Melanie Taylor, digital marketing executive at Nutickets, looks at some of the innovative tech being used to boost engagement at events.
The past year has been exceptional in terms of innovation in the events industry, with event technology continually creating and enhancing interactions at events.
With event attendees becoming increasingly distracted by smartphones and social media, it is more important than ever to provide meaningful interactions that capture attention and emotion. This article will explore the exciting, interactive technology that has shaped engagement at events.
Unique social activations
When it comes to social media activations, asking attendees to post content with a hashtag just isn’t cutting it anymore. Instead of trying to constantly push for forced user-generated content, event organisers could consider using a unique, engaging alternative such as Hypno’s selfie ‘Eye’.
This ball-shaped camera device can be passed around as a conversation starter at corporate dinners or used as a means of enticing visitors to your stand at an exhibition. This tech has the added bonus of instant social seeding, creating social posts that your attendees are excited to share.
As an event professional, you are probably no stranger to the term ‘VR’, although you may have never personally used it in your own events. That could change very soon! VR is gaining huge momentum, it is now mobile optimised and available in different formats such as 360 video, making it more accessible to the wider market.
A key trend set to disrupt the corporate event industry in 2019 is the rise of ‘phygital’ meetings and conferences. This is a hybrid between physical and digital conferences. Swansea University has already begun to make use of this technology, allowing attendees to virtually join selected conferences in a group physical location or from their own home with a VR headset.
Virtual meeting technologies could revolutionise high profile board meetings and conferences, or allow companies with widespread offices to virtually link up and simulate a face-to-face meeting.
As costs for this exciting technology come down, more opportunities arise, making this event technology one to watch.
Artificial intelligence is a technology that has seen a huge upsurge this year, with implementation in experiential events expected to seriously increase in 2019.
No longer an unrealistic, futuristic tech, AI is working its way into the mainstream and into the events industry in the form of bots. Bots could transform event experiences for attendees by offering virtual-check in and providing answers for event-related questions. AI is able to really tailor solutions to the individual attendee, making them feel as if this event was designed especially for them.
Specialists like Morph can create a bot that acts as a personal assistant to attendees, helping with directions, itineraries, floor plans and even running surveys or polls during events.
With access to pre-event data, bots are able to create customised suggestions tailored to the user, which could range from product recommendations to pairing them with like-minded networkers at the event.
They could even be used to hold informative sessions, reducing staffing costs and generating fun interactive experiences in a unique way.
You may not have heard of RFID technology before and if you haven’t, you’ll be surprised to discover that it is actually something that you could be using on a daily basis. RFID is responsible for contactless payments, covering everything from the Oyster card that you use to travel to work with, or the contactless ‘tap’ payment that you make when shopping with your debit card.
With the use of contactless on the rise, RFID payment is transitioning from an additional feature to a standard expectation. As today’s fast-living culture encompasses the event industry, attendees expect fast service, shorter queues and the ability to spend more time enjoying the event itself.
Overseas, life without cash is not a new phenomenon, it is predicted that Sweden will soon become a completely cashless society (Business Insider). While cashless events are booming abroad, the UK has long resisted the transition, however, 2018 saw some early adopters run cashless events around London. Magical Festival and the Chivas Masters utilised RFID technology, reducing queuing times and increasing ease of payment. This means less time waiting in line, and more time making significant interactions.
Creating a completely cashless event holds numerous benefits. Attendees are able to gain entry, pay for products and top-up their RFID card or wristband with a simple tap. It is estimated that spending at events is increased by 30% through the use of cashless payments helping to deliver ROI and increase conversions.
Nutickets offers sophisticated, easy-to-use RFID event solutions that takes care of everything from the customer’s first tap to the analysis at the very end. We have also recently introduced a market-first, compatibility with Apple and the iOS system, enabling event organisers to take cashless payments with Apple devices.