The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) held its annual meeting and exhibition, Expo! Expo!, in New Orleans, December 11-13. Of all the product categories represented on the exhibition floor and in the conference rooms, technology stood out in the 2018 edition of the event.

IAEE programmers brought back the Tech Startup Pavilion exhibition floor and the Tech Startup Experience & Pitch Competition (a robot won). The conference this year also featured Tech Huddles—ten-minute introductions to new products. New this year, the Science & Technology of a Show track explored more advanced topics for IT professionals, including 3D Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and chatbots.

Proximity technologies were big this year. TurnOutNow led the group with its attendee tracking, recommendation, and AI-powered lead solutions based on BLE beacons. eventLoop included beacons and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies in its portfolio. ThinkProxi demonstrated beacon-based audience engagement and event-marketing solutions, and The Indoor Lab showcased LiDAR (which can detect and classify objects) for event security. Registration companies Experient and Convention Data Services also exhibited beacon applications.  

Attendee acquisition also made a strong showing at Expo! Expo! Standalone solutions, such as Gleanin and InGo, gave attendees a lesson in automating social referrals. Feathr demonstrated its ability to activate attendee data across multiple digital channels, including targeted ads and landing pages. VIP Guest Invites, Event Technologies, and nvytes offered tools (emails, banner ads, social media) for exhibitors to invite their clients and prospects to the show.

Augmented reality (AR) showed up in three locations on the exhibition floor. Core-apps, providers of a range of technologies including beacons, kiosks, and event management software,partnered with BundlAR (which alsoexhibited) to give show-goers a glimpse into a time when exhibitors will b eable to examine products through their smartphone cameras. Preview Technology employed augmented reality in a lead retrieval and content distribution application.

Data aggregation for exhibitor-attendee engagement and attendee, exhibitor, and sponsor acquisition was another new category at Expo! Expo! Nexus Data Group showed how it cleans, integrates, and activates data to better deliver exhibitor ROI. The Live Event Intelligence Platform (LEIP) combined external web data with internal behavioral data to help event stakeholders identify prospects. Bear Analytics explained how it verifies, defines, clusters, and analyzes attendee data to inform marketing campaigns and drive attendance at crucial pre-show intervals.

IAEE’s event was not without its technology surprises. ZenSpace Event Solutions brought the Internet of Things to the convention center with its Smart Pod, a WiFi-enabled meeting enclosure outfitted with video displays, smart locks, smart lights, power, and USB outlets. The ZenSpace app allows users to remotely find and reserve space and pay and set calendar reminders. August Robotics showcased the first floor-marking robot to automate and optimize the setup of trade shows. The device paints and tapes bare floors prior to laying down carpeting and installing booth properties.

Technology has become an integral part of exhibitions and events. To deliver the right combination of software and hardware, organizers andexhibitors need help. Contact the solutions architects at SmartSource Computer & Audio VisualRentals before your next event.