It’s a new year! After making your New Year’s Resolutions and recovering from New Years Eve (hydration is key!), #eventprofs should start thinking about ways to make 2015 even better. Here are a few tech trends that could really help with events in the future!
1. Smart Watches
You know people are already attached to their phones, but smart watches take this to a whole new level. This trend allows people to make calls and texts, check their apps and search the web right from a watch. The Apple Watch and Pebble are two popular examples of this trend currently making waves. This is something all #eventprofs should know about because it can change the way your attendees communicate, making it much harder to miss a phone call and increase efficiency by having all notifications and emails right on your wrist. Smart watches can send notifications straight to attendees’ watches. Push notifications have a greater impact because if an event planner needs to get an announcement out quickly, it is much more likely for an attendee to see if it is on their wrist rather than buried in their briefcase.
2. Mobile Event Apps (on STEROIDS)
All #eventprofs know about event apps, but it’s important to take note of the quickly expanding functionalities of these tools and that they've become something far more than a green-friendly paper agenda replacement. This is crucial to recognize because attendees are coming to expect to be able to access event information and networking tools via their mobile devices.
The increasing adoption rate of event apps has also impacted the overall event experience with peer-to-peer messaging, social media engagement, gamification, and much more all while accumulating advanced event analytics. There is much more of an emphasis on enagement and interactivity when it comes to the future or mobile event apps. Further, using mobile event apps makes it easier for organizers to collect feedback on the event, spread the word about the event using hashtags and real-time updates for event goers.
3. Instant Attendee Feedback and Analytics
Instant attendee feedback is like getting real-time thoughts and opinions from event-goers. Event apps that have live polling and survey features gives planners the opportunity to see how specific moments and ideas were perceived by attendees. It gives them the opportunity to tweak things to improve the experience for next time! As event industry pro, Corbin Ball has said in his 2015 report, "mobile event apps offer an unprecedented amount of analytic data – a goldmine of useful, real-time information to improve the event experience! Every touch is trackable!" This data can be used to see what exhibits were the most popular, which speakers were enjoyed the most, and what the trending topics were, among many others!
iBeacon is Apple’s Bluetooth low energy (BLE) wireless technology used to provide location-based information to iOS devices. For example, brick and mortar stores can implement iBeacons so that an iPhone will be notified when things are for sale nearby and can even allow them to pay for the item through the service itself, never making the customer have to take out their wallet! Talk about impulse decisions!
#Eventprofs should be aware of this because it has potential for becoming a great marketing tool for their events, or allow patrons to learn about sponsor and exhibitor booths they are close to while at an event. Event organizers can also get creative by sending notifications asking for feedback when an attendee leaves a session or sending a welcome notification to an attendees’ phone when they arrive at the event venue. This type of technology will allow organizers to send relevant messages to attendees in the right place, at the right time.
5. Social Video
Short videos on social media have a large influence on viewers and are easily shared. Videos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vines can become effective event marketing tools. As producing a video is now much less time consuming and does not require special video skills, videos are to become the event marketer’s gold. Event organizers could use videos to show a “behind the scenes” or a sample of a speaker to get attendees excited for the event!
Technology trends can be put to great use to enhance the experience of the event, while also helping to attract more attendees. Here is also a great post on 2015 trends from event industry professionals!