Religious conference managers will have the opportunity to hear from one of the foremost experts on mobile and Religious Conference Management Association's Emerge conference.technology—Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP—when he speaks at the
Ball has been making predictions about social media and mobile technology for years—and most have come true. He has spoken to groups in 32 countries and his articles have appeared in hundreds of publications, includingThe Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. He will address the RCMA delegation on Tuesday, January 29, from 8 to 11:30 a.m.
Five years ago, Ball introduced the concept of Web 2.0 to the meetings industry, back when Twitter and Facebook were still in their infancy. Today, he says, the rise of social media is transforming events and society in general.
Ball’s advice for religious conference managers? Resources—or lack of them—need not be a barrier when it comes to using social media and mobile technologies. “Religious meeting planners often do not have much funding. But the nice thing about advances in technology is that the cost for helpful apps to assist planners is free or very low.”
Most of these tools are fairly easy to use. “So there are lots of opportunities to use them effectively.”
Take wikis—interactive, collaborative Web pages such as Google docs. These can be used to track event management details in a common, visible document shared by geographically dispersed event planning teams (even suppliers). Or LinkedIn groups, which can be used by speakers or content developers to allow meeting attendees to voice their opinions or vote on their choice of speakers, activities, and other event details. Or they can be used after the meeting to rate, rank, and rant about meeting content. Online/mobile surveys allow attendee feedback and voting during the event rather than afterward. “There were virtually none of these even five years ago,” says Ball.
He also predicted the augmentation (and, sometimes, replacement) of meetings by technology, a trend that, he says, will only continue. “There’s Skype HD, Google Hangouts, and many more free/low- cost tools. bXbOnline is coming. Hybrid meetings are hot.”
What’s on the horizon? RFID (radio frequency identification) is already being used and NFC (near field communication) is coming. When Apple adds this capability to the iPhone/iPad, “we will see an explosion in this area.”