‘Powered by Artificial Intelligence; systems, data, and people will be woven together to create solutions that will fundamentally change organisations…’
Recently we were able to get our hands on the Banks Sadler report on the technology trends we will see in the event planning industry during 2018.
To sum it up, data and automation will be the events industry’s most precious commodity. While the trend a few years ago was to create experiences, nowadays organisers look to gather information to personalise the occasion and immerse each attendant as much as possible.
Using a variety of tools, professionals in the sector will look to predict the needs of guests. May that be a special diet, favourite music or preferred transport method.
Thanks to the internet of things (IoT) and the ‘cloud’. Collecting data is nowadays easier than ever. The challenge is to gather it in an efficient way that the event planner can use. Data for the sake of data won’t do anything.
It’s also important to remember that attendees are smart. They know their information is being collected and they want to know how and what it is going to be used for. It is not only important for the user experience but also for legal reasons.
In April 2016, the European Parliament adopted the General Data Protection Regulation which basically states that whoever is gathering data must prove that consent has been given by the user and, not only that but that it can be withdrawn, as well. Also, data has to be able to be erased once it no longer serves the purpose it was originally intended for.
What does this mean for event planners? More than ever, they have to be extremely careful of how they use that information and cleanse it once the event is over.
Chatbots are a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that is very popular in the events industry right now. May it be in the form of a robot or an App, AI is able to give you recommendations like which activities to follow, where to park and where to eat.
This technology also has the potential to tell how an attendee is feeling based on the text messages they are exchanging. The software would be able to ‘hyper-personalise’ the experience for the individual so they could make the best of the situation.
When it comes to robots, these are already being used in the hospitality industry. The hotel Aloft Cupertino in California has its own staff of robots called ‘botlrs’ which are programmed to conduct simple tasks around the property. For example, these can deliver amenities to rooms and distribute towels in the swimming pool.
For the events industry, this means that Robots can take care of more ‘rudimentary’ tasks while giving the rest of us more time to do the things that require a ‘personal’ touch. Due to the rise of the machines, ‘human’ skills like creativity, empathy, persuasion, and strategic decision making will become more valuable.
At the moment, facial recognition software is being developed mostly for surveillance and security reasons but in the world of events, it will start being used for automating processes.
Last year, the International Corporate Awards used facial recognition software on their registration process. According to Banks Sadler, the process was five times faster than those of previous years.
We have already talked about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) but what is a mixed reality? As its name suggests, it is a mix of the two. This type of technology is already being used by companies such as Renault to teach its technicians the process of designing a car.
In the world of events, mixed reality can be used to interact with attendees that are in a different physical space. Talks can also be deeply enriched. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long for it to become available to the public. Companies like the Google-backed Magic Leap, will not only offer the hardware to live the simulation but will also provide the tools necessary for organisers to design any experience they can think of.
The Internet of Things
The internet of things (IoT) has the potential to turn almost any object into a tracking device. It allows event organisers to track metrics such as emotion, activity levels and location. With the aid of a wristband, transactions such as cashless payments can be done easily.
When it comes to event planning, rooms environments can be easily controlled. By simply installing an app on their smartphone, planners can change the intensity of lights, heating and even control doors with the tip of a finger.
Smart Cities take the concept of IoT and take it to a whole new level. Basically, a smart city is a city that is not only connected but is the most efficient it can be. Everything from its transportation and the way it handles its wastes is accounted for.
According to the Banks Sadler report, there is higher demand coming from clients regarding sustainable venues and intelligent hotels. If a city can offer ‘smarter’ solutions for event organisers then it will have a better edge over others. This is particularly relevant for big international events such as the Olympics. A lack of efficient solutions may cause problems not only for attendees but the inhabitants of the city as well. A better transportation, for example, will prevent traffic jams and guarantee a smoother coexistence.
To read the entire report, please head over to the Banks Sadler blog where you’ll be able to download the full guide that goes deeper into detail about all the event tech trends of 2018.
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