Thursday, January 20, 2011

3 Tech Trends Not Named iPhone Take NYC Business Meetings by Storm

If Verizon is going to eat $5 billion to get their version of the iPhone in as many hands as possible, it’s a safe bet business travelers will have plenty of opportunities to try out more gadgets than ever in 2011.

Manhattan, the site of Verizon’s iPhone announcement, has always been the most fertile ground for tech launches. We recently blogged that technology companies are sponsoring, breakfasts cocktail hours and special demos for meeting attendees.

Here are more 4 tech trends, especially attractive in Manhattan, to keep an eye on this year:

1. “Grown-up” Social Media – Have you noticed that tweeting the play-by-play at a meeting or conference has lost some of its cache? Attendees at large meetings in New York - often located at multiple hotels - are using now social media to prepare for the meeting, learn more about other attendees, and schedule one-on-one time off-site. Utilizing sites such Pathable helps DMC’s like ours plan more of the after-hours activities that are poised to make a major comeback in 2011.

2. Mobile Itineraries – Verizon and AT&T may be jockeying for iPhone supremacy, but the real battle in New York for business travelers is among consumer-originating itinerary providers like Dopplr, TripIt and WorldMate. Furthermore, potential sponsors including Amadeus, Concur, Rearden Commerce, Sabre, Travelport TRX, are putting their mobile development and marketing dollars into what has been coined as traveler-centric buyer.

3. Event GPS -  New York’s September 2010 Fashion Week ushered in Fashion GPS and the technology was massive success. Event GPS provides a web-based platform that electronically tracks and manages exhibitor locations, guest lists and invitations in real time. I expect GPS to continue its emergence as a renovated Javits Center hosts larger EXPOs going forward.

4. Apps for International Meetings – With the emergency of TelePresence at New York hotels and conference centers, meeting attendees may need to simultaneously communicate in a virtual setting with colleagues in multiple languages. Mobile Apps such as iTranslate, which offers quick and easy translations for over a dozen different languages, will emerge as great tools for getting business done during meeting like a finance conference at the Downtown W. They are even better for international business travelers who don’t want to stuff their bags with pocket dictionaries!

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