Social Tables is a robust cloud-based event planning software platform to assist planners with meeting design elements such as room configuration layout, guest list management and check-in.
The most compelling part of the platform is the 3D mock-up software that creates room setups quickly and easily, much like you see kitchen designers try out different types of cabinet layouts.
With simple drag-and-drop functionality, planners can test out multiple configurations to save and share with clients or management. It provides a quick overview to see how a specific layout will work for a particular room size.
Social Tables software can also assign names from a guest list to specific tables or chairs, which can also be tagged by categories.
Return on Objective
At IMEX Frankfurt this summer, we spoke with Trevor Lynn, CMO at Social Tables:
Prevue: Why is meeting design, with regard to event tech, suddenly such a hot topic these days?
Trevor Lynn: The reason why meeting design is getting bigger and bigger is because a lot of the technology that is finally here can now augment a lot of the logistics, details and planning of any given event.
Prevue: What are some of the takeaways from that?
Trevor Lynn: Planners are now becoming more strategic, so they have more time to worry about the content of the event, the experience of the event, how the attendees are taking in the information, how they’re interacting with suppliers. They can now really kind of orchestrate that experience, more so than if they’re worried about travel and bookings and room nights.
Prevue: So there’s more of a focus on content?
Trevor Lynn: There’s more of focus on the content. Because, really, there’s so much information out there, and the amount of information that attendees retain is like 8% of the overall education, right? But you’re paying for all of it.
Meeting design frees up the planners to think about if a presentation is interactive or not. Do people have takeaways? Is there a moderator or a facilitator? Are there breakout rooms to make the education actionable, so people really absorb it. I think that planners can now really focus on that because the other part is now automated.
Prevue: So a hotel, for example, could have a bank of Social Table layouts for planners to choose from?
Trevor Lynn: A planner can pick and choose, or a planner can go in and make custom layouts. So, for example, we had a client where they put the stage in the center of the room, they had four screens in the corner of the room, and they had the attendees sitting around the speaker in the middle.
So no matter which way you looked as an attendee, you’re seeing the person on the stage as well as the screen, and you can pay attention no matter where you’re sitting. Therefore. it’s more thinking about how do people retain information, how do they stay engaged, how do you make sure they don’t sit there with their phone and go on Facebook when they’re in the middle of a general session.
One of the ways hotels use us is they’ll be on the phone with a client, the client will be looking at the floor plan, the hotel will be looking at the floor plan and they’ll be making edits in real time.
Prevue: So the ROI is being able to maximize room efficiency?
Trevor Lynn: It’s like, let’s try this same setup we had in room A in room B, and let’s get a bigger stage this time and see how that works. Because for the planner, maybe they can do it in a smaller room, but what does that mean for the attendee experience? If I do it in room A, maybe the seating is too cramped. Maybe I need my attendees to sit on lounge furniture so they can be relaxed. I don’t need them sitting in classroom style.
So you take into account these different things, and you can then get your ‘return on objective,’ is what we like to call it. And what can you do to increase your return on objective? It’s the environment and experience. By automating the grunt work, planners can focus on the big picture and what’s important.