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PSAV Develops 'Express App' for Meetings

  • PSAV® Presentation Services
  • 12.14.11
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort is among the first convention and meetings venues in the country to offer the new "Express App" from PSAV® Presentation Services to its meeting planners and event delegates.

The mobile app -- enabling meeting attendees to access important event data, such as the conference agenda, speaker listing, event sponsors, a virtual property map and a listing of offsite venues -- helps to turn ordinary events into extraordinary and unforgettable experiences for event goers. For hoteliers and meeting planners, PSAV's Express App replaces the paper-based meeting prospectus' with an interactive mobile tool that is quick to build, simple to implement and easy to afford.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe was one of the first PSAV customers to implement the app. Director of Catering and Convention Services Brian Lang worked side-by-side with PSAV's onsite technicians to customize the mobile tool for a Hyatt Hotels & Resorts regional Familiarization (FAM) Trip. Lang said the event was the ideal venue to demonstrate to Hyatt's Corporate Customers how his property is using mobile technology to deliver event content

"In the beginning I was skeptical that an easy-to-use mobile meeting app actually existed," Lang said. "Typically a lot of man hours go into building an app that meeting planners may not have in their budgets. But the Express App from PSAV was really easy for me to build and  attendees to use.

"The Express App also supports us in our quest to produce more green meetings," he said. "With a mobile strategy in place, we can eliminate the cost of printing a paper prospectus and passing those costs on to meeting planners. It also gives us another tool to promote when marketing our green meetings capabilities to event planners. Because attendees can access schedules, speaker bios, property maps, and even offsite venues in a digital format, it directly benefits the environment and makes their meeting experience that more personal and interactive. Supporting meetings and events with mobile-based services is definitely catching on, and everyone attending the Hyatt FAM Trip just loved having mobile content at their fingertips. In fact, we had a meeting planner approach us on the first day saying she needs the Express App for all her functions going forward."

Carl Mahnke, CMP and Hyatt Director of Corporate Events who orchestrates about 65 events for the brand every year including the FAM Trip at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, said he was unaware that a mobile app was going to be provided for this event, but he said it was "a great idea."

"Using mobile apps to support an event is the way of the future," Mahnke said. "Going forward we will attempt to offer it at every venue when possible. Being able to eliminate the cost and waste of paper is a huge benefit to both meeting planners and those attending the conferences. This is a demand trend that I expect to grow over time, especially as more tablet computers hit the market. Using an iPad vs. an iPod Touch, for example, will enable attendees to not only read documents and maps, but also take also take detailed notes. Interactivity is key, and mobile apps is making that possible."

As a cost-effective way to introduce the Express App to Hyatt and its invitees, PSAV provided 100 iPod Touch mobile devices uploaded with the event app to be used throughout the FAM Trip. Anyone wishing to use their own personal smartphones could do so by simply downloading the Express App from the Apple app store. PSAV's Express App works for all devices, including Apple, Android and Blackberry.

In the case of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe event, the iPod Touch devices were placed in attendees' rooms prior to arrival, along with instructions. While a charger also was provided with each device, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe also provides an iHome alarm clock radio from Hotel Technologies in each room to allow guests to charge their mobile devices and also listen to and awake to their personal music selections.

"Express App is an entry-level tool for meeting planners looking to explore the benefits that a mobile app will bring to their meeting or event," said Mark Ligda, PSAV Project Manager, Business Development. "It's quick to build and easy to deploy because of its limited features. It's a great way for event planners to explore using a mobile app without breaking the budget or getting too bogged down with building an elaborate app before they decide to launch a full-blown mobile strategy.  PSAV's Express App offers the basic information that attendees need to access in an easy to use format. It's simple, it's affordable, and it's customizable with assistance from PSAV's knowledgeable technicians."

The PSAV Express App is flexible enough to work for groups with less than 100 people or 500 or more people, Ligda said.

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