untitled-design-65In this month’s round-up of the latest and most interesting event tech stories, we come across new smart cards for attendees and the launch of a search engine that helps planners choose the right date and location for their events.  We also look at what YouTube is planning next to take on Facebook Live, as well as the inroads VR technology is making in the live music events industry.

Have a look at what you may have missed:

BizBash: 6 of the Latest Technology Products for Event Planners

Bizbash brings us some updates on some new tools that event planners can use around their events – from interactive event apps to artificial intelligence technology that can help you find influencers, conversations and marketing opportunities around your events.  The one story that stands out, however, is the launch of Tappcards which offers a new option for attendee interaction around events.  They look like credit cards that come pre-programmed with content such as a direct link for downloading your event app, exhibitor information, digital brochures and so on.  Users can access the content by either tapping the card to an NFC-enabled phone, scanning the QR code on the card or typing in a short URL.

It’s an innovative way of pushing content and looks pretty smart – you can create custom design on the cards to reflect your event’s brand and you can also have access to an online dashboard to track interactions and update content.  Have a look and see if it’s something worth considering around your events.

Event Industry News: First Recommendation Search Engine for Event Planning

There is a lot of technology out there to help organise and manage event but nothing to help choose the right date and location.  Until now.  Fly Another Day allows event planners to choose where and when to hold an event so that it doesn’t clash with holiday, festivals, tradeshows, strikes or elections.  You simply enter your event criteria and it will give you a list of recommendations ranked by impact.

The new recommendation engine reduces the time spent on planning events by allowing event organisers to make important venue decisions in minutes – versus the hours or days they typically spend when searching with Google and calling up convention centres.  The service is free so well worth checking it out.

Venture Beat: YouTube Set to Launch Video-Focused Social Network

eventsforce-poll_facebook-liveThere is no doubt that the use of live streaming tools and video content on social media networks has become a huge deal around marketing events.   Attendees are increasingly using their phones to record and share their experiences at events by hitting the ‘live’ button on apps such as Periscope, Snapchat and more recently, Facebook Live.

And now YouTube is in on the game.  The company is currently developing a feature called ‘Backstage’ that will allow users to share photos, poll, links, text posts and videos with their channel’s subscribers.  What’s interesting for event planners is that Backstage could reverse YouTube’s historically one-way communication between an event and its audiences.  Video sharing and watching will still remain the primary function of platform, but Backstage may help make it a better place to talk about these videos too. Posts on the Backstage tab will be shown in reverse chronological order and they will also be shown in users’ feeds and notifications.  In addition, attendees will be able to share Backstage posts to other social networks.

It’s definitely something worth keeping an eye out for – Backstage is set to launch by the end of this year both on the company’s mobile apps and desktops.

BizBash: 6 Ways Event Planners Can Manage Payment Security Breaches

Last month, three major US hotels announced major security breaches that resulted in unauthorised charges made at several of the companies’ locations across the country.  In fact, just about every week, there is a fairly major cyber-security incident that gets talked about in public – and there are many more that don’t. It is a major problem for any organisation that has valuable information to protect and the events industry is no exception – the amount of information collected from attendees is a goldmine for hackers.

This article from BizBash gives some very useful tips on how event planners can deal with security issues in the event of a breach – including how to alert attendees, ensuring you’re on top of your event partners’ security policies, providing alternatives payment options and so on.  Have a look here too for some great best practice guidelines on how you can prevent security breaches around your events.

BBC News: New Gloves Allow You to Feel in VR

untitled-design-44It’s always worth noting the latest developments in the world of virtual reality as the technology continues to pave its way into the events industry over the next few years. We have already seen a number of live music events tapping into the technology. Take the example of the Coachella music festival.  It took on the growing appeal of VR by launching a new app and shipping Google Cardboard VR headsets to its attendees alongside their tickets. The app was designed to let headset users browse through 360 degree photos from previous festivals and watch interviews from this year’s lineup of artists. 3D virtual tours of the festival grounds also let fans familiarise themselves with the festival’s layout before they even left the house.

Click to get in touchThe latest development in VR can be seen through this video on the BBC news site. It claims how VR’s biggest problem is its inability to allow users to feel, as well as see the action. Chinese start-up, Dexmo, however, has developed new exoskeletal gloves that can actually imitate the physical sensation when touching or holding a host of different objects.   No word on when they will become available or how much they will actually cost but it is mind boggling to think of some of the things they may be used for in our industry over the next few years.

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