I am over photo booths. There. I said it.
Why have a boring old photo booth when you can have something so much more fun and interactive?
I don’t mean to be so harsh, photo booths might be perfectly acceptable for your event. They certainly aren’t going away any time soon, from weddings to mitzvahs to corporate events, they are still pretty popular. But when tasked with finding entertainment for an office holiday party that you can read all about here, I thought the flip book station would be a fun addition.
You might be saying, what IS a flip book station? I would have said the same thing as well if I hadn’t seen them in action at a conference I attended last summer. Do you remember those flip books you had when you were younger – you would flip the pages really fast and it would look animated? I remember I had a Steamboat Willy one growing up, if you flipped the pages quickly Mickey Mouse would whistle and pull down the horn.
One of the easiest ways to transform any room is through lighting. I’ve been a fan of lighting rooms for a while, but this weekend I was coordinating a wedding where uplighting and draping was used in a fantastic way. The wedding was at the Hyatt Arlington, one of my favorite hotels in Arlington. I’ve done many events there, but never a wedding before. I was excited to see the ballroom transformed.
The ballroom at the Hyatt Arlington isn’t bad on its own – it’s just plain. Here is a before shot:
I was recently at the Corporate Meetings Summit hosted by Cvent, which is an event technology company. Prior to the conference, attendees were not so subtly reminded to ‘download the app.’ Not surprising, right? Cvent recently acquired Crowd Compass and offers mobile apps in house now, plus apps just jive with the whole “future of the meetings industry” warm fuzzies that companies like Cvent (and just about everyone) are always talking about.
Here’s the issue though: I tried to download the app and it wouldn’t work!
I tried to download it before I even left for the conference, like a dutiful attendee. I tried several times and it just wouldn’t load right on my phone.
No biggie though, I thought. I”ll just pick up a paper schedule on-site.
Or so I thought!
Joke was on me! Cvent didn’t offer paper schedules – because they wanted everyone to use the app! It became a bit of a running joke throughout the whole conference – “The future is digital. Mobile apps are the future. Don’t be a meetings dinosaur – download the app!”
But what if your guests can’t download the app!
I’m in favor of any technology (mobile apps included) being used to enhance meetings when it makes sense. But you have to know your group and you have to properly invest in the tech to make sure it works.
I was able to eventually download the conference app. Cvent had a mobile app help desk (staffed with a slightly condescending man who asked me ‘Well, do you use apps? Have you ever downloaded one before?” Which I bristled at… I’ve been a little age sensitive ever since Connect Magazine listed me as 37 instead of 27.)
I wasn’t blown away by the app. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. The push notifications killed my battery, which was a bummer.
What are your thoughts on mobile apps? As a planner, do you use them for your events? As an events enthusiast, do you like using mobile apps? What makes or breaks an app for you?