The last decade has seen a dramatic change in the way people are perceiving events which are no longer confined within a space or time frame. With the help of technology we have discovered new ways to ‘see’, connect, share updates, build prospect relationships, identify opportunities and even locate potential leads in a huge crowd.
Event organizers don’t just make it about hosting an event anymore; they look for analytics and ROI as well.
Speaking of the latest techno buzz, we recently came across an interesting article in a UK based online magazine that mentioned the renowned Corin Ball who categorically divided two things which affect event tech- Social media and some mind boggling Mobile technology.
To cite a few examples of upcoming/latest technology trends which could drastically impact an event attending experience, the following are listed below:
A. Wearable technology:
These included Google Glass, NFC rings, Apple Watch (with which we are already pretty familiar) as well as something called the Cicret Bracelet. This amazing concept which is still under development talks about your SKIN acting as your personal touchscreen. So now, reading emails, answering calls, finding routes, social networking is literally about the ‘touch’.
B. Virtual Events:
Basically this starts from meeting in a virtual space in contrast to the physical one. This eventually means you are saving money and also making this a more ‘greener’ approach. This is a primary reason that several corporates are shifting towards VR events of late. They also realize that many a times its practically impossible for delegates to travel to far locations and hence take up the style of improvised venues setting up ceiling mounted microphones, multiple cameras, high bandwidth or even using tiny friendly drones at venues means getting the best experience undoubtedly.
Refer to this article that talks about how drones are changing the face of the event industry. Capturing videos and sharing with different groups on social media is also a very common phenomenon now. According to this article in 2009, Cisco held a virtual sales meeting in place of its traditional meeting for more than 19,000 sales people. It was estimated that the virtual gathering saved 84,499 tons of carbon dioxide and 209,000 pounds of waste.
Speaking of the more sophisticated Virtual Reality, we could talk about Occulus Rift, Google Cardboard and Microsoft Hololens. Check this article that mentions the fact that when used with Windows 10 the software is capable of producing holograms on screen without the use of wires, phones or a connection to a computer.
D. Event Apps:
Mobile based event apps such as Eventbrite, Eventzilla, Eventdex, Boomset, Purplepass etc are gaining more and more popularity standing out as great event management solutions both in corporate and in minority business events (like Eventdex). Some of the top reasons why attendees are choosing event apps over manual processes picks include people preferring mobile devices instead of carrying laptops at events, preference for digital content over brochures and flyers, easy check-in using QR code scanners, badge printing, smooth and quick registration & ticketing process be it on site or online, real-time collection of actionable data, lead retrieval, and of course using the latest trend of iBeacon technology for locating attendees, sending real time notifications, facilitating attendee networking and even hosting scavenger hunts and games.
E. Social Media
It would do injustice if we stop our discussion on what can/already has changed about the event industry without mentioning about Social Media. Statistics reveal that nearly 70% of the 3 billion internet users have active social accounts. This is now a huge part of our daily life (both professional and personal), and it can radically alter the lifecycle of your event, creating buzz and pushing registrations, and continuing the discussion long after the last delegates have left the venue. Event # tags are a great way of building momentum, engaging conversations, and gathering feedback and images after an event. Organizations are in fact using social media as the cheapest way to promote their upcoming events and also generating ROI both during and post the events.
Remembering the great words of Arthur C. Clarke “Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic”, this is indeed no less than Magic where mankind is thinking of the unthinkable and achieving it to such great lengths that often our minds are challenged with what is real and what is virtual.