Right now we are living in exciting times. Event planning technology is changing at a break-neck speed each year with a huge wave of technological innovations really transforming this space. Thousands of new apps, ideas, and innovations are helping exhibitors, meeting planners, and event facilities to do their jobs better.
These are the top 10 event planning technology trends that are shaping the years to come.
1. Virtual Reality Exhibitions
The days of watching presentations or seeing a vendor’s services and products on video or DVD are coming to an end. Today, virtual reality is making it possible for these vendors to allow guests to step into the future and to not only see their services, but to experience them in real-time. Technology now allows the smartphone to be transformed into a virtual reality terminal where holograms instantly come to life. This allows vendors to integrate products, spaces, and physical locations with the needs of the attendees. This means fewer products to drag to the meeting location while engaging attendees more thoroughly.
2. Mobile Event Planning Apps
Mobile apps continue to evolve each year, but this year they appear to be taking the next major step to enhancing the attendee experience. When the mobile phone is combined with the mobile app, every movement and touch can be traced. This allows the mobile app to provide the event planner a wealth of valuable information from participant interests, likes, dislikes, movements, and will be able to improve upon future event planning by customizing the events based on that participants individual needs.
3. Videos and Images Dominating Social Channels
Social media has undergone huge changes just in the last year with the top three social sites, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram making the move to video and image domination. Posts with videos or images on these social platforms see a huge spike in engagement over just text posts. How this technology makes its way to event planning is quite unique. Rather than post message udates, these planners can now use apps like Facebook Live for events to stream live video allowing attendees to see the show and exhibits in real-time from anywhere in the world.
4. Mobile Participant Engagement
The days of one event planner talking to small groups of people at the event are going by the wayside. Today, technology allows the event planner to interact with everyone at the show at the same time by way of mobile participant engagement. The way this works is the attendee only need turn on their mobile device and the event planner can push videos, polls, images, slides, notes, and even social media links to them in real-time. This makes engagement more focused, personal, and interactive. Attendees are able to gather and save information to view later rather than stuffing a sack full of brochures and other handouts.
5. Deployment of Beacon Technology
The deployment of beacon technology will be used more frequently this year at many event planning shows. This technology is already widely used in malls across the country, and now has found a new home with event planning. The way this technology works is that when attendees walk around the event, as they near certain booths, messages, coupons, polls, and offers are sent to their mobile device when they get within a certain range of the beacon. Perfect for sending out messages about a free giveaway or a guest speaker going live so the attendees can make their way to a particular booth.
6. Internet of Things Technology
The IOT experience is already gaining in popularity in hotels around the world. A chip in the room card notifies a sensor in the room the guest has arrived and adjusts the temperature, turns on the television, or turns on the lights. This exciting technology is now finding its way to event planning shows. Guests are given bracelets or a lanyard at the door, and then as they approach a booth, it interacts with them on a more one-to-one level. Programmed information about the attendees needs allow the event to become basically interactive without the need for human interaction. Smart TVs can show custom videos or make unique offers based on the needs of that attendee.
7. Smarter Interactive Wearables
In the past, an attendee would be given a name badge or lanyard with their business information so the event planners could try to make the presentations more personal when they met. Today, technology has changed the way the event planners and attendees interact, and it is all done by way of interactive wearables with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) systems. Smart bracelets, smart name badges, and even smart watches, can provide direction to a particular booth, make e-wallet transactions, push conference alerts, function as admission tickets, poll responses, enable automated check-in to speaking events, and allow attendees to track booths they have visited.
8. Virtual Trade Show Technology
Another exciting technology that will allow attendees to gather information is the virtual trade show technology making its way to event planning seminars. The way this works is rather than companies bringing all their employees, products, and services to the seminar, they have one or two employees engage attendees live while large Smart TVs are connected to the business location where all the staff can allow attendees to virtually see everything in real-time. This works great for bakers who want to show their products and the creation process, to wedding dress shops that can have models showcase any dress in the shop for attendees to see.
9. Event Intelligence Improvements
In the not so distant past, the event planner would gather important attendee details and log them into a laptop computer to analyze and tally at a later time. This would not allow the planners to make valuable mid-course corrections to make the most of their little time in front of their captive audience. One of the top 10 event planning technology trends this year is event intelligence, gathering real-time information from attendees that can be tracked, rated, and scored on a mobile app. This allows the event marketer to see what is trending hot now, who were top speakers, which booths are getting the most interaction, where improvements can be made to enhance the attendee experience. These changes can be incorporated to showcase what the attendees are in most need of.
10. Interactive Attendee Experience
Technology not only makes life easier for the event planner, it gives the attendees the chance to have a more personalized experience that will resonate with them longer. Imagine a bride-to-be being able to take an image of herself and have it placed in dozens, hundreds, of wedding dresses in real-time. The event planner can allow the attendee to customize their experience so they see exactly what they will be getting at their own event, increasing customer satisfaction and servicing more attendees in less time.
These 10 event planning technology trends are poised to completely transform the experience for attendees over this year and beyond.