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Apps Unlock Meeting Potential with Global Spectrum

Global Spectrum wants to be an industry leader in the use of social media applications. Here is a case in point: The Global Spectrum-managed Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia added the photo messaging application Snapchat to its social media options.

In order to get exclusive content and special offers from the center, users can add “WFCPhilly” to their Snapchat friends list. Matt Holman, general manager of the center, said Global Spectrum wants to maximize its exposure in the busy Philadelphia market where there is already much to occupy the consumer’s time.


Social Media Arsenal

Joe Capitanelli, regional marketing director at the Global Spectrum-operated St. Charles Convention Center in Missouri, agreed that social media must be part of his staff’s arsenal.

“All marketers at all of our convention centers use interactive or social tools to build databases,” he said. “I use LinkedIn to target meeting planners to urge them to host events here. It gives meeting planners information.”

Capitanelli uses social media to connect the events coming into his building with people in the local community.

“We also have relationships with news reporters and public relations professionals, and we’re familiar with our markets.”

Research suggests that meeting planners or booth attendees like to engage interactively when attending a show or event.

“Instead of us just handing them a hard copy brochure, they’d much rather engage on an iPad app or online,” said Capitanelli. “We’re trying to trend in that direction.”

Capitanelli recalled seeing a trade show booth that had an iPad, and people who came up to it could take pictures of themselves and upload them in order to be entered into a drawing for a prize. The main point is that it’s new, interactive and fun.

Marissa Skibbe, director of marketing for the MassMutual Center in Hartford, Connecticut, reported that Global Spectrum is developing an application that meeting professionals will like.

“A meeting planner can utilize this to access one of our Global Spectrum convention centers to know about capacities or services,” she said. “It will be just a click away. It will be available by the end of summer.”

Skibbe agreed that consumers use their smartphones and tablets to gather info and that businesses must adapt to that trend.


App Development

Madison Strobel, the marketing manager at the Owensboro Convention Center in Kentucky, said the app that Global Spectrum is developing will tie into the local convention and visitors bureau. Why? Maybe a group using the center does not have food service. The app would list various local restaurant options in the area for after the meeting. There could be a dining discount involved.

“We want to help the meeting planner,” he said. “This is an extra step to help them and attendees to improve their experience in Owensboro.”

Being interactive at a show engages the attendee and encourages them to go to a certain booth and scan a QR code or take a picture.

“You can reward people with giveaways,” said Strobel. “It takes the next step.”

He added that meeting planners can use virtual tours of Owensboro’s facilities with 360-degree views of meeting spaces.

In Atlantic City, the historic Boardwalk Hall, managed by Global Spectrum, launched a contest that awards the winner with a pair of tickets to every event at the hall for one year plus a night’s hotel stay each time. The social media promotion, called Chairman of the Board, is designed to build the venue’s database with information from participants using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to enter the contest.

Dan Dickson

Dan has been a communicator all his professional life, first as an award-winning radio and TV news reporter for two decades and then as a communications director for several non-profits for another decade. He has contributed to The Group Travel Leader Inc. publications since 2007.