READERS' FORUM

What Event Product Would You Invent?

October 3, 2011, 7:00 AM EDT

Bob Glickman, Grail Nobel

Photos: Kirk Marsh (Glickman), Courtesy of Grail Nobel

“My dream event product would be seating software that allows you to move guests’ seat assignments around on an iPad app from the ballroom, and those changes would be automatically updated on the guest lists at check-in. The program would track who has already checked in, so you could only make changes to those who have not picked up their escort card. Maybe this already exists, and if so, I want it.”
Elizabeth Early, manager of special events and stewardship, Washington Ballet

“Wireless power adapters for lighting and A.V. equipment—for all those clients who just can’t stand that there have to be power cables to all the production equipment.”
Matt Woodburn, senior account director, Sound Investment Audio Visual, Chicago

“Laser eye technology that lets speakers know when they have lost the crowd. Or a virtual reality set that allows you to change the entire room location, decor, and theme at the touch of a button.”
Grail Nobel, president, Yellow House Events, Toronto

“An E.S.P hat for attendees. It would tell meeting planners: How many people are really going to attend? And what did the attendees really think of the lunch?”
Fabian Gomez, vice president of operations, Meet Las Vegas

“A truss that’s made completely out of LED lights, so it could glow. Truss is probably one of the most commonly used event production tools, and it’s just so ugly sometimes.”
Brett Hyman, president, Night Vision Entertainment Inc., Los Angeles

“Comfortable black heels. Really amazing black shoes that fit like running shoes … 12 hours is a long time to be on your tiptoes.”
Paula Wyatt, owner, Posh-Able Events, Orlando

“A special lectern countdown clock to keep event speaking programs on time. The clock would be color-coordinated, with green meaning ‘all good, keep talking,’ yellow signaling that your time is coming to an end, and red indicating stop. The colors would go along with a timing clock so the speaker is aware of how long he or she has been speaking.”
Dusty Rhodes, president, Conventures Inc., Boston

“An environmentally sound, clean, and more comfortable bathroom solution. I’m sure that fans and fellow festival producers alike will agree that port-a-lets are not the solution.”
Chad Issaq, executive vice president of partnerships, Superfly Marketing Group, New York

“A small, stylish device that allows event producers to deliver a mild yet impressive electric shock to audience members who, during a performance, allow their cell phone to ring, answer their cell phone, talk on their cell phone, allow their kids to run around and scream wildly, open candy packages at a slightly higher decibel level than the performance itself, and converse with each other as though they’re watching the performance at home on television. But really, I’m not bitter.”
Bob Glickman, founder and president, Glickman Productions, Orlando

“The automatic venue expander. We have very specific formulas we use to figure out the ratio of the number of guests to usable square footage. Occupancy and fire permits are based on it. Yet, we have clients that, at the last minute, will expand their guest list without notifying us, and now the venue is too small to accommodate the number of guests.”
Mark Yumkas, president, Angel City Designs, Los Angeles

“An automatic sensor that tracks how many people are in different event areas throughout the day. For example, at 2 p.m. on Sunday we had 600 people on the Garden House lawn. I envision it to be hidden like a security camera, but they would have the capacity to scan an area and generate an accurate count.”
Natalie White Bernal, director of special events, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida

“A Web-based software program that generates accurate budgets to send to clients with very little turnaround time. One would input all event details, ranging from rentals, decor, security, props, lighting, sound, venue, etc., and the program would automatically formulate an accurate quote. This would minimize time spent on collecting data and calling vendors to turn around quotes—especially given that some clients ask for budgets on such short notice.”
Brian Diamond, owner, the Visionary Group, Los Angeles

“I would like to see a smartphone app that tracks your event itinerary in real time as the event is unfolding. The app would prompt you when it’s time for each event component and provide suggestions on how to adjust the itinerary if the event is running ahead of or behind schedule.
Adrienne Maniezzo, manager, development special events, Art Gallery of Ontario

“Event cam. The installation crew places the small camera in a location that captures the majority of the setup. The main office could remotely check in and monitor their progress and make adjustments if the crew leader has a question or concern. The crew returns to the production offices and they can download the video for numerous uses, including showing their event installations to potential clients and training staff.”
Tim Koch, creative director, Poko Event Productions, Los Angeles

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