Four Technology Trends Every Event Planner Needs to Know about
In the coming years, we can expect to see exciting technologies incorporated into event planning. We take a look at four major tech trends that are shaping the global events and conferencing space. Your Virtual Event Assistant: Artificial intelligence (AI) AI is making waves in a number of industries, and eventing is no exception. Automated customer service is making its mark with the use of automated chatbots that answer basic queries, smoothing the customer experience and minimising distractions for event managers. AI also takes networking from an art to a science to powerfully enhance delegates’ event experience. For example, an AI matchmaking engine could pull data from delegates’ social media profiles. Then, based on the information gathered, the engine could recommend people to meet, conference sessions to attend, or products to consider. This technology is already available – one of the quickest ways to implement this, is by using an event apps with an AI plug-in, for example Grip. These types of plug-ins also promise to improve its matchmaking suggestions as delegates use the event app. Social Media Central to Event Promotion With mobile phone usage climbing and the declining circulation of traditional media platforms like print, social media is now ever more critical to event promotion. Event professionals need to stay up to date with social media trends and recruit partner digital agencies who can execute campaigns that convert to sales. All it takes is a simple installation of the Facebook pixel (a web developer can do this very easily) on the event website and website visitors can be tracked back to see displayed adverts on Facebook. In addition, Facebook advertising campaigns can be set up so that you pay Facebook only when a viewer converts, for example purchases a ticket. This can be an incredible way to stretch the marketing advertising budget. This is just one of many methods that digital marketers can use to boost event exposure and attendance. Facial Recognition: Security and Marketing Applications Facial recognition, which is already used at some airports and to unlock the latest iPhone, is likely to be incorporated into many aspects of our daily lives. Venue owners and events managers alike are starting to explore what possibilities this powerful technology offers. Already, administrators of the Madison Square Garden event venue, have confirmed that they have been utilising facial recognition to help identify visitors. In this instance, the technology is used to match faces against a watch list of known security threats. The use of this technology appears to be rise at sports stadiums and other large public events – in fact the organising committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is investigating technology, and wants to incorporate this at the games. The applications for facial recognition stretch beyond security uses. It can be used for speedy check-in at events, offering special deals to certain attendees and for gauging audience emotion and responses to a changing event line-up. Big Data Powers Intelligent Eventing Big data is a hot topic and has many applications for eventing. In essence, big data is an umbrella term to describe all real-time information gathered from various platforms. Just a short few years go, this information would have been basic – registration details such as name, age, address collected from registration forms. As technology has developed, so has the complexity of the data that can be collected and how it is harvested. Today, these platforms feeding into big data decision making include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, email marketing, social media channels and mobile apps. This big data can reveal crowd demographics, crowd movement platforms, session attendance, accessing of any special offers at an event and so much more. This allows for real-time adjustments to an event. Seeing an exhibition stand not getting enough foot traffic? This can be adjusted by looking at signage and specific promotions. Post an event, data captured is analysed a shaped into insights and trends. For large annual events, this is powerful marketing information.