As tech-savvy event planners, it’s important to keep yourself updated on some of the latest trends in event technology. These past few weeks have been particularly interesting in that we’ve seen a number of stories hit the headlines that have massive importance for our industry – from the launch of the world’s biggest gaming phenomena to new applications of Beacon and VR technology.
Here are the top event tech stories you don’t want to be missing out on:
So it’s official. Pokémon Go is the most successful gaming phenomena in our history. It also happens to be the most popular application of Augmented Reality (AR) – the technology that is tipped to be the next big thing in computing. So why is it important for us as event planners? The game is compelling people to meet up and engage with each other in a way all those pre-event Tweets and e-mail blasts never can. Some of our colleagues playing the game have literally bumped into other people while their heads where buried in their phone screens, started chatting about what they were looking for and ended up becoming friends!
How can you make augmented reality work for you to get people engaged face to face like that? This great article from Forbes looks at the key marketing principles that have made the game such a roaring success – a great reference to any event planner who’s looking at using gamification or AR as part of its audience engagement strategy. The gaming craze can also teach us a lot about what attendees want from the blending of digital and live experiences. It’s Pokémon today but what will come tomorrow? Have a look at this piece from EventMB which also does a good job of highlighting some key takeaways for event planners.
According to technology experts at IBTM America, event organisers are not taking online security seriously enough, with many not even aware of ways they could be digitally compromised.
Cyber hackers have really upped their game over the last few years with millions of people falling victim to personal data theft. We all remember the stories in the headlines regarding security breaches at Talk Talk and the Ashley Madison dating site. Imagine if your own systems got hacked and exposed the personal details of the hundreds (or thousands) of delegates attending your events each year. Doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it?
Events deal with highly sensitive customer information, including names, emails, telephone numbers, employment information, disabilities and other confidential details. The wealth of information we collect from our delegates is a gold mine for hackers and safeguarding this data should be key. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at this list that provides easy tips on how to go about securing your event data.
Many in the events industry are keeping a close eye on Virtual Reality (VR) as tech pioneers like Google and Samsung spearhead the charge to bring the software to the mainstream market. Destination and venue suppliers have invested in the technology as a new way to showcase their products – the latest of which is Eurostar.
Last week, the train operator devised an interactive installation with VR technology at a shopping centre in London to promote it high-speed service and destinations. Users were able to immerse themselves in cities like Paris, Lille and Brussels with a 360 virtual reality experience using the latest Samsung Gear technology.
It’s an important development as just 12 months ago, it was still unclear what VR’s entry point into the events industry would be, but now it’s obvious. Just looking at IMEX and IBTM World show floors and the sight of event professionals clad with futuristic headsets gawping at their shoes or straining their necks 180-degrees has proved that it’s no passing fad.
Beacons (small battery-powered transmitters that can be detected by smartphones) are seeing increased adoption in live events, where they’re helping organisers communicate with audiences more intimately than ever before. They’ve also proved to be a good way of collecting data on attendees. They can provide you with insight on their movements at an event, identify hotspots and popular sessions and see how they’re engaging with your event app.
This article from Campaign magazine looks at the application of the technology in the promotion of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of The BFG. Entertainment One has become the first company to make commercial use of Nearby Notifications, Google’s new beacon technology, which allows any Android user to receive notifications when they’re within 15 metres of one of 50 six-foot ‘dream jars’ around London landmarks. Clicking through the notifications gives the user more information about the jars, the installation and the film’s release. Not only does it offer a great way to engage with the audiences ahead of the film’s launch but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to make use of new technology that offers people relevant digital content.
Venture Beat: Facebook Pilots Event Ticketing Service
Facebook is piloting a program, with payments powered by Braintree, in which users can purchase tickets to events directly from the social network’s website or app. The aim of the project is to make it easier for people to plan and attend events with their friends, peers and colleagues.
The article explains how in its research, Facebook found that some of the top reasons why people don’t go to an event are because they found out about it too late or they didn’t know who else was going. It may be something more relevant to big social events such as concerts and festivals, but nevertheless the project definitely makes the whole process of ticket purchasing on Facebook a lot faster, especially on mobile devices.