Please Disrupt: Part 1

The events and meeting industry is begging to be disrupted. There are too many antiquated processes and too little tech solutions out there. Sure we’ve got event apps to replace paper programs, but the skeleton of a conference remains the same. Attendees register. Attendees book travel arrangements. Attendees arrive. Attendees attend education sessions. Attendees attend receptions. Attendees go home. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Although attendance appears to be on the rise as companies begin to understand the benefits of face to face meetings, the experience is stale. With that in mind, here’s a list of tech and processes that could use some serious tech disruption on a grand scale.

Booking Your Hotel

When I register for a conference with a hotel room block I fully expect to have a room surrounded by other attendees. However, upon arrival, I often find the entire room block scattered throughout the hotel. Movie theaters and airlines have created the technology to pick your seat, when will hotels join the game and allow attendees to pick their rooms? Wouldn’t it be great to know what room your industry friends are staying in or at the very least, know what hotel they are in? The whole point of attending a conference is to make connections. When will hotels assist?

Checking In

Wouldn’t it be nice if your hotel knew when you arrived in the city of the conference? How great would it be if your room key and conference badge were waiting for you as you walk through the hotel door? This can’t be that difficult. Hotels have done a great job of making the check-out process streamlined. Why is the check-in process taking so long to catch up?

Dietary Restrictions

If you have dietary restrictions you know the struggle. You sit down for a seated meal at a conference and you tell your server that you have dietary restrictions. 15 minutes later when the server begins to place plates down, you sit and wonder where your meal is. “Oh, yes, it’s coming. Hold on,” your server says. 10 more minutes go by and finally you have a plate in front of you, but it’s wrong. You once again explain your dietary restrictions and the server returns 15 minutes later with a plate specially made by the chef. The only problem is, you’ve now been waiting 45 minutes for your food while the rest of your table finished their meals 20 minutes ago. What app company is going to be the first to make “easy ordering” part of their app? Your dietary restriction information should be readily available from when you registered for the event. You should be able to send a notification to the kitchen with your current table location.

Some of these disruptive ideas may already be in development, or even in use, but they yet to breakthrough and truly disrupt the industry.

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