US tradeshow targets technology companies

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Sports & Entertainment Alliance in Technology (SEAT) has joined forces with the ALSD to present a one–of–a kind conference dedicated to the technology executives of the sports and entertainment industry.

The 2011 SEAT & ALSD 5th Annual Technology Conference & Tradeshow will take place in Los Angeles, US, between 26–29 June. " The SEAT–ALSD conference is continuing to dynamically grow each year, as we enter our fifth year for the technology portion of the conference, aka SEAT Consortium, we have moved into the International Sports and Entertainment world, " explained Christine Stoffel, founder of the SEAT Technology Consortium. For the 2011 conference SEAT will have representation from across the globe participating as moderators, on panels, discussions and truly bringing the business of sports and technology together in one place €¬™ at the AEG Live Nation center in Los Angeles. The first quarter 2011 SEAT magazine sports tech corner article is highlighting an influential worldwide organisation across the sports and entertainment industry that Stoffel has recently come to know and hold a great deal of respect for€¬™Major Events International, headquartered in the UK. " I spent some time talking with Dennis Mills, the chief executive of MEI, around the topic of technology and its implications of planning and delivering Iiconic major events, " said Stoffel. " The following is a summary of our discussion and wonderfully articulated thoughts on this topic by Mills and the MEI team. " Media attention over the last few months has shown again the global attention gained by those planning and delivering major events whether that is the WorldExpo in China 2010 or the Commonwealth Games in India. Without doubt, the most iconic are the Summer Olympic Games followed closely by the Football World Cup. In fact there are many other Major Events which have massive regional importance and it is often claimed that the Asian Games (also on a four year cycle) is the second largest sporting event in the world. They all share common and enduring themes and three are briefly outlined here. As a general point about planning these events, the importance of time is the number one lesson. The event launch will always be to a fixed deadline – and this is measured to the second. Mills stated: You may be able to move a mountain but you cannot move a major events deadline. The implications for a global media audience and national reputation are simply too big to ignore. It is for this reason that MEI has drawn together a leadership team with cross sector experience to deliver best practice as a single point of contact. Getting organisational structures in place for Bid and Host Nations is a key MEI role as is ensuring they get access to suppliers who either are very active in this growing market or need to get involved. It is important to remember that the buying clients may never have delivered events on such a scale so early engagement is likely to reap the right rewards. The second key point is appreciating the vital role of technology which is at the heart of every major event in whatever capacity. This is not new but the drive for greater integration is perhaps now gaining greater attention, but we are still not there yet. To get the best visitor experience, maximise media benefits and ensure the whole event runs smoothly, an architecture approach is needed. Single e–tickets, applications on smart devices, LED information flow from effective CRM systems, integrated information to security systems to remove false alarms and highly innovative broadcast techniques have an interesting array of interdependencies which need thinking through to maximise value. Finally in this brief overview it is necessary to talk about security. Regrettably, these high profile events present media opportunities for those who want to disrupt them. These are not necessarily terrorism related, albeit needs to be planned for, and again must take a holistic approach from Critical National Infrastructure to Venues. The most likely security events are either man–made crowded places issues, disasters due to weather, accidents from poorly prepared infrastructure, protesters or criminal activity to include e–fraud. It is vital that these events do not become highly visible security operations. That said, proactive safety and security demands a common operational picture and key to this is information drawn from a variety of systems which must be designed and test to ensure an appropriate balance between security and civil liberties. In summary, Major Events present unique opportunities for those who understand the bigger picture and therefore commercial opportunities in this sports and technology growing market. By engaging early and taking a systems and benefits driven approach, great probability of success can be achieved. Clearly where MEI fits into this is to ensue the organisers and their procurement staff get to meet people who can deliver both thought–leadership and workable solutions to time and budget. If you are not familiar with this market check–out www. majoreventsinternational. com to stay abreast of opportunities. Be a part of the International Sports Community and register for the 2011 SEAT–ALSD technology conference so you can have the opportunity to network, learn and share the experiences of US and worldwide technology, marketing, venue operations and sales executives. You will hear how to leveraging technology to improve revenues, to market to your corporate partners, explore new ways to enhance the fan experience, see case study presentations and more. For more information on the 2011 conference technology tracks visit www. seatconsortium. com.

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