Insider look: technology trends shaping the world of events

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The event industry is all about being live and going large, so what do you need to deliver that? Technology … which is moving fast not just onto the centre-stage but into the logistical periphery of live events where it’s already steadily influencing the way contemporary events are managed and delivered.

Technology trends – accessing all areas

Whilst there are several tools and trends in integrated technology and digital communications which are proving vital for logistical support, those making a real impact are those which benefit those areas of event management that both event attendees and event organisers most value: engagement and delivery, along with feedback and evaluation …

1) Engagement & delivery

Mobile convenience
According to OFCOM, 94% of us adults in the UK own and personally use a mobile phone, whilst Deloitte’s latest annual Mobile Consumer Survey (BBC news) reveals the mobile phone chosen by 4 out of 5 of us is a Smartphone. That’s over 37 million of us expecting the convenience of Smart technology’s integrated platforms in both our professional and personal lives!

As such, innovations like mobile ticketing are an emerging tech trend in events. By being fully integrated and optimised for mobiles, mobile ticketing offers user-benefits of maximum convenience: quick, efficient event ticket purchasing is something we can easily do in the 3 hours a day we reportedly spend on our mobiles!

Of course, mobile ticketing is also very cost-effective for organisers, as the platforms can include access to additional event information and opportunities for extra purchases and event-related upselling.

Even when paper ticketing or alternative technological methods (such as interactive lanyards or wristband technology) are also being used on event day, ensuring mobile ticketing is fully compatible ‘at the door’ adds to convenience for attendees and event managers by minimising booking-in queues.

What’s more, encouraging attendees to bring their mobiles supports another rising tech trend – the use of in-event apps and mobile platforms for accessing activities, passing on alerts, schedules and communications and even integral tools for event delivery.

Personalised experiences
It’s official, events just got personal. Latest studies report that personalisation is a priority for 82% of event planners (source: Eventsforce study) and technologies which assist personalisation processes, enhance attendee engagement and event experiences are rising stars of event management. Popular tech-approaches to personalisation include …

  • Online optimisation, with various event landing pages tailored to different audiences.
  • Registration services such as alternative registration paths for different types of attendee (sponsor, delegate or exhibitor) with the use of digital registration tools to identify delegate interests and preferences: anything from refreshments and catering options, to speakers and delivery methods, can benefit from this type of digital delivery.
  • Notifications to attendees, recommending speakers or activities based on their interests.
  • Networking tools within event apps are starting to integrate meeting planners and schedules, making it easier for delegates to personalise their in-event agendas. Networking opportunities can also be enhanced by seating individuals of similar interests or common connections together, facilitated by tech tools for data capture in booking and registration processes.

Virtual attendance
Not being there doesn’t now stop delegates or speakers from being part of events, thanks to trends in apps, social media-based tools which allow virtual attendance and high spec virtual conferencing tools such as hologram projection, for speakers and sponsors.

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Like virtual attendance, but more at the service end, messaging-based apps known as Chatbots are revolutionising event-day services. From chatbots delivering answers to the FAQ on event day to AI information points where delegates gain event-relevant content without having to queue or even be in a particular part of the venue, the use of AI is already shaping event production and delivery.

Real-time
Web-based, mobile and data technology now mean events can be delivered which also respond to engagement requirements through real-time reporting and response. Updating content live in conjunction with speaker seminars, or responding to queues at a particular in-event attraction by opening another service area are just a couple of ways this technology is helping event managers make real-time advances in event delivery – whilst also improving delegate engagement through convenience and experience. Real-time response also has excellent implications for safety and security monitoring systems, ideal for large city venues.

2) Feedback & evaluation

Event analytics are essential and technological tools to support analysis are fast developing in their popularity and their capacity to deliver.

For instance, those mobile apps we mentioned? These provide a useful platform to attendees and also support organisers by collecting information about their audience. In-app surveys offer the convenience of live feedback from attendees and data capture which could be used in future marketing and event planning, by breaking down the presence and preferences recorded in delegate data – by type of delegate, attendance at in-event portals, talks and activities – all of this data can be immensely informative and offer potential for greater personalisation of event experiences in the future.

Overall, technology which enables event managers to personalise attendee experiences and add convenience to the processes involved, whilst also allowing capture and analysis of information and outcomes are the tools and trends which are already developing in the event industry and look set to shape the development of the industry too.

This post has been brought to you by event management training specialists Event Academy. Visit our website to find out more about the courses we have on offer.


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