Thursday Buzz: Let Technology Bring Ease

Don’t let technology complicate your relationship with members and event attendees. Plus: How the American Counseling Association is handling its big decision to move its annual meeting from Nashville.

It’s best to keep things simple.

Recent research by the National Restaurant Association  indicates that diners want restaurant operators to harness the power of technology to improve the dining-out experience, not complicate it.

“Restaurant operators and consumers generally agree on the benefits of technology use in restaurants,” NRA Director of Research Communications Annika Stensson said in a press release. “But they’re also in agreement that while new technology is useful, it can complicate the restaurant experience.”

Four-in-five restaurant owners surveyed favor technology advancements for improving productivity and sales. Half told the NRA that technology can make the customer experience bumpy.

“This research highlights the importance that user-friendly, streamlined tech solutions play in creating an innovative restaurant environment and that closing this divide will be a priority for the industry going forward,” Stensson said in response to the research.

This diner mindset is reflective of the views of  people in other industries, including media, public services, and—relevant to the association world—events.

It’s understood that attendees  appreciate technology—as long as it’s accessible and straightforward. But does your event need an app? Are apps necessary, given questions by participants? And is your event website design easy and simple?

Or does all that stuff get in the way of the experience?

Chat of the Day

Imagine relocating a major annual conference when it is less than a year away. The American Counseling Association is doing just that, following a controversial bill signed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam that allows professionals to refuse counseling services to LGBT people and others. (In June, ACA announced it was moving its 2017 meeting to San Francisco.)

KiKi L’Italien, the mastermind of the popular #assnchat, recently sat down with ACA CEO Rich Yep to discuss the huge overhaul. They touch upon how he’s dealing with contracts, vendors, communications, and more. Listen in.

Links for Your Day

Focusing can be tough. But what if you organize all your tasks before letting the focus-related anxiety set in? Eric Ravenscraft at Lifehacker discusses this productivity issue.

The power of chatbots in numbers: Kik messenger users have chatted with 20,000 chatbots through 1.8 billion messages, TechCrunch reports. And The Verge says Microsoft is getting in the game, with five new chatbots on Skype.

Dislike those 404 error pages? Instead of an error page, Mozilla Firefox’s new 404 add-on gives you the option to see an older version of a webpage via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the Ghacks blog reports.

Some restaurant owners are concerned that technology could overcomplicate the experience. (iStock/Thinkstock)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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