Whether it’s venue, catering, speakers, delegates or topics, many factors have to come together in just the right way to create a truly successful conference or exhibition. Weeks, or even months, of planning go into ensuring every detail of even the smallest event is the best it can be. So, once we have everything in place and the conference is underway, how do we know that what we’re doing is working and how can we tell which areas of a show are the most engaging?
We can ask people for their feedback and send post-event surveys all we like but nothing beats hard data that tells us, in real time, what we need to know.
At Red Hat Summit 2015 in Boston, one of the biggest open source technology events in the world, we saw just how easily this issue of event analysis can be addressed.
Imagine how many times that expression is heard every day. It likely conjures up images of a Swish Viennese Cafè but the truth is vending machine technology has advanced significantly to include coffee and a myriad of other snack options. In the U.S. alone the vending machine business is a $7 billion industry with more than 5 million machines and forecasters suggest by the end of the year there will be more than 53 million machines globally.
The same machine that dispenses coffee can dispense soft drinks, water, candy bars, chips and other snacks. In the past the items vending machines actually did dispense was hit and miss based on what was actually available, if you had the right coins and if they were actually accepted by the tin box in front of you. In those distant days you probably thought – who on earth manages these vending machines, why don’t they ever work, why don’t they have what I want and when is the service technician coming?