Even with all the hubbub about how technology--the likes of HSDPA, IMS, NGN, IPTV, WiMax and VoBB--will change the way we live in the future, it seems that certain things in life remain resistant to change. Or, so I discovered this week.
CommunicAsia kicked off yesterday and I was scheduled to cover the opening address. So I braved the heavy morning downpour and arrived at the Singapore Expo early, hoping to beat the first-day registration rush, collect my press badge and have some time to spare to run through my notes.
I'd registered online and in their e-mail reply, the show's organizer confirmed that my registration was successful and outlined instructions for me to collect my press pass at the media center, complete with a map highlighting its location.
So I dutifully made my way to Hall 5, only to be greeted by a representative from the organizer's office, who flatly replied that I should pick up my badge at the foyer, a good five-minute walk away--eight minutes for someone shorter than 1.75 meters.
That same person also said, again monotonously, that they weren't giving out complimentary car park coupons this year. Lo and behold, I caught her giving out the last coupon to a journalist later that afternoon.
Okay, so maybe I'm not on the organizer's favorite press list.
But, here's just one instance of how a company didn't, or wouldn't, tap on technology to offer its customers a higher level of service. What could they have done?
Checklist no. 1--add these questions to the online registration form:
Can we offer you a parking lot at the Expo?
Sure, but only if you promise not to scratch my car.
What kind of food should we serve in the press lunch room?
Who would you like to be greeted by at the media center?
Anyone capable of speaking in more than one tone.
Checklist no. 2--send relevant material to journalists:
If there are limited parking lots, award only early-bird registrants a space. Then, send a congratulatory note to the lucky journalist via SMS, enclosed with an e-parking coupon which can be used for verification purposes and in exchange for the physical complimentary ticket.
Have the back-end system trigger alerts, which can be sent either via e-mail, SMS or IM, whenever there are important updates regarding the event.
Read: Pick up press badge at Foyer, NOT media center.
After all, what good is all this technology if one doesn't want, or know how, to apply it?