We now live in a digital age and technology has become a major part of every aspect of our lives, including events.

At the Pennsylvania Convention Center, we host a wide range of events, including large conferences and trade shows, gala dinners, graduation ceremonies, and smaller meetings, however, the one expectation that is common among all our customers and event guests is having access to a seamless connectivity experience and state-of-the-art technology.


Blog Website Slideshow (1320 × 550 px) (31).png
WWE World at WrestleMania 2024 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


Investing in Technology for Event Services


To ensure our place as a leader in meeting the evolving needs and expectations of meeting planners, exhibitors, and event attendees; event venues and other event service providers must embrace technology and stay up to date with newer industry trends.

Access to state-of-the-art technology has always been a key component of the Pennsylvania Convention Center experience and our team has made it a priority to invest in our facility and equipment. Last year, the Center completed a major upgrade to our internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure, by adopting the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology and significantly increasing our internet connectivity speeds.


Making that investment in technology was key to ensuring that the Center remains a best-in-class venue that can provide a seamless, powerful, and home-like connectivity experience for everyone in our building. Additionally, our advanced audio-visual capabilities allow our team to provide meeting planners and exhibitors with more flexible, innovative, and cost-effective event solutions, making the planning process less stressful and more enjoyable.


However, the investment in technology is not only needed at the venue or event services level. For event organizers, technology is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance the event experience at every step of the event life cycle.



Enhancing the Event Experience with Technology


The landscape of the event industry has significantly changed because of technology and more and more, event organizers have been embracing this shift because of the many benefits event technology has to offer. According to recent studies, 72.5% of organizers say that their event management software played a major role in the success of their event and 62.9% of attendees say that they expect in-person conferences to use modern technology.

With these findings, event technology should no longer be a consideration, but a given. So, what are some of these benefits that come along with incorporating technology in your event strategy? Here are just a few that we have identified.


Blog Website Slideshow (1320 × 550 px) (30).png
ISTELive 23 Conference and Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


Improved Efficiency and Organization


The introduction of event management software for planning, budgeting, scheduling, and marketing has completely transformed the way event organizers work. No longer is there a need for several scraps of paper with your to-do lists (unless you still enjoy the thrill of physically checking off your lists) and event teams are able to work from a centralized platform, facilitating more efficient communication and smoother workflows.


Improved Convenience


Registering for and attending an event should be a hassle-free experience for attendees and event websites with online registration, event apps, and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices make this possible.


Smart badges equipped with IoT sensors can facilitate seamless networking by exchanging contact information with a simple tap. Furthermore, IoT-enabled devices like smart screens or interactive kiosks can provide real-time updates, schedules, and personalized content to attendees.

Additionally, from the event planner and exhibitor’s perspective, advancements in audio, video and lighting technology in which data cable ports can be used to transmit data between devices instead of depending on miles of cabling for each service, are allowing for quicker set up times and cleaner looks on the event floor.


Enhanced Security


One way in which a 6G Wi-Fi network, such as that used at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, can be leveraged, is for the real-time monitoring of crowd density. By tracking the flow of attendees throughout the venue, event organizers and security personnel could proactively address any potential issues and ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees.


Enhanced Attendee Engagement and Interaction


Finding ways to keep both virtual and in-person attendees engaged for the duration of a conference or event is one of the main challenges meeting planners are required to solve, and that solution can often be found with technology.


Blog Website Slideshow (1320 × 550 px) (29).png
ISTELive 23 Conference and Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center


With access to high-speed Wi-Fi solutions, high-definition conferencing and live streaming technologies can be easily facilitated during an event. Keynote sessions or virtual presentations can be streamed both offsite and at various locations throughout the event venue, allowing event organizers to cater to a broader audience beyond those who are physically in the session hall. Additionally, incorporating live polls, chats, and Q&A sessions allows all attendees, both in-person and virtual, to be connected in real-time and encourages greater participation and interaction.


Another trend that we have seen at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, that enhances the overall attendee experience, is the inclusion of silent disco breakout sessions, which allow attendees to listen to presentations on the show floor, using individual headphones, without having to compete with the hustle and bustle of the exhibit hall.


Event Personalization


In addition to the use mentioned in the third point, advanced 6G Wi-Fi networks can facilitate the gathering of valuable data on attendee behavior and preferences. Tracking data such as traffic flow, popular event areas, and dwell times, can allow event organizers to optimize event layouts and resource allocation. Additionally, this data can be used to personalize attendee experiences, offering targeted recommendations for sessions or exhibitors based on their individual interests.




For event professionals, making the decision to embrace technology trends will help transform an event into a dynamic and interactive experience. Meeting planners will revel in the opportunity to be more organized and efficient, and event attendees will appreciate the convenient, safe, engaging, and personalized event experience that is created for their enjoyment.



About the Authors


Shawn Fisher serves as the director of information technology for ASM Global at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where he leads the management of information technology systems and services. With over 20 years of experience in various industries, including petrochemical, mining, manufacturing, information technology, and biotech, Fisher brings a wealth of knowledge to his role.

Throughout his career, Shawn has led IT divisions and supervised programs in cybersecurity, risk management, divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, and project management. His diverse background spans the entire value chain, encompassing research and development, operations, and executive management.

Shawn’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from North-West University in South Africa and completion of the Executive Development Program from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. 


Chris Gruber is currently the head of the production services department at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. In this role, he oversees multiple services within the facility including, in-house AV, IT sales, digital signage, advertising and sponsorship, and exhibitor services.

Chris began his career at the Pennsylvania Convention Center as an intern in the summer of 2008 and became a full-time staff member from October 2008 to June 2013. After spending a year at Talley Management Group, Chris rejoined the ASM Global team at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in October 2014 as a Show Services Manager and was promoted to his current role as Assistant Director of Production Services in January of 2023.