5 ways to make technology work for you

Dozens of new high-tech advancements promise to impact the meetings and events industry going forward, both from the perspective of industry insiders and everyday attendees. Looking to give your business or promotional campaign an upgrade? Here are five ways to better connect with audiences and tap into these solutions (sometimes quite literally) in coming months.

Design for Mobile Devices
The future belongs to mobile devices, with Gartner predicting over 1.2 billion sales of smartphones and tablets in 2013. Business, venue and destination websites should be optimized for these platforms–now among users’ primary research tools. Mobile designs need to fit smaller screen sizes, present key information or callouts with fewer clicks, and feature more media designed for rapid search and sharing.

Leverage Cloud Computing Solutions
Online (a.k.a. “cloud) computing apps now let your business travel wherever you do. Solutions like SlideShare, MightyMeeting and Prezi allow you to screen presentations for clients on portable screens, while tools including Google Docs, Dropbox and Zoho allow for remote group sharing, storage and/or collaboration. The good news: All incresingly liberate road warriors from their desktop.

Capture and Share Content
Every meeting and event planner should make a point to capture learning, feedback and on-site programming on video, allowing you to extend the value of special occasions far beyond day-of attendance. Smartphones and tablets with HD camcorders now make it possible to quickly share broadcast-quality clips online at little cost. You can even live-stream the sights and sounds of dream vacations using apps like Qik or Livestream free for customers to enjoy.

Capitalize on Inbound Marketing
Search engines represent a cost-effective way to reach shoppers and compete for visibility with larger rivals. To boost ranking and awareness, routinely publish photos, videos, podcasts and more–every organization can share attention-getting hints, tips and advice, or information on events and destinations, including evergreen pieces (“5 Ways to Plan Better Events”) reusable for future customer reference. Feeling sneaky? Consider also buying Google AdWords (online classified ads) based on rivals’ names or associated keywords (popular search engine terms) that shoppers will see while research competitors.

Invite More Audience Participation
Boost audience engagement and awareness by using creative social outreach campaigns that invite audience participation. Example: Next time you’re running a contest, try asking customers to submit photos, videos or stories featuring their best business networking tips or designs for your next ad campaign in order to win. All contributions can be shared or featured in ongoing promotional efforts, and provide added incentive for pass-along.

leadership and innovation speaker Scott Steinberg is a regular on the international lecture circuit, and heads management consulting and corporate training firm TechSavvy Global. A top-rated provider of keynote speeches, workshops and seminars, and bestselling business author, he’s been seen in 600+ outlets from CNN to NPR. For more, visit his website at www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.

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