Conferences i/o and GDPR

Conferences i/o is committed to compliance with data protection legislation, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (which goes into effect on May 25, 2018).

Under GDPR, both Conferences i/o and its customers need a legal basis to store and process identifying information about event attendees. Though a legitimate interest often fulfills this legal basis, we’ve gone a step further and today we are pleased to announce the addition of a Consent Module.

When active, the Consent Module will prompt attendees for their explicit opt-in consent before they can start using Conferences i/o.

After they’ve given consent, attendees can manage the data they’ve shared with Conferences i/o, or even withdraw consent completely. We’ve tried to make it as painless as possible for both attendees and customers.

You can find more information, including a list of Conferences i/o’s third-party subprocessors, in the Conferences i/o GDPR Help Center.

 

 

New: Moderators can sort and filter audience-submitted questions

Starting today, session moderators in Conferences i/o will see a new toolbar in Social Q&A with options for sorting and filtering audience-submitted questions.

Sorting questions

Questions can be sorted by “Upvotes”, “Newest First”, or “Oldest First”. When using “Newest First” or “Oldest First”, a timestamp will also be displayed.

Filtering questions

Questions can be filtered by “Saved” and “Completed”. When filtering is activated, only the appropriately filtered questions will be displayed.

If your session has specific presenters assigned, you can also filter questions by just those presenters.

A few notes about sorting and filtering

Sorting and filtering is user-specific. If you have multiple moderators working from separate devices, changing the sorting and filtering settings within a session will not affect each other.

In the same sense, sorting and filtering will not affect the Live Content slide you might see in PowerPoint. PowerPoint, Keynote, and Presentation Mode will continue to show approved questions sorted by upvotes.

Sorting and filtering will reset to defaults (number of upvotes and showing all questions) every time a moderator loads a new session. We do have advanced configuration available for changing the global defaults, if you are interested in this please contact the Conferences i/o Support Team (support@conferences.io).

Poll results can now be hidden when using PowerPoint

Occasionally, presenters prefer to poll their audience without revealing the results on-screen. This is most common in pre/post scenarios, where a speaker asks a pre-test question, presents content related to that question, and then asks the same question again as a post-test to measure the audience’s improvement.

Previously, presenters using Conferences i/o had to use one of several workarounds to run a poll without also displaying the results.

Today, we have added a new configuration option to control whether or not results display after the audience votes. This option is available to everyone right now, and you can find it on the “Slide Code” page where you would set a timer for a question.

Choosing “No, Hide Results of Poll” will show a simple message where the results would have otherwise appeared.

This message can be customized — just let the Conferences i/o Support Team know if you’d like to adjust it.

It’s important to note that this creates two “hide poll results” settings for polls. The first settings occurs when you are creating or editing the poll itself (the question and choices), and affects whether or not poll results appear on attendee devices. The second setting (this new option) is limited to the display of results in PowerPoint. If you are running a pre/post poll, you will want to make sure you hide the display of results (at least for the pre-test question) in both places.

This new option will be coming soon to Presentation Mode, our browser-only solution for presenting live content. For the time being, it is only available when editing Slide Code configuration.

Introducing Team Battle, a quiz-style game for your audience

Today, we are announcing an opt-in beta for Team Battle, a new feature to the Conferences i/o lineup. Team Battle is a fun quiz-style game that can be played in real-time with teams of attendees from your audience.

How Team Battle Works

  • The battle moderator creates teams that will participate in the battle
  • The moderator creates quiz questions and defines how many points each question is worth (e.g. 3 points for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd, 1 point for 3rd)
  • The attendees join the battle and choose their team
  • The moderator launches each quiz question and attendees respond
  • The winner of each round is determined by the percentage of team members who answered the question correctly. If there is a tie, the average response time per team is used as a tie breaker
  • A leaderboard can be projected on stage and will update each team’s score after each round

We’ve put together a 12-minute guide on how to set up Team Battle and use this new game functionality during a session.

Conferences i/o customers can join the opt-in beta by filling out this form. We will be tweaking and adjusting Team Battle throughout the beta, so if you’d like to help us shape this new functionality, make sure you request that opt-in.

What type of event or session is right for Team Battle?

Any session, big or small, can use Team Battle. But there are some sessions that are natural fits:

  • A general session that is introducing Conferences i/o to many attendees.
  • An event with several well-defined demographic groups that would fit cleanly into teams.
  • A room with several well-defined sections that would fit cleanly into teams (like the left section versus the right section).

Can I use Team Battle at my event next week?

Absolutely, and we would love for you to use Team Battle as soon as possible. First, request to join our opt-in beta. Second, set up a dry run of Team Battle to familiarize yourself with the controls. Third, adjust any onboarding instructions related to Conferences i/o to account for Team Battle.

Get Access To The Team Battle FEATURE

Product Update: October 13, 2017

Pre / Post Comparisons Now Included In XLS Report

The data and graph of results for any pre-post comparisons that are created will now be included within the Polls + Q&A export for each session.

Q&A Panel Session Setting Now Available In Bulk Feature Updates

You have always been able to bulk import presenters and assign them to sessions but before this week the “Q&A Panel” setting — which allows the ability for attendees to specify which presenter a question is for — needed to be manually enabled within each specific session.

You now have the ability to bulk enable the “Q&A Panel” setting for all sessions. Don’t worry, if the “Q&A Panel” setting is enabled for a session with only one presenter it won’t impact anything.

Automated Evaluation Unlocking Now Available For Single Session Apps

Bug Fix

Attendees Will No Longer Be Directed To The Admin Area When All Sessions Are “Hidden”. Instead, they will arrive at the app homepage and see a message saying that there are no sessions available at this time.

 

Resolved: DNS issues affecting Conferences i/o today

Update

DNS service for .IO domains appears to be fully restored and the Conferences i/o platform appears to be available again for all customers. The Conferences i/o Support Team will continue to monitor.

Duration of event: Approximately 10:15 AM US Eastern Time until approximately 12:00 PM US Eastern Time.

Original post

This morning (approximately 10:30 AM US Eastern team), the Conferences i/o Support Team began receiving reports of the Conferences i/o service being unreachable. After a quick investigation, we learned that the global root DNS service for .IO domains is experiencing problems with its service. This outage affects all .IO domains, but is sporadic in nature, meaning that it is not impacting everyone trying to access a .IO domain.

If you are experiencing this DNS issue, it is possible to use an alternative URL to access your Conferences i/o URL. Instead of using “cnf.io”, use “cnfio.com”. For example, for the Conferences i/o app at demo.cnf.io, you would instead browse to demo.cnfio.com. This allows attendees to access your Conferences i/o app directly — however, our PowerPoint Add-In (if being used) uses the “cnf.io” structure in its code and may still be affected.

The Conferences i/o Support Team is evaluating this situation and exploring further workaround options, but anticipates resolution coming within a few hours of this post.

Example screenshot of the DNS problem:

 

 

 

 

Second-generation Windows PowerPoint Add-In is now out of beta

Our first-generation Windows PowerPoint Add-In, released in 2014, made it easy to embed live content, like polls and Social Q&A, directly into PowerPoint presentations. Presenters have come to rely on this functionality because they can poll their audience by simply advancing to a polling slide, and they can view the most upvoted audience questions instead of posting a “Questions?” slide at the end of their talk.

However, this first-generation version relied on an older technology, known as ActiveX, to accomplish the task of displaying our live content. As we prepared in 2016 to develop a second-generation version of our Add-In, we knew we wanted to get away from ActiveX while also laying the groundwork for major improvements to our Windows PowerPoint integration.

As of today, we are formally removing the “beta” label from our second-generation Windows PowerPoint Add-In, which has been available to customers since April 2017.

We are also applying a “legacy” label to the original (first-generation) Windows PowerPoint Add-In (more on what this means later).

If you want to jump directly into the second-generation PowerPoint Add-In, you can find download and installation instructions for the second-generation version here.

What’s different about the second-generation version?

There are three major differences.

(1) As we already mentioned, the second-generation Add-In uses a modern underlying technology to display live content. This is in contrast to the first-generation version, which uses ActiveX (an older technology).

(2) Our second-generation Add-In uses a special tag in the presenter notes of slides to identify what should be displayed when the slideshow is running. This tag corresponds with our “Slide Codes”. The first-generation Add-In used an embedded object directly on the slide, with hidden Slide Code attributes.

(3) A new “Conferences i/o” ribbon will appear in PowerPoint. While our first-generation Add-In created a single button under the “Insert” ribbon, our second-generation Add-In has a dedicated ribbon. We will use this ribbon for various Add-In settings, as well as to communicate when an update becomes available.

Screen shot of second generation Conferences i/o Windows PowerPoint Add-In ribbon

What’s new in the second-generation version?

(A) You can download all live content slides at one time for a session, rather than copy/pasting a slide code for each slide. With the downloaded live content slides file, you can quickly drag and drop into your presentation.

Don’t worry — if you’d prefer to insert live content slides individually, you can still do so with the “Insert” button in our Conferences i/o ribbon.

(B) You will not run into ActiveX-related problems. The ActiveX technology used in our first-generation Windows PowerPoint Add-In can cause various warning messages and errors. Though the first-generation version will still work, it can be annoying for presenters to have to occasionally uninstall/reinstall, and make sure they aren’t doing anything that corrupts the embedded first-generation objects (like edit the file on a Mac).

(C) Interoperability with Mac. Because the second-generation Add-In takes its cue from slide notes, you can edit files in a Mac environment before running the slideshow in a Windows environment. Or you can build a slide deck on Windows and run it on a Mac (if using our Mac App).

(D) Upcoming features. We’ve got some great new features coming soon that have been hinted at in previous emails, and these features will only be available to the second-generation Add-In.

I’m using the original (first-generation) version. When should I switch over?

There’s no need to upgrade right away. The first-generation version will continue to work on your system, and our support team (support@conferences.io) will be there to assist if you run into any problems.

However … be aware that the second-generation version will NOT run live content slides created with the first-generation version

This means that if you have upcoming presentations with first-generation slides, the second-generation version won’t know what to do with them. In this scenario, we suggest waiting until your next event or presentation to begin using the second-generation version. If you would like to move more swiftly, we recommend reading through our migration guide.

If you have any questions about what will be the best approach for you or your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team (support@conferences.io) — we are here to help.

I’ve never used the Conferences i/o Add-In before. What should I do?

If you are new to embedding live content (polls, Q&A) from Conferences i/o into presentations, we recommend starting with the second-generation version of our Add-In.

Which version am I using right now?

If you’re not sure which version you are using right now, the easy way to figure it out is to look in PowerPoint. If you have a “Conferences i/o” ribbon, you are already using the second-generation version. If the “insert Conferences i/o” button is listed the “Insert” ribbon, you are using the first-generation version.

What about Mac?

We support Mac PowerPoint and Keynote with our own Mac App. The Mac App works a bit differently from our Windows PowerPoint Add-In. Learn more about the Mac App here.

Download and install the second-generation version

Instructions for downloading and installing the second-generation version of our Windows PowerPoint Add-In are available here.

And don’t forget, if you have any questions or run into anything unexpected, you can reach our support team by emailing support@conferences.io!

9 Newly Renovated Convention Centers to Keep an Eye Out For

Los Angeles, California

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-convention-center-hotel-20170223-story.html

A development application has been filed for a 1,024-room hotel to rise next to the Los Angeles Convention Center. If all works out for developer, TriCal Construction Inc., a 53-story building with go up near the center’s south hall.

Gensler, the architecture firm hired, would design for a restaurant, rooftop bar, and banquet rooms. There will also include a swimming pool as well as electronic screens on the outside of the building to display art and advertisements, as shown above. The city’s goal is to have at least 8,000 guest hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center by 2020. With more hotel rooms available, people could experience easier accessibility to the Los Angeles Convention Center, compared to competitors.

Denver, Colorado

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/18/gaylord-rockies-hotel-booked/

The Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center is currently underway for its hotel renovation, projected to finish late 2018. 180,000 rooms have already been booked by meeting planners and 88 percent of these reservations were booked by businesses or groups that have never done so in Colorado before.

The conference hotel will have 1,500 rooms and once finished, it will be the state’s largest convention center. There are a few opponents who argue the project will take business away from already existing hotels in the area, but many think this competition is beneficial.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

http://www.journalnow.com/business/benton-convention-center-renovations-continue/collection_f1dd2c52-c941-11e6-8262-7ff92c54ecd0.html#4

Director of Operations, Grant Minnix, says the Benton Convention Center should foresee completed renovations by May 4, 2017. The bottom level is currently open to the public while the upstairs and outdoor area is finishing up construction. The newly designed meeting halls will be covered in custom carpeting, there will be a wooden deck overlooking Cherry Street and meeting halls taking up 25,000 square feet.

The City Council has spent approximately $17.5 million on the reconstruction of the convention center. The goal is to increase competition with local rivals. Alongside the new meeting halls, the convention center will undergo exterior changes and will be provided with new audio and visual services.

Little Rock, Arkansas

http://www.smartmeetings.com/hotels-resorts/89909/latest-new-and-renovated-hotels
http://www.arkansasonline.com/galleries/22149/album/#3

After a $70 million renovation, the Robinson Center in Little Rock, Arkansas is open again to the public. Changes include a grand ballroom with views of the river, modern design regarding the structure of the building and upgraded technology. The recently renovated convention center consists of 45,000 square feet of upgraded decor.

Robinson Conference Center is named after the late democratic politician, Joseph T. Robinson, who served as as state representative, governor, and U.S. congressman. He is considered to be very important for Arkansas’s history and the renovations are supposed to embody his history as well as the arts of the auditorium inside.

Columbus, Ohio

http://www.meetusincolumbus.com/gccc-renovation/

Greater Columbus Convention Center is currently under renovations and when completed, will have an added 37,000 square feet of exhibit space and 10,000 square feet for meeting space. Other changes include offices looking over the exhibit hall floors, a new cafe with local food and new artwork.

The center will also be connected to an 800-car parking garage. The goal of the renovations is to attract more people to a vibrant and community-like atmosphere.The renovations are projected to finish in July of 2017.

Louisville, Kentucky

https://www.kyconvention.org/images/Expansion/Slides/KICC_View02_lowreslogo.jpg
https://www.kyconvention.org/images/Expansion/Slides/TheBallroomStreetLevel.JPG

Renovations for the Kentucky International Convention Center have been underway as of August 2016. The schedule has been slightly accelerated to keep the project running efficiently and within budget. The reconstruction is expected to cost around $180 million. 146,000 square feet of the existing center will be expanded into over 200,000 square feet. According to the convention center’s website, www.kyconvention.org, Louisville hosts five of the United State’s biggest trade shows. The project is expected to hit completion by Summer of 2018.

Anaheim, California

http://www.ocregister.com/2016/12/13/anaheim-convention-center-expansion-is-on-time-and-already-getting-booked/

The Anaheim Convention Center has recently gone through a $190 million expansion that has added more than 200,000 square feet of space. Every year, the convention center holds around 190 conventions, catching the attention of more than 1 million guests. This is the seventh renovation since the building’s opening in 1967 and is considered the largest convention center on the west side of the country, sitting on more than 1.6 million square feet.

The entirety of the expansion has included a development of 450,000 added square feet, including more exhibit halls, meeting areas, a lobby and terrace. The convention center also offers a parking garage with 1,350 spaces.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

http://www.broward.org/ccexpansion/Pages/Default.aspx

In 2015, The Broward County Convention Center had been approved to add a headquarters hotel. An additional 400,000 square feet will be added to the building and the new hotel will have 800 rooms. The project is located on the Intracoastal Waterway and is not too far away from the Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The development is projected to cost about $550 million. Once the concept of the site design is approved, a site plan package will be developed after 8 months followed by site plan approval.

The convention center is already approximately 600,000 square feet. Once the hotel is finished, the public spaces and waterfront features should boost the local economy by more than $100 million a year, raising tourism rates and generating new jobs. Construction is said to begin in 2018 and will finish for opening in late 2021.

Las Vegas, Nevada

https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/tourism/tech-upgrades-coming-with-1-4b-las-vegas-convention-center-expansion/

Las Vegas convention centers attract more than 50,000 from 150 different nations, including the Las Vegas Convention Center. The development of the Las Vegas Convention Center is said to include a 600,000 square foot exhibition hall and 150,000 square feet for meeting rooms. Technologically, the convention center will also be upgrading. Digital displays that are used in airports and stadiums will make their way into the renovated convention center. The project, costing $1.4 billion, is set to begin late 2017 into early 2018 and will take 6 years to complete. Once finished, the convention center will have 1.9 million square feet of exhibit space and will be considered the second largest convention center in the country.

New Version Of PowerPoint Add In Now Available

We just released an updated version of our Windows PowerPoint add-in and Mac PowerPoint / Keynote presenter app.

Note: The second-generation Add-in is in public beta. While the Add-in has been tested by many users, there may still be quirks or bugs that have not yet been ironed out.

Benefits Of The New Version

Fewer Installation Issues For Windows Users

Our second-generation Add-In uses special “cnf” tags in the presenter notes of slides to identify where live content belongs. This release does not use ActiveX technology (like the first generation does) which was the most frequent cause of installation issues. Removing the use of ActiveX will result in fewer issues faced by users during the initial install.

Download All Embedded Slides At Once

In the first generation of the add-in users were required to copy & paste individual “slide codes” for each Poll and embed them into a PowerPoint presentation one by one.

You now have the option to download a PPT file containing all of your live content (polls, Q&A, pre / post comparisons, etc.) already embedded into the slides for you. From here you simply copy & paste or drag & drop the embedded slides into the appropriate place in the final presentation deck.

Manually Advance To Poll Results

New to our PowerPoint Add-In is an option for manually advancing to poll results, functionality that complements our existing automated timers.

Automated timers, which will continue to be available, are simple presets that show a poll’s choices and make the poll available for voting before showing the results on the projector. If you choose a 20 second automated timer, the poll will be open for 20 seconds before automatically advancing to the results.

 

With the new option to manually advance to results, presenters will be able to make the poll available to attendees and display the question and response options on screen — then move forward to display the poll results whenever they are ready. This is particularly useful if a presenter feels that not enough of the audience has jumped in to vote.

Want To Learn More?

All of the info you need for the Windows version can be found here and information for the Mac version can be found here.

New Feature Update

Introducing “Presenters”

presenters

We just added a new concept in Conferences i/o allowing administrators to create presenters and assign presenters to specific sessions.

This new concept will allow Conferences i/o to add a wide breadth of useful functionality, particularly for panel discussions and sessions that have multiple speakers presenting.


What can you do with Presenters?

Session EvaluationsSession Evaluations

Create evaluation questions that are repeated for each presenter in a session.

Social Q&ASocial Q&A

Attendees can now tag which presenter a question is targeted for before submitting.

presenters3Joining a Session

Attendees can search for sessions on your app using just a presenter’s name.

PollingPolling

Associate polls with presenters to keep track of whose polls belong to whom.

Learn More About Presenter’s Here