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February 27, 2013

Facing the future With New Technology in the Meetings and Incentives Industry

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“We have identified a thirst for professional development and a desire to understand how to better leverage the potential of new technology in the meetings and incentives industry,” says AIME event director Sally de Swart.

AIME 2013's new technology zone, the Future Events Experience, showcased the latest concepts and innovations for the business events industry and provided an interactive experience for attendees looking to stay at the forefront of technological developments.

In partnership with Newtonstrand and Eventskills, the Future Events Experience featured live demonstrations of the latest pioneering technology, presentations about innovation to address industry trends and challenges, as well as other networking and education opportunities.

Newtonstrand also hosted Chance2Speak sessions as part of the experience, giving exhibitors the opportunity to make 10-15 minute presentations about future industry trends and innovations.

One of the highlights of the Future Events Experience was LinkedIn co-founder and Presdo chief executive Eric Ly, who Skyped into the “Face-to-face will never be the same with social media” session. Presdo, which produces an event networking product that enables attendees, exhibitors and sponsors to connect at conferences and trade shows, has partnered with Info Salons Group to create the “final link” between social media and face-to-face events. “I have never thought that social media would replace face-to-face,” Ly says. “We will always be human, and face-to-face will forever be the most valuable way to interact. If anything, social media greatly enhances face-to-face by creating new ways for people to meet.” Ly is confident that new companies, such as Presdo, will leverage off the “social” element at their core. “The revolution is only beginning,” he says. “Many technologies are now converging to make it possible to access information and services in any part of our lives and to have a seamless digital existence across multiple devices. In the consumer area, connecting with others and accessing digital services will reach an astounding level of sophistication we can only barely imagine. In the business world, consumerisation of applications will continue to make them easier and more productive than ever before.” When not starting up successful businesses at the cutting edge of technology, Ly likes to help others realise their business dreams in his role at Munich-based Wellington Partners, an early stage venture capital firm.

“I like to invest in entrepreneurs who have a passion for creating something meaningful, even if on day one, their ideas may not be right on or they lack experience for their intended business,” he says. “If they keep at it and I can see that they have the wits to adapt, eventually they will succeed. Don’t necessarily bet on the idea; definitely bet on the people.”

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