How Indoor Positioning and Navigation Technologies can Improve Convention Center Operations?| 12 min
There is always something new being invented in the world of technology on a regular basis; yet reaching out to businesses is the biggest challenge the technology developing teams face. Today, large facilities like Convention Centers are hardly aware of the technology that best suits them, so that they can utilize it for the smooth running of their venue. Technologies such as indoor positioning, indoor navigation and wayfinding might just be the right applications for management to choose and deploy.
According to the Convention Industry Council, there are a staggering 1.8 million convention centers in US who host large gatherings in the form of conferences, congresses, international trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate meetings, etc. Convention centers are even essential for the tech industry; with Google and Microsoft holding some of the biggest events in the recent times, the venue needs to introspect on their facility management in relation to the technology they offer to those industries.
Indoor Positioning and Navigation Technologies can be ideal for management of large facilities like convention centers due to the wide array of features they offer to industries.
What’s lacking in existing Convention Centers? Keep reading to know more…
The growing need for large venues with widely accessible technology is going to be rapidly in demand in the future for large groups of associations in venues like convention centers. However, Convention centers across the world need to expand and renovate in order to attract more events and be a better host. With the growing demand for technology among the users, convention centers should look forward to enhancing their operations for better visitor experience within the venue. Convention centers requires to work on providing more flexible spaces, the ability to blend virtual and in-person events, and meaningful sustainability in order to seek the attention of the next generation visitors.
Few challenges today’s Convention Center’s management face are:
Not all events are the same and today convention centers repeat the same monotonous approach to all kinds of events that take place within the venue. Convention centers should be renovated to ensure that they can be adapted to different types and sizes of meetings.
Events in convention centers look to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. Spaces need to be flexible enough to accommodate new technology, and there’s increasing demand for spaces that can be used as production studios for video in this digital era of visitors.
There is also more demand for highly flexible, unadorned hospitality spaces that can be customized to fit the needs of each event which convention centers fail to provide and that can lead to the down-fall of the venue in the long run.
Stadiums have a well equipped technological setup and to serve the visitors on par with stadiums convention centers need to expand and renovate their venue by seamlessly integrating technology. To be ready for everything from live-streaming videos, social media-enhanced presentations, the need for faultless wireless internet and even making sure there are enough charging stations for computers and phones, convention centers have to upgrade quickly for today’s increased mobility.
International trade shows, conference and events of high profile are demanding for digital technology within the venue that can digitally way find and navigate them in large facilities like convention centers. This means that the convention center buildings should be equipped with advanced infrastructure for Wi-Fi and upgrading distributed antenna systems (DAS).
Today’s convention center goers expect connectivity everywhere. Once thought of as a revenue stream for convention centers, free internet connectivity is an expectation of meeting planners. And today the convention centers lack just that in terms of their technological services.
Technology is the most important new growth area for convention centers according to 42 percent of event producers, based on a report from Red 7 Media Research and Consulting.
Convention centers lack the art of sustainability among the rest of the venues. Today, all large venues have a proper strategy for sustaining in the market but convention centers have failed to plan one. Convention centers are extensively looking to increase their level of sustainability for the environmental benefits and as well as for reducing operating costs.
Technology Can Change the Face of Convention Centers Right Away
In a world where we demandingly rely on mobile and internet connections, online meetings therefore happen to be more significant. Convention centers need to adapt to the technological needs of their audiences, while also creating environments that enhance the real-life experiences that cannot be captured online.
Convention centers are located in large tracts of area to serve the purpose of accommodating large masses under one roof and have their needs fulfilled. In this context, monitoring those large groups of people becomes an impossible task for the management of the venue if not with the technology.
Indoor Positioning Technologies
Ideally, any facility that is situated in large tracts of area should have the appropriate technology within the venue to position and navigate the visitors. Not just for positioning and way finding but also for several other challenges which visitors face within the venue; challenges like booking an event, emergency management, bookmark feature and much more.
The environment in convention centers happens to be very professional and formal which leads to the boredom of the visitors that can eventually lead them to rushing out from the venue as soon as possible. This process directly signifies that the visitors don’t really show much interest in staying within the venue for a longer time.
Convention centers needs technologies that can make the visitors have a good time within the venue along with the productive time which happens to be the primary purpose of the event. In convention centers, the other challenges visitors face is finding their respective event in the long list of the events which happen simultaneously.
Indoor positioning systems can enhance visitor experience in large venues like convention centers by making them position their location and also bookmark them in case of immediate exits and entries. The other major problem visitors face while in convention centers is that lack of network in their mobile phones within the venue makes it a cumbersome process to navigate even after having all the required bunch of modems under their disposal.
Technology That Can Serve Offline Will Be Double Effective
We all know the nature of convention centers and we have to acknowledge the fact that they are located in outskirts of the city so as to accommodate large masses of visitors at once. Having said that convention centers are located in isolated regions where network concerns are more often to be common.
Any technology that can provide services offline can be double effective in venues like convention centers. Most visitors in convention centers are high profile CEOs, marketing executives and sales executives from big companies and all of them have been facing network fluctuation issues irrespective of the network they use, due to the isolated regions convention centers have been located in.
In venues like convention centers, technology that can offer services without internet can come in handy more than that which offers services only with the hand of internet. According to the same report which is mentioned above, the Red 7 Media Research and Consulting says that over 39% of event producers feel that technology is an important new growth area for convention centers.
Time for Convention Centers to Embrace Technology and Enhance Visitor Experience
Not many venues loose the opportunity to associate with technology for better visitor experience and eventually increase their bottom line. Now convention centers can grab the same by adopting technology into their venues. There are immense ways that technology can help visitors and the management within the venue.
Let’s list few of them…
Optimal Visitor Engagement Can Lead to Optimal Visitor Experience
Not all visitors have a jolly and blissful time within the venue, especially in convention centers. Some venues are only meant for official and productive engagement. With technology like indoor navigation systems in convention centers, the visitors will have a point to point navigation within the venue where other events also take place similarly at the same time and venue on a different floor.
Providing visitor engagement in convention centers seems impossible unless technology meets the venue. The huge halls, rooms, parking lots, etc have to be navigated with the help of technology, if only with manpower then the management cannot assist each and every visitor, unlike the technology.
With large facilities comes huge responsibility and accountability. When thousands of visitors come together for common purpose or cause in convention centers which are isolated in the countryside, their vehicles which bring them there have to be parked within the venue as well.
Today, many smartphone apps have been evolving that can support indoor locating systems for booking a slot for your vehicle within the venue before you reach the destination. Also, the visitors can bookmark their slot where the vehicle has been parked so as to identify their vehicle among the rest of thousands of them.
Engaging visitors in convention centers can only be done optimally when the management of the venue can at first navigate their respective vehicles and later on followed by navigating them.
Technology Can Become the Real Strategy for Convention Centers
With technology under the belt of the venue, the visitors can have interactive participation with their clients online and show them the step-by-step processes of planning the event. Hence, this form of communication can make them feel involved and gives potential customers security that their event will be a top-notch!
There is always that one fact which holds the key to reach the next level in most of the venues: ‘by offering visitors their new demands’. Not necessarily new strategy means to change the entire approach and bring in an altogether new and fresh approach, in different venues the strategy ranges from collecting and interpreting data to implementing ideas.
In the case of convention centers, visitors are mostly millennials who seek information from a technological environment by the use of smart phones and applications, rather than intrude into other people’s time or space. An application works on a do-it-yourself principle wherein users of the app can simply login and plan at their day at precise locations at scheduled times.
Next Gen Convention Centers
Now that we have initiated a discussion on the relevant technologies and their application which can benefit convention centers, it is only a matter of time before indoor path-finding, navigation, and positioning apps will dominate the scenario. Today’s convention center visitors have conformed themselves to the limitations of a traditional space but next generation visitors i.e. the generation Z is expecting more flexibility and adaptability in spaces that are supposed to match the needs and unique factors of the events. Convention centers visitors will want to have the ability to customize their event experience in the future.
However, the technology which we use or about to use in convention centers are way too simple compared to the future of convention centers because of the services it offers. Services like hospitality, visitor engagement, navigation and way finding and much more will take place through the face of technology alone in the near future. Manpower will be reduced to a greater number and technological experts will be hired for better updating of software on a frequent basis.
Overall, the future of business for convention centers is as bright as ever in the history of the venue. Professionals all over the world will witness best experience in convention centers like never before with the technological shift the venue adopted by then. Also, there is a wide scope for convention centers to showcase their city’s local culture and encourage event and conference visitors to stay well past their daily meeting schedules.
The visitors in convention centers in the future will have a holiday while they are simultaneously networking with their colleagues. This will prevent the feeling of the visitors that they could be “anywhere” when they are still in convention centers.
However, while looking at the professional side, the future visitors will be clear in their desire for a different experience in convention centers, and the days of uncomfortable banquet chairs and one-size-fits-all meeting rooms will become a part of the past.
Also read our blog How a Shopping Mall Navigation App can Benefit Your Business ‘Holistically’?