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Your Guide To

Event Technology

This guide is going to discuss the role technology plays in events and how event technology can be used to attract a younger or more tech-savvy audience.

With the world steadily becoming more dependent on technology, events are reflecting those changes. On one hand, technology at events can be used to attract a new audience and to increase engagement across the board. On the other hand, events are the antidote to technology, providing a forum to meet people in real life instead of just through technology.

It’s a complex mix that many events will find themselves contending with.

What is event technology?

For the purposes of this guide, event technology refers to the tools and techniques event planners can use within the event itself. We aren’t going to discuss planning technology or project management tools but innovations like virtual reality, augmented reality, apps and other innovations that can be featured within an event to drive engagement.

Event technology is trend driven. Driven in part by the availability of a particular technology and also by the audience’s appetite for experiences driven by technology. It’s an ever-changing landscape that requires event planners to keep up to date on the latest innovations.

Why is event technology important?

There are a couple of reasons why event technology is so important. One, because technology is important in our lives. We are depending more and more on technology and are rapidly accepting more devices into our lives. Events should reflect that.

Two, more millennials are attending events than ever before. From corporate events to charity bashes, weddings and other events. They, more than any other generation, have embraced technology. Events need to feature it wherever possible to attract this audience. While American, data shows that millennials now make up a third of the workforce. Many events will need to cater to them and technology will help.

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Event technology trends

Technology is very trend-driven and it’s our job as event planners to stay up to date with what’s being used and what is available so we can integrate technology into our events. Here are some trends that are appearing in top events across the world.

Event apps

Event apps have been around for a while but they have matured beyond those initial clumsy excuses for branded pages on a phone. They can now include maps, schedulers for performances or speakers, QR codes for stands and for entry and even live streams of keynote speakers. A well-designed app can offer genuine value to the audience that increases engagement across the board.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming offers a lot of potential for events. Whether shared across social media, used as an alternative for live attendance or something else, livestreaming adds a valuable extra channel for engagement. You can have your livestream sponsored, offer reduced price tickets or use it to raise awareness across social media channels.

Social media

Creating dedicated social media portals, walls or pages where attendees can share their photos, experiences, comments and more can also increase engagement while raising the profile of sponsors, good causes and your events company. They are relatively simple to set up, very cheap to run and can be measured in huge detail.

Facial recognition

Facial recognition is still contentious and thought must be given to the audience to make it work but it can be very valuable. It can be used for fast entry, extra security, for personalised recommendations, for tagging on social media or just as a novelty for displays or future advertising. If you think your audience will be receptive, facial recognition is an excellent event technology to play with.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality, AR, is a way to transport attendees while keeping them in place. Of showcasing products and services while demonstrating their use in a virtual world. Augmented reality is now more powerful and user friendly than ever before and should be used whenever the event or audience suits. Novel uses of AR include treasure hunts or sponsor overlays and the potential is huge.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality is already a trend in event planning because it works so well. The trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as more opportunities evolve and the technology itself develops and increases in capability. It is one of the most engaging ways to involve an audience and to create experiential elements to any event.

AI

Artificial Intelligence is still embryonic but offers scope for engagement at events. From data mapping and audience mapping to chatbots, AI has huge potential. One way AI is helping engagement is by offering personalised recommendations within an event app. For larger events where there is a lot going on at once, recommendations can work amazingly well while providing the sponsor with huge amounts of data to work with afterwards.

RFID

RFID has been around for years but the uses it is being put to are still evolving. Whether it is being included within event wearables, used as tickets, wristbands or something else entirely. Radio Frequency Identification can work on its own or in conjunction with Bluetooth Beacons to track audience footfall, map movement, pay for snacks or share V-cards or other data.

Top tips for maximising event technology

Event technologies offer huge potential for engagement and for differentiating your event from others. Here are some tips for utilizing technology in your next event.

Event technology ideas

Now you know what’s possible with regards to event technologies, how could you implement them?

Key takeaways

The most difficult aspect of using event technology is staying abreast of what is available and what is possible. If you have a good team around you, it might be useful to delegate someone to keep up to date and to raise points or ideas whenever they come across something useful.

Know your audience and pitch the right technology to the right event, make airtight assurances on privacy and data use and you will increase engagement by a huge amount!

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