Technology: Where do you stand?

I just read an article in a recent issue of Convene Magazine about new data collection advances “All in the Wrist” by Michelle R. Davis.  It speaks of a wristband.  Apparently the newest technology, the Lightwave wristband can record the movement, sound, and excitement of a crowd.  The article says it can help speakers and entertainers and meeting managers to explore “the interactive experiences, unlock key moments and change the environment dynamically”.  It is believed that if used at meetings and conferences it can enhance the program, not to mention distinguish who is doing what.  It seems it can even tell if you are distracted, looking at your phone messages.  If people are not engaged, the planner or speaker, etc can make changes to program and content to create more interaction.  Sounds like a good idea, but is it?  This is new and probably not within a price range yet to be feasible on a meeting to meeting basis.

However, there are other technology applications that are being used… such as beacon technology that is becoming more prevalent in the world of conference and meetings.  It can be included in a mobile app for the meeting or incorporated into a name badge and allows the sponsor to know where an individual is at any point in time throughout the meeting.  On a positive side it can work wonders if attendees at a meeting need to collect ‘continuing education units’ for designation retention… it relieves the need of swiping a badge at the door as you enter or leave a session.  It can also tell if you stay for the whole session.  However I am not sure I am comfortable with the organization knowing my movements, more on principle and on being somewhere is shouldn’t be.  It just feels intrusive.  I confess I was at a conference recently where the beacon technology was built into the app but at least it asked first if you would accept it.  I declined every time.

For more information on the benefits and pitfalls on beacon technology (in general) follow the link:

Over the past number of years, technological advances in the meeting industry have advanced in leaps and bounds.  We have real time audience response systems (been around for a while), video conferencing – while not new the improvements are astounding, live streaming, and even the even app is not that old and is evolving into a better and more interactive product year to year. 

I have been in the meeting management business a long time and I learned long ago you absolutely have to stay current with the trends and technologies to be successful.  Personally I embrace that point of view.  Most meeting and events technology is good, even great, but there are some things I will tend to take a pass on.  You have to decide what works for your attendees.  Just because it is new and innovative does not mean it is a keeper.  What do you think?

For some additional information on new technology in the events industry check out the following: