With 2016 HERE, it’s a good time to take a look at what’s hot for event technology, and how we can use that technology to improve both the experience of an event, as well as the bottom line success within your trade show display. It’s important to note that even though technology now allows for virtual meetings and webinars, in-person events still provide the best way to build relationships, network, find qualified buyers, meet vendors, and generate buzz and interest.
Hot Event Technology to Use in 2016
1. Mobile Event Apps and Real Time Event Management
Mobile event apps are evolving and becoming much more than something that provides event information convenience. Because smartphones have a variety of sensors and GPS, when combined with a smart event app, event managers will be able to know the user’s likes and dislikes, what they are interested in, and their movements. In other words, mobile event apps are becoming a rich source of data for event planners and managers.
No longer do you need to wait until the end of a meeting or talk to get the results of a survey. The right mobile event app will allow you to gather data and then make changes right then and there.
Images and Social Media
If you use social media at all you know that social media channels such as Instagram are growing in popularity and that a Tweet with an image is almost twice as likely to be retweeted as one without. Streaming video apps are becoming part of events. Periscope was purchased by Twitter and so is likely to become very popular for events.
Incorporating social media into events has unlimited potential. One of the goals at your event could be to create those WOW moments that prompts participants to share in real time. You can make this sharing easier by including a “Tweet this” button in your event app that prepopulates the hashtag, for instance.
Using video walls as large screen social walls that stream all the hashtag conversations provide real time interaction that encourages people to participate.
2. Interaction and Immersion
The future is truly here and the name of the game is elevating the user experience. Curved screens and wide screens allow for the feeling of full immersion for the viewer. Utilizing this technology for PPTs and other presentations creates a whole new level of impact and immersion.
Projection mapping can add an unpreceded element of surprise and is a sure-fire way to get all viewers to pull out their smartphones to snap and post pictures.
Projection mapping, also known as video mapping and spatial augmented reality, is a projection technology used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into a display surface for video projection. (from Wikipedia)
Figure 1: projection_mapping_by_@DoloresJoya_@CODA_ME_codame_(photo_by_j_bizzie)
Though you may associate projection mapping with large surfaces, they can be done on a smaller scale for an event.
3. Smart Personalized Content and Alerts
The use of motion capture and facial recognition can allow you to provide personalized content as someone approaches a booth or certain venue location. This can be accomplished through an RFID chip or Bluetooth technology.
Wearable technology is a growing trend and is being used in places like Disneyland to create heightened personal experiences.
Beacons are low energy blue tooth devices that you attach to venue walls, doorways, or booths, that can give off personalized alerts. They are programmed to send specific alerts to smartphones when someone passes nearby.
Uses for wearables and beacons1 can include:
- Help attendees track different exhibit booths visited
- Alert attendees who are leaving a talk to fill out a survey
- User initiated automatic posts to twitter and other social channels
- Automated voting
- Entrance ticket
- Cashless payments
- Sharing virtual business cards
4. Event Intelligence
Whether you’re using smartphone apps, wearables, geo positioning, or other technology, event managers now have the capacity to get immediate answers to many questions that before either went unanswered, or could only be answered belatedly. Now you can use technology to know:
- Who your top speakers are
- Which types of booths draw the most attendance
- How event activities are rated
- Who the key influencers are
- What aspects of your event are most engaging
- The flow of attendees at a venue Event intelligence is all about real time information and data, and real time event management.