Stayin’ Alive – How to Avoid the Onsite Cloud Disaster

a safe place to workWe’re a cloud-based industry, that’s for sure!

There’s a lot of statistics and reports out there pointing out that anywhere from 75% to 95% of the event industry now operates in the cloud.

It’s a given that there’s a huge upside to operating in the cloud – the real time and collaborative nature of the cloud allows technology platforms to provide services and functionality that were unheard of just a few years ago.

But what happens if you have opened onsite registration at your biggest event of the year and you experience an Internet slow down or outage? It’s not like you can close the doors for a few hours!

Like any new industry, smart event planners are figuring out how to take care of business and plan for the unexpected.

One useful trick is bringing in your own router equipped with a 3G/4G sim card installed. Use it as the main access point between the venue’s Internet connection and your onsite systems. Hopefully nothing disastrous ever happens, but if there was an outage, your router will automatically switch to the mobile data service via your sim card.

That way, badges can be printed, attendees can still check in and you can still run reports and take care of business.

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EventsAIR_logoMelbourne Australia – February 21, 2017 – At the 2017 Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), Centium Software, publisher of the award winning event management platform EventsAIR, announced the release of the EventsAIR Continuity Server.

The first ever product of its type released to the meetings industry, the EventsAIR Continuity Server is an innovative new technology that constantly synchronizes an offline version of the event database that is being served by the cloud. If a slowdown or outage occurs, the Continuity Server automatically switches to the offline version and allows event check-in, badge printing and many other critical services to continue without interruption.

When the Internet connectivity is restored, the EventsAIR Continuity Server re-synchronizes all data back to the cloud so all operations continue in real time.

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It’s Not Just Technology – Getting Back to the Basics of Event Management

Group of business people meeting during a conventionIt’s an exciting time to be a meeting planner!

Meetings technology has been rapidly evolving, driven by dramatic growth in cloud computing, mobile devices, and moved along by the parallel growth in the overall world of technology.

Every month, meeting organizers are being bombarded with all types of new tech to consider! Every month there is a blog or magazine article talking about what is new, what is coming and what is on the horizon in meetings technology.

We’re all talking and discussing things like augmented reality, body heat mapping, the Internet of Things, beacon technology, wearable devices, event intelligence, and that oldie but goodie, virtual meetings.

It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it has great potential to make our meetings more effective, efficient and less costly. What’s not to like?

The short answer is while there is a lot to like, there’s a lot of reasons to exercise some caution!

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It’s 2017 – Do You Really Need a Third Party Vendor for your Onsite Technology?

thirdpartyTo better service their participants and stakeholders, meeting planners are constantly challenged by the need to implement new technology for their meetings and events.

Previously, whether it was onsite check in, self-service check in, attendance tracking, exhibitor lead retrieval and mobile apps, the only real option for most meeting planners was to bring in an outside, third party vendor.

Technology was too new, or too equipment intensive, or too specialized to deal with. Who had the time and the staff to deal with all of it? It was a bargain to spend five or ten thousand dollars to get the job done and make your clients happy.

But, there was a downside to all this, a dirty little secret no one really wanted to deal with.

  • It wasn’t the cost, even though it was quite costly to bring in a third party vendor. After all, your client or your attendees paid the bill, what did you care?
  • It wasn’t the performance, since everything, mostly, worked as advertised.

The REAL issue was your data integrity and accuracy!

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What’s Up with Lead Management?

badgeLead Management is a broad term to describe the collection of leads at trade shows or exhibitions and what you do with those leads after they have been acquired.

So, what’s the difference between lead retrieval and lead management, and why is this important to today’s technology savvy meeting organizers?

In brief:

  • Lead retrieval simply refers to the collection of leads.
  • Lead management refers to collection of leads and how you process and organize that data to maximize your follow up sales processes.

Lead management includes:

  • Lead Collection
  • Lead Profiling
  • Lead Follow Up

According to a research study sponsored by Lynch Exhibits Inc., 98 percent of all exhibitors at shows collect leads in some fashion. The same study found that less than 70 percent had any formalized plan for lead follow up and only 47 percent tracked leads through the resulting sales cycles. More notable, the same survey showed that only 28 percent measured the success of their lead retrieval efforts.

Lead retrieval tools and services have been around for many years, and for many of those years, the processes and technology have remained pretty much the same.

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When the Magic is Gone…How to Break Up with Your Meetings Technology Partner!

november-imageIt’s been a great run.

You’ve been with your registration and meeting management technology partner for quite a few years. At first, it was exciting and productive. For the first time, you were able to collect registrations online, manage their details, run reports and even do things like print name badges and export to Excel!

You were giddy with the riches your technology partner offered.

Even when they started asking you to sign multi-year contracts to get preferred per-person registration fees, you didn’t mind. You were going to be with them forever!

Even when your meeting planner business grew, and your costs continue to grow with no end in sight, you sighed and simply tried to the make the best out of it.

However, one day you woke up and realized that the magic was gone.

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