers must always know how to reach employees, team more people had a stake in that out- come than if it were just done in an more precise thanwith those outside shiny objects and members, speakers, suppliers and other online discussion group. GPS systems for easythe room, using wanting to use key stakeholders. This can be via a web- site, a Twitter hash tag, multiple real-time orientationa conversation a technology channels or a mass notification system. Sam’s advise:aggregator to start because it is cool. The contingency planning should include a crisis team split in two key “We are going Thanks to this “Here&Now” fea-the dialogue and Planners have to areas: communication; and contingency to see more and ture, participants can find exhibitors,keep it going” think thoroughly planning, logistics and quick financial impact scenarios. This is where the real more meetings products, sessions and keynotes that are happening that very moment about their organisers will distinguish themselves from and events turn within an area of 50 to 100 feet (the GPS systems already included the amateurs. Being ready to connect to objectives first” your audience not only live but also in into a single in most smartphones are too impre- hybrid ways (and being able to set this up in a flash) is probably the key way touchpoint in a cise to be of use in a trade show). In October and November, Activ- to save the event from going to ashes. continuous stream Touch was used in Vision Expo West 2010 and Global Gaming Expo, bothYou were judges of the WWTW. Any trend you would like to highlight?Ruud: Many submissions were focused Sam: I was pleased with the quantity As a planner you must know one or two people in your direct network that can of conversations held in Las Vegas, ASIS Internationalon putting the power of technology inthe attendee’s hands. The mobility of the and quality of entrants. The big trend that I saw was the drive to “freemium” help or guide you through the crisis. and dialogue that 2010 (Dallas) and ISC Solutions (New York). Over 30 events are sched-technology function is key, whether it or simple low-cost solutions. This is last all year” uled for 2011.be in Mobile Apps, lead retrieval, busi- great news for the industry becauseness (card) exchange, or connectivity lower cost options will mean greater Stand: 0260to the Internet when it is not avail- adoption. Sam and Ruud will hold the ses-able by default. sion “Mission Possible”, moderated Meet Sherpa at the Technology by Patrick Delaney, today at 13:00, Hour Extra session, Lecture Lecture Theatre Theatre, 14:30-15:30