SpotMe 2, a handheld multifunction meeting gadget, has grabbed first place in the WorldWide Technology Watch competition, an annual contest run by EIBTM, the international meeting and incentive exhibition, to find top meeting and event technology innovations.

Forty-four meeting technologies competed this year (a record number—up from 26 last year) for the prize of free exhibit space in the MPI Technology Village @ EIBTM when the 2006 event convenes November 27–29 in Barcelona.

WWTW judges, led by Corbin Ball, Corbin Ball Associates, have three criteria for weighing the entries: innovation, completeness of concept, and value to users at events. SpotMe 2, Ball says, scored high in all categories.

The functionalities of the wireless handheld device, developed by Lausanne, Switzerland–based Shockfish SA, aren’t easy to sum up. It allows instant messaging among attendees and between the meeting organizers and any group of attendees, electronic business card exchange, and instant polling of attendees. There’s a participant photo database, a radar that identifies everyone within about a 100-foot radius, and a vibrate feature that lets you know when someone you’ve identified as wanting to connect with is close. The device can display a personalized conference agenda as well as the attendee list.

Runners-up this year include:

  • nTag—an interactive name-badge technology similar to SpotMe, with capabilities that include networking, messaging, agenda, polling, lead retrieval, and more.
  • eTouches—an online suite of attendee management tools, including registration, e-marketing, surveys, project management, lead-retrieval capabilities, wikis, planning templates, scheduling/room management, and more.
  • Jambo Networks—The company’s Mobile Attendee Directory allows attendees using any Internet-enabled handset to detect, search, and message other attendees.
  • Jot Event Messaging Systems—An inexpensive and easy-to-use Web-based attendee messaging system.