On October 5, 2010, Certain Software, a provider of event management solutions, revealed a suite of service-based tradeshow management applications designed to be a one-stop communications tool for all participants within a tradeshow, conference or specialty meeting. Certain Software refers to this group as the event eco-system.
“Certain Meetings 6.0 has the capability to allow participants to interact with event planners, other participants, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and co-workers who were unable to attend the conference,” said Peter Micciche, CEO of Certain Software. “Certain 6.0 is a solution for anyone looking to plan an event, from a VIP board meeting to a 50,000 attendee national event.”
Certain 6.0 is essentially a web site for a meeting or event, which merges all pre-conference functions and show floor activities into one online location. It provides real-time information to attendees, accessible through mobile devices such as an iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or any other device that can connect to the internet.
In addition, it gives meeting planners access to social marketing and state-of-the-art e-mail marketing campaigns which can significantly increasing event attendance.
“Our enhanced platform provides instant value by letting executives from all lines of business answer these key questions; how did it go, how did this affect our bottom line, and was it worth it?” said Micciche. “It’s easy to see how Certain fits into the corporate meeting management process.”
This software is the first to provide one online location for the interaction of the entire events ecosystem, from C-level executives and meeting planners to attendees and executive sponsors.
“The real benefit here is the expanded value for everybody,” said Micciche. “No longer are you just showing up and absorbing information, but you are actually telling the event organizers how well the event is going, and whether or not the messages they are delivering are resonating with you, and if they are meaningful.”
With Certain 6.0, participants who attend a break-out session, or listen to a speaker at the event, can visit the show website and rate the session by voting on its impact.
“This lets attendees see what others are thinking,” said Olivier Delerme, chief marketing officer of Certain Software. “It also lets the meeting planners and sponsors get real-time feedback on the session.”
This two-way communication is what helps set Certain 6.0 apart from other tradeshow-related mobile technologies.
“This is not a mobile app the attendee must install on their phone ahead of time,” said Delerme. “It is available for any device that is connected to the internet, the information is real-time. If a speaker has been cancelled or changed, the information is available to everyone as soon as the meeting planner types it in.”
Mobile apps are available on Certain 6.0, but they are created as an immediate solution to an issue that the meeting planner or attendee may have.
“Because we run everything from planning the event, marketing the event and managing the attendee on the event website throughout the registrations process, enabling a mobile app is just a click away,” said Delerme. “For the meeting planner to enable a mobile app, it can be as simple as spending 15 minutes to configure it and distribute it to the attendees.”
Also according to Delerme, more large conferences have invested in a mobile solution for attendees; however, the bulk of meetings are not mobilized because it wasn’t easy enough for a meeting planner to make it happen. Certain 6.0 makes it easy to mobilize an event and deliver real-time, accurate information.
Show sponsors can also get in on the act of offering real-time information to attendees about special programs, whether they planned to offer them at the tradeshow 10 months ago when they signed-up, or ten minutes ago as a last-minute marketing message.
“The flow of information to attendees, for example, can be a sponsor of a certain level sharing a raffle or a promotion they have decided to run at a specific time or date,” said Delerme.
Certain Meetings 6.0 often leverages social media when making these connections between attendees and the rest of the convention participants. Using the online platform, attendees can make comments about a particular exhibit, session, speaker, or the event itself.
“Built within the application is a Twitter wall, that actually collects, in real-time, all the tweets that are related to the event,” said Delerme. “It gives the meeting planner the ability to control what tweets end up on the event wall. It immediately brings the power of the social network to every attendee and creates buzz.”
As attendees and event planners look for ways to stay connected, metroConnections, a provider of conference, event and transportation services, already uses Certain Software as the engine to integrate some of its meeting technologies.
“We rely on Certain Software because it gives us confidence in providing our customers with the best technology when offering complete conference and event solutions,” said Tom McCulloch, VP of conference services at metroConnections. “The mobile component gives us a new capability to improve the attendee experience at events, at a time when our customers are increasingly asking for new ways to engage with their participants.”
Communication between attendees and show organizers in the middle of an event is one way Certain 6.0 helps engage those participants.
“If I am a meeting planner at the conference and hear that attendees are having trouble at the show, I add a FAQ or add an item on the wall, letting every attendee know how to get help,” said Delerme. “The world of technology during an event is really changing with the release of 6.0.”
|People on the Move|