Monday, 31 October 2011

Using apps in the event industry

Using apps in the event industry
We pretty much all now have some form of device that can uses apps, be it iPhone, iPad, Android or BlackBerry. Most of us have some social media apps and possibly a few games or so, but can we use them to be more productive when on-site at an event or conference? Below are my top 10 favourite apps for use within the event industry.
Conference CO2 Calculator
To keep an eye on our carbon footprint
The Conference CO2 travel calculator from Tourism Ireland is an application for the iPhone that allows you to calculate the carbon costs of flying to and from your next international meeting or conference. It will help you work out which locations for your event might be less harmful to the environment than others, depending on where your delegates are travelling from.

World calendar
To make sure we don’t plan a meeting on a bank holiday

World Calendar allows you to choose one or more cities from its database of 30,000 cities in 150+ countries of the world. It calculates fixed and movable dates for public and religious and world holidays.
A "must have" application for Traveller's and people who want to coordinate holidays and meetings around the world.

Mighty meeting
To show our pitch presentation at any moment
With MightyMeeting you can store presentations and demo videos in the cloud and access them anywhere and anytime from the web, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Content can be shared privately in online discussions. It can also be presented in online meetings. Any number of people can start or join a meeting via a lightweight HTML-only application running in a browser or using a native application running on a mobile phone or tablet. Meetings can be run over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G wireless connection.
To make sure you know exactly what you’re doing
Get the best travel app for your iPhone. Builds your itinerary automatically and puts it on your iPhone. Finds flights and hotels. Connects to maps, converts currencies, shows weather forecasts and world clocks.

Super Planner
To make sure you can plan for any eventuality
Super Planner is a business app for the professional event planner. It provides a variety of planning tools, including calculators for venue capacity, staffing, catering, staging, projection and dance floor, as well as useful tips in several areas.

ifly Pro Airport & Flight Guide
To know your way around any airport you’ve been flown into

iFly Pro Airport Guide provides in-depth details to over 700 commercial airports, and is based on the popular service at – but in a portable, native application that can be used off-line.

Want to know what restaurants will be in your terminal, see how to navigate to them? Is there WiFi? How far the connecting gate is? Transport options? Look no further…
To know you can find a good restaurant anywhere

How many times have you found yourself in need of finding the closest Petrol Station?
AroundMe quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theatre, Restaurant, Supermarket, Theatre and Taxi.

For every listing you can choose to see its location on a map, view the route from where you are, add the information to your contact list or even email the information to a friend.

To allow your delegates to get the most out of your event
Attending conferences, tradeshows or just about any event is a whole lot richer experience with Grupio. Grupio provides instant access to event details, social networking (Facebook and twitter), live updates from organizers and more.

As an attendee, you can access event schedules, sessions, speakers and exhibitors. Also, get latest alerts and updates from the event organizers, connect with other attendees before and after the event, share your thoughts on twitter and Facebook. All of this from within the Grupio application!

To make sure your clients are best prepared for their conference
ShowGuide was designed to provide conference attendees a convenient tool to navigate conferences without having to carry bulky printed guides. With ShowGuide, attendees can view all of the courses/sessions, exhibitors, venue maps and general information available for partnered events. You can setup favourites to streamline your event experience. ShowGuide will allow attendees to download and store multiple events to their device for use offline.
To make sure you can take notes at a moment’s notice
The original, best-selling handwriting app for iPad now includes photo annotation. Penultimate gives you the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea - in the office, on the go, or home on the sofa.

Benefits of HTML marketing

We’ve all heard the saying that you “shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, however if the cover is not interesting and appears complicated then the book is likely to remain unread. The same rules apply to marketing and self-promotion material, if your message is received critically then it’s failed before it had chance to begin.

If you have a message, be it promotional or informative it’s important that you understand how it might be most effective both in time and cost, whether you’re aiming your message to the right types of people and how you are going to measure the success of your marketing.

In building up our business, we have tried a variety of marketing ideas including telemarketing, direct mail and small and large format printed advertising. But over time we have found that one of the best ways for us to stay in contact with our clients and produce sales leads has been via HTML Email.

Email marketing produces results! A well designed campaign using a properly managed mailing list can give response rates which are higher than any other marketing methods. The ability to keep clients constantly updated with new pieces of work and articles that are relevant to their industry can allow you to build a reputation of experience, skill and reliability.

Flexible & Adaptable
Email marketing is flexible in supporting a business in many different ways and can help to achieve a wide variety of goals. While email marketing is often seen to maintain customer relationships rather than forge new ones, it is in fact able to fulfil a variety of different purposes for your business such as:
* Increase website traffic flow
* Attract new clients
* Strengthen existing relationships
* Offer free and expert advice
* Increase awareness of your brand or services

The more focussed your message, the higher chance of a successful campaign. HTML Emails provides an opportunity of customising each message sent; ensuring the information, promotion or offer can be individually tailored and targeted.

Cost Effective
Being able to quickly create imagery and content eliminates substantial amounts of time and expense, whilst quickly provoking the same benefits of any other medium but giving you the option of changing any information you need with very little additional cost.

By creating an HTML campaign correctly you’re able to track the results of your campaign in real time, permitting you access to instant statistics and patterns of its success, allowing you to respond to developments as they happen and to follow up while the campaign is still in progress. The experiences taken from the campaign can then be applied to future campaigns with a high degree of accuracy.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” and understanding the success of your marketing is more important today than ever, to best ensure the use of your budget and timescales. In addition to tracking the recipients' reaction to the email, you’re able monitor their path to, and through, your website, allowing an understanding to the success of the landing page and the anticipated route depending on your campaign's objectives.

The speed at which business happens is constantly increasing. Email marketing allows you not only to keep pace with these changes but stay ahead of them, not only in terms of the speed of response to the campaign but also the creation of the campaign itself.

The creation and distribution of the email campaign is also quick. Carefully constructing, producing and sending a good html email which is going to bring the top level results, need only take a matter of days rather than weeks for a printed mailer.

The ease, flexibility and cost effectiveness of this marketing platform has accelerated HTML emails into a new era, allowing you to easily stay in contact, show off your work and skills and provide clients with knowledge and advice. All of which will lead to more sales and an increase to business.

For advice on how we could help you promote your business, contact us today!!!

The Big Kick-Off has arrived!!!

So we’ve had some eventful warm up matches and still aren’t completely sure of all the rules but it won’t stop us cheering on the boys, although a bit blurry eyed and probably still in our jimjams!
But England will go into the 7th rugby world cup as an outside contender; then again as everyone knows no one can predict what will actually happen. With every world cup there’s always a few first round shocks and some surprise performances. The host for this year’s worlds cup is New Zealand, who are favourites to take their 2nd world cup, their first came in the first ever world cup in 1987.
New Zealand is a full 12hours ahead of us so a lot of early morning rises if you want to catch some of the games, to keep you up to date with the fixtures and timings we’ve designed a wall chart for you to print out, fill in and make sure you don’t miss a game!

The possibilities of touchscreen technology


Do you remember watching such films as Minority Report, Iron Man,  and even Total Recall and thinking how far-fetched some of the technology was?
Well as interactive devices become more and more instilled in our daily lives, be it, iPhones, Galaxy tabs or other devices we can soon expect that technology to be common place.
With the expertise progressing at a rapid rate, the possibilities really are about as far as your imagination can go.
For instance, touchscreen technology pioneers Samsung have gone one further than a single sided touchscreen, they have recently filed a patent for a double sided touchscreen. One on the front and then a second makes up the rear of the product. This follows another world first from Samsung with the reveal of Samsung’s 19” transparent AMOLED touchscreen, with a 30% transparency enabling you see to see straight through it. Samsung even combined several touchscreen devices to create a much larger version showing the usability of the product. With this kind of progress I’m sure it won’t be long till we are all typing on bits of glass. 

That may be some time in the future but right now one of the best touchscreen is the Microsoft Surface product. The interaction for users is incredible; a lot of large companies have already started using the product in commercial places to engage with their customers and adds another dimension to the customers brand experience. The example for Red Bull is one of the best and really shows you the possibilities. 

Microsoft surface has been designed without the use of cameras and instead has replaced them with PixelSense technology, which allows infrared sensors to make every pixel work as a camera instead. This is very clever indeed. I guess the only thing missing from the touchscreen is the ability to touch and experience textures.
Well that might not be a long wait either; a company in Finland have developed a new technology called E-Sense which is designed to recreate the feeling of texture. The technology uses ‘tixels’ (tactile pixels) to create an electric field to replicate all kinds of textures on your skin. 

With this rapid progression touchscreen technology really can be everywhere pretty soon. The possibilities are as far as you can push them and the practical uses are equally as impressive as the quirky ones.
Some events are implementing touchscreen technology already, using kiosks for registration the same as when you check in at the airport, upright displays that can be used for information purposes and a few quirky uses to add a wow factor to the event.
We’ve produced several touchscreen features, including a large kiosk used as an information source that was situated in the front lobby of the COI offices and also Vodafone artwork for the iBar which was used at a private screening of the Champions League Final.
If you want to see how touchscreen technology can help at your next event, please feel free to give us a call.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Using LED technology for your next event

I have just returned from a conference that we do annually, and each year it is pretty much along the same lines as the previous year. This year was different, this year we had an LED wall that sat on stage underneath the main screen and displayed the events logo sting, videos and static graphics. I haven’t seen this used too often in conferences and it got me thinking about the possible usages of LED screens.

Traditionally LED screens have been a standard rectangular shape but due to advancements in the technology LED screens now have virtually an endless array of possibilities due to the variety in products now available. As designers and architects pushed the concepts, manufacturers produced the solutions and now you can pretty much create any shape LED screen, allowing the creativity to be endless.

The easiest way to add another dimension from the standard square screen is to use concave or convex screens. These are especially popular when used outdoors and wrapped around a building, famous examples of this are Piccadilly Circus and Times Square. Special software has been developed to compensate for the curvatures so the projection material does not appear distorted when displayed.

The ability to curve LED screens and the use of software that compensates for this has led to highly creative examples, the new ABC TV studio in New York uses this feature to its maximum. They have used strips of LEDs that have been curved several times to create a wave effect that has been fixed and wrapped around the studio building.

So many new LED display products have led to bold experimenting and allowed designers to create environments that amaze audiences. There are now LED curtains, floors, tubes, blocks and flexible screens that can be created to any shape you can think off.

Take for instance the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony when the Olympic rings were pulled from the floor on the night sky, a truly incredible use of LED curtains.

Music concerts are increasingly using LED technology to create magnificent visual effects examples of this are U2’s 360 Tour and George Michael’s 25 Live Tour.

More recently The 2011 Eurovision Contest in Germany used a 60 metre wide and 18 metre high LED wall as the backdrop for the performances, had a LED floor for the stage as well as LED ramps up to the stage. The result was a truly impactful atmosphere and visual spectacular.

And if you thought that was a large screen, the world’s largest LED screen is in China and part of a shopping mall. Measuring 250×30 meters it’s nearly the same size as a football pitch. Not only that, it’s also hanging 80 meters above the ground!

Of course these are extravagant uses of LED technology and are probably not appropriate for most conferences. But it shows you the possibilities. There are some creative examples that are much more in line with what conference organizers may use.  You can create a LED screen that is branded to your product or company for example Coca-Cola have a can in Times Square that displays videos continuously. These could be displayed next to the main screen on stage or even in the entrance to the venue to add a wow factor to your event.

Another way to add creative LED technology to your conference is to use LED screens within your set design. You can use multiple screens and project a single piece of material over them, adding depth and visual dimension to your design. Even adding a single LED screen to run animation underneath the main screen adds another level of interactivity to your event.

LED solutions help to create a completely new level of visual interactivity, with the possibilities and creativity really is as far as you can push it.

If you want to achieve something different at your next event and LED technology might be the answer feel free to contact us.