AIBTM (www.aibtm.com), the Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition is just around the corner. The Meeting Pool is excited to be partnering again this year with Reed to produce the Innovation Zone, a tech-centered area of the AIBTM show floor. For more insight into the event as a whole, we took a few minutes to chat with Mike Lyons, a well-known figure in the meetings and events community for more than 30 years, and AIBTM’s Exhibition Director.
1. Tell us about AIBTM’s focus this year on technology and innovation?
As a major industry show, AIBTM aims to be one of the main sources for professionals. We hope our attendees will be able to keep up with rapid development of new technologies through attending AIBTM. This year we want to use the Innovation Zone as a forum for our attendees to keep up with the latest trends and innovations, which we know can be difficult for a busy professional. We want our attendees to be able to see things in action on the show floor, hear about innovations from knowledgeable speakers, and physically interact with things when they come to AIBTM.
Our mission: Educate, facilitate networking, and put on a great show!
2. What do you see as the emerging trends that will affect our meetings and events industry today?
In the last 2 to 3 years, we’ve already started to move away from using binders and toward iPads/other mobile devices for consolidating information. Cloud storage services have changed the way we exchange information and they allow us to easily access the information we need — without lugging around a huge binder. We’ve become more efficient at organizing our data, which is a trend that has and will continue to greatly impact the meetings and events industry.
Social media, such as Twitter, will continue to play an important role in the meetings and events industry. Useful features such as handwriting recognition and voice commands will make technology become an even greater part of our lives. Remote workforces will also become more accessible with sites such as elance, allowing us to utilize skill sets internationally.
3. How about in 5/10 years?
The meetings and events industry has evolved faster in the last 5 years than it has in the past 40 years I’ve seen of it. We will see a change in how people communicate, share information, and work. Texting and social media have become common forms of communication. As the younger generation enter the workforce, there will likely be a major shift in the way things are done as their vision will inevitably be different.
4. Are there any new cool technologies or solutions that AIBTM is implementing on the show level that you’d like to share?
Absolutely! We are showcasing many new cool technologies at the Innovation Zone. For instance, a holographic Virtual Assistant, the Hover app, and there will also be buyer and exhibitor badge scans including QR code scans utilizing smartphones.
5. What would you like the attendees to know before they go register for AIBTM?
We have a very strong education program that was developed to reflect the survey results we collected from last year’s attendees. PCMA, MPI, ICCA, IAEE will be providing providing a variety of sessions covering a large range of topics. We encourage attendees to visit our website to learn more about the show and come prepared so they can get the most out of AIBTM.