Meetings and events tech trends for 2019
Technology is continually evolving at an ever-increasing rate, and as an event organiser, it’s vital that you keep up to speed with the latest tech trends. The way data is presented at meetings has the power to truly impact on your audience.
It can motivate delegates and ensure that the content discussed at the event resonates with them, long after the meeting has finished. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead to the event technology trends that you should try out in 2019.
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1. Virtual reality
Although VR headsets are commonplace in the gaming and leisure world, they are underused in the corporate sector. It’s time to look at engaging delegates by introducing this innovative way for them to interact at events. Using virtual reality can enhance the attendee experience, especially if it’s something they normally wouldn’t have access to.
A VR headset enables attendees to look at 3D images with 360 degree capabilities. It is currently used mainly at large trade shows, so the vendors’ products can be demonstrated in an interactive way. It’s especially useful for products that would be difficult to take on-site.
If your delegates are competitive, VR headsets could be used as part of a gamification strategy at your event. One tip is to use them for team-building activities, such as scavenger hunts with virtual clues.
2. Radio frequency identification
The latest RFID technology opens up a whole new realm when used at meetings. Using radio-frequency waves, RFID wirelessly transfers data through a tag – this can be in the delegate’s name badge, on a wristband, or on a plastic card.
It can speed up the attendee check-in process and provide immediate data on foot traffic. It can also track the delegates’ journey at a conference to give organisers a better idea of what interests the audience and where they are going. It also allows for attendees to interact on-site with sponsors and other delegates, through live surveys and polling.
3. Artificial intelligence
Although AI technology has been around for a while for consumers (such as in voice activation and other apps), it has become the buzzword for event tech today. It is fast becoming a tool that event organisers are using to enhance the personalisation of the attendee experience.
AI’s deep learning technology relies on pattern recognition. It can enable more meaningful interactions, such as pairing attendees with experiences and activities that align with their goals and interests. It is also enabling professionals to estimate in advance the logistical requirements for an event in terms of catering, for example.
An artificial intelligence platform can be integrated into a mobile application for a networking event or trade fair, to create a platform for better interaction between attendees and vendors – for example, it can provide suggestions for activities for the delegates, based on their interests.
4. Social media
Although it’s by no means new, social media should be used more effectively in the corporate world when it comes to event planning. One recent development by platforms such as Instagram is the sale and distribution of tickets for trade shows and events. Planners can add a “get tickets” button to any event’s profile – experts predict social media will offer new opportunities for distribution.
Another option for social media is to broadcast an event, or part of the event, live. Although live video feeds have been around for some time, the next frontier provides a more immersive experience. New technology that debuted at the Golden Globe awards involved some attendees wearing special wireless video cameras that were synced with Snapchat’s Spectacles service. This meant circular videos featuring 115-degree fields of view could be beamed directly to users’ feeds.
5. Mobile applications
It’s a no-brainer that mobile apps must be integrated into the meetings and events industry in a modern world, where just about everyone has a mobile phone on which they spend much of their life glued to the screen. The hundreds of apps in the event space will offer customisable solutions for all types of event, including conferences and trade shows.
A mobile app can become a one-stop shop for divulging information for attendees. It can do everything from accessing the agenda and generating event information, to sending out special offers from sponsors and receiving messages.
Mobile apps are interactive and can also enable organisers to implement gamification, such as challenges, leader boards and rewards, to reinforce the goals of the event and increase engagement. While mobile apps aren’t new, it’s time to increase their corporate use and ensure they become a key player in event technology.
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