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Judges Weigh In on BTM World Tech Watch Awards

Sciensio took the 2017 Tech Watch Award in the “Audience Engagement” category for its Concierge Eventbot.

IBTM World 2018 is fast approaching and with the entries of the Tech Watch Award closing last week, the judges were asked what they are looking forward to seeing at this year’s awards and what, in their opinion, makes a winning entry. The judges plan to score entries based on innovation, concept/business model and value to the MICE industry. The final shortlist is also set to be put out to the public vote, alongside the judges, so IBTM World attendees can also have their say.  Here is their advice to help applicants make the most out of their entries:

Q: What emerging tech trends do you see as having a significant impact on events and/or exhibitions in the next few years?

Corbin Ball, founder of Corbin Ball Associates and chair of the judge’s panel, says, “There are many trends that come to mind including:

  • Better tracking of the attendee journey through a variety of mobile and wearable applications
  • Advances in AR and VR
  • Better tracking of meetings spend
  • The use of AI for chatbots and voice interface
  • Facial recognition”

Q: What are you hoping to see from this year’s entrants?

Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of DAHLIA+ Inc., says, “I hope to see tech that can bring personalized experiences to attendees, tech that can help events professionals automate their workflow, and tech that integrates the latest tech trends in ways that are beneficial to the events industry. I’m also hoping to see more women in event tech show their talent.”

Q: Which area of meetings tech are you most excited about?

Padraic Gilligan, managing partner at SoolNua, says, “Audience engagement—I love what Sli.do does and how it continues to innovative within a strictly limited context.”

Ball adds, “One of the great things about working on the IBTM World Tech Watch Award is seeing the wide diversity of creative ideas bubbling up. What excites me is to see innovations that will benefit our industry.”

Q: What technology currently outside of the meetings and events industry do you think has the potential to cross over and benefit the M&E industry?

Ruud Janssen, founder of TNOC and co-founder EMG, says, “Artificial Intelligence and stronger low bandwidth tools to keep connected in a smart non-intrusive way are yet to make their entry. I’m keen to see that develop further. Also, event design tools to collaboratively think online are getting so good, but still go unnoticed by many in the events industry. We can learn from adjacent spaces about how to better collaborate online, so we have more time offline and onsite to really speak, connect and spend quality time together.”

Q: What are your goals in participating as an IBTM Tech Watch Award judge?

Michael Shapiro, senior editor, Meetings & Conventions, says, “I’ve long kept an eye on the IBTM World Tech Watch as a great source for what’s trending and the next big thing. I’m excited to see what’s coming next and I look forward to being a part of the conversation.”

James Morgan, founder of Event Tech Lab, adds, “I like to judge this competition, as it’s the largest one in the world. It’s great to see the most up-to-date innovations entering the competition.”

IBTM World 2018 is scheduled for Nov. 27-29 at Fira Barcelona, Spain. For more info, visit ibtmworld.com/techwatch

IBTM, part of Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading showcase for the meetings and events industry (also known as MICE) with a portfolio of 5 global and regional events providing business solutions on 5 continents. They include IBTM World, IBTM Arabia, IBTM Americas and IBTM China. For more info, visit www.ibtmevents.com  

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organizer, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 22 international events in 13 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf travel. For more info, visit www.reedtravelexhibitions.com


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