Image by: Katherine M Bex
We live in a busy, nonstop world. Scheduling difficulties, the aging of the population and overcrowding are some major issues/barriers to events and conferences. In many instances, there are undershot consumers who would welcome disruptive innovation in the way they experience their conferences.
The problem with Conferences
In terms of conferences, a major problem that plagues most attendees is the disproportionate learning at the event and subsequent application to their environment. Attendees frequently report going to interesting talks where applied ideas are compelling, but have problems transferring that knowledge to their position in real-life.
Another big issue that many faces in conference attendance are the sheer size. With growing amounts of interest in major conferences, numbers of attendees have grown exponentially. Not only can this create logistical issues but it can also significantly interfere with the potential benefits an attendee can gain from the conference. A lot of conference-goers report that a major reason to attend a conference in the first place is to network with others. Whether a direct stakeholder in their business, a potential opportunity or a colleague for which collaboration is helpful, are most pertinent to their conference experience. The problem is that with sheer amounts of attendees, with the right people can prove difficult.
A Potential Solution
Augmented reality is an important potential disruptor for the industry. A proposed system for how pain points traditionally found in the industry can be addressed: the conference provides the A/R technology via an app on users’ phones. Taking into account that most conference attendees visit at least annually, the app will not be seen as a wasted one-time addition to the phone. It would be ideal for them to receive a type of questionnaire through the app where they could answer a few pointed questions about their interest, what they want to achieve, and stakeholders they wish to connect with. From there, the app could do some automatic connection suggestions, pushing emails to the attendee before the event so that they could reach out. The app could also create a potential schedule for them of which sessions might be most beneficial. An A/R beacon feature can help them navigate around the conference and can add an enhanced personalized component for helping them apply discussed concepts to their own experience while learning in-session. After the conference, this technology can be replayed through the app in video or system form for them to refer back to days or weeks after the actual conference. While there are many opportunities for enhancements along the way, this technology could help address some of the major pain points facing conference coordinators and attendees.
- Kaye, Lev. “The Problem with Conferences.” CredSpark, 10 July 2018, https://www.credspark.com/blog/the-problem-with-conferences.
- Tammy. “The Problem with Conferences.” Learning in Bloom, 1 Feb. 2017, https://learninginbloom.com/problem-conferences/.
- Christensen, Clayton, et al. “How to Use Theories of Disruptive Innovative to Predict Industry Change.” Harvard Business Publishing, https://hbsp.harvard.edu/download?url=/courses/658999/items/1742BC-PDF-ENG/content&metadata=e30=.