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For years many people were convinced that web-conferencing could signal the death knell for the live events industry.
The ability to connect over the internet to anyone in the world and have a conversation stirred up the possibility that people would no longer need to put on large and elaborate meetings, and it meant that those of us in the live event industry needed to start looking for new work.
Fortunately for all involved the truth is that while web based meetings do act as a wonderful supplement for connecting people in meaningful ways, face to face meetings and events are still every bit as necessary as they were in the past.
How BYOD Affects Travel and Hospitality
However, while we may have all been paying attention to other things, a new wrinkle in the technology world may have emerged that could easily change our industry in significant ways.
It goes by a small and cute acronym…BYOD.
That stands for “Bring Your Own Device,” and it is already changing the travel industry in several ways. The main concept here is that business travelers, or even travelers in general, as well as event attendees, are bringing smart devices, ranging from laptops and tablets like an iPad, to smart-phones with them wherever they go.
The presence of these devices is suddenly triggering the realization that if people are already carrying their own screen, then there is suddenly a whole new world available for delivering content to people.
Airlines and hotels are already scrambling to understand what this change means.
Hotels are pondering whether or not televisions are even a requirement in guest rooms anymore, and if they are, how should the content delivery method change?
Airlines are already using the trend to their advantage by testing out what it may mean to offer content directly to those user’s devices rather than installing monitors and video devices on their airplanes.
How BYOD Affects Events
So the question becomes, what does this mean for the live events industry?
Could monitors, projectors, and screens be coming to the end of their usefulness?
Could presentations now be delivered directly to customer devices, and eliminate the need for full scale presentation setups?
As it did with web-casting in the past, I think the answer lies somewhere in between a complete turnover to BYOD, versus the standard presentation style of the past few decades with the utilization of a large central presentation device.
People carrying their own devices is not going to go away. If anything, the success of the latest iPhone release shows that people are expecting a larger screen to be in their pocket at all times to be able to readily display whatever they may be interested in.
At the same time we can say with confidence that the live event industry is experiencing an upward trend.
So what is the middle ground?
There isn’t an answer to this question yet, but I think it is going to involve innovations on the way face to face meetings could take place in a collaborative environment while utilizing each individual’s device.
At Encore Event Technologies the main focus is developing unique capabilities to deliver dynamic presentation material to those devices, and then determining how interaction from event attendees can supplement a successful outcome.
Encore’s research and development is also delving into the ways that this new trend could change event spaces themselves, imagining events with no stage or podium, but rather a collaborative space designed to promote interaction.
Its very likely that each and every one of you reading this needs only to reach into your pocket to understand how quickly the events industry can change.