Looking to improve your events in 2020? Try turning to the latest in event technology to help.
Recently, Event Tech Group broke down the top 10 event technology trends for 2020 in a webinar, and according to Kate Dodd, vice-president of marketing for the company, staying ahead of these trends will help you not only to engage your attendees but to delight them, as well.
With augmented reality (AR) infiltrating the personal technology market, Dodd said, it raises attendees’ expectations to have this at events.
“When it comes to AR technology specifically designed for events, we’ve seen standalone AR activations that attendees stop by on the show floor. However, (recent technology) has been developed within apps that allow attendees to experience a full AR experience right from their device. Organizers can use this to display videos, interactive 3D models, walking directions, and more.”
There is also the potential to use AR with your conference signage, Dodd added.
“In this scenario, an attendee could walk up to a meter board sign and hover over it with their phone to activate teaser session videos, speaker bio videos, and more.”
Research shows that in 2019, 111 million people in the United States used a voice assistant (be it Google Home, Siri, or Amazon Alexa) at least monthly. It is estimated that by 2021, that number will climb to 122 million.
“Many events today are using voice assistants at events to answer attendee questions, provide agenda information, and give directions,” Dodd said adding that the bonus is attendees love the convenience and experience of using the voice attendant. “Soon, voice assistance can help them right on their mobile devices. Imagine asking Siri where your next session is and she can respond with the ballroom name and location.”
Chatbots are a technology you’ve likely used at a recent event. They are used on-site and online to answer attendee questions.
“They are very popular and easy to implement at your event,” Dodd said adding chatbots reduce the need for live customer support before, during, and after your event.
Chatbots are also very accurate, even with a high number of inquiries, and can learn as more questions are asked, Dodd said.
“We’re seeing more wearables at events,” Dodd said adding that event organizers are opting for event apps that are compatible with smartwatches or RFID bands.
And to boot, the possibilities with these wearables have expanded in recent years.
“These technologies are great for swag bag pick up, attendee tracking, and access control. But we’re also seeing this technology useful for cashless payment,” she said.
One of the best ways to speak to your attendees is through personalized, curated content.
“Personalization is important because 48% of consumers spend more when they are given a personalized shopping experience online,” she said. “So, if you’re trying to convince someone to register for your event, a personalized message will be much more effective. Personalization isn’t an option anymore.”
Dodd said to get started with personalization, make sure your registration system and mobile app are integrated so you can send targeted messages to those who pre-registered for certain sessions, for instance.
Big data analysis
Big data is important; but what’s more important is analyzing it, says Dodd.
For example, it’s not about how many people downloaded your app and logged in, but about how people used your app and how.
“The goal is to identify microtrends at your event,” Dodd explained. “And then act on your analysis and implement changes. So, are you attracting more attendees that fit a certain persona and if so, what are they interested in? And how can you tailor your next event to fit their preferences?”
Facial recognition is the new hot technology you’ve likely seen in action at a recent event.
Facial recognition is used to help attendees check-in and print their badge live and on-site. But it can go much further than that, Dodd said.
“Facial recognition technology can also be used to measure attendee sentiment. For instance, at a glance, you’ll be able to see how engaged attendees are in a session or how distracted or unhappy they are. This takes satisfaction measurement to a whole new level,” she said.
Next-level event apps
Dodd said that while having an event app is the right way to go, make sure it can go to the next level if you want it to.
“Apps are now delivering more personalized messages based on proximity to activations, activity, and behaviours taken within the app. For example, if the attendee adds the accounting fundamentals session to their personal calendar, the app will send them reminders to make sure they know where the session is, and even recommend other sessions on the same topic.”
Last year, live streaming events grew 12% and a recent poll showed that 77% of event goers expect access to a live stream.
“Live streaming isn’t going anywhere and should be part of your conference planning,” Dodd said. “Expand your audience to those who can’t afford to travel to your event.”
Social media driven events
“As event planners, you know that a good social media strategy is an important part of your event,” Dodd explained. “As social media continues to evolve and change, events are responding with expanded social media playbooks, to attract and engage attendees across a variety of platforms. Social is big for event marketing and brands are beginning to use new platforms like TikTok to build excitement and event hype.”
Dodd also said that event planners should look into LinkedIn events to promote your next meeting or conference.