Association Provides Google-Eyed View of Its Tradeshow

Hoping to provide a unique experience of its annual foodservice show, the Washington Restaurant Association recently outfitted its onsite staff with Google Glass to provide a live video feed of the event, complete with “on camera” interviews with exhibitors.

What if you could livestream your tradeshow or annual meeting to give people a firsthand, real-time view of the event?

That was the intent of the Washington Restaurant Association, which used Google Glass to livestream its 2014 Northwest Foodservice Show in Seattle April 13-14.

During the two-day event, WRA staff wore Google Glass while walking around the show, producing a video feed that streamed on its website to give people an idea of the event’s layout and provide additional exposure for exhibitors via “on-camera” interviews.

“It allows us to go to a lot of the exhibitors and industry experts who are part of the tradeshow and interview them in a casual manner,” said Lex Nepomuceno, WRA’s director of communications and technology.

All of the livestreamed content will live on now that the event is over.

“Everything that we [recorded] will be archived,” Nepomuceno said. “So let’s say you’re an attendee and there was something you missed or wanted to recollect, whether it’s the layout or a particular exhibitor, you’ll be able to access the archives of the livestream. And for folks who have never been to the event, this will give them a chance to see the event in action and hopefully encourage them to attend the event in the future, next year.”

The use of Glass was possible in part due to Nepomceno’s participation in the Google Glass Explorer Program and the new platform specific to Google Glass created by live video broadcasting service provider Livestream.

“We hope this shows the possibilities of how to use livestreaming effectively at an event and that it shows the potential of how Google Glass can give a unique perspective on how people from the outside view tradeshows,” Nepomuceno said. “Thirdly, we hope it gives exhibitors an opportunity to reach out beyond their walls and send their message out beyond what they could normally do in a typical tradeshow environment.”

There is some conjecture that Google Glass (which, incidentally, is available for purchase to the general public today only, at a price of $1,500) could play a big role in the event space. For now, Nepomceno encouraged other associations looking into using the technology not to be wary of it.

“Don’t be afraid to try new things,” he said. “As long as you do the testing and as long as you’re able to know the technology works, trying new things at tradeshows will help breathe new life into what you’re doing and maybe even allow you to enter into other markets that you wouldn’t have been exposed to.”

(Livestream screenshot)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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