Self-Service and Technology – The Latest Innovations Shaping Today’s Meetings and Events

Smart sanitizer kiosk

 By Linda Jarrett

Companies now, more than ever, have access to several tech innovations that can take their group functions to the next level.  Below are some of the latest add-ons planners can incorporate into meetings and events to increase efficiency, promote safety, and/or offer creative conveniences for those in attendance.

Facial Recognition

One of the products streamlining the process of registering eventgoers is facial recognition.

The hospitality industry deals with large numbers of customers at a time. Events are an ideal field to implement facial recognition. This system uses automatic verification to identify specific people, even in large groups.

Facial recognition can scan and identify faces and provide guests with a key card in minutes.

Facial Recognition 2
Photo courtesy of Zenus

Safe Setup

Another way to provide a safe check-in procedure is with Safe Set Up.

Cort Events, a furniture rental company for the meetings and events industry, has tips for setting up a safe registration procedure:

  1. Create individual check-in stations instead of one lengthy line and use staff to reduce cross movement.
  2. Provide plexiglass dividers with an opening slot for materials.
  3. Use floor markers to designate six-foot distances.
  4. Place hand sanitizing stations nearby.

Smart Sanitizers

COVID-19 has alerted the public of the need to be more conscious of hygiene efforts, such as handwashing. Shaking hands, opening doors, and using pens can be potential virus spreaders.

Smart Sanitizer offers hand sanitizing stations that can be placed in various spots around a venue and near trash receptacles. Besides hands, the device also cleans phones, wallets, and keys.

Their commercial hand sanitizers offer an additional revenue source with an LED display.

Mobile Taprooms

Coming into a hotel for a convention event, most guests are eager to start meeting people and networking. What better way to facilitate that than by providing beverages ready to serve at a moment’s notice?

Tapville can deliver drinks to guests by way of a mobile taproom that features self-pour taps of craft beer, wine, cider, and cocktails.

The company also offers kiosks, which are popular at shopping malls, airports, and entertainment venues, with the same self-pour features.

At their Destination Caribbean event, Northstar provided a wall of “Grab and Go” mimosas for clients to start their day’s events.

Nebula Projector

Presenters will enjoy this soda-can-sized Nebula Projector that fits in a messenger bag. The projector produces an image as big as 100 inches, and the 360-degree speaker makes the sound easy for attendees to hear.

Grab-N-Go Cartwheel Mobile Display

Meet AC, Atlantic City’s Destination Management, hosted an event featuring a Grab-N-Go Cartwheel Mobile Display from Eastern Tabletop. This made self-service easy for participants to choose salads, sandwiches, wraps and desserts.

The display can also serve as a bar, holding wine and liquor.

mimosa wall 2 one happy photographer
Photo courtesy of Meet AC


Robots have come a long way since Hal in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Stanley Kubrick’s memorable film released in 1968.

Robots take reservations, serve food, provide security, handle baggage and, in short, do many tasks done by humans– even down to housekeeping.

Automation and self-service are playing an increasingly vital role in customer experience. Using robots leads to speed, cost-effectiveness, and accuracy.

Chatbots allow hotels to provide 24-hour service, seven days a week, through online chats or instant messaging when staff might be unavailable. They provide an instant answer to any questions guests may have.

Robots can also take the place of butlers and luggage porters by including technologies such as collision detection, Wi-Fi, and Artificial Intelligence to navigate hotels and provide services.


Linda Jarrett is a contributing writer from St. Louis.

For 20+ years, the MEET family of products have provided regional and national resources that have kept corporate, association, medical, education, independent, and religious meeting and event planners informed about relevant vendors, industry news, tech innovations, and resources that impact and influence how and where they plan their group business.

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