An increasing emphasis is being placed on the back-end software and management tools that allow planners to make the most of their time and money. As a result, such software dominates this year’s IBTM Technology Watch Awards shortlist of nominees.
In 2015, the top entrants in the awards included mostly apps, allowing for easier networking, real-time communication or streamlined translation. There was even an interactive, digital DJ instrument. But recent years have seen an increasing number of event management applications, culminating in six of 2018’s nine finalists specializing in behind the scenes management or booking.
As part of the run up to IBTM World 2018 in Barcelona Nov. 27-29, IBTM announced the full list of 2018’s finalists.
- Kubify–an interactive system to create and implement e-posters
- CadmiumCD–a meeting room scheduling, resource management system and event logistic management platform
- Radario–an AI event marketing and analytics platform
- Event Tech Tribe–group marketing of cloud-based event tech products, including an appointment management system and a venue sourcing site
- Zenus Inc and Fielddrive–two companies entered together and working with facial recognition registration
- Spacebase–a direct booking site for unique venues
- IVvy–a direct meeting space booking system for hotels
- SpiceFactory–a speaker management system
- Eventfolio–a multi-event management system
New technology is always on display at the annual IBTM World conference, but this year the show is putting extra emphasis on the latest in tech, from virtual reality to 3D-printed food. The continued Tech Watch Awards are just a small part of shining a spotlight on the new possibilities for planners.
IBTM’s tech awards nominees have advice for planners looking to take that next step. “Start a conversation,” CadmiumCD Marketing Manager Mike Doane says. “The easiest way to learn about technology is to reach out to a company like CadmiumCD and sit in on a demo. You’ll learn what’s available and have the opportunity to ask questions about your specific needs.”
Zenus CEO Panos Moutafis emphasizes that point even further, saying, “Event planners should ask pointed questions which will help them choose the right vendor. That can often make the difference between a huge success and questionable return on investment.” And even before that, he says, “Work with providers who have a deep experience and focus in the industry and technology at hand. The importance of domain expertise cannot be overstated.”
But in the end, remember it is about planning the best events possible. “Don’t be distracted by fads or feel like you need to chase shiny new things,” Marie-Claire Andrews, COO of Event Tech Tribe, says. “Use your knowledge of your stakeholder’s requirements to focus on technology that truly solves their problems or augments their happiness.”
Chair of the judging panel at IBTM World 2018, Corbin Ball said of the nominees “Innovation is alive and well in the events industry.” While not only being innovative, according to Ball, each company is “providing important contributions in advancing the MICE industry.”
As one of the largest meetings, incentives and events conferences each year, IBTM World 2018 is expecting more than 3,000 destinations and companies, and more than 15,000 professionals, from 141 different countries.