Here’s how Apple’s iWatch will affect event management systems

Technology giant Apple is set to launch their newest offering – the iWatch later this year. Essentially a sophisticated upgrade on a traditional wristwatch, Apple’s latest gadget has been touted as “wearable technology”. If the experts are correct, the iWatch could very well revolutionise the way we conduct our daily lives, just like its predecessor, the smartphone.

The proliferation of mobile phones and tablets has significantly influenced event management systems.

As mobile continues to influence event planning systems, we’re hedging our bets that as the iWatch and similar technology gain popularity, event management systems will be further impacted as a result. Before we explore the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the ramifications of wearable technology, let’s look at how mobile has changed the way event management systems operate:

Registration processes are no longer reliant on internet connectivity and bulky desktop computers.

Thanks to the advent of Wi-Fi and the advantage of being connected 24/7, event planners no longer have to worry about sourcing a phone line for a modem, or setting up a cumbersome desktop computer in order to register guests. This process is not only time-consuming, but expensive too, as you have to hire an IT specialist to be on standby should anything go awry. Thanks to mobile though, event agencies can simply and easily log onto an app (like the one The RSVP Agency offers) to handle their registration process. Long queues are now a distant memory, as this allows planners to check guests in in a fraction of the time – as well as eliminate the need for desks or extra administrative staff.

The prevalence of smartphones means that guests can now receive invites and follow-up correspondence wherever they are.

While this may seem like a benefit as guests can instantly receive any communication from you, it does have one major drawback. Most people will check their mail on their mobile, but then reply at a later stage – or not at all. The last thing an event planner wants is to have their invitation read, and then promptly forgotten about.

While mobile is undoubtedly useful, its ubiquity has placed additional strain on event management systems.

In order to cater to the majority of guests who receive and read event invitations on their mobile, event agencies are now having to offer a ‘call-down’ service, or alternatively, outsource this process to an RSVP management company. In order to tackle this challenge, it’s critical that the event management system you’re using allows you to manually update the RSVP status of a guest via an online interface. This vital functionality will prevent the embarrassing (and unprofessional) mistake of emailing a reminder to someone who’s already declined your event over the phone.

Copious makes and models of smartphones mean that event management systems that incorporate responsive design come out tops.

Countless types of mobiles and tablets mean that your invitations have to be able to display across an array of screens. If you’ve designed an invitation with a PC in mind, the chances that a person will be able to read it on a Blackberry or iPhone are slim to none. It’s become incredibly important that any event management system contains the necessary coding in order to create invites that can be read across multiple devices. (Especially internet explorer)

The launch of the iWatch and related technology will have subtle, but important influences on event management systems.

Due to the limited screen size of an iWatch, it’s unlikely that guests will be able to be checked in via their watches. What we do foresee, however, is a revival of QR and bar codes. This will enable guests to display the code in question, have it scanned, and voila – check in instantly. There’ll be no need to search for their name a database, print out their registration page or have to search for an email on their phone. We’re also predicting that near field communication (NFC) will become more commonplace – as guests will be able to check themselves in (via their iWatches) as soon as they come within a certain radius of their host.

The launch of the iWatch will see responsive design become more crucial than ever.

Some guests will receive and read your invitation on their ‘smart watch’, which means that if you were getting away with using a design that only partially displayed on a mobile, you’ll have to up your game. Using event management system that incorporates the latest responsive design functionalities will ensure that no matter the size of the screen, your invite will adjust accordingly.

As it becomes even easier for guests to share their experiences, social media will feature more and more

As if having a smartphone, tablet or iPad wasn’t enough, our lives are about to become even more “sharable” – thanks products like the iWatch. While not great news for those who’re fiercely protective of their privacy, event planners are bound to benefit. Sharing elements of an event via social media – whether it be an Instagram of an artfully created appetiser, or a tweet about a keynote speaker – exposes your brand to greater audience. Remember to incorporate the use of hashtags at your events – this will make it easy for guests to share their experiences, as well as enable you to see how people are engaging with your brand.

The speed at which technology is evolving means that event management systems will have to adapt alongside, or risk becoming obsolete. If you’re thinking about using event planning software, make sure to choose one that’s constantly being updated in line with technological advances.

Image Credit: Craving Tech