John Page, events manager, British Gas, says that the iPad has been increasingly relied on for various tasks. "The iPad has been a vital part of presentations and has been used regularly for voting. It is also being used for delegate management including at our conference last July. Other technology has also been used intermittently."
Other concur with these trends, including Sarah Esslemont, director of operations, Maximillion. "These are not huge steps, but the technology has become more accessible so there has been more buy-in. For us, iPads have been a big change. they have been used for conferences in various ways, including registration. Meanwhile, voting technology has played a greater role at conferences as people seek to engage delegates."
Dale Parmenter, managing director, DRP Group adds that the iPad has proven very useful for client engagement and the possibilities will only increase.
Katie Resnick, vice president, events at Fremantle Media, recommends an app, Event Check-In, which has improved the efficiency of its events. "It is our most favoured app recently as it is a cost effective, smart tool that improves efficiency both on site and pre and post an event in terms of collating accurate attendance records."
She adds that events at Fremantle Media continue to be a strong part of its marketing mix.
Looking to the future, Parmenter sees increased use of augmented reality. "It is really taking off and we've been active in investing in this so that we can take the solutions in-house for corporates."
Meanwhile, BMW says it is open to this kind of premium technology, but only if it has a function. "Our attitude to technology is to use it where it is relevant and engaging," says the car manufacturer's ex-events manager Paul Andrews. "There's nothing worse than an expensive mess. However, we have seen more use of 3D and Musion projection mapping technology, which adds value to an event as people are often expecting a wow-factor."
Looking at yet-to-be-released hardware, Page says there's much talk about with Google Glass. "I haven't tried them so I can't cast judgement, but the possibilities are endless."