The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, near Glasgow, one of QHotels’ 27 UK hotels, recently hosted the group’s first-ever paperless event, the annual National Information Security Conference. It is an event that focuses on security and cyber issues and technology trends. For 2015, organisers Sapphire wanted to reduce carbon emissions and create a more technologically advanced event.
Annabel Berry, chief executive of Sapphire, said: “We were inspired by Glasgow’s ‘Green in 2015’ initiative, but also wanted to be innovative and appeal to an audience of IT security professionals.”
Sapphire developed a new mobile app and tablets, replacing paper collateral at the event.
The app gave attendees access to an online agenda, biographies, along with a map of the exhibition hall. Delegates could track their sessions, create a schedule and receive real-time notifications of any changes.
Berry said: “The app not only offered a new experience for delegates, but protected the environment and delivered a huge amount of time-savings, at no additional cost versus previous conferences.”
The Westerwood’s dedicated bandwidth of up to 90Mbs – five times faster than the average UK broadband – certainly helped and there were 500 simultaneous connections for organisers and delegates, who required internet access throughout the day.
The Westerwood was also able to offer Sapphire insight into the success of the conference as it happened. As part of QHotels’ ‘Brainwaves’ study, selected speakers and delegates were fitted with electroencephalogram to monitor brainwave activity. This captured any drop in concentration levels and when stress levels were high, giving further insight into how the paperless conference had been received by delegates and speakers alike.