tech resources

Exhibit Surveys Launches Two Booth Performance Analysis Services

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March 19  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

 


 
Exhibit Surveys, Inc., the leading provider of research, measurement, and consulting services exclusively for the exhibition and event industry announced in December 2011 that two new products are now available to enhance Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Objectives (ROO) for exhibitors.

Booth Design and Effectiveness Study

Measuring the effectiveness of exhibit design and in-booth activities provides factual, reliable, and third-party research and consultation to justify changes to an existing booth or invest in an entirely new booth, its graphics, and in-booth activities. Delivers the critical data necessary to implement changes that will improve performance and selectively attract more of the right visitors. Quantifies visitor activity and provides feedback to evaluate specific tactical aspects and features of the exhibit for future planning. Tests ideas for future exhibit design and in-booth activities.

Booth Observation and Competitive Intelligence Gathering Services

Exhibit Surveys has developed a detailed set of criteria to evaluate and compare booth design, activities, and personnel against that of specific competitors’. An experienced Exhibit Surveys’ project manager keenly observes the exhibit and competitors’ exhibits during the exhibition. After the show, Exhibit Surveys delivers an unbiased, detailed, report highlighting and illustrating each exhibit’s activities. Actionable recommendations and insights are included.

“Through the decades, we have developed myriad proprietary research tools to assess and analyze exhibits and events, and we’ve applied these insights to our two new products,” commented Joe Federbush, vice president, sales and marketing, Exhibit Surveys Inc. “Our experienced research and consulting staff is uniquely qualified to utilize these tools to provide recommendations and direction that can be immediately applied toward improving exhibit results and ensure success.”

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Smart City Networks releases findings of telecommunications and technology survey

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November 3  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

The technology needs of the events industry continue to change rapidly as more tablets, smart phones and wireless devices come on the market; thus, Smart City Networks conducted a comprehensive survey to study the latest technology and telecommunications issues affecting convention centers nationwide.

Survey shows need for more education in events industry about technology capabilities

The survey focused on four primary issues:

  • Perceptions of “good” technology in the convention center market,
  • Understanding of Wi-Fi, free or not, by all parties,
  • Customer frustrations with technology,
  • Beyond the technology of today, including the development of 4G, digital signage and a connected campus.

Overall, the survey found that providing more information to the events industry, including show managers, exhibitors and attendees, about technology capabilities and costs is critically needed.

 


 

Specifically, over 70 percent of convention center managers recommend that show managers be better informed about the need for constant investment in infrastructure, the cost to deliver wireless services and the capabilities of wireless networks.

And 64 percent of venue managers and CVB stakeholders feel that event managers need more realistic expectations about the pricing and type of telecommunications and technology services offered at convention centers – a finding which again supports the need for more education about connectivity options, capabilities and costs.

“It’s not surprising that with free Wi-Fi at your neighborhood Starbucks or McDonalds, that many event managers, exhibitors and attendees do not understand what it takes to provide quality Internet service for thousands of people at once, in one location,” said Mark Haley, president of Smart City Networks. “This survey helps us to understand the needs of the facilities we serve, especially with regard to educating the events industry on technology capabilities, and how to move forward.”

Haley added that the survey echoes, in part, the findings of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) survey released earlier this summer.

The Smart City Networks survey showed that while show managers may ask for free Wi-Fi, over half do not specify a specific wireless service or speed. And building managers responded that a variety of Wi-Fi offerings should be provided, including: tiered wireless pricing options (76 percent of respondents), free Wi-Fi sponsored by an event (54 percent) and free Wi-Fi in public spaces (42 percent). Only 25 percent of those surveyed believe that free Wi-Fi should be available in the entire building.

“The survey showed that while most facility managers believe that some basic Wi-Fi should be offered for free, there is still great concern as to how a building can continue to upgrade the network and infrastructure without a consistent revenue stream from the wireless services,” added Haley.

The survey also addressed the growing trend of digital signage, and a significant 86 percent of venue managers said they were interested in having a permanent digital signage system in the public areas of their facilities. Fifty-six percent of the respondents saw a number of ways in which a digital signage system can add value. The two most popular uses of digital signage were for way-finding / building information and advertising opportunities.

Additionally, the survey asked convention center executives and CVB leaders about creating a “connected campus,” specifically connecting convention center hotels to the convention center network via fiber, copper or wireless Internet. The “connected campus” concept is seen as beneficial to a majority of the facility industry. The most appealing features of a “connected campus” included the ability to improve the attendee experience, extend show information and offer integrated Wi-Fi.

Another significant finding of the survey was that 90 percent of venue managers and stakeholders said that telecommunications and Internet can or should be exclusive at facilities. Consistency and offering reliable, quality services were identified as important factors by facility managers in maintaining exclusive contracts for technology services.

“The findings of this survey will help us to develop wireless Internet products that best meet the changing needs of convention centers as well as the entire event industry,” concluded Haley.

The complete report on the survey can be found at http://www.smartcitynetworks.com and at http://www.red7media.com/researchandconsulting/.

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New APEX Tool for RFPs Now Available

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October 27  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

The Convention Industry Council recently released a new APEX tool to assist planners with creating and managing RFPs.  The new APEX RFP Workbook offers planners a way to keep the most common RFPs associated with a meeting, convention, exhibition or event in one convenient location.  Drawing from the full APEX RFP documents, the APEX RFP Workbook takes a streamlined spreadsheet-driven approach, removing as much unnecessary or duplicative information as possible, and providing simple, drop-down menus and auto-populating fields where possible.

 


 
“Our goals in creating the APEX RFP Workbook were to provide a simple resource that was built on ‘APEX DNA’ and focused on being accessible and easy to use and understand”, stated MaryAnne Bobrow, Bobrow & Associates, chair of the APEX Standards Review Council (SRC), the volunteer body that created the tool.  “The full APEX RFP documents are valuable resources to our industry and are enormously comprehensive blueprints.  The Workbook translates those blueprints into a handy tool,” she concluded.

The APEX RFP Workbook includes templates for single facility events; citywide events / destination; event technology/audio-visual; DMC & transportation services; and general service contractors.

“One of the benefits of moving to a spreadsheet format for the templates is that they can continue to adapt and improve over time to include new functions and to correct any problems,” said Doug McPhee, Experient Sales Network, who chaired the of the Standards Review Council when the project began. “The SRC Council anticipates that feedback from planners and suppliers alike will continually improve the workbook on an ongoing basis.”

The APEX RFP Workbook is available free of charge from the Convention Industry Council website, http://www.conventionindustry.org/StandardsPractices/APEX/RFPWorkbook.aspx.

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MeetingApps.com Reaches 2,500th App Milestone

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October 25  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

MeetingApps.com is pleased to announce that its on-line app directory has reached its 2,500th app. MeetingApps.com is the only portal in the world dedicated to finding the best apps for our industry. Since the launch of MeetingApps.com in August, 2010 the portal is now used by meeting and event professionals in over 143 countries.

 


 
MeetingApps.com founders, Kirsten Strand, BSc, CITE, CMM, Joseph Lo and Jane Huynh recognize the sponsors who shared the vision of making it easy for planners to instantly find apps relevant to the meeting industry. Strand comments: “It was just last December that we posted the 1,000th app on our site. Jane Huynh has been overseeing the app research activities, including the sourcing and categorizing the apps. We have been impressed with the quality and range of apps that are available for meeting industry professionals.”

MeetingApps.com invites the meeting planning community to submit new apps related to the meetings industry either on-line at http://meetingapps.com/submit.php or by email at info@meetingapps.com.

To find the ideal app for your personal travel experience, next meeting or event, visit www.MeetingApps.com.

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