Recent technology trends have completely changed the face of the MICE industry. By adopting these latest event technology upgrades, event organizers can deliver exceptional events and stand out from the crowd.
Here are the top trends you should watch out for in 2018:
1. The Event Technology of the Moment – Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is proving to be a game-changing solution in the event industry. AI will be taking delegate engagement to the next level by delivering a personalized experience to attendees and exhibitors.
Automated customer service
Chatbots promise to be better than their human alternative as they can assist both attendees and event organizers. They provide instant gratification to delegates by answering queries quickly, while helping staff work more efficiently.
Artificial Intelligence also allows for personalized recommendations on a much wider scale. Recommendation engines are very powerful personalization tools that help attendees ‘discover’ sessions, products, and people. They improve your attendees’ experience by offering relevant items at the right time and on the right page.
2. Biometric Authentication (especially Facial Recognition) for Events
Facial recognition technology at events makes the check-in process faster and assures higher security. This is one event technology trend that is expected to advance rapidly in the upcoming year.
Extend your reach
You must have noticed that when you upload a group picture on Facebook, it automatically provides tag suggestions. That’s because Facebook uses facial recognition software. When your attendees tag their friends in your event posts, they will appear in feeds of like-minded people, or people who might be interested in attending your event.
So always ask your attendees to tag themselves and their friends when you upload your official event album on Facebook. This powerful technology can help you reach a broader audience.
Reflexive feedback, faster check-in, and improved security
Although face recognition has yet to receive far-flung acceptance, in the coming years it’s predicted to replace the traditional event feedback form. Data captured by cameras placed in the event venue will help event managers know their attendees better and understand how they feel about the event.
Facial recognition software will also help event organizers give attendees a smoother check-in experience, one that's not only fast but also ensures higher security at the event.
3. Smart Event Apps
A seamlessly integrated mobile event app can turn even a passive attendee into an active event participant. While event apps used to be a “nice-to-have,” they have become truly indispensable. Attendees expect a mobile event app as it helps them connect and interact with the right content, people, and sessions. Plus, it benefits sponsors by giving them additional exposure and providing the data and ROI they need.
Some smart conference apps come with features to track and suggest speakers and networking opportunities and also help delegates create custom line-ups and bookmark locations.
4. RFID Tags
This wireless event technology has already become a standard across popular music festivals around the world. Event organizers have been using RFID to replace event tickets and onsite payments. In the coming year, this technology will be used to enhance sponsorship experiences. Using RFID, sponsors can engage attendees through an interactive experience like raffles, polls, or any other competition. This will enable sponsors to gather attendee data without intruding on the event experience.
5. Social Media Walls
This event tech trend turns your attendees into photographers and event promoters. Social media walls are huge screens that project your attendees’ social posts and photos tagged with your event hashtag. They tell your event’s story in an interactive, visual way, grabbing the attention of your attendees and keeping them entertained.
6. Live Streaming
Live streaming is overwhelmingly popular. It seems like everyone is using it now, from news channels and sports networks to beauty bloggers and your next-door neighbor. It isn’t just Facebook and Instagram that have rolled out live streaming tools though, YouTube has YouTube Live, Twitter has Periscope, Snapchat (arguably a live streaming platform in and of itself) recently released CrowdSurf. Even LinkedIn is toying with the idea of live streaming. Given the prevalence of live streaming and the ease with which anyone can access and view those videos, there is no question of how it can benefit your events.
Share your live stream far and wide
Live streaming enables you to expand your audience beyond event capacity. Encourage your delegates and staff to share your event’s live stream on social media and other platforms. You could also send it to invitees who couldn’t attend your event and ask them to support from afar by sharing your stream.
The latest trend in live streaming is crowdsourcing. Technology platforms like Instagram and Facebook Live help delegates broadcast their personal experiences easily. Encourage attendees to broadcast their event experience and post it under a common hashtag so you can measure the results.
While most trends focus on improving the attendee experience, this one is designed to benefit the event organizer. With the right event tech, you can automate your manual planning tasks like data transfer, event publishing, and even new audience discovery.