Helping The World Meet

#TTE15 - What Technology Will The Traveller Of The Future Use?

This week I attended the Travel Technology Europe Conference in London's Olympia. It is the only event of its kind that specializes in technology systems and software for the travel industry. While I wasn't overly impressed with many of the companies on offer (especially compared to the tech I saw at Confex and the Event Production Show the week before), one talk in particular really caught my interest.

'What technology will the future traveller use' was a demo session that took place yesterday afternoon and involved an insight into what technology travellers will be using in the near future and how this technology could change the travel industry forever. It included incredibly energetic and inspiring talks from Nicholas Gilbert, CEO of Aerial Empire, Henry Stuart, Co-Founder of Visualise and Joakin Everstin, Innovation Manager with Sabre.

Wearable Drones and Aerial Photography

aerial photography drones

First up was Nicholas Gilbert, a pilot and CEO of Aerial Empire, who talked about the rise of aerial photography and introduced the audience to some of the latest high-tech drones on the market, such as Nixie - the wearable camera that can fly. Speaking of wearable drones, he said they are simultaneously 'cool and terrifying' referring to the fact that we are now using military technology for pleasure! 

His company 'Aerial Empire' makes incredible videos for top class hotels around the world, combining aerial photography and flawless transitions to create viral video content. He says using drones for photography, especially within the hotel and adventure tourism industry, is a key way to stay on ahead of market trends and to gain maximum exposure for your brand.

Virual Reality

virtaul reality headsets

Next up was Henry Stuart, Co-Founder of Visualise - a Virtual Reality (VR) Agency with some of the world's top photographers and videographers. The company has worked with some of the world's most iconic brands and events including South African Touriism, the London Olympics and the Royal Wedding. 

He spoke about Virtual Reality headsets, comparing the current bulky product to 'the original mobile phone - the brick'. The hardware will drastically change over the next few years, in the same way smartphones were improved and developed over the last decade. These VR headsets allow travellers to see and hear and experience a hotel, a resort, a waterfall, a roller coaster or a beach before they have ever left the country. 

He emphasized that these 360 degree virtual tours will be available to everyone, anywhere. He said, "This doesn't live on the headset. It lives on millions of mobile phones around the world. You can share an image at any stage. Anyone, anywhere can jump into the experience at that point."

Google Glass and 'Location Based Services'

ibeacon location based services

The last speaker was Joakim Everstin from Sabre - one of the biggest travel market places in the world. Joakim talked us through Google Glass and latest innovations in similar technologies but what was more interesting was his view on 'location based services'.

Location based services offer individuals specific offers or services depending on where they are located within a building, For example, if you are entering an airport you could get a message offering you to upgrade to a 'fastrack' ticket allowing you to skip long security queues. Or receiving a text message once you sit down on the plane, asking if you want to upgrade to  a higher class to avoid screaming children and cramped leg space.

This can be done by pinpointing exactly where a person is within a building using WiFi triangulation and i-beacon points. Technology allows us to know where a person is within a building down to to a few meters.

He said, "In the future, you may not need a room key for your hotel - the i-beacon in the room will let you know when you are at your room and then you can use your smartphone to enter."

So, should we be excited about the future of travel or is it all a little invasive and slightly...terrifying?! 

7 Unique London Meeting Spaces

While there is an incredible variety of hotels and conference venues to choose from in London, it can sometimes be difficult to find a totally unique venue for your meeting. Sometimes you need something that is a little bit more innovative; a venue that will get the creative juices flowing, inspire attendees and create a fun and edgy atmosphere. 

After looking through hundreds of different venues around Greater London, we have compiled this list of 7 of the most unique venues to host your next meeting. After all, who said meetings can’t be fun?!

7. Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

Meetings Fun Great

If you work for an advertising company or for a big name brand, this could be the perfect venue for you. What better way to brainstorm new advertising ideas than in a museum that is full to the brim with famous adverts from the past?

Everything can be found here…the brands and packs, posters and ads, fads and fashions, toys and games. Both evocative and inspiring, this museum is a kaleidoscope of images and iconic brands. 

The museum, which is ideal venue for evening events, is definitely one of the most unique venues in London.

 6. The London Film Museum

A recent arrival in the old Covent Garden flower market building, the London Film Museum is dedicated to the rich history of the British film industry. Its permanent collection uses artefacts, photography, film and multimedia tools to take visitors on a journey through the story of cinema.

With stunning architecture, large spacious rooms and beautiful lighting, this venue would be a great choice for an exhibition or a large reception event.

5. Royal Air Force Museum

If you are looking for a venue with a difference, and one which is steeped in history, then this is the perfect choice for you. The Royal Air Force Museum is Britain’s only National Museum dedicated wholly to aviation, the science of flight and the RAF.

If you are looking for an exclusive venue to really impress your guests, you can’t get more unique than the RAF Museum’s exclusive function halls which contain rare and historic artifacts from the world of aviation.

Just imagine your guests enjoying a glass of wine beneath iconic aircraft such as the Spitfire and Hurricane or enjoying a post conference dinner underneath the wings of the magnificent Lancaster in the Museum’s Historic Hangars.

4. City of London Club

Based in the heart of the City, ideally positioned just 5 minutes walk from Bank and Liverpool Street stations and close to many other transport links, is the City of London Club. According to its first members, the Club offered ‘a Place of Useful Resort’ to those of ‘known respectability’ in the City. 

From an impressive formal reception and banquet for 120 people to a private room for an hour’s brainstorming session at lunchtime, we have the perfect function or meeting space for your requirements and the dedicated service team to go with it.

3. Academy Of Medical Sciences

Founded in 1998, the Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK that represents the diverse spectrum of medical science – from basic research through clinical application to healthcare delivery.

Located on Portland Place, close to Oxford Circus, Regents Park and Marylebone, this Grade II* listed townhouse is an ideal meeting venue for anyone working in the medical or science sectors or for any company looking for an alternative meeting venue right in the centre of London

2. Bounce Ping Pong Club

Looking for the most fun venue in London? Bounce - The ‘Home of Ping Pong’ is the answer you have been searching for! A converted nightclub, Bounce is one of the hottest venues in London and is a great place to spot both local and international celebrities! 

The venue itself, created by award-winning interior designer Russell Sage, is visually striking: it houses 17 bespoke ping pong tables, and features a 40ft long cocktail bar.

Bounce is the ultimate events venue, and is perfectly positioned between the City of London and the West End, the perfect spot for your next meeting or event.

1. Tuttons Vaults

Arguably one of the most famous and long standing restaurants in Covent Garden, Tuttons Vaults are situated on the east side of the historic piazza, overlooking the hustle and bustle of the markets. 

Prior to being a restaurant, this building was a traditional Turkish Bath establishment frequented by the gentry and politicians in the late 1800’s and is specifically mentioned in the Charles Dickens novel ‘Great Expectations’.

The restaurant offers private dining facilities created from old cellars inside of the old vaults, perfect for a post conference dinner or wining and dining company executives. It can also host up to 50 guests for a standing drinks reception.

Get Mobile - 7 Reasons To Attend Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile technology event in the world, takes place in Barcelona next week from the 2nd to the 5th of March. It is a combination of the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing the mobile operators, device manufacturers and technology providers from around the world.

Mobile World Congress attracts the biggest and best keynote speakers, technology firms and is the location for the launch of hundreds of new mobile technology products each year. So, what exactly makes Mobile World Congress so special? What sets it apart from all other technology conferences around the world? Here are the 7 biggest reasons to get yourself on a plane to Barcelona next week.

7. The keynote speakers are phenomenal.

Imagine sitting in a room with some of the top minds the world has to offer. People who have literally changed the internet landscape forever or have an unbelievable amount of influence. We are talking about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Tom Wheeler, US Federal Communications Commission Chairman, all of whom will be delivering keynote speeches next week. 

6. The latest smartphones will be launched

Highlights from the 2014 Mobile World Congress included the launch of HTC Desire, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia M2 and the 3 latest LG smartphones. This year European brand Kazam has announced it will launch no less than FIVE new Windows devices including three tablets and two phones. Samsung is also expected to launch the latest Samsung Galaxy and many other Mobile developers will be doing similar.

5. It is an incredible opportunity for networking

85,000 people. That's how many visitors are set to descend on Mobile World Congress this week. Can you imagine the incredible networking opportunities on offer when you have 85,000 people to meet and greet, drink wine with, exchange business cards with or make multimillion dollar deals with.

4. The world press descends on Barcelona for the week

Looking to make contacts with Journalists? Hoping to get your product, start-up or company featured in some of the top newspapers, magazines or websites around the world? With a baffling 3,900 press members from 1,700 media outlets - this is a prime opportunity to get featured and to make endless media contacts.