The latest technology trends can improve your events and help you better prove your return on investment (ROI). In the age of the digital transformation, new forms of event tech seem to be popping up nearly every day. How can event professionals keep up?
We asked our event experts what emerging technology they’re most excited about and why. Take a look at what our experts had to say, and how these tech trends may take your next event to ‘wow’ status.
1. Artificial Intelligence to Deliver Personalized Event Experiences
“I am excited to see how AI continues to iterate in the event space—the power to personalize to the actual attendee and not just to a general persona or demographic. AI will provide the ability to target communications tied to attendee benefits and interests as well as create interactions with like-minded individuals and curate content and desired event experiences. The combination of AI and data analytics will change the expectations of attendees and how event marketers shape the attendee journey.”
2. Simplified Registration to Amplify Attendee Experience
“Technology is becoming an even bigger part of events. It continues to allow for more personalization and customization. The amount of data that is captured within an event is what drives decisions. But knowing how to use the data and make it actionable is where we see people struggle. Consolidating the data into a centralized location is where things are heading. Having a holistic view of all of the data allows trends to be identified and stories to be told. Making sure we use the data to enhance event content and experiences that are relevant to the attendee year over year is what drives attendance.
Related: By incorporating strategic questions in the event registration process, you can access real-time registration reports to maximize personalization and generate a one-of-a-kind experience for event attendees.
Technology is also allowing for more automation. Booking air travel for large groups has always been an antiquated process. We’ve come a long way from paper registration. Event registration is now intuitive, quick and user-friendly. However, booking air travel requires back and forth with an agent. This does not match the registration experience. We recognized that online booking tools out in the market are designed for individual corporate travel and were lacking the group experience. There was no way to set parameters, build user-friendly group manifests and monitor spend for the group.
ITA Group recently launched a new online booking tool that integrates with our proprietary registration tool, PerformanceCentral, as well as third-party registration platforms. This tools allows an attendee to fully complete registration, including booking their travel, in one sitting. In addition to improving the attendee experience, it gives meeting planners the ability to set travel parameters, price parameters and access to robust reporting. While the tool allows attendees to select their preferred flights you still have the reassurance of a group air agent behind the scenes monitoring and providing the customer service our attendees are used to, if needed.
Attendees now have the ability to choose how they want to book their travel. Select on their own or work with an agent. We are seeing great success with this tool and believe this is just another example of how technology is making us more efficient while improving the attendee experience.”
3. Enhanced Data Collection Opportunities
“RFID Enhancements – In the sponsorship world, data and attendee scans are golden. Event management controls access to the data that lives behind the RFID, so unless a sponsor has a handheld scanner and has authorization to physically scan the attendees, they are at the mercy of the event organizers for this data. Being able to collect the data from sponsored events or experiences easier through more cost effective and readily available RFID will be key to easily selling sponsored activations and experiences, as sponsors will have true data to pass back to their executive and sales teams.
Projection Mapping – The concept of this is just amazing. Essentially taking any surface, and digitally incorporating video elements that transform that basic boring object into a three dimensional video storyboard. This is the WOW-factor sponsors are looking for. To bring their message, their story, their solution and make that stand out to the attendees. Now, I am just waiting for this to be tangible and within price range that it can be incorporated into unique packages sponsors can afford the attendees will flock to. This gives yet another meaning to ‘experiential elements’.
Augmented Reality (AR) – There is a whole different world (literally) with AR. One that is waiting to be tapped into with QR codes and access points. Events are all about feeding information to attendees in a consumable way. AR gives us the opportunity to do that at an entirely different level. Incorporating items that aren’t really there, but help to visually tell a story, all the while entertaining the attendee. QR codes and AR, a dream combination!”
4. Connecting Data Without Drowning in It
“I see event dashboards and data viz as the most exciting meeting and event tools that are coming to the surface this year. We have seen registration sites, event apps, survey software and expo tools expanding over the past few years. The growth in data collection mechanisms has made events the mouth of an information funnel taking in endless data about attendees and prospective clients. Teams now need to figure out how to harness the large quantity of data into meaningful insights without drowning in the sheer volume of information. Interactive event dashboards connect all the data pieces together as one single source of truth. It becomes the heart of both operational efficiency as well as a content and strategy powerhouse.”
5. Evolving Tech Presents New Options for Delivering Experiences
“It isn’t just brand new, but evolving technologies that are driving the way experiences are being delivered. The growing adoption of cloud and API technology is making integrations much easier, which aid in expanding an organization’s reach to capture valuable event attendee data. This ‘real’ or ‘near time’ data, coupled with marketing automation capabilities, is pushing the envelope on how organizations are able to track and prove event ROI. At the same time, niche technology providers are becoming more mature. These providers are working through the market to identify complimentary technologies to partner with. This in turn creates a higher value add, additional options for clients and drives a more seamless attendee and administrative experiences, from sourcing through execution and back-end analytics.”
6. A Seamless, Frictionless Content Experience
“Mixed reality and immersive video technology continues to drive high interest and engagement. But what I’m really excited about is hardware and software companies providing on-ramps to create meaningful content. Google and Apple have taken steps toward integrating native augmented reality capabilities in their devices. Social companies like Snapchat have opened up channels to allow users and brands to create their own content on the platform. We no longer have to jump over the hurdle of how to deliver content to our audience. We can create content where they already are—creating a more seamless and frictionless content experience.”
What Excites You About Emerging and Evolving Event Tech?
New advances in event technology stand to transform every element of the industry from snoresville to spectacular. The result will be truly personalized, deeply interactive and intensely meaningful brand experiences for each and every attendee that comes through the doors, creating lasting impact.
But new technology is only the beginning. Implementation, data analysis and reporting are just as important. If you can't show event ROI to your leaders and stakeholders the future of your event(s) will be in jeopardy. Discover if you’re collecting and sharing all the metrics that matter by downloading our white paper: Prove Your Event ROI With These 8 Overlooked Metrics.