A Better Convention Navigation Experience
Improved Convention Navigation
Convention and event management is a unique kind of facilities management responsibility. Usually, they are held in dedicated convention facilities like the Las Vegas Convention Center for example. Many large hotels also have convention/event related facilities collocated whereby they can rent out convention halls, conference rooms, speaking podiums, AV equipment, F&B services etc. along with the traditional hotel rooms for the attendees.
In this type of business where each event is customized in terms of speaking halls, conference rooms, food stalls, exhibit floor, etc., the facilities managers must plan meticulously and assist the attendees who are easily overwhelmed by the sheer size of these facilities – it is not just Vegas that has these mega-hotel/convention facilities; they are now in every major city in the world. These events bring in much needed room rentals at hotels and allow for more predictable revenues throughout the year, hence these types of facilities continue to thrive.
These facilities tend to have a large footprint. They are like navigating a small labyrinth. Today, if you are an attendee at one such event, you arrive at the lobby of the facility, seek help from the receptionist to locate, say, room 603, where you wish to attend a seminar. If they have the resources, they will have someone accompany you and/or give you a printed map with directions. Or, they might say, “Take the elevator at the end of this corridor to the 6th floor, turn right, at the end of that hallway, turn left and then look for signs to room 603.” By the time you get to the elevator, you have forgotten the rest of the directions, and you have 5 mins left before the keynote commences. You would eventually figure out the directions after asking multiple well-meaning but ill-informed people, and you arrive ten minutes late to the talk.
Sometimes there is a separate entryway to the event center. There is no reception area per se, but you are greeted by two screens/kiosks. The first screen has the event menu. You scan the list, find the event you wish to attend, and click on it. It might say that the event is held in the Santa Clara conference room. Next, you look at the second screen which depicts a static map, and you scan the map until you find Santa Clara Room. Sometimes it is possible to understand the map, but often times, you will be back to looking for a human to give you directions. There are many disconnects. We have all been there. There is a better way.
In the most useful version of an automated kiosk with the event app (like InMapz), there is a single screen that does it all. You locate your event, click on it to show the Santa Clara Conference Room, and then receive step-by-step directions from your present location to the conference room. You can grab those directions via a QR code without having to download any app; the blue dot shows your location and stays with you until you walk to your destination—on time. You won’t be late to any session, there will be no frustrations with seeking directions, and no getting lost in large facilities. You are in control. Your customer just had a great convention navigation experience.