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Publication numberUS20060161549 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/369,557
Publication dateJul 20, 2006
Filing dateMar 7, 2006
Priority dateJan 6, 2000
Also published asUS7010530, US20010056507
Publication number11369557, 369557, US 2006/0161549 A1, US 2006/161549 A1, US 20060161549 A1, US 20060161549A1, US 2006161549 A1, US 2006161549A1, US-A1-20060161549, US-A1-2006161549, US2006/0161549A1, US2006/161549A1, US20060161549 A1, US20060161549A1, US2006161549 A1, US2006161549A1
InventorsBrian Bartkowiak, David Drew, David Bean, Gregory Mareski, Laura Hanna, Steven Westerholm
Original AssigneeBrian Bartkowiak, David Drew, David Bean, Gregory Mareski, Laura Hanna, Westerholm Steven A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Event management system
US 20060161549 A1
Abstract
A system is disclosed for the planning, management and execution of events that permits the event manager, client, convention personnel, and suppliers to coordinate activities and rapidly disseminate information. Preferably, the system includes a repository of information. All or portions of the information may be electronically accessed by the various parties, subject to the limitations imposed by the event manager. Real time information is provided to the parties, including the ability to observe the progress of the production of the exhibit in real time from remote locations.
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Claims(20)
1. An event management system for a plurality of groups, the system comprising:
a repository having information associated with event management;
a first digital interface permitting access by a plurality of groups to the repository; and
means for restricting access of one or more groups to portions of the information in the repository.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the groups further comprise a group of event managers, a group of clients, and a group of suppliers.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the repository further comprises a database.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the first digital interface further comprises permitting modification of the information by authorized groups.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the first digital interface further comprises effecting corresponding changes to the information where such changes are necessitated by modification of the information by authorized groups.
6. The system of claim 1, further comprising:
a first device for capturing data related to an event display; and
a presentation component for displaying the captured data.
7. The system of claim 6, wherein the first device further comprises a video camera.
8. The system of claim 6, wherein the presentation component further includes a software interface to facilitate visual presentation of the captured data.
9. The system of claim 6, wherein the captured data further comprises data pertinent to a production site.
10. The system of claim 6, wherein the captured data further comprises data pertinent to an event site.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein the means for restricting access further comprises an identification component.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein the identification component further comprises a user access card.
13. An event management system accessible by a plurality of groups via a communication network, the system comprising:
a server accessible via the communications network;
a database having information, the database associated with the server;
a software component to facilitate various levels of access to the database by a plurality of groups;
a user identification component corresponding to a level of access by a group to the information in the database;
a second device for capturing detail pertinent to the event management; and
a second digital interface for presenting presentation of the detail.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein the server further comprises a website server.
15. The system of claim 13, wherein the information further comprises one or more categories.
16. The system of claim 15, wherein the software component further comprises the functionality to ascertain appropriate access to each category of information based on the user identification component.
17. The system of claim 13, wherein the user identification component further comprises a user access card.
18. The system of claim 13, wherein the second device further comprises a video camera.
19. The system of claim 13, wherein the presentation of the detail further comprises multimedia presentation of the data.
20. The system of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of reports related to an event.
Description
REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/755,924 filed Jan. 5, 2001, which claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/174,726 filed Jan. 6, 2000.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to event management. More particularly, the present invention provides an automated, end-to-end system for enterprise event management, including comprehensive interparty coordination services as well as a real time progress monitor via video camera.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The production and management of events and exhibits requires the coordination of many resources for an extensive period of time. Planning for an event may begin more than a year prior to the actual exhibit. The initial planning includes developing a budget for the exhibit and producing an exhibit within the budget. Exhibit production includes booking space for the exhibit or convention facility, designing and producing the exhibit, assembling the exhibit at the exhibition site, and coordinating the personnel for the exhibit.

Typically, an event manager works with the client to produce the exhibit, and makes all the arrangements to install the exhibit at the convention site. Thus, the event manager must coordinate activities with the client, convention producer, convention facility, and various contractors and suppliers.

Communication between the client, event manager and suppliers is extensive. Information must be shared and provided to a number of parties. Frequently, design and production modifications are ordered during the production of the exhibit, thus necessitating copious communications to multiple parties, including those who must effect such modifications and those affected by the modifications. The cross-party communications often give rise to considerable confusion, resulting in error, delay, time, and budget issues.

In light of the foregoing, it is desirable to provide an integrated, deployable event management model with comprehensive interparty communication functionality on a real time basis.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a core management system and communications platform has been developed which permits the event manager, client and suppliers to access information and data (hereafter, information) from a central source on a real time basis. Preferably, the system includes a repository for the information, an interface for access to the information, and the means to restrict access to portions of the information.

Typically, the system includes a repository such as a database. It is contemplated that the database may be designed and implemented according to a variety of schema; e.g., ontological model, existing relational or object-oriented framework. The event management services provider (hereafter, provider) or others populate the database according to a predetermined plan. Once populated, data in the database may be modified, deleted, or otherwise manipulated.

The interface permits various levels of access to the database. Generally, an interactive software component provides the interface functionality. For example, the database and interface reside on a website server accessible via the World Wide Web. Various parties utilize a personal computer (PC) to establish a communication link via the Internet to the to the website server. Once connected, the system authenticates the party via an identification component such as a login and password, and permits access to the information or a portion thereof.

The means to restrict include a software component or other means, so long as the functionality required to restrict access is fulfilled. Typically, the provider assigns various classes and subclasses to parties requesting access to the information, such as client, supplier, or provider. Suppliers are further subclassified as general suppliers or specialized suppliers. The provider determines an appropriate access scheme for each party, class, and subclass, and then implements a software component predicated on the relationship between the party, class, or subclass and the level of access.

The foregoing examples are offered for illustrative purposes only; therefore, a skilled artisan will note that the foregoing examples in no way limit the invention disclosed herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an ontological model of a system relationship according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a hierarchical overview of a computer system enterprise according to the current invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a functional architecture plan of an event management process application is shown;

FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic having phases of event management;

FIG. 5 illustrates a typical process cycle related to a client/local requestor submission;

FIG. 6 illustrates sample screens showing a library card and a homepage;

FIG. 7 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to an event marketing brief;

FIG. 8 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to campaign planning tools, space cost reports, and event workspace;

FIG. 9 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to inventory and conflict checks;

FIG. 10 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to space planning;

FIG. 11 illustrates samples screens having information pertinent to floor plans, release screen, and graphics annotator;

FIG. 12 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to supervisor scheduling;

FIG. 13 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to master show schedule, kit and element schedule, and quick picks;

FIG. 14 illustrates a sample screen having a real time image of the actual event construction site;

FIG. 15 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to third party research, competitive analyses, and follow up reports; and

FIG. 16 illustrates sample screens having information pertinent to swim lane charts and process control plan.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The preferred embodiment of the event management system provides an automated tool for comprehensive event management and communications facilitation. Referring now to the drawings wherein like numbers are used to denote like items throughout, FIG. 1 depicts an ontological model of the system disclosed herein. Typically, the tool includes an information repository such as a database and its associated software (hereafter, database) 20.

The provider 22 populates the database according to a predetermined data scheme, and defines access and privilege rules with regard to the information, including rules under which parties can access the information. Generally, the rules include a definition of the parties permitted access to the information, and a definition of which parties can add, delete, or modify the information. For example, the information is logically defined under any one or a combination of three categories, 24, 26, and 28. The clients 30 access information category 24, and only if the information is pertinent to a the client itself; the suppliers 32 access information category 26, and only if it pertains to projects of clients associated with the supplier itself or pertains to the provider 22. The suppliers are not permitted to modify the information. The provider 22 gains global access to any and all information, and enjoys full privilege and control over the entire corpus of information as well as the database scheme.

Turning now to FIG. 2, there is shown a hierarchical overview of a computer system enterprise according to the current invention. Typically, the database 20 is associated with a local computing environment, including a server 36 and one or more local devices 38. The database includes any suitable proprietary or off-the-shelf program, such as Lotus Notes/Domino. The database 20 communicates with the server 38 and the local computing devices via a communication link; e.g., direct connection, local bus, etc.

The database 20 is accessible by various remote devices, or communities of devices, 40-48. The devices include PCs, handheld computing devices, wired or wireless telephone, Web TV, and others. The remote devices access the database 20 via a variety of communication conduits, including private communication networks 50, public communications networks such as the Internet 52, connectivity via the electromagnetic energy spectrum (wireless) 54, and the like.

The communication platform and database are accessible through a single point of entry, for example, the server 36. Typically, the server 36 and its associated software provide event management functionality via one or more software applications. The application software (hereafter, the event management software) may be proprietary, off-the-shelf, or a combination of both, so long as the functionality described herein is satisfied. Further, various versions of the application software are platform independent, thus providing the event management functionality regardless of enterprise hardware and operating systems architecture.

The server 36 and associated software, the database 10, and the event management software interact to provide a plurality of webpages to the user of the system, as hereinafter detailed. Typically, the user utilizes a remote device such as a PC having browser software to access the server. Once in communication with the server, the server and its associated software invoke the event management software to provide a plurality of screens. The screens contain information from the database 10 (as hereinafter detailed), which the user views as webpages via browser software on the remote device.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a functional architecture plan of the software application is shown. The functional hierarchy of the software application incorporates two main components, a library 58, and books 60. The books are further subdivided into chapters 62, and the chapters 62 are subdivided into sections 64.

The library 58 incorporates the library card application and welcome message 66.

The books 60, also deemed the main menu of the event management software, include seven main components for access by authorized users. The seven main components are an event profile 68, a content library 70, an event calendar and quick facts 72, a world-wide reports and schedules 74, an event bulletin board 76, news and ideas 78, and a “how it works” 80 or help section.

Each of the seven main components is further subdivided into chapters and/or sections. For example, the event profile 68 includes a chapter for opening an event 82, event management 84, event finance 86, and measurement and report 88. The event profile 68 chapters are further subdivided into sections. The open an event 82 chapter offers an event registration and event marketing brief section 90, as well as a space purchase order request 92.

The event management chapter includes sections for project specification 94, final properties 96, final graphics 98, a critical path 100, and a bubble diagram 102 for the event. Additionally, a user interface with destination management 104 and solutions nomination 106 is provided, along with logistics and services 108, additional event programs 110, and direct marketing activities 112.

The additional event programs 110 include, for example, attendee registration functions. The attendee registration function permits individuals attending a convention to register for the event online. The attendee will be able to specify specific sessions, seminars, or programs. The attendee may pay for the event(s), elect to receive specific promotional information, and/or coupons for use at the event. The attendee can specify travel options, as well as lodging. The attendee can view maps, as well as general information about the location of the event. Links to remote or external services, such as suppliers, marketing, and additional event programs are provided. All necessary information is entered by the event manager or client.

The event finance 86 chapter of the event profile 68 includes a preliminary event estimate 114, individual show estimate 116, projections 118, and a change order log 120.

Finally, the measurements and report card 88 chapter of the event profile 68 includes field reports 122, performance evaluation by event manager 124, performance evaluation by the client 126, marketing research 128, opportunity management 130, and an at-show audit 132 section.

The event calendar and quick facts 72 book includes the chapters for event information 134 and event archive 136. The event information 134 chapter includes sections for preshow information 138, master show schedule 140, graphics viewer 142, floor plan viewer and annotator 144, and user interfaces for client destination management 146, attendee destination management 148, and finally, an a solutions nomination and selection section 150.

The worldwide reports and schedules 74 book includes sections for a savings log report 152 and a master show schedule 154.

The event bulletin board 76 chapter includes sections for a project life cycle 156, architecture 158, and a frequently asked question section 160.

The news and ideas 78 chapter includes sections for associated website links 162, state of the state board 164, “what's new in measurement” 166, “what's new with the event manager” 168, “what's new in branded architecture” 170, client marketing update 172, and case studies 174.

The “How It Works” 80 chapter contains sections for quick help 176, a user's manual 178, and phone numbers to call 180.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a schematic defining the phases of event management. Typically, the event management process is divided into a pre-event 184 phase, event phase 186, and post-event phase 188. The phases may be contiguous or overlapping. The phases include task related to marketing and creative pursuits 190, estimating and manufacturing 192, event project management 194, and finance 196.

The pre-event phase includes various processes and webpages screens directed to the completion of pre-event phase task. For example, FIG. 5 illustrates a typical process cycle related to submission of an event marketing brief wherein a client requests or submits an event marketing brief 198 for a fit analysis 200 by the event manager. Pursuant to the fit analysis 200, a regional and/or corporate review 210 takes place. The regional and/or corporate review 210 results in a return for changes 212, and approval 214 a return for changes 212, and approval 214, or a denial 216. If the review 210 is returned for changes 212, the event marketing brief must start the process over with the submission at the local requestor level 198. If the request is approved 214, the process proceeds to visibility to client procurement 218, and to event planning and execution 220.

During the event planning and execution, the event manager or client input information or data into the event management system via a plurality of screens. Typically, the screens are viewed on a display device such as the monitor of a PC, and data or information is entered via an input device such as a keyboard. Various sections prompt the entry of information by the client or event manager.

For illustrative purposes, selected examples of screens provided by the event management software are described herein. The screen examples for the pre-event phase are illustrated in FIGS. 6-13, while the screen examples for the pre-event, event, and the post-event phases are illustrated in FIGS. 14-16.

With reference to FIG. 6, sample screens are illustrated showing a library card application 222 and a homepage 223. The library card application contains a number of text boxes 224 as well as labels 226 to prompt an applicant for information. Additional information such as comments or requests are supplied via the comments box 228. The applicant utilizes an input device to provide the requested information in the appropriate text box 222, then selects the submit button 230 or the cancel button 232 to submit or cancel the information.

Upon receipt and verification of the submitted information by the event management software, the applicant is issued an identification component, such as a code or a login and password. Thereafter, the identification component is used to gain access to various portions of the database and the event management software based on a predetermination by the event manager.

For example, each person involved in the project is given a user access card having an identification component. Each identification component is associated with a level of information access or restriction to portions of the information. For example, the suppliers have access only to project specifications, change orders, and the like. Financial information is limited to those parties that the client and event management authorize to access. The information in the database can be changed only by authorized persons and through appropriate interfaces.

The home page 223 typically contains a variety of information pertinent to a client, event, area, past event or other criteria 234.

FIG. 7 illustrates sample screens containing information pertinent to an event marketing brief, including a general event information screen 236, a budget/estimates screen 238, and a marketing brief screen 240. The general event screen 236 provides general information pertinent to the event itself such as an event name, location, and contact information of the client. The budget/estimates screen 238 prompts the client to enter data in the estimate text boxes 242. After receiving the entered data in the estimates text boxes 242, the event management software calculates budget related data predicated on the entered data, and utilizes the output in the event management process. Similarly, and as illustrated in the marketing brief screen 240, the client is prompted for marketing-related data via a series of marketing questions 244. The client inputs answers or comments received by the event management software for utilization in the event management process.

FIG. 8 illustrates sample screens pertinent to campaign planning tools 246, space cost reports 248, and event workspace 250. The campaign planning tools screen 246 provides information related to, inter alia, case studies, show types, and branded architecture. The space cost report 248 provides a matrix of comparative information pertaining to a variety of events, the attendance for each event, the total square footage utilized at each event site, and other event particulars.

FIG. 9 illustrates sample screens pertinent to inventory 252 and conflict checks 254. The inventory 252 screen provides hierarchical menus of available kits. If an individual kit is selected 258, the event management software opens a graphical window having a graphical representation of the selected kit 260. The event management software also opens a window having information specific to the selected kit 262.

The conflicts check screen 254 provides a visual representation of the trailer or other means of transportation having optimal load conditions for various components of various shows. The conflicts check includes a text list 266 of all event components contained in the trailer. Further conflict check and confirmation information is provided in a property assignment window 268, including a component description, show, client, status, and conflicts.

FIG. 10 illustrates sample screens with tools for space planning. The tools include a plan view 270 of the event site modeled to scale and displaying all components planned for the event site. Another tool provides a three-dimensional representation 270 of the event site with height conflict information 276. Finally, symbolic and textual information 274 pertinent to each event site component is provided.

FIG. 11 illustrates samples screens pertinent to floor plans 278, a graphics annotator 280, and release screen 282. The floor plan annotator provides the functionality of a white board by displaying a plan view of the event site and permitting input designating changes to the floor plan. For example, a client utilizes a mouse or other input device to draw a circle 284 around an event site component, then draw an arrow 286 corresponding to a point in the event site where the event site component should be moved. The event manager receives the annotated screen, and effects the modification to the event site component, in accordance with the annotations of the client. The graphics annotator 280 provides means to request specific items 288 as well as a graphical accelerator 290. The release screen 282 includes a textual chronology of comments, etc. and a final notice of release 294 for the floorplan.

FIG. 12 illustrates sample screens pertinent to supervisor scheduling, including supervisor assignment 296, travel request 298, and vacation scheduling 300. The supervisor assignment 296 permits selection of a supervisor and presents a graphic image of the selected supervisor 302. Once selected, the name of the assigned supervisor is displayed 304. Calendar information 306 is provided as well.

The system includes a destination management section that permits the event manager to coordinate all travel related tasks. Information received from attendees or clients is displayed and then assembled for booking with the travel suppliers, such as airline, hotel, and car rental. For example, the travel request screen 298 displays information pertinent to the supervisor's travel itinerary. The vacation scheduling screen 300 receives input data related to vacation dates, and reconciles the event schedule to reflect the same.

FIG. 13 illustrates sample screens pertinent to master show schedule 308, kit and element schedule 310, and quick picks 312. The master show schedule 308 provides information pertinent to the all scheduled events of a particular event manager or the event management provider. The kit and element schedule 310 provides a matrix account of all equipment kits and event dates for which the kits are scheduled. The quick pick 312 displays all kits available and the dates on which they are available. The event management software permits selection of one or more kits for scheduling.

During the pre-event, event, and post-event phases, the provider installs a video system including at least one digital camera at a location where event management activities are underway. Typically, these locations include the production site and an event site. The production site generally refers to a physical location where a kit, booth, or other event components undergo construction. The event site encompasses the location or locations where the actual event takes place.

The video system permits real time viewing of the exhibit as it is being produced and as it is installed. The system permits viewing from a number of different angles. The cameras are remotely enabled and digital images therefrom are displayed through the web browser on command. Thus, the event manager, client, and personnel may have a real time conference from remote locations to view the progress of the exhibit and to discuss changes and/or alterations to the exhibit. The installation and dismantling of the exhibit may also be viewed, as well as viewing of the exhibit during the event. The images are stored to permit replay by the managers and others, such as absentee attendees. FIG. 14 illustrates a sample screen of a real time view of the event site for an actual event.

FIG. 15 provides information pertinent to third party research 314, competitive analyses 316, and follow up reports 318. The third party research reports include research analysis data and competitive data displayed in textual, chart, or graph form. The third party research may be produced in written format or accessed as a screen display. The competitive analysis 316 provides information based on various criteria; e.g., attendees, business unit, competitors/exhibitors, location or the like.

Post event information is provided via the follow up report 318, which includes itemized data for contractor or subcontractor accounts, etc.

FIG. 16 provides information in the form of a swim lane chart 320 and a process control plan 322. The swim lane chart provides categorical information 324 such as relationship, marketing, design, operations, event services and financial corresponding to a timeline 326 or other. The process control plan provides a hierarchy of information related to the process control plan, and information pertinent to specific tasks 330.

Thus is disclosed a system for the management and conduction of events which permits the event manager, clients, and suppliers to coordinate activities and rapidly disseminate information. Real time information is provided to the parties, including the ability to observe the progress of the production of the exhibit in real time from remote locations.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7676439 *Jun 18, 2002Mar 9, 2010Daon Holdings LimitedElectronic data vault providing biometrically protected electronic signatures
US7802007May 19, 2004Sep 21, 2010Salesforce.Com, Inc.Techniques for providing connections to services in a network environment
US7865449Oct 29, 2009Jan 4, 2011Daon Holdings LimitedElectronic data vault providing biometrically protected electronic signatures
US7941380May 21, 2009May 10, 2011Daon Holdings LimitedElectronic data vault providing biometrically protected electronic signatures
US8041739 *Aug 31, 2001Oct 18, 2011Jinan GlasgowAutomated system and method for patent drafting and technology assessment
US8725892Aug 17, 2010May 13, 2014Salesforce.Com, Inc.Techniques for providing connections to services in a network environment
US20130211882 *Dec 21, 2012Aug 15, 2013Appostle Concepts, LlcSystems and methods for project documentation and proposals
Classifications
U.S. Classification1/1, 707/999.009
International ClassificationG06Q10/06, G06F7/00, G06F17/30
Cooperative ClassificationY10S707/99939, G06Q10/06, G06F2221/2149
European ClassificationG06Q10/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 29, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: GEORGE P. JOHNSON COMPANY, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BARTKOWIAK, BRIAN;DREWS, DAVID;BEAN, DAVID;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019497/0212;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010105 TO 20010310