Event technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate. With myriad new software and applications touted as the next big thing, it’s hard to know which event tech trends are worth paying attention to. One thing we know for sure is that event technology will continue to change the face of events as we know them – for the better. We’re hedging our bets on the following five trends that are shaping events around the globe.
Event tech trend # 1: Apps are the order of the day
Bespoke apps created specifically for an event were, until recently, a luxury few brands could afford. Just like Uber, Order In and Uber Eats have become commonplace; event apps will soon be too. The most obvious benefit of an event app is that it encourages engagement (another event tech buzzword that we’ll get to in a bit) In addition, you can gamify data collection and present it in a way that’s user-friendly to boot. From simplifying the check-in and registration process to collecting crucial guest data, bespoke event apps will not only enhance the guest experience – but that of event managers too.
Event tech trend # 2: Virtual payments will become de rigueur
Your guests are already using cashless payment systems like Snapscan, FlickPay, Master Pass and the like. While virtual wallets have been popping up at events like Kamers and the KKNK, they’ll soon become the industry’s preferred method for financial transactions at both corporate and commercial events. You can also expect virtual payments at events to move beyond the virtual wallet: last year saw the launch of Mastercard’s ‘Selfie Pay’, a system which uses facial recognition. The app has been rolled out in various European countries, with plans to launch in SA in the coming months.
Event tech trend # 3: Social media makes live streaming events easier than ever
Social media behemoths Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’s Periscope embraced the power of video and launched live streaming options at the end of last year, making what was previously a costly and complicated task as easy as opening your smartphone’s camera. Live streaming your event not only increases exposure, but also connects guests and speakers who would otherwise be separated by geographical boundaries. As well as being able to broadcast your event around the globe with the swipe of a screen, live video will also act as an add-on to other digital content, further enhancing the overall experience. As event attendees come to expect video on demand from events, robust on-site wifi connections will become more important than ever.
Event tech trend # 4: Attendee engagement will become an increasingly important metric
As this article from Corbin Ball & Co. points out, the more engaged your guests are with your event, the higher the resulting ROI. As such, brands will increasingly focus on engagement levels, measuring metrics from a number of engagement facilitating technologies and sources. These include social media sentiment and activity, on-site and mobile surveys and polls, event app analytics, live streaming apps, event registration software and more.
Event tech trend # 5: Data analytics will come to the fore
We’ve written a lot about how the right data is crucial to successfully using your events as a potent marketing tool. 2017 will see increased advances in the use of data analytics to improve your guests’ experience, as well as the way you interact with them. There are myriad ways to go about collecting all-important attendee information, from event apps and RSVP software to mobile polls and surveys and social media. It’ll become increasingly easier to integrate and analyse data from multiple sources thanks to advanced cloud-based systems and robust, custom built APIs (like our very own RSVP software) Possibly one of the biggest advantages of integrated event software will be the ease with which brands can calculate event ROI – a task that has been notoriously difficult to do.
We’re excited to see what else the future holds for the events industry!
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