“Technology is just a toy until it serves a need,” said Midori Connolly, CEO and chief AVGirl for Pulse Staging and Events at Event Camp Twin Cities last month. She encouraged participants to “evaluate technologies on more than bells and whistles” to give themselves a sense of empowerment and ease with new technology.
Looking at three gadget groups—radio frequency identification (RFID), audience response systems (ARS), and mobile communications—Connolly said participants should determine a technology’s value for their event by identifying the types of needs it addresses; the ROI it will maximize; and the organization’s stakeholders, goals, and desired outcomes.
The RFID gadget group included technologies such as Poken, MingleSticks, Clickeys, and Microsoft Tag. The ARS group includes the IML Connector and Turning Technologies’ keypads while several iPad applications formed part of the mobile gadget group.
One attendee suggested that event planners consider a technology’s communication impact. Connolly’s criteria include durability, aesthetics, and looking at the technology relative to an event’s education program, attendee demographic, and brand messaging.
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