By Chris Munz, Concept3D
As usual, this year’s VenueConnect Conference and Trade Show was incredibly valuable. I’ve been going for several years now, and I always enjoy coming out from behind the computer for several days, putting faces with names, and reconnecting with all the professionals that make the event and meetings industry so fun and dynamic. A quick and gratuitous “thank you” to IAVM, the City of Toronto, and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for making it all happen.
Without fail I leave VenueConnect with a host of new ideas and thoughts, having heard the keynotes, participated in side events and been lucky enough to chat with a multitude of professionals from facilities, events management, marketing – you name it.
As a provider of immersive technology for convention centers, event venues, stadiums, and many other locations, I think along these lines, and came up with three primary trends that really struck me at the conference.
From a tech standpoint, automation came up many, many times. How can we better automate the physical movement and tracking of inventory to make things run more smoothly and efficiently? Marketing and event management automation was also top of mind, with companies like Ungerboeck making strides, creating a more seamless approach to event management like event bookings, floor planning, event registration, and management. Making use of the data and the systems improves the experience for the event planner, attendee, and exhibitor. There’s no shortage of ways that automation can improve how we plan, implement and evaluate what we do day in and day out.
Visualizing Data, Workflow, and Systems
When I tell people what we do at Concept3D, a light bulb often goes off: “Wow! Right now that’s all in a massive spreadsheet!” There’s huge potential to visualize workflows, systems, and to make the data that’s pouring in (and will pour in even more as event venues further integrate connected systems and devices (IoT). I find this incredibly exciting, because the ability to take data out of a spreadsheet and be able to see it and interact with it in a visual layout will improve decision making, create new business opportunities for event spaces, and – perhaps most important – better support event management pros and ultimately the guests they are hosting at an event.
New, Unique Event Spaces
There’s a massive push across the industry to make their spaces more fun and memorable. The Long Beach Convention Center (the location of VenueConnect 2020), for example, is doing a fantastic job of thinking outside the box with their space, from hosting events by the fountains to creating one-of-a-kind experiences with light-up ping-pong tables and using a pedestrian bridge as event space. They really put on a show! People get excited about this and share these experiences with friends. More outdoor spaces (and indoor spaces with tons of natural light to mimic being outdoors) are happening across the industry. In my humble opinion, these are the event spaces that will be the real draw because people want to be part of these fun, atypical events.
These are just three of many takeaways I enjoyed hearing more about at VenueConnect. I would love to hear yours!
Hope to see you at VenueConnect 2019 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago – I’ll be there for sure!
Chris Munz is Vice President of Business Development at Concept3D – http://www.concept3D.com