Great New Technology for Business Events at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

January 17, 2018 Kevin Edmunds


As meeting and incentive planners, I’m sure you know the awful feeling that likely came over the organizers of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in mid-January, when their massive show floor experienced a two-hour blackout. One of the large electrical transformers inside the Las Vegas Convention Center developed condensation on its surface because of heavy rain that day, temporarily disabling the transformer. Tens of thousands of people had to be ushered out of the convention center’s central hall, and many of them milled around in the lobby and outside the building. Luckily, the show came back online a bit later that day without any more glitches.

Aside from that, CES 2018 was eventful for the right reasons: lots of new technology devices that make for more convenient and more enjoyable experiences at home and at work. Interconnectivity has been the big theme for two years now. First, the 2017 show featured the debut of Amazon’s Alexa, a voice-activated, internet-connected digital assistant. And this year, the show demonstrated the Google Assistant, which can communicate with TVs, appliances, door locks and even ceiling fans.

For the hotel and resort business, these types of products are causing changes in what we will eventually offer guests: artificial-intelligence concierges that are available 24/7, and “smart rooms” where the guest can control lighting, temperature and electrical appliances from their smart phone—and it won’t be too long before guests will also be able to customize the artwork on the walls of their rooms!

For the business portion of meetings and incentives, a few new tech products were shown at CES 2018 that will soon be useful. They include the LG OLED Canyon, a 90-foot-long series of connected screens that can curve inward and outward, allowing attendees to walk through the experience of waterfalls, blizzards, ocean, forest and more, complete with state-of-the-art audio accompaniment. A photo of the product can be found here. Then there are the square-shaped light panels by Nanoleaf, which form a entire wall that has a touch-sensitive surface allowing event planners (or even attendees) to adjust the colors and brightness of the room as the mood of the group changes during a session. Here is a revealing photo.

The convention services teams at our Hard Rock Hotel all-inclusive properties in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and at UNICO 20°87° in Riviera Maya plus Eden Roc Miami Beach and Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, follow the latest trends in technology that can make an impact on business events. And they are always collaborating with our IT and technology teams to figure out which new tech offerings we will incorporate into our properties in the near future. So ask them what’s new at their property for making meetings and events more interesting and effective.

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