With the Emergence of Technology and gadgets, events and event planning are evolving into new, dynamic formats. Old models are falling away, and technology is giving both planners and event participants an opportunity to grow and revisit the underlying ideas about how event spaces work. New and Emerging Technology has changed the way we share information, the way we serve clients and the way event planning works. From the ability to interact directly with prospects via social media and to build buzz about an event weeks before it actually happens to live stream that allows guests to instantly share their experience with their own circle of people; emerging technology has had a huge impact on the way events are planned and the way events work.
Let's look at some of the new roles’ technology is playing in the events landscape — key fronts where it's changing the planning and experience, we've come to expect.
From Passive to Engaged
The ways attendees' expectations have changed is due largely to technology in the event space. Event planners have mostly embraced the shift of thinking about attendees as passive audiences to engaged participants. The expectation for attendees is that they can be engaged. From the easy stuff — polling, contests, social curation, to environmental changes, people expect to see themselves as part of an event. Engagement through social media, mobile app and #tag campaigns creates a great level of excitement and connect amongst attendees. This is really helping in a great way to event organisers to increase event attendance and hence the revenue.
Social Media as a Shared Planning Tool
The advent of social media and rapid adoption of sites ranging from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest has broadened the reach of event marketing. Social media also levels the playing field for even small business and rewards those willing to take the time to interact with and engage prospects online. For events, social media offers multiple opportunities for engagement, from developing interest before an event to live streaming and updating during to sharing images, stories and updates afterwards. Event participants already share their in-event experiences in real time via Twitter, Facebook and the likes.
New ways of identifying topics and exposing your event to large numbers of fresh prospects; using an event hashtag makes it easy to reach out to a whole new audience. Creating and using a hashtag in the weeks leading up to your event can help build buzz and ensure that everyone knows what’s coming next. With that as a given, now comes a newer drive on the planner's side: To place more control of events in their audience's hands.
Attendees communicate with speakers in real time
It's not just sharing with the outside world; it's communicating with the people at the podium.
Event technology is a great tool to connect speakers with attendees. This can be done using an event app or social media. There are apps and online tools that allow for text-to-screen and text-to-moderator communications, so that moderators have more control over what questions are being asked and who's asking them while on the podium. With this kind of technology, attendees can now ask unlimited questions, and moderators can quickly filter out ones that don't make sense or that disrupt the flow. Furthermore, because speakers can clearly see the questions being asked, they do not get lost among the noise of status updates. Event organisers can use live polling at their events via social media. They can tell people to tweet at the speaker or use a hashtag when they ask a question. That way the speaker can constantly receive and answer questions in real time.
Event Mobile App
Mobile-app usage in the messaging and social-media space increased some 203% last year. Apps can now let you know that an attendee you were hoping to find for networking is down the street a Starbucks. Many apps will allow attendees to communicate with one another throughout an event, allowing for greater social impact. Apps have become so common that people don’t even realize how much time they spend using them. According to the Mobile Apps for Events: Now its Personal eBook, 85% of time-spent on smartphones is using apps. It’s not surprising that mobile app adoption at events continues to rise, we will see
No paper, No welcome book, No paper agendas — Everything Digital. That way no one has anything in their hands, which encourages them to interact. Using an app during the events makes everything more seamless. We use push notifications to contact thousands of people instantly and let them know about speaker change or to alert them about a special session.
Mobile Ticketing & Online Check In
Mobile is taking every industry by storm, and the events industry is no exception. The first wave of mobile innovation has come with ticket buying systems and online checkin. “Ticketing is increasingly about establishing a higher touch point with your fans -- it is about being made available to everyone, everywhere.” explains Neetu Bhatia, founder and CEO of Kyazoonga, a global online ticketing agency. Mobile ticketing also allows vendors to do a lot more. Bhatia explains, “Clients can access and manage the ticketing back-end in a much simpler fashion than the older terminal based systems – now anyone with a mobile smartphone can become a ticketing point-of-sale.”
The ability to check in attendees via an app or portal helps you speed even heavy attendance traffic through your registration stations. A mobile app designed specifically for events can integrate with your attendance list, help you identify VIPs and even let you know how many of your expected attendees have arrived.
From on-site wristbands that allow participants to capture moments and to BYOD opportunities surrounding devices such as Google Glass, we're at the front end of a potentially profound shift toward hands-free tech at events. Wearable technology may well add yet another layer to the event ecosystem.
It’s easier than ever to give followers some insight into your event; live streaming gives anyone following you a look into the big day and helps boost involvement and interaction. Even those who can’t attend can follow along and participate over the course of your event, thanks to live streaming.
Cost Reduction, Revenue Generation
A study from Enterprise Event Marketing found that the use of event technology can create a 20 percent increase in event attendance while reducing related costs by up to 30 percent. Even so, numerous studies also indicate that one of the biggest reasons’ events professionals don’t integrate new technologies is due to costs.
Companies and vendors will need to work harder to compete in an increasingly cost-sensitive industry.
Big data is king in most industries, but its potential remains unrealized in the events industry. Event tech expert Mike Piddock shares, “Event tech that gathers data, both during live events and presentations, and dipping into social media profiles to understand event communities, will be a must have rather than a nice to have.” Technologies like scannable QR codes, much like the ones used for online ticketing, can help event professionals collect data from attendees that are actively scanning different objects at a live event.