Posts By: K.C. Hopson

kchopson

How Event Professionals Can Think About “Reality” Technologies: Part One – 360-Degree Video

virtual reality

There has been a lot of press lately about how technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Technology (AR) are going to change events. To best know how to utilize these technologies in a cost-effective manner it is best to understand that these tools are in a continuum ranging from the relatively simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly. To simplify this continuum, it might be helpful to look at these emerging “reality” and “3D” technologies in four different ways. This week we look at the low-hanging fruit of reality technology – 360-degree video. What is 360-degree video? 360-degree... Read more »

kchopson

How Verifying Your Conference Attendees Can Help Your Bottom Line

Conference Attendees

In the mad rush to get ready for a conference, it is easy to ignore one of the most important metrics of show – namely, who actually attended. Planners often overlook this metric because the registration revenue is already in the bank so, in their overworked mind, it is not particularly important knowing who actually showed up. This is a major mistake because knowing your attendees from your no-shows is very important for your planning, marketing and bottom line. There are two things you should take into account when getting ready to verify your attendees. Know the difference between Attendance... Read more »

kchopson

Organizations on Twitter that Meeting Professionals Need to Follow

Twitter has positioned itself as the social media place to go for meetings and events. Last time we looked at a number of the top meeting professionals you should follow. In addition, many of the industry’s top organizations and media companies have also latched on to Twitter as a great place to deliver their message. These companies have proven that if you follow them, they will keep you on top of the breaking trends. @BizBash BizBash is the place to go to get cool ideas for your events. @EventMB The Event Manager Blog is a standard of event industry news.... Read more »

kchopson

How to get started with Conference Management Software: Part Four – Opening Online Registration

Event technology can provide a bewildering range of choices for the meeting planner. A good place to start making sense of the range of options is to look at how software can be utilized at the various stages of the event lifecycle. In this series, we will look at the lifecycle from the point of view of an association’s annual conference. In past weeks, we have looked at software that often goes live immediately after the prior year’s conference. In this part of the series, we look at tools that can help you in your day-to-day work in the months... Read more »

kchopson

5+ Meeting Pros on Twitter You Need to Follow

Twitter

Twitter has positioned itself as the social media place to go for meetings and events. The industry’s thought leaders have latched on to Twitter as a great place to deliver their message. The Twitter accounts we describe here represent some of these leaders. You should follow these folks to stay on top of the breaking trends. @corbinball No one tops Corbin Ball when it comes to meetings technology. Look for his feed to find every which way technology can impact meetings. @jeffhurt Jeff Hurt is the leading blogger for Velvet Chainsaw’s popular site. Jeff writes about all things meetings, non-profits,... Read more »

kchopson

How to get started with Conference Management Software: Part Three – Setup Online Credit Card Processing

Online Credit Card

As was seen in the first issues of this series, navigating through the myriad of event technology choices can be one of the toughest assignments a meeting professional can face. Just breaking down the possibilities into categories can be a daunting assignment itself. A helpful way to approach this problem is to see how software can be utilized at the various stages of the event lifecycle. Many activities for next year’s show begin right after the current one ends. To keep things simple, we will look at the lifecycle from the point of view of an association’s annual conference. This... Read more »

kchopson

How to get started with Conference Management Software: Part Two – Open Trade Show Sales

Trade Show Exhibition

As was seen in the first issue of this series, navigating through the myriad of event technology choices can be one of the toughest assignments a meeting professional can face. Just breaking down the possibilities into categories can be a daunting assignment itself. A helpful way to approach this problem is to see how software can be utilized at the various stages of the event lifecycle. Many activities for next year’s show begin right after the current one ends. To keep things simple, we will look at the lifecycle from the point of view of an association’s annual conference. This... Read more »

kchopson

How to get started with Conference Management Software: Part One – Choosing Your Speakers

Conference Campfire Session

Navigating through the myriad of event technology choices can be one of the toughest assignments a meeting professional can face. Just breaking down the possibilities into categories can be a daunting assignment itself. A helpful way to approach this problem is to see how software can be utilized at the various stages of the event lifecycle. Many activities for next year’s show begin right after the current one ends. To keep things simple, we will look at the lifecycle from the point of view of an association’s annual conference. This week we will look at choosing your speakers. Opening Up... Read more »

kchopson

Using Destination International’s empowerMINT Tool to search Meeting Destinations

empowerMINT

Looking for a good destination for your meeting but need some basic facts like convention center capacity, nearby hotels and airport, and so forth? Fortunately, there is a great and free tool available called empowerMINT that helps you quickly get answers to your questions. Note that the empowerMINT website is for destinations and not venues. Destinations International (DI) represents the various destinations across the United States and is the organization behind empowerMINT. The Destination Marketing terminology evolved from the old concept of a CVB (aka “Convention and Visitors Bureau”.) DI used to be the International Association of Convention Bureaus (IACB),... Read more »

kchopson

2017’s Hot Food & Beverage Trends for Events

Bloody Mary

2017 is coming up fast and you are considering everything that can make your show as awesome as possible. Do not forget that the best way to add spice to your events is to have an unforgettable food and beverage menu. Fortunately, it is an exciting time in the F&B world, so there are many opportunities available to add that extra pizazz. Here are some of the top F&B trends in 2017 that can make your event “a can’t miss.” Keep it Local and Sustainable Supporting local markets just continues to grow in importance. The best part of local is... Read more »

kchopson

Great Resources for Event Professionals

One of the toughest tasks of an event professional is keeping up with the multitude of changes and trends that impact your job. Fortunately, there are a number of great resources that can keep you posted on the latest news and trends in the world of events, conferences and trade shows. The sites mentioned cover news ranging from new hotels to hot event technology. Most of these feature easy to access postings that you can read on your phone in the few moments when you have a break or are waiting for a plane. Event Manager Blog. This blog is... Read more »

kchopson

Will your meeting get hacked?

hacker

The widespread release of sensitive information such as credit card and social security numbers has grabbed headlines, disrupting business for several major corporations. Over the past five years, well-respected companies including Sony, Target and Staples have been hacked. As cyber criminals become more sophisticated, the impact of these breaches has spread beyond the general public. Recently, in one of the biggest, most spectacular U.S. cyber attacks, the personal data of 18 million current, prospective or former federal employees was successfully compromised. While it may be comforting to think hackers only go after big-name companies and organizations, it would be a... Read more »

kchopson

Ten Signs That You Are Using Sub-Standard Online Registration Software

Have you heard of someone who bought an online registration software package that promised to deliver an attractive form and save time, only to find these expectations were not met? Did they get a lot of complaints from registrants? Was the software so limited that the planner had to spend long, late hours creating spreadsheets to manage tasks the software could not handle? Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs that an online registration package is sub-standard. If you look for these during the evaluation process, you can be spared the pain of the unfortunate planner.Online registration form looks like a... Read more »

kchopson

Ten Ways to Use Facebook Live & Periscope Streaming Apps for Your Conference

Live Streaming Phone Apps

Live streaming apps have quickly been recognized as a terrific way to extend your meeting’s brand beyond in-person attendees. Twitter’s Periscope was the first to show the possibilities of live streaming events. However, the arrival of Facebook Live offers a chance to expand your show’s reach to Facebook’s giant ecosystem of over a billion users. The good news is you do not need to pick just one of these apps – you can use both! Since these free apps are a particularly good way to reduce expensive A/V costs, they will be particularly attractive to smaller meetings. Here are some... Read more »

kchopson

Is Your Online Registration Form ADA Compliant?

Section508Logo

Is your website ADA compliant? Section 508 is the key portion of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that deals with websites. The provision was enacted in 1998 to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. For years, developers have often created websites that are Section 508 compliant only if the site is part of a government contract or have an audience that requires these standards. However, in recent years, there has been an increasing amount of cases where websites that are not compliant have opened themselves... Read more »

kchopson

How to Find Great Abstract Peer Review Software for Your Conference

Papers Falling

There are few aspects of speaker management that can be more painful than the process of conducting a peer review from an open Call for Papers. If the review is conducted in the classical way, the planners will find themselves buried in a bewildering collection of PDFs, Word docs and spreadsheets. Hours upon hours can be spent communicating with the review team, collating information and somehow trying to make sense of it all. In between all of this manual work is the need to give proper consideration to all the submissions and being fair in the final judgments of which... Read more »

kchopson

Use FOMO to Promote Your Conference!

Have you ever experienced FOMO, aka the Fear of Missing Out? You may have gone through FOMO if your peers are about to have a great experience – and you may not be there. In fact, some studies have shown that millennials, in particular, are susceptible to FOMO. Largely as a result of social media, FOMO has become a widely discussed phenomenon. FOMO is not just about having fun. Fear of being left behind professionally by missing a great conference, for example, can have the same effect. The funny thing is that high quality face-to-face meetings, rather than being hurt... Read more »

kchopson

EventRebels Supports Stripe Payment Gateway

Online Credit Card

EventRebels is now supporting the Stripe payment gateway, one of the hottest processors around. Stripe has a simple setup and pricing model. The product also makes it easy for newcomers to online credit card processing to get on the air. EventRebels supports Stripe for both their EROnline Online Registration and ERShow Online Trade Show and Exhibitor Management products. With Stripe, EventRebels now supports over a dozen payment gateways. This wide variety of gateways allows support for all kinds of customers ranging from organizations that are new to meetings technology to sophisticated conferences with over 10,000 attendees. EventRebels payment processing support... Read more »

kchopson

Stream At Your Own Peril, Part Two

Live Streaming Phone Apps

This is part two of an article that originally appeared as the lead story for The Meeting Professional June 2016 issue. Click here to go to Part One Everything is About Communication The key to avoiding and surviving such lawsuits is to make the intentions of the conference clear. “My best advice is to alert all parties concerned that a live streaming app like Periscope is being used, where and when,” says Tyra Hilliard. “Disclose it in speaker and entertainment contracts and get permissions as needed. Disclose it in registration materials and ask registrants for permission to use their images.... Read more »

kchopson

How New Twitter Changes Can Help Your Event Marketing

Twitter

Of all the social media channels, Twitter is one that is best suited for reporting live happenings and news-worthy items. In fact, breaking television newscasts often consist of journalists reading the Twitter feed on their phone. Because of this ability of Twitter to function as a news feed, the social media product has become a channel of choice for events. Many meetings now feature live social media posts, often tied to the event’s mobile app and social wall. Besides being a key part of the onsite portion of an event, Twitter is now a major part of the pre-marketing of... Read more »

kchopson

Stream At Your Own Peril, Part One

Live Streaming Phone Apps

After entering the social media world in 2015, live streaming apps quickly captured the attention of the general public. More than just real-time video, these apps offer all the interactive elements of social media, including comments, likes and hashtags. The early success of its first entrants Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope pulled social media goliath Facebook into the fray. With the launch of its Facebook Live feature the reach of live streaming video immediately expanded to hundreds of millions viewers, promising to unleash yet another communications evolution. The impact on the meeting and convention industry has been equally as swift, and... Read more »

kchopson

Free White Noise Apps to Help You Sleep While You Travel

Are you someone who needs background noise to sleep? I am not talking about the television or radio, but “white noise” like a fan, the rain, or even the noise of a nearby road. For travelers with this inclination, hotel rooms typically have some ambient sounds like the hum of the air conditioner to solve the sleeping problem. However, sometimes the hotel room is actually so quiet that you can hear every little noise, such as people walking down the hall. This can result in a poor night’s sleep. If you are like this, you are not alone. One study... Read more »

kchopson

How to Use Your Online Registration to Make Your Conference Program a Success

Crowded Room

Ever plan a conference where some rooms are overflowing while other rooms sit mostly empty? Did you ever have to face angry attendees that were turned away from a highly anticipated presentation because the session could not sit another person? Planners know that the latter case can seriously “ding” your overall conference survey scores because people do not forget the sessions they were forced to miss. Fortunately, you can use your online registration form to solve many of these problems. By letting attendees build their itinerary at the time of sign up, you can get an accurate picture of what... Read more »

kchopson

Use Your Next Conference to Start Your Fitness Resolution!

Good exercise habits can be very difficult to achieve these days. In our sedentary ways, it can be easy to forget fitness altogether. Study after study has shown that spending too much time sitting can do as much harm to the body as many other bad habits. For example, Dr. Kim of X bytes argues that sitting is the new smoking and speaks of a “byte” sized approach to fitness. The good news is that “wearable” tech devices like the Fitbit and now the Apple Watch (aka “iWatch”) can be very useful in keeping fitness top-of-mind and breaking the overly... Read more »

kchopson

How to Increase Audience Engagement with Mobile Session Question & Answer

Online Event Q&A

Have you ever heard of “Death by PowerPoint?” This generally refers to a presentation that makes poor use of slides. But what it really means is that the speaker bored the audience. However, even if the slides are well made, a lack of crowd interaction can result in disinterested attendees. Most meeting planners are well aware of this phenomenon and go to great lengths to alleviate its effects. Traditional techniques often involve cumbersome methods such as someone walking around with a microphone receiving questions from the crowd. Other variations including a line of people behind a mic or someone collecting... Read more »