Event Technology Trends that will surely Help you to Attract, Engage and Generate Leads.
- Facial Recognition
Whether part of a standalone app or deployed through an existing app infrastructure, facial recognition will impact guest management on several levels including security and crowd management with check-in and registration. As this event technology delves into the heart of many challenging problems of modern events, it should be on the priority list of the modern event professional.
- Augmented Reality for Sponsorship
Online marketing has pushed the need for accountability, tangibility and return on every dollar of investment. After another year of empty buzz, AR is starting to live up to the hype by offering creative opportunities for sponsor messaging and consistently becoming one of the best event technology. An added benefit of AR is measurability. Metrics and collected data can be fed back to sponsors to prove ROI.
- Non-intrusive Attendee Tracking With Clever Floors or Mats
Smart mats and physical objects can be strategically placed onsite at your event to add analytics and intelligence. With this event technology, you can immediately see the positives of having such an approach when you are trying to justify exposure to your exhibitors or sponsors. They can be strategically placed in areas that need a stronger measurement input and offer a non-intrusive, anonymous and reliable source of data to pass to your sponsors or prospective sponsors.
- Virtual Concierge
Chatbots and voice-activated platforms are helping event professionals to save on extra temporary staff for their events. Volunteers and temporary staff often require an incredible amount of training and most of their time is used answering frequently asked questions. Chatbots are well positioned to give quick answers to these questions and constitute a much faster alternative to event apps where information mining can be challenging.
- Influencer Marketing Technology
Influencer marketing is all around us. One of the most preferred marketing tactics for 2018 and definitely one that needs the most support from technology. The current trend is geared towards two types of platforms: Those that help to categorize, analyze and source influencers in specific industries, so you can deploy them for your event marketing purposes, and those that help in creating assets to use with your existing influencer network.
- Event Feedback via AI Chatbots
The market for chatbots is fast maturing. Chatbots offer an interesting feedback channel for events. They are continuous feedback channels, collecting interactions at any stage of the event. They offer a safe environment for attendees to let go and really say what they think. It is much easier to be honest in a chat window than in front of a real person. AI-powered chats offer a colloquial way to gather information compared to multiple choice questions.
Chatbots also offer a marketing opportunity as they can connect with social profiles and be carried out via Facebook, offering a new set of data for event marketers.
- Advanced CRM
Creating custom experiences that deliver on individual objectives for large crowds is an eternal struggle for event professionals. Event technology has the answer with advanced segmentation which translates into detail-based personalization and more accurate targeting for event marketing. Creating custom event landing pages, sections of your website and communications is, above all, incredibly relevant in the era of personalization.
- Marketing Intelligence From Device Charging Stations
We live in a smartphone battery crisis. You see the agitated faces of attendees around the world when they are approaching 5% of their battery and they have no power bank. Events can use this opportunity not only to improve the attendee experience but also to provide marketing intelligence based on usage. Charging stations also present an opportunity for branding and sponsorship messaging backed up by easily provable ROI data from usage.
- Voice Recognition
As voice-powered tools, such as podcasts, are living a second life, voice activation seems to be the strongest entry point for technologically challenged audiences. Voice powered assistants are getting smarter and understand almost immediately what’s on our mind. As soon as voice protocols will be opened, all the existing app infrastructure in event technology will heavily rely on voice.
Whether it is a regular mobile app or a chatbot, voice will be always a faster entry point to ask for information or provide feedback. Events are time sensitive. They require speed. Opening apps, finding the relevant screen, typing in a chat require minutes – minutes are a big deal in relation to events.
- Live 360-degree Video
Live 360-degree video, or what many refer to as ‘virtual reality’, uses technology to break down barriers and creates new opportunities for event professionals. Remote attendance is now sexy. We can feel being at the stadium watching a game or experience the speaker at a conference looking at us, or we can interact with the attendee sitting next to us in a third dimension. This type of event technology offers much more tangible remote attendance opportunities.
- Real Time Feedback From Live Technology
Live technology is geared at giving real time feedback, analytics and indication opportunities to sell. It encompasses tools that are engineered to empower event professionals to quickly act on what is happening at the event. Most event technology stresses the before and after, forgetting about troubleshooting common problems or taking advantage of recurring opportunities that happen during events.
- Sharing Economy
While services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are increasingly looking at the event industry and adapting their offering, they are still B2C services that little have to do with the intrinsic dynamics of our industry. Of course, there is potential and a lot of capital but times are still not mature enough. However, they are mature enough for sharing economy, crowd-powered services created specifically for the event industry, such as venue sourcing sites.
- Tech Trade Shows
Trade shows and exhibitions are bleeding attendees and sponsors. There is a mass migration of sponsors and exhibitors investing in their own events. They don’t believe in the promise of exposure. They want tangible ROI. It’s more important than ever to invest in technology geared at making trade shows more measurable.
Imagine simpler data to be presented to your sponsors. Envisage better ways to keep sponsors returning the next year. While the technology in this space is not futuristic, what comes across is the positive requirement in this trend for grounded, solid, down to earth technology that conveys value in a very simple fashion.
- Crowd Thinking
Crowdsourcing and leveraging crowds to deliver solutions, content or services has been around for over a decade. For years, we’ve received desperate requests from event professionals looking for tools to allow co-creation with attendees, yet the event industry has seen technology more on content creation rather than on co-creation.
It must be said that the wisdom of the crowd has oftentimes been ignored by event professionals who feel challenged in their status quo. Allowing attendees to make decisions challenges the very role of the event planner some may think. The event professional’s role has evolved into more of a facilitator than a planner. Details are important but experience is king. The pathway to positive experiences is channeled through co-creation. Event planners are the instigators, crowd thinking is the means.
- Empty Seating Technology
Event professionals will solve empty seating problems and beat the scalpers by being involved with secondary ticket markets, they cannot be cut out. Empty seating is damaging to artists and performers, at the same time things happen and some attendees won’t be able to make it. These are problems inherent to events. We’ve all faced them. Technology has to, and can, help.
Offering controlled secondary markets where attendees that genuinely can’t make it can share their tickets safely and follow specific rules. Also, by offering smart technology solutions that look at analyzing and reporting ticket sales in real time, can feed back to event planners key performance indicators about the event.
- Touchable Tech
Offline, touchable products are making waves. Technology we can touch offline creates that connection that we need when meeting people and interacting with objects in the real world.
Touchable tech solutions are available that appeal to the five senses, removing the distraction caused by the brain’s own echo chamber. They can take attendees back to when they were kids and play on nostalgia to activate playfulness. Embrace touchable experiences and your attendees will feel engaged in a new way.
Diversity is still a very real and present problem in events, however, the event tech community has finally come together to offer tools to event professionals to tackle the issue. From online pledges to diversity calculators, we are witnessing the pioneering steps of individuals that have decided to take action against injustice.
These tools are very basic and sometimes not even software based. Their message though is more powerful than any of the trends above. The problem we are tackling here is way more sizeable than what color our centerpiece will be or how attendees will see their schedule on their smartphone.
Diversifying our performer lineups means changing the way we do events. It means advancing our industry, it means changing the behaviour of our attendees with a positive message. It also elevates the profession of event planners from mere executors of tasks to agents of change.