• 4 New High-Tech Gadgets Give Events Much-Desired Geek Chic

    FROM THE Summer 2015 ISSUE
  • 4 New High-Tech Gadgets Give Events Much-Desired Geek Chic

    FROM THE Summer 2015 ISSUE

From digitized notebooks to augmented realities, this is the new frontier of innovative technology that can enhance any event large or small. Illinois Meetings + Events takes a look at three of the latest gadgets on the market that have planners geeking out.

The Aura of Aurasma

With new innovations introduced every day, the universe is continually being reimagined in ways that we have never seen before. Such is the world of augmented reality, a tool that allows a user to add a hidden layer to a flat image. When you open an app like Aurasma on your smartphone and pass it over an aug- mented 2-D photo, suddenly it comes to life with video, sounds, even data that were not visible to the naked eye before. Marketers and planners can use it to provide interac- tive experiences and also parlay information in more space-effective ways—like QR codes on steroids.

How it works: It begins with a base image. From there, you can add in an Aura, a multimedia file that is secretly embed- ded over the base image, which in turn brings the image to life in the form of video, animations, 3D and more. In order to view them, users must download the Aurasma app (or an app that has integrat- ed Aurasma’s technol- ogy) to their iOS or Android device. When the equipped devices are held over the base image, it will reveal the embedded media. Event integration: Augmented reality can be useful for many platforms. At promo- tional launch events for new gadgets, participants can use Aurasma to see video tutorials of how each device works. At gallery events, attendees can use the app to download infor- mation about the artist or image. Aurasma can also be used to register attendees with registration photo recognition.

GoPro or Go Home

GoPro cameras are most often associated with action sports because of their ability to capture extreme images and video from athletes that actually wear the cameras through various accessories and mounts, resulting in a very unique POV. Even with their small size, the cameras have amazing image quality with high resolution, including 12 megapixel images and videos in HD as well as 4k resolutions that parallel cinematic quality.

How it works: GoPro recently updated its GoPro App (available for both iOS and Android), which makes it easy for users to control cameras via Wi-Fi. That means photo capture, start/stop recording and settings can be controlled directly from smartphones. The app’s live preview enables users to view the camera’s frame to see what the camera is capturing. Photos and videos can also be downloaded from the GoPro to a smartphone, which can then be shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. As well, GoPro recently partnered with Vislink to create a transmitter accessory, which can be used to stream high-definition content to a live broadcast. This product is set to launch at some point in 2015 and will likely influence events both large and small.

Event integration: Event videographers and pho- tographers can use GoPro for footage from creative angles. Since the camera is so small, the GoPro can capture photos/videos where a DSLR or traditional camera typically could not be placed. Strategic place- ment can open a bird’s-eye view of an event and allow for multiday, wide-frame time lapses. When used at concerts and festivals, GoPro can capture both art- ist and fan perspectives—depending on where the camera is positioned. These immersive frames are especially cool during events like the X Games where athletes can take viewers through course previews.

Notes from the Future

In the digital era, screens reign supreme. Desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones have replaced many other forms of media. Though these forms of tech- nology are often preferred, there are still many individuals who work best by putting pen to paper. But what if you could have the best of both worlds?

With the new Rocketbook technology, you can. Rocketbook, created by Rocket Innovations, allows users to enjoy the pleasure of writing with a tradi- tional pen and paper notebook, while being able to digitize the content and add it to cloud storage.

How it works: The Rocketbook system is a com- bination of a notebook and a mobile app (available for iOS and Android) that work together to allow users to brainstorm, write notes or create designs on paper, and then upload these notes to organized folders online. The notebook is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. It contains 50 sheets of erasable/reusable paper and is microwavable safe, which is important because to erase content in the notebook, users can simply place the notebook in a microwave for 30 seconds and poof, gone! The Pilot FriXion pens used with the notebook are heat-sensitive, erasable pens that contain ink that becomes clear when heated.

Event integration: The Rocketbook is a great tool for planners to use in the office. It’s also great for event teams as members can use the app to upload notes and ideas to shared clouds (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). For live meetings, Rocketbook’s sister product, Rocketboard, can function in a simi- lar way for whiteboard notes, capturing content that can be documented, organized and even broadcast remotely for meetings across markets.

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  


Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 


Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead.