Tech News: Launch Shift Go Debut; Rove iQ Rebrand; Ungerboeck and Hawai'i Convention Center Enhancements
Event technology innovations have been transforming the industry for years now, and the plethora of developments is showing no signs of slowing down. Following is a roundup of recent happenings in event tech.
Launch Shift Go
DAHLIA+Agency has developed the first-of-its-kind workshop geared specifically for tech companies and agencies seeking a thorough understanding of the U.S. events and conferences industry and a solid go-to-market strategy.
Launch Shift Go is a two-week online course geared toward helping event technology executives and entrepreneurs understand and advance in the meetings, conferences and trade shows industry.
“In two weeks, we will cover what it normally takes months to years for event technology firms and new-to-events technology professionals to learn about the categories, competition, buyers, influencers, channels, publications, strategies and tactics needed to decode the complex event landscape in the U.S.,” said Dahlia El Gazzar, tech evangelist, idea igniteur and founder of DAHLIA+Agency.
The course was developed with Michelle Bruno, content strategist and brand advisor at DAHLIA+Agency, as the content and program lead, with experts brought in to shape the curriculum. It features curated education by award-winning industry thought leaders and trailblazers, including El Gazaar; Bruno; Adam Parry, co-founder and director of Event Tech Live and co-founder and editor of Event Industry News; Marco Giberti, entrepreneur, investor and founder of Vesuvio Ventures; and Sourabh Kothari, co-founder and CEO of Mindcurrent.
“The global events market is a huge opportunity for any event tech company,” Parry said. “However, growing quickly in the right direction can be costly if not done correctly. I believe this platform will give event tech founders and suppliers the tools and knowledge they need to execute on their go-to-market strategy for the U.S. market.”
The first two-week sprint for Launch Shift Go starts Sept. 15. Click here to register.
smartLink, a wayfinding software and smart kiosk company, rebranded as Rove iQ as it progresses into advanced customization, analytics, mobile and new markets.
Rove iQ technology helps visitors of event venues, mixed-use properties, city districts, sports arenas, hospitals and universities easily find their way around with customized, interactive, 3D maps on smart kiosks, digital displays or mobile devices.
“The name Rove iQ much better represents how we enrich lives through intelligent software designed to move humans both physically and emotionally,” said PJ Thelen, CEO of Rove iQ. “In today’s current environment, people are getting out and are obsessed with creating new and exciting experiences, and Rove iQ elevates each journey whether the desire is to be efficient with time or go in search of a new discovery.”
Rove iQ develops software that operates on indoor and outdoor interactive displays, as well as through computer and smartphone browsers. With Rove iQ, businesses and organizations provide customized, 3D maps that help visitors navigate their spaces, while also serving up additional information such as augmented reality selfies, coupons, current events and advertising.
The software provides venues with data analytics, allowing owners and managers to gain meaningful insights and generate additional digital out-of-home advertising revenue. Rove iQ is designed to create an opportunity for all types of venues to better communicate with and engage visitors, as well as make their experiences seamless, easy and enjoyable.
The revolutionary payment system will help Ungerboeck customers improve cash flow, increase repeat business and generate more revenue. For the first time, customers have a centralized view of all payment activity on a single platform that is fully supported by Ungerboeck.
“Good payment experience is critical to good event experience,” said Manish Chandak, president and CEO of Ungerboeck. “With the launch of Ungerboeck Payments, we now offer a truly integrated, best-in-class payment solution to our customers.”
Chandak added, “Partnering with Stripe, our customers will have an end-to-end seamless payment and reconciliation experience while providing payment choices and ease of use to their planners, vendors, exhibitors and visitors.”
Stripe helps millions of companies accept payments, grow their revenue and accelerate business opportunities.
“We’re thrilled to help Ungerboeck move money from event organizers to venue operators through Stripe Connect,” said Jeanne DeWitt Grosser, head of revenue, Americas at Stripe. “As physical spaces become increasingly important for businesses and their customers, Stripe’s infrastructure ensures platforms like Ungerboeck can power payments and financial operations at scale.”
Customers are enthusiastic about the new payment solution as well.
“It was an easy decision for us to choose Ungerboeck Payments,” said Kerry Painter, general manager at the Raleigh Convention Center. “We are excited to offer our customers a modern, integrated payment experience that also eliminates manual processes for our teams, saving substantial time and effort.”
Ungerboeck Payments is the perfect solution, according to Gary Firlit, director of accounting at Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
“Increasing usage of electronic payments is a top priority due to the many efficiencies they bring to our finance team and the significant improvement in customer satisfaction,” Firlit said. “Ungerboeck Payments is essential to achieving our financial objectives.”
Hawai'i Convention Center
The Hawai‘i Convention Center announced new connectivity upgrades to improve the guest experience at meetings and events. AT&T 5G is now live at the center, offering users fast speeds and more immersive experiences for entertainment and productivity applications that include hybrid events, telepresence, augmented reality, social media, video streaming services, digital conference badges and more
“5G is a cutting-edge mobile technology that will help transform both consumer and business experiences at the Hawai‘i Convention Center,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the center, managed by ASM Global. “Now meeting organizers, visitors and staff alike can access content faster than before, whether planning event layouts, livestreaming keynote speaker remarks or processing mobile concession payments.”
In addition to increased data speeds compared to previous generations of wireless technology, AT&T 5G also decreases latency. Latency is the time it takes between sending and receiving information. For conventions this will mean smoother connectivity, reducing lags. AT&T 5G users will benefit from the improved service automatically while at the center.
Meanwhile, public safety at the center now has access to new wireless and two-way radio communications capabilities. FirstNet®, Built with AT&T—the only network built with and for America’s first responders—is helping connect first responders to the critical information they need to stay mission-ready. With FirstNet, first responders can talk, text, send pictures and stream video throughout the center to help enhance their situational experience.
A new public safety-distributed antenna system (DAS) radio network has also been installed in collaboration with Boingo Wireless, the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s connectivity provider. Also known as an Emergency Responder Radio Communication System, the DAS network provides a dedicated public safety radio channel, available throughout the 1.1 million-square-foot facility, for first responder communications. This radio network provides an added layer of safety for guests and ensures best-in-class public safety measures at the center. In addition, Boingo has enhanced the two-way radio system throughout the center with four dedicated channels available to security and operations teams.
“The safety of our guests, staff and communities is our top priority,” Orton said. “We are pleased to upgrade our wireless infrastructure to better facilitate first responder communications.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has worked closely with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) to implement forward-thinking health and safety protocols. The center serves as a temporary public shelter during hurricanes and other emergencies, is home to HTA's hub to communicate with the visitor industry during statewide emergencies, and has hosted interagency operations with federal, state, and city partners ranging from contact tracing to housing and unemployment assistance.
“We applaud the Hawai‘i Convention Center for its commitment to innovative technologies that enhance safety protocols and make connectivity more immersive,” said Michael J. Zeto III, chief commercial officer at Boingo. “5G wireless technologies are the backbone of advanced, intelligent venues. Boingo is proud to do our part to design, launch and manage fast, seamless and resilient communications infrastructure.”
Photo: Launch Shift Go workshop team (from top, clockwise): Michelle Bruno, Marco Giberti, Dahlia El Gazaar, Sourabh Kothari and Adam Parry