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TECHNOLOGYMay 2012 . . 37 think the basics like audiovisual are obvious requirements these days. Today the bar has risen when we talk about which events can't do without and when we talk about critical technologies for an event we are now talking about products like digital poster displays, structured networking software and interactive voting systems.There are no products to avoid, but there is a lot of mismatching between technology and the audience, or a massive investment of budgets in the cool gimmicks instead of the true value to the participants.An interesting case is social networks. All organisers today create groups for their events and invite their current database to join those groups. However, they are exposing their most secured and critical asset to their competitors, which can start to advertise their competing event to this database. A deeper understanding of how to use the social networks is to promote and bring new Meeting smartNewtonstrand CEO, author and industry speaker, Shuli Golovinski, talks meeting trends and which technology or products a meeting can't do withoutattendees to your event without exposing your existing database. We identifi ed the top three pillars events will need in the following years as high performance networking, an amplifi ed event range and supercharged interactivity.We are designing our solutions to meet those pillars and make sure events are supported to achieve them. One of our solutions allows attendees the chance to speak at an event with an 'open stage' format. This creates an attendee generated content that grows from the bottom-up and performs as a social alternative to the offi cial top-down agenda generated by the steering committee. This approach drives the event into the 'Event 3.0' generation, in the same way Web 2.0 changed everything we know about the Internet. Are virtual events the future? Sorry to be the party pooper but defi nitely not. Virtual meetings are a good solution or extension to only a small portion of the meetings organised. It's a great way to transfer knowledge but those days are going to end soon, having most of the knowledge available online today the importance of meetings as a platform to gain new knowledge is decreasing. Meetings' focus and the format must change, and with this change the importance of person to person interaction.Technology is just a tool, it must be 100 per cent connected to the business goals of the client or else it can turn against the metrics of the event. The goal is to reach a wider audience and generate additional income but it must fi t in with the business of the client or else it will decrease the amount of physical attendees and break the sponsorship models and excitement we all know today. Going Mobile - Bringing apps to the hands of the delegates so they have all the tools they needPlaying Social - Connecting to social networks allowing the creation of social discussion and connections prior to the event - this can be risky for the organiserParticipating Hybrid - Joining onsite and home attendees to extend the reach of the contentReducing Print - Providing most of the collateral in a digital format, which allows much more interactivityDigital Empowerment - Flipping from manual into digital to save costs to the organiser and suppliers but also embracing the fact people don't carry brochures any longerTop fi ve trends in meeting products:I

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