Joe Schwinger, Co-Founder & CEO
Joe Schwinger, co-founder and CEO of MeetingPlay, lives by the principle of conceptualizing new solutions every time he is faced with a challenge. Where others might see adversity, he creates solution-based opportunities. This approach to problem-solving, coupled with Schwinger’s vast experience in the hospitality and technology industries, has resulted in the premier event technology solutions that his company, MeetingPlay provides. The firm offers app-based solutions to boost attendee engagement, create effective networking opportunities, and, in turn, increase event organizers’ return on investment (ROI). These solutions can be integrated with features and technologies that are tailored to meet clients’ needs. “Many organizers plan multiple events in a year and are always looking for something new. We provide them customized options to keep their events fresh and appealing,” adds Schwinger.
Using Technology to Enhance the Attendee Journey
MeetingPlay looks at the entire attendee event journey and crafts opportunities to provide upgraded experiences throughout the event. In today’s ’experience economy’, this is a crucial approach. For instance, it’s important to make an impactful first impression at an event’s arrival point. MeetingPlay offers an appealing check-in option similar to Apple’s Genius Bar instead of the usual mundane registration methods. Not only is the experience welcoming but it’s also highly efficient. Since long lines are a huge turn off for attendees, MeetingPlay’s kiosk registration system gets attendees registered quickly and is hassle free too.
As attendees continue to move throughout the event, MeetingPlay presents additional opportunities to engage attendees; activity feeds and social walls are some of the features used to increase engagement. MeetingPlay takes it beyond typical feeds and offers live engagement displays that are large, theatrically lit walls showcasing the event feed, agenda items, videos, and more, depending on planners’ preferences. Furthermore, gamification allows planners to influence attendees’ behavior and make the event more fun; MeetingPlay develops customized games that complement the goals of a meeting or an event. “For example, when networking is a priority, we suggest a bingo board, where attendees are paired up using a matchmaking algorithm. Along with offering rewards for completing the bingo board, it creates an environment where everyone is encouraged to interact with fellow participants,” states Schwinger.
Next-level Networking and Successful Sponsorships
People attend events specifically to network, but the networking process can be a bit daunting.
MeetingPlay looks at the entire attendee journey and crafts opportunities to provide upgraded experiences throughout the event, which is critical in today’s ‘experience economy
MeetingPlay takes the stress out of networking with its matchmaking algorithm that makes recommendations on the best connections for each app user. Combined with the use of beacon technology, attendees receive proximity alerts when a match is nearby. Participants even receive profile information of the matched person coupled with suggestions to initiate a conversation. To further enhance the attendee journey, the company uses emerging technology trends like augmented reality (AR) to keep the experience fresh. AR offers attendees the opportunity to see things that others can’t, which leads to a high intrigue factor for attendees. MeetingPlay has used AR to convert static posters of industry leaders into live videos as well as developing scavenger hunts to educate attendees on brands and products, which creates buzz at the event and helps with information retention.
In addition to improving engagement and networking, MeetingPlay helps planners solicit sponsorships through a newly launched model—Pay Per Tap Advertising—where sponsors pay only for interactions with attendees who are keen to learn about their products. As the model offers measurable ROI, it attracts more advertisers, and, in turn, transforms the event app into a profit engine for planners.
Think Through Tech
Although all of the aforementioned features are capable of enriching events, planners must prioritize selecting the ones that are most relevant to their objectives. When first engaging with clients, MeetingPlay is quick to remind them that they shouldn’t use technology just to use technology. Rather, it should be leveraged to enhance the meeting experience and create a meaningful impact.
The efficacy of MeetingPlay’s event app can be further illustrated by the company’s partnership with a leader in pervasive data intelligence. The client needed an app that could foster effective networking among their conference attendees using brand new features. MeetingPlay not only provided novel networking opportunities but also optimized the client’s gamification efforts with a live engagement display that became the event’s centerpiece. Post-event surveys reported that 89 percent of the attendees were delighted with the experience that MeetingPlay’s app delivered.
MeetingPlay has piloted a multitude of events, meetings, and conferences to success with its hospitality expertise, customer-centric approach, and focus on emerging technologies. Recently, the company efficiently managed an event with 35,000 attendees. “Not many app providers are as customizable as we are. Our niche is being able to brainstorm solutions that can help accomplish all of the clients’ goals,” concludes Schwinger.