The ASAE Springtime Expo in Washington D.C. (April 8-9) saw 2,923 attendees come together to connect with peers, innovators, and leaders to share some big ideas. We caught up with some of the tech exhibitors to learn about their products/services they showcased, and to find out what they thought were the biggest takeaways from the event.
Zach Hansen, Senior Sales Manager of MyEventApps was at Springtime to share information about the SuperApp Mobile Platform, which provides all the organization info all in one app. He was impressed by how technologically advanced planners and associations have become, “They see the value in utilizing technology for a better attendee experience from mobile apps, to interactive games, social media, and of course going paperless!” The most common buzzword that he heard from attendees was “access/control” as there is greater concern about clients having access to all data and control of their content.
The Busyevent team was truly busy at their first Springtime Expo. What they’ve uncovered is that a significant majority are looking at creating event operation efficiencies, and specifically how they can utilize smart technology platforms that can for example, eliminate the labor intensive CEU tracking process of ‘coordinating paper & door scans’ into an online report and a button push. The huge takeaway that event professionals shared with them is that events are becoming a critical decision making point on association calenders, using real-time feedback and information gained during the event to validate and adjust their year long strategic plan and educational deliverables. They are focused on how actions-based information can help to drive engagement and profitability. One very recent service that Busyevent is proud to share with the industry is their AppPro Team – focused on customer assistance and support, and integrating their availability as a core component of their services organization that can help support their clients before the event, on site, and post event.
Over at the eTouches booth, they were happy to find, “Business is booming! No one was talking about slow-downs, budget constraints, etc- it was all positive messages!” There also seemed to be some chatter around beacons as well as mobile. Their most common keyword was “integration.” Which is perfect since eTouches’ now offers integrated registration with their mobile platform. “Anyone using etouches can now register via their mobile device without the need for a redesign of their registration form – just check a box in the configuration and it’s responsive!”
CadmiumCD also heard a lot about integration and you can tell they’re listening since they are one of the top providers of fully integrated event management software.
We also caught up with Josh Pearlman of Eventsforce who was attending the Springtime Expo for the first time this year. He shared his impressions with us, “The ASAE Springtime Expo attendees came to the event knowing what they were looking for. The attendees were not tire kicking but had a specific issue / need that they were trying to solve. I found my conversations were meaningful vs. ‘just tell me what you offer’ and that many of the attendees had already done their research before coming to the expo. “
For Grace Gipson from Social Tables, another first-timer, she noted that “Association planners are wanting to take more control of the planning process. Instead of letting the venue/hotel primarily focus on the diagram, they want more control in the beginning – starting with the diagram.” They said a lot of the attendees had questions about mobile apps and the flexibility that comes along with it. Social Tables is about to launch their iPad app, which will add that flexibility that attendees are looking for with mobile apps.
Guidebook told us, “It was really great and productive to connect with such a qualified audience of association executives eager to learn about new technologies. It shows that the need for mobile technology is maturing in an effort for associations to go green and innovate.” They said that the expo attendees seemed to be very interested in event apps this year. And speaking of apps, Guidebook said they’re getting ready to launch a more user-friendly and intuitive user interface sometime in May, along with the “simplest content management system ever that will guide you step-by-step to easily create flawless mobile apps for any place, event, occasion or venue.”
John Pytel of Conferences i/o noted, “Attendee engagement is a hot topic in the industry right now and there are a number of tools that can enhance Engagement but serve different general purposes. It can be overwhelming for planners. The key now will be for these tools to integrate and work together in order to streamline the experience.” This is a takeaway that bodes well for Conferences i/o’s latest integration of their web based Audience Engagement system with the new Apple Watch.
And finally, Wyndham Jade, a leader in conference housing and registration was present for their “gazillionth” ASAE Springtime. The importance of data seemed to standout for them as the most interesting trend amongst attendees. Wyndham Jade is already on top of that as they offer data analytics to drive conversion and more bookings within the official block.
Overall, the event was an effective way to gauge where the overall industry is at and where it’s going. The current trends all seem to lean towards greater integration, more data, and increased use of mobile apps.
Did you attend ASAE Springtime? What were your takeaways?