It’s no secret that technology has revolutionized the events industry. Technology is progressively changing the way events are planned and executed, what guests do on-site, and even how events are evaluated. Incorporating the latest technology trends into your next event can help you stand out from the crowd amidst the sea of music festivals, weddings, and professional conferences taking place this season.
These four technology trends will soon be taking over the event industry. Integrate one (or more!) into your planning strategy for a creative edge.
Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, has quickly become a common phenomenon in the events industry. RFID technology can replace traditional ticketing and payment methods, as it’s often embedded into wristbands or tickets.
Though a seemingly simple modification in managing your event, RFID systems have the power to speed up admission, minimize costs, and collect significant data on attendees. Event entry is dramatically streamlined with the usage of RFID ticketing.
When Snow Globe Music Festival incorporated RFID technology into their ticketing strategy, they were able to scan in more than 20 people a minute at each gate–admitting over 1,200 guests an hour.
RFID is a simple solution for managing multi-day entry, or even exclusive access to VIP areas. It has eliminated the need for multiple or specialized tickets, as all information on the guests’ admission options is stored in a single wristband.
RFID technology has also been utilized at events to purchase food and beverages, share photos, and even allow attendees to become Facebook friends!
RFID systems have also enabled event planners with more data than ever before. Real-time information has allotted event teams with access to attendee patterns and preferences, detailing guests’ ages, emails, purchasing habits, and even areas at the event that they’re populating.
Gaining attendee data additionally optimizes event sponsorship, allowing data exchange to become an incentive for potential sponsors. RFID technology unlocks a huge potential to reach out to your guests far beyond the event itself.
Engage with target audiences through post-event communications to drive future sales and build loyalty for the event, vendors, and sponsors.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a rising technology trend across all industries. In the event management sphere, AI can provide much-needed assistance over the course of an event’s activities. Enabling chatbots and event apps allow event goers to conveniently carry AI capabilities in their pockets, and utilize them as a helpful resource throughout the event.
These chatbots can be utilized through Facebook Messenger to answer guests’ questions, and act as a virtual concierge. It can provide information ranging anywhere from restroom locations to suggesting the best activities to do next.
In fact, 73% of people prefer live chat over phone or email. AI can provide your guests with a positive experience, ridden of confusion or question. Large-scale events may want to consider building an event-specific mobile app, integrating it into their social media strategy and creating “shareable” content. This year’s Wimbledon utilized IBM Watson technology to create Wimbledon Messenger, a social assistant, to provide automated responses for both spectators and global supporters.
Not only can an event chatbot provide useful information to attendees, but it can also assist event staff. Attendees can notify the chatbot if a parking lot is full or a room is hot, for example, and staff can communicate with the guest through a private support channel. From there, the event’s team can make instantaneous modifications.
Throughout the event, you can add information to the bot to answer questions that had not been anticipated. The usage of quick response will yield a positive atmosphere, and create a more satisfying guest experience.
Online Planning Platforms
Technological advances for planning tools are increasingly working toward the benefit of the event planner. With event planning rated as the fifth most stressful job in 2017, it’s about time that technology catches up with the anxieties and burdens of organizers.
Event planners are far too familiar with logging in and out of systems, importing and exporting data, and trying to make sense of systems that were not designed to work together efficiently, or at all. According to Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of The Meeting Pool, “Excel doesn’t cut it anymore.” Using the right online tools can facilitate smooth communication within an event’s team, from each step of the planning process and throughout the event’s activities. From designing seating charts to displaying Twitter feeds, there seems to be an online resource for almost any aspect of event planning.
Virtual reality is here to stay, and not just for your on-site guests. Not only can VR bring your local guests to “another dimension,” but also allows those not physically there to participate. VR is a simulation of real-life environment that immerses the user in an auditory and sensory experience. One of the most powerful experiences created by VR is its ability to break through barriers of time and distance. Virtual speakers can surely be shared through live-stream video, but VR creates a much more immersive and engaging event. VR can easily be accessed through mobile devices, with a wide range of options for mobile users.
VR can also be beneficial for trade shows or other sales opportunities, as it can be utilized well in product demonstrations or virtual tours. In Layar’s report on consumers and VR “research revealed a 135% increase in a buyer’s likelihood to buy when they saw an AR version of a product.” Incorporating a unique experience like VR into your sales pitch is sure to leave a lasting impression on consumers and leave them excited to purchase.
Which Trends Will You Use?
For event planners looking to become industry innovators, it’s crucial to take a close look at the above tech trends and decide how to incorporate them in your next event. Technology is sure to play a major role in your event management strategy, whether it be in guest experience, sales, or ease of planning. As tech continues to advance and metamorphosize, so must event planners. These innovations will bring the differentiated experience all planners strive to create, while improving the ease of planning.
Amanda is a contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from the one, the only New York City. When I’m not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find me curling up to watch some Netflix with my Puggle, Hendrix.