The meetings marketplace is enjoying an influx of new and innovative apps and tools that enhance the attendee experience before, during and after an event. From sharing photographs to creating event communities, we present the following seven cutting-edge products from clever startups around the world.
1. Social Playground
Social Playground is an Australia-based startup that brings Instagram to life -- essentially creating a Live Instagram Printer. Built specifically for events, the printer captures photos tagged with an event's hashtag and prints high-quality, Polaroid-style photos in less than 30 seconds. Attendees' use of the hashtag helps drive online buzz, building brand awareness for your conference or event.
Loopd is a new wearable technology -- in a form of a lanyard-like neck piece with a small electronic gizmo dangling at the front -- meant to simplify conference attendance by unobtrusively collecting data as users enjoy the event experience. The product, which was an Accelerator Finalist at SXSW 2015, uses peer-to-peer Bluetooth technology that allows attendees' smartphones to connect with people within close proximity. It can automatically record where you've been, who you've talked to, exchange contact details and more. As a result, users can knowingly, securely, and quickly build mutually meaningful relationships and quality networks in a crowded room.
Eversnap is a photo-sharing experience that uses iPhone or Android apps to instantly capture graphic memories of events and celebrations in an online, real-time album. This clever app and website helps event organizers collect attendees' photos and videos in one online album. By getting participants to use the app, you will have a convenient collection of photos from every angle, every stand and every talk, all provided by the attendees themselves. It's a great way to look back on an event after it has finished.
Social media is a real priority now when it comes to organizing successful events and generating buzz around the occasion. U.S.-based startup Snapcastr builds beautiful live social walls with pictures and tweets from attendees. The app searches Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for your event hashtag. It lets you control the content, allowing the best pictures and comments to be seen.
This Irish startup is a crowdsourcing platform to which fans at concerts or sporting events can upload their videos of the occasion, then sync with professionally recorded audio. FanFootage creates a complete video of a song or event using all the best videos uploaded by fans or attendees -- thus the name FanFootage. You can engage your attendees by turning them into a personal video crew, resulting in excellent footage that can be edited together after the event has ended.
At many conferences and events, it can be a pain trying to pass the microphone around to different audience members. Waiting for a runner affects the flow of a session and doesn't allow for spontaneous comments or feedback. Catchbox solves this. As the name suggests, it is a throwable microphone that audience members can easily catch. It encourages better engagement -- and it's fun to use! Built-in technology mutes the microphone as it flies through the air, and the padded exterior ensures protection in case it hits the ground.
7. Conferize Janet Newenham is the community manager at Meetingsbooker.com, an online booking portal that offers access to more than 70,000 meeting rooms and conference venues in 130 countries.
Conferize is a Danish startup that is attempting to build an online platform for event organizers and attendees. Visitors to Conferize are presented with a voluminous array of events to follow, allowing them to catch up with the buzz leading up to the gathering, access real-time feeds of the tweets and content (like videos and slides) coming out of the event, follow where favorite speakers are appearing and more. The site also can tell who is going to what events, so users can decide what events to attend based on good networking opportunities with people they might already have met.