Cape Town: Africa’s Hollywood

first_imgOn the set of a 2004 German filmproduction in the Cape Town harbour, withthe city’s iconic Table Mountain in thebackground.(Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Mary AlexanderClint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon … top box office earners are headed for South Africa in 2009, as Cape Town ramps up its growing reputation as the Hollywood of Africa.The city has been an increasingly popular location for filmmakers since South Africa was welcomed back into the global community in 1994. Over 50 major productions – feature films and TV series – were shot in Cape Town in the five years from 2003 to 2007, including Blood Diamond, Rendition and 10 000 BC. In 2008 no less than 22 productions were filmed in the city.Clint Eastwood is to direct The Human Factor, an adaptation of John Carlin’s book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World. It tells the story of South Africa’s victory, on home turf, in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when Mandela and rugby captain Francois Pienaar united to inspire reconciliation between black and white South Africans – only a year after the end of apartheid.Mandela is to be played by Morgan Freeman, whose previous productions include The Dark Knight, Evan Almighty and Lucky Number Slevin, while Oscar-winner Matt Damon – star of The Departed, Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum – will play Pienaar.World-class cityCape Town’s appeal is partly because it’s the most beautiful city in the country, with excellent and varied locations. The city has long been South Africa’s top destination for international tourists and, to the irritation of most Johannesburgers, wins global popularity contests hands down. Cape Town has received numerous travel awards, and in 2008 was named the top city destination in the world in a survey by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper – ahead of Paris, London and New York.But its success as a film location is also due to the Cape Film Commission (CFC), which markets the city to moviemakers and smooths the way for them to operate there.“We have often been told that we are too ambitious and lack the necessary skills and infrastructure,” says Laurence Mitchell, commissioner of the CFC. “But it has now become apparent that indeed we have the capacity to become a global film destination.”The only other African country with a flourishing film industry is Nigeria, but “Nollywood” only produces low-budget, non-studio productions shot on video, movies which are often quickly pirated after release.Seven major productions have been scheduled for Cape Town so far this year, including The Human Factor, a number of Bollywood production, and South Africa’s second full-length computer-animated feature. The country’s first major animated movie, The Lion of Judah, was also filmed in Cape Town, with production wrapping up in November 2008 and international release scheduled for later in 2009.The city is a Bollywood favourite, with films such as Seasons Greetings, Life Partner and 8 by 10 (Tasveer) produced there in 2008. It’s also a popular for international commercials – brands whose adverts have been shot in the city include Peugeot, BMW, Nivea, Oreo, Coke and Hansa.Big earner – and getting biggerIn 2006 an economic impact assessment revealed that the Cape film industry contributed some R3.5-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product. Mitchell estimates that this has now risen to over R5-billion. It is estimated to employ some 20 000 people.To build on this success, the CFC is set to launch a number of new initiatives in 2009.“Cape Town and the Western Cape are set to become global film industry destinations,” Mitchell says, “and 2009 will be a crucial year during which we will have to up our game as the rest of the world would have taken notice.”In March the CFC is to launch an online location service, the first of its kind in South Africa. The website will be a one-stop shop for location scouts across the world, allowing them to access images of public and private open space in Cape Town, as well as private residences made available by recognised location agents.It will also provide GPS maps, and information on legislation, regulations and registration processes. Its functionality will allow users to shortlist locations online, identify location contacts, and search for specific locations in Cape Town and the Western Cape by selecting a region or a type from the category list.Over the next six months the CFC will also be working closely with Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality’s Film Permit Office to develop an online location permit system, the first of its kind for local authorities in South Africa.To make the work of filmmakers easier and safer, the film commission will work with various local authorities to set up dedicated units of traffic and event marshals. And in the next few months the CFC will launch the Cape Film Industry’s Green Campaign, aimed at improving the environment-friendliness of the sector.An important part of the commission’s new strategy is promoting animation, which it sees as a key growth area in Cape Town’s movie industry. The CFC and Animation South Africa, the representative industry body, have entered a public-private partnership in which they will collaborate to market, develop and support the local animation industry.Named the Animation Industry Development Initiative (Aidi), the partnership aims to improve animation skills and grow the industry over the next 10 years to the point where it is able to employ 10 000 animators at a given time. Its first project will be setting up the Animation Satellite Resource Centre in the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain area – the poorer regions of Cape Town. Recruitment to the centre will begin in February.Another serious boost to the local film industry will be provided by the 2010 Fifa World Cup, to be held in South Africa with Cape Town one of the nine host cities. The CFC has already started to map out projects to prepare the film and TV industry for the football spectacular.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] linksCape Film CommissionAnimation South AfricaCape Town Film Studioslast_img read more

Apple’s Long-Term Outlook is Still Solid, But…

first_imgTags:#Apple#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Apple, known for clobbering expectations in its quarterly earnings reports, put on a rare disappointing show this time. What can we learn from it?Apple Remains a PowerhouseThe trends and products that have driven Apple’s rise over the last couple of years are still there.The iPad is still the personal computer of the future, and Apple’s competition in tablets is still largely unconvincing. The iPad was Apple’s strongest seller last quarter, relative to expectations, with 17 million shipped. Combining iPads with Macs, Apple sold 21 million “computers” last quarter, an all-time record, beating even the most recent holiday quarter. iPad sales will only continue to grow, especially if a smaller, less-expensive version is on the way.The iPhone is still the best mobile ecosystem in the business. The iPhone didn’t sell as well as many observers expected last quarter for a few reasons, including anticipation around a new iPhone in a few months. And because it’s such a huge part of Apple’s business – 46% of its sales in the last quarter and 58% in the prior, blowout quarter – it has an exaggerated impact on Apple’s overall numbers. If the key to smartphone success  is the ecosystem of hardware, software, apps, and services, Apple is still the strongest player in the industry.The Mac is still the high-end choice for people buying old-school computers. Apple’s Mac business didn’t do so great last quarter, but a big reason was that the widely anticipated notebook updates didn’t happen until mid-June, near the end of the quarter. Look for a better Mac quarter in September as back-to-school MacBook sales kick in.The digital living room is still anyone’s for the taking. Apple sold 1.3 million of its Apple TV gadgets last quarter. That’s pretty good, but 1.3 million is less than 3% of the iOS devices Apple sold last quarter. For a useful, $99 add-on compatible with millions of TVs, the upsell rate could be higher. But perhaps Apple is smart to play it slow here: The Apple TV’s digital content story just isn’t fully baked yet. If Apple can sort that out, and if it ever has a ~$1,000 television to sell, the living room might become a real growth driver after all.Apple is still profoundly profitable. Even in a “bad” quarter, it made almost $9 billion in profit.But Let’s Not Gloss Over Key ConcernsChalk up some of the disappointment about Apple’s quarter to overexcited analysts who projected growth beyond reality. But as pseudonymous Apple-watcher Sammy the Walrus IV tweeted Tuesday night, “I don’t think it’s correct to just look at sales numbers and conclude everything is fine in Apple land. Concerns exist.” Those include…iPad profitability. The iPad is significantly less profitable than the iPhone. What’s going to happen when a cheaper model is in the picture? That’s not to say that it’s a bad move for Apple to try to gobble up as much of the tablet market as possible in its early state – such a strategy could pay off huge down the road. But if the iPad brings down Apple’s overall profitability, investors may value the company at a lower rate. They’re doing that today, with Apple shares down 5% in early trading.Growing reliance on the iPhone product cycle. The iPhone has become such a mainstream product that everyone knows when a new one is supposed to come out. This could easily cause millions of delayed purchases, especially this year as early iPhone 4 contracts come up for renewal. This “seasonality” has always been expected to some extent, and has been followed by pent-up demand and blowout sales, so it’s not a huge problem. But bunching everything up around the holidays doesn’t do much for the rest of the year. Also, the drop-off in iPhone sales from the March to June quarters this year – 9 million units – was a much different story than last year, when shipments increased almost 2 million in June over March. The main issue here is predictability, which is equally important to Apple as to investors.The big lesson: Apple isn’t going to hit it out of the park every time. This isn’t a revelation, but it’s easy to forget when a company seems to be on a permanent hot streak. The next quarter will probably be another forgettable one, but look for another massive holiday season from Apple.Also: Apple’s Reality-Check Quarter In Charts dan frommer A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

4 Painless Ways to Pay off Small Business Loans Early

first_imgHow OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Paying back small business loans (SBL) has become a nightmare for so many entrepreneurs in this millennial age. The research by Main Street Lender on over 10,000 business loan applicants in the U.S disclosed that about 64 percent of applicants were unable to secure any type of financing. About 82 percent of applicants were denied financing by their bank. There are four painless ways to pay off small business loans early.While several factors make it difficult for small business owners to meet their loan payments, there are unconventional ways to pay off you SBL early and with ease.#1 Apply for a loan that doesn’t exceed your current business worth:While getting a SBL from a finance company to expand your business is part of your business plan, working towards paying back what your borrowed shouldn’t be left out.Interestingly, one of the ways to pay off your small business loan earlier than expected is to apply for a loan within the range of your business worth. For example, if your small scale business worth $4000 and you want to apply for SBL to boost your business growth, it’s pretty much advisable that you apply for a loan within the range of $3000-$4000.With the loan within your business worth, you’ll be able to manage and track your business growth much better compared to when you apply for a loan beyond your business worth. For example, if you apply for a loan of $6000—this will not only make you think that your business has already increased but might also feed you with the notion that you have excess to spend.If you’re weak in managing your finances, with time, you might end up finding it challenging to pay off your debt.Note: The U.S Small Business Administration has emphasized that the success of any business lies in its management. And that poor management of small business loans is cited as the reason behind business failure.#2 Invest more on item(s) with high selling power:Practically, investing more on item(s) that sells pretty fast in your company/store is not just a strategic way of increasing your business profit. But, it can be a way to pay off your debt earlier, and with ease. How do you spot out the best moving part of your business?All you have to do is to study, keep track of both the previous and current sales records of each item sold in your store/company. Let’s say you run a retail store where you sell provisions, toiletries, and vegetables. And the average weekly sales report of each item for the past six months is as follows:Provisions: 345 pieces.Toiletries: 200 pieces.Vegetables: 150 pieces.From the above results, you’ll discover that ‘Provisions’ have more selling power than Toiletries. Toiletries have more selling power than Vegetables. Learn early that it is wise to invest a higher percentage of the loan on what is selling the best in this case — provisions. Then use a moderate percentage of the loan on toiletries, and a lesser percentage of the loan on vegetables.Thus, this technique ensures the constant availability of items with higher selling power — which will result in more profit.#3 Save 20 percent and invest 80 percent of the entire loan into your business:Saving 20 percent of the SBL received, and invest 80 percent of the loan into your business. This way of spending is a smart way of preparing for an emergency monthly loan repayments.With the saved money (or backup money) you can easily pay up your SBL monthly refund without going through stress — especially during low sales seasons and still, secure your reputation with the lending agency.Hence, if sales are friendly enough, it’s advisable to pay off your monthly returns from the money realized through sales and still leave the saved money for the raining day.#4 Adopt the two-week half-monthly payment system:Several analytical kinds of research have proven the ‘two-week payment system’ to be a reliable technique that clears debt earlier than expected. The Mortgage Report affirms a two-week half monthly mortgage payment system to be a program that short-circuits any loan amortization schedule.A two-week, half-monthly payment system is simply a scheduled payment system whereby a borrower pays off half the monthly loan every two weeks.Interestingly, instead of you paying off your SBL of $3000 in three-months — you will be paying $1000 every month. You can make up six full payments of $500 in 84 days in this way. This way of payment is less than three months (90 days) using this type of payment system. Thus, the two-week half-monthly payment system has earned you six debt-free days compared to the standard monthly payment method.Note: This technique can be used for any form of loan you have or want to apply for.Conclusion:There is no doubt that the challenge to pay back small business loans (SBL) has become a nightmare for many entrepreneurs, but with the above tips you should be able to make your full payment early, and with ease. Also, you have to be consistent in your payments to guarantee a reliable result. Image Creds: vitaly-taranov-145502-unsplash-825×510 Related Posts What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Entrepreneur and Online Marketing Consultant, Ejiofor Francis is the Founder of EffectiveMarketingIdeas. He’s highly enthusiastic about all things business, IT and blockchain technology, and he shares informative resources to help businesses and consumers stay informed, safer, and smarter online. Want to say hi? Shoot him an email at [email protected] Reasons to Outsource General Counsel Services f… China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Tags:#Entrepreneurs#Small Business Funding#Small Business Loan#startups Ejiofor FrancisDigital Marketer, Blogger, IT/Technology Copywriterlast_img read more

Where Live Video Fits into Your Marketing Strategy

first_imgLive video is a hugely powerful marketing tool. It combines visual imagery with a unique form of urgency, two-way communication, and an appearance on popular social media channels. But like any marketing tool, it shouldn’t stand alone. Live video has to be worked into an overall marketing strategy in which different elements support and reinforce each other to build trust and desire, and guide leads to the purchase.Using live video for your marketing at your launch is crucial.Brands that release their products with spectacular, eye-catching shows have long used live broadcasts to attract as large an audience as possible. Apple’s product launches fill the company’s own auditorium with journalists but also go out to people watching at home at the same time. When designers like Michael Kors release their new collections, they offer live video feeds from the catwalk.Smaller brands might have less splashy launches but they can still use live video.The live video will also support the products immediately afterward. Once the product is out and available, hold an AMA or a live product demonstration. You will already have trailed the launch and generated interest. The live video that follows the launch will give you an opportunity to show the product’s benefits and value instead of only describing them.Later, you can follow up that product demo with more broadcasts that help customers make the most of the product. Beauty firms like Schwarzkopf, for example, have built large audiences with live tutorials.One powerful marketing strategy is for a brand to associate itself with a campaign for a good cause.Starbucks, for example, has long taken part in voter registration drives. That association helps to raise the company’s profile and enables it to support a cause that all its customers, however they vote, should be able to support. When the coffee chain takes part in registration drives or helps to organize events to encourage voter registration, it often broadcasts them live. Viewers get to see a street party—often with celebrities—and they see the company’s logo.Much of today’s marketing strategy is content marketing.Businesses issue a steady stream of information to customers that help them to remain informed and educated about a topic they find interesting. Customers get to satisfy their curiosity, and the brand gets to show off its expertise, build trust, and create a connection with its audience.That content comes in a number of different forms. It might take the form of articles, both original and shared. It could take the form of images or the release of data that reveal trends and the results of experiments. But it can also take the form of interviews with other experts.A surf shop, for example, might interview a surfer about how they use their boards and find great waves. Those interviews could be published as text on the surf shop’s blog. They could be uploaded as video that’s cut and edited to include the best content and make both the shop and the surfer look their best.But it could also take the form of a live video. That allows audience members to participate. They could use the comment form to ask questions, like a radio phone-in. The interviewee wouldn’t even need to travel to the company itself.Businesses like BeLive.tv provide third-party plugins that create split-screen interviews, like in news broadcasts. The interviewer could sit in the office while the interviewee remains at home and talks through their webcam or their phone. It’s a very easy way to add interactive, visual content to a content marketing strategy.Live video is the only marketing tool that combines immediacy, visual imagery, and interaction. Work it into your marketing strategy and you’ll give your sales efforts a powerful boost. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Tags:#live video#marketing The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos image credit: ySxubvil Related Posts center_img Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Joel Comm is New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, podcast host, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist and eternal 12-year old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. His latest project is as co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast, a top cryptocurrency show making the future of digital payments easy to understand. Joel CommThe Functional Futurist Digital Marketing Jobs in the Government Sectorlast_img read more

Exploring the Convergence of the IoT and Patient Safety

first_imgThe growth and explosion of IoT technology has been astonishing to watch over the past few years. And while we often discuss the impact it’s having in tech and consumer products niches, it’s having an equally profound impact in healthcare – particularly when it comes to patient safety.6 Ways the IoT is Impacting Patient SafetyTo most people, the IoT sounds like some far-off concept that could have an impact down the road. The term is used so frequently that it’s almost become a cliché. But the IoT isn’t just another futuristic technology with theoretical application. If you study today’s evolving healthcare system, you’ll discover that it’s been catalytic in many of the innovations and developments that have occurred over the past year or two.In particular, the IoT and connected devices are positively impacting patient safety in healthcare. Here are a few of the specific ways:1. Adverse Event ReportingThe healthcare industry is overwhelmed by rules, laws, regulations, and insurance. Hospitals and care providers are hesitant to speak out about issues, mistakes, and errors over the fear that they’ll be hit with an onslaught of fines, fees, and lawsuits. Yet proper reporting is one of the only ways to curb the use of dangerous pharmaceuticals and defective products. This is where fully integrated IoT platforms come into play.Advanced medical device platforms are, for the first time ever, giving healthcare teams real-time access to patient vitals and results. This allows them to make better-informed decisions in the moment, as opposed to waiting for test results. Combined with predictive analytics, doctors can make proactive decisions about potentially adverse results or complications before signs and symptoms emerge.Improved adverse event reporting benefits both patients and doctors. It helps patients by reducing the likelihood of complications and offering more immediate and long-lasting solutions. It benefits doctors by eliminating litigious mistakes that could potentially lead to negative outcomes and/or lawsuits.2. Training and EducationAny time you train someone in a technical field, there’s a gap that must be overcome between theoretical knowledge and experiential understanding. An individual can be trained and educated for years, but until that person is thrown into a real-world experience, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be capable of executing. This situation is constantly being played out in the world of healthcare.Medical schools and healthcare training programs are perpetually on the lookout for new and superior methods for closing the gap between academic knowledge and real world experience without putting patient safety at risk. For years, this has been a struggle. But more recently we’ve seen how advances in training and simulation technology can efficiently bridge the divide.For example, companies like Intelligent Video Solutions use real-time video recording solutions to record training sessions and provide immediate feedback that medical students can use to improve and optimize in the middle of a session. The video can then be archived and systematically filed away within an advanced video library for future review and analysis. This sort of real-time feedback accelerates training and better prepares participants for stepping into real-world situations with actual patients.3. Remote MonitoringIt’s unrealistic and financially infeasible for patients to stay under direct monitoring around the clock. Once a patient is stable and comfortable enough to return home, it’s no longer practical to remain at the hospital. It would be a waste of money and man-hours – both of which are precious commodities in today’s healthcare industry. But with advances in remote monitoring capabilities, this is no longer an issue.Connected devices, powered by the IoT, are making it possible for doctors and healthcare teams to accurately monitor their patients vitals and other factors from remote locations. Examples of remote monitoring include:For patients with a history of heart failure, doctors can send home an internet-connected scale that transmits data and records key benchmarks. When paired with regular phone calls, this leads to far lower 30- and 60-day readmissions.For patients with heart issues, simple wearable devices – like fitness trackers – can send real time heart rate data to doctors. When paired with patient-specific information, doctors can establish systems that notify them of alarming trends that signal an increased risk for heart-related complications.Believe it or not, there are now “smart pills” with embedded sensors that tell doctors when medication has been taken. It can then track the pill’s activity so that patients get the most out of each medication they take.It’s impossible for doctors to be in multiple places at once, but advances in remote monitoring technology are making healthcare teams more flexible than ever before. In turn, patients are getting better care and more consistently positive results.4. Workflow AutomationAs the number of connected devices increases, hospitals are tasked with finding ways to efficiently manage the data they have available at their fingertips. And without a proper system in place, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of meaningless data and superfluous information.Consider, for example, that the average patient has somewhere between three and six monitoring devices attached to them while admitted. This requires a time commitment of at least five to 15 minutes for a nurse to check each patient’s vital signs, thereby limiting the number of patients that can be seen to just a few per hour. Medical device connectivity with proper workflow automation helps solve this bottleneck by automatically sending patient data to the underlying Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and producing real-time reports that can be accurately reviewed in seconds.Workflow automation also helps ensure minimal transcription errors at the point of care, more reliable real-time data analysis, remote configuration of patient medications and dosages, and automatic billing. The end result is improved patient outcomes.5. Mobile Health InsightsConnected devices aren’t just for doctors and healthcare professionals. Patients are constantly armed with their own personal smart devices, which has paved the way for an influx of mobile health apps that improve patient outcomes. Some popular and effective patient apps include:Glucose Buddy. For individuals with diabetes, this free app allows users to manually enter in glucose numbers, insulin dosages, carb consumption, and activity. It then creates push reminders to keep users engaged with their health.WebMD Pain Coach. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. With this WebMD app, patients can input and rate pain levels on a scale of 1 to 10, while simultaneously recording treatments, moods, and possible triggers. This establishes a sort of journal that patients can use to better discuss their pain with their healthcare providers.AliveCor. This revolutionary app is paired with a sleek, medical grade EKG pad that allows users to turn a smartphone into a mobile electrocardiogram. It’s capable of detecting tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, and other heart irregularities.ResolutionMD. This medical viewing app provides instant access to high-resolution radiology diagnostic images and reports on mobile devices. The app streams the data from numerous imaging modalities and uses off-site servers to prepare the visualizations. Because of the outside processing, no sensitive patient information is transmitted on the device. This makes it completely safe and secure.Mobile apps are constantly coming and going, but it’s exciting to catch a glimpse of some of the potential connected devices offer on the patient-side of things. As IoT technology improves and consumer-grade mobile devices become more advanced, look for even more useful innovations to emerge.6. Surgical AI RobotsRobotic surgery is no longer a far-fetched dream. We’re living in a period of significant innovation and some of today’s most intricate and complex surgeries are now being performed by robotic systems and advanced software.  It’s estimated that the global surgical robotics market will reach $98 billion by 2024 – a compound annual growth rate of 8.5 percent from 2017 to 2024. This represents a pretty serious shift.Robots – which are being used in fields like urology, neurology, orthopedics, gynecology, and general surgery – are shown to be safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective. They allow for minimally invasive procedures, faster recovery, and lower rates of human error. As technology improves, more hospitals around the country will shift significant investments into robotics.The Future of HealthcareFew industries move as fast as healthcare. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year on new research and discoveries with the aim of delivering better value to stakeholders at every level of the system – including patients, doctors, administrators, medical students, educators and public health officials. As we continue to keep an eye on the development of the IoT, it’ll be interesting to track the positive impact it has on patient safety and well-being. Big things are coming and the future looks brighter than ever! Frank Landman Top 5 Areas Where Companies Want IoT Solutions Related Posts Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…center_img Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. last_img read more

Large Events Rethink Safety and Emergency Protocols Using Software

first_imgLeveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Deanna RitchieManaging Editor at ReadWrite Related Posts How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#event safety#event security#safety protocols One of the most tried and true marketing tools available to companies of all sizes is that of the live event. Hosting a networking function, a product launch, an industry conference all carry with them a certain responsibility to the attendees. Any type of branded event or in-person event has a way of drawing crowds and generating buzz, unlike most other marketing initiatives can. Today, large events rethink safety and emergency protocols using software.Emergency protocols using software.In an age of ever-present physical and data-oriented threats, it’s critical that marketing and events teams remain on the cutting edge of security technologies. Armed with the right technology, businesses can help prepare and face a crisis should one arise.It’s with security in mind that we spoke with Shane Edmonds, CTO at Aventri. Aventri is a global event technology firm ensuring event organizers plan and execute within data safety guidelines. Attendees — and attendees’ personal data — will remain safe and secure during company functions.ReadWrite: In an era of mass casualty incidents, how can event organizers use technology before their event to attempt to keep attendees safe from any potential threats?Shane Edmonds: Social media is probably your best bet before an event. You can use social listening tools to track any possible threats in the context of the event. Make sure that you are tracking your show’s hashtag to see the chatter. Track the region and location of your event as well.You should also be checking all the engagement that your own posts receive. If you see something that seems strange — check the profile of the individual who posted. See if profiles and postings look legitimate. Is the account real or something that’s causing concern?In addition, always make sure that you are using technology that follows all the standard protocols for data security. Don’t risk a leak of attendee information.ReadWrite: If an incident should occur during event, how can technology be used to help – both during and after the incident?Shane Edmonds:  Your mobile app should be considered your best mode of communication. Most attendees will already have the mobile app downloaded on their phones. Attendees like to view their schedule and engage in networking activities.However, your app is also your first line of communication with your attendees. Encourage all event attendees to download the app so they can receive up-to-date alerts on anything happening at the show.Let your very special brand-ambassadors (attendees) know that this will be your primary way of alerting them to any incidents on-site. Through the app, you have the ability to send push notifications to users’ phones to let them know of anything going on.With Aventri, even if users don’t have push notifications enabled, once they open the app, they will see that they have an unread message in their notification center.Additionally, if events are using beacons and NFC, you will know “where people are” within the event. For a security incident at a specific location — you’ll use your mobile app to first alert people within that location range. Then, you’ll alert the rest of the attendees, secondly.RW: What about data security? What measures should events teams take to protect attendees’ digital information while they’re on-site?Edmonds: Data security is extremely important today. With things like GDPR active to protect individual’s rights to privacy, you need to make sure that you are doing your part as an event organizer. You’ll ensure that those who are attending your event have their data protected.Keep data secure by avoiding storage information locally. Leverage the cloud when you can. Avoid storing registration files on your local computers. Manage all information on the platform in which you originally captured their information.If you are not currently using a registration platform to capture that information you should look into this service.Additionally, avoid putting personally identifiable information (PII) on badges, QR codes or RFID. PII could be any data that could be used to identify a particular person like full name, address, email, job.RW: Is there anything attendees should do before attending an event to make sure their data is secure?Edmonds: Attendees should question how the events they’re signing up for is processing personal data. Most events today will have a privacy policy in place that will explain how data is used and stored so the attendee can have peace of mind.Once you sign up, as an attendee, for the event and receive your registration confirmation, don’t forward that email to anyone else on your team. Forwarded emails contain PII about you. You’ll want to keep anything that has a link to PII private.RW: Does the safety-oriented (physical and data) technology need to change much depending on the size of the event?Edmonds: Yes! Large events with thousands of attendees have different factors to worry about compared to smaller meetings and events. Large events need to follow protocols concerning traffic flow and crowd control. There are simulators that model this process to inform and educate event planners.NFC enabled badges will help. You want to bring a seamless attendee flow to the show floor. You’ll know where your attendees are on the floor at all times. With crowd location, you’ll be in a position to control, help and inform your crowd more easily.RW: Is there anything else events teams should know about using technology to ensure attendee physical safety and data security?Edmonds:Gratefully, there’s a ton of new technology on the market today that can be used to keep your event secure. Best practices are to put in place the best tech you have at each event you host. No matter what your budget is, there’s a technology-oriented option available.When you’re thinking about attendee badges for your event, consider adding photos to them. This will ensure that the person who actually registered for the event is the person who is at the show. (Photos help you avoid adding personal information.) Upon check-in, use a camera or an iPad to snap a photo of your attendee to print onto their badge.Every time someone scans the badge to attend a session, the photo of the attendee will be visible on the device. Your badges can also be NFC enabled. NFC technology creates access-control abilities. With this tech, you are enabled to regulate attendee access to specific areas in seconds.Your check-in systems should track reprints and have policies that are automatically enforced by the system.Three Key Tools for Event Security:As Edmonds points out, there are many different technologies that events teams should be implementing for security purposes. Three of the most useful are:A mobile app for your company or event. Your company app will be used as a valuable communication tool.Use a cloud-based storage option. The cloud-based option prevents attendees’ data from being stored locally. Local storage is a vulnerable storage option.Technologically advanced badges. By using up-to-date technology with attendee badges you avoid using personal identifying information (PII). Instead use the attendee photos for identification purposes. Implement NFC for security and access usage. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development. last_img read more

Rep Howrylak maintains perfect voting record in state House

first_img Categories: Howrylak News State Rep. Martin Howrylak posted his second-consecutive perfect voting record in the Michigan House.Howrylak is part of a small group of legislators who cast a vote on everything that reached the House floor. In total, the chamber voted 1,345 times during the 2013-14 legislative term.“Last term, House Republicans were able to accomplish many great things to move our state forward,” said Howrylak, R-Troy. “As we begin the 98th Legislature, I look forward to continuing Michigan’s recovery, as well as representing the residents of my district.”Constituents from the 41st House District can contact Rep. Howrylak’s office toll-free at 1-877-248-0001 or can reach his office by email at [email protected]### 06Jan Rep. Howrylak maintains perfect voting record in state Houselast_img read more