In this month’s round up of new and relevant technology stories, we look at some interesting applications of Augmented Reality (AR), including a mobile app that uses treasure hunts and prizes to drive traffic to events. We also find out how event planners can address Wi-Fi connectivity issues, as well as the latest updates from the world of social media, beacons and drones.
Have a look at the top event tech stories you may have missed:
BizBash: How This App Uses Augmented Reality to Drive Traffic for Events
Last year, Pokémon Go proved that the combination of augmented reality and a treasure hunt can be wildly popular with people of all ages. Now planners can tap into that craze to drive traffic at their events with a new app known as Seek. It’s based on a similar concept as Pokémon Go, using augmented reality to create a treasure hunt with real prizes.
The app allows planners to place virtual “treasure chests” anywhere around their event, which appear as dots on a map on attendee smart phones. Once they get within 10 feet of it, the app uses the phone’s camera to bring up an augmented-reality view showing the treasure chest in front of them. By clicking on it, the animated chest spins and opens to reveal if the user has won a prize. So, at a trade show or festival, for example, exhibitors can have a treasure chest in their booths and virtually “fill” it with items of their choosing. This draws traffic to their booth and gives them a new way to give away products and prizes as opposed to a traditional raffle. The story looks at different ways event planners can use the app and how it can also be used for personalisation by generating demographic data on attendees.
The Verge: Google’s AR Platform Tango is Going to Let Museum Visitors Explore Exhibits
While we’re on the subject of AR, have a look here at Google’s latest initiative to promote its new Tango AR platform. The company is partnering with a number of museums around the world to offer visitors Tango-enabled devices that can be used to explore exhibits in augmented reality. You can use the handsets to do things like peer inside sarcophagi to reveal mummified bodies or visualise lost architecture. The app also offers quizzes and games making the whole museum experience a lot more engaging and interactive to visitors. Some food for thought if you’re considering how to apply AR around your events.
BizBash: 7 Ways to Ensure Wi-Fi Connectivity at Events
Last month, an Eventsforce industry poll found that 74% of planners found Wi-Fi connectivity a common problem around their events. And sadly, this issue is not something that’s likely to go away anytime soon. A seamless Wi-Fi connection at an event isn’t just an add-on service for attendees: it can mean the difference whether they can get away from their desks to attend the event in the first place. As well as helping guests stay connected to colleagues and conducting on-site business, a reliable Internet connection also allows your attendees to promote your event’s message on social media.
This article from Bizbash, gives some really useful tips on how to deliver smooth and seamless Wi-Fi connectivity at your events. The first of which is understanding how your attendees will be using Wi-Fi in the first place. Will they be casually checking emails, or will they be doing more intensive things like streaming video or downloading and uploading large files? Not having this information will result in either paying too much for bandwidth you don’t need, or not having enough connectivity where the network gets bogged down, frustrating your attendees in the process. Other best practice advice includes simplifying passwords and informing users how to get access.
Event MB: Snapchat Spectacles Boost Social Media Coverage of Golden Globes
We talked about Snapchat’s new video-streaming glasses a couple of months back – and now we’re seeing the true potential of what the technology can mean for people in events. This month, L’Oreal’s celebrity makeup artist, Sir John, along with some of the company’s other brand ambassadors, wore the $150-a piece Snapchat Spectacles to give their followers a completely new and unique way of engaging with the event. The glasses were used to stream behind-the-scenes content, from celebrities getting ready backstage to the walk down the red carpet.
What event tech really stood out in 2016? What made a difference? And what should we expect for 2017?
In case you missed it, Snapchat has also just made it easier to navigate the app and find friends, groups, publishers and stories through a new universal search bar. This improved search facility could be a huge opportunity for brands and events that are hoping to build their Snapchat audiences. Launched this month for some people on Android and rolling out soon to all iOS and Android users, the search bar lets users dig out of Snapchat the best content and conversations.
MeetingsNet: Drones – Moving into Events at the Speed of Flight
Despite being one of the more controversial tech trends this year, the drone craze looks set to continue into 2017. Drones provide the opportunity for 360-degree video filming, as well as aerial filming and photography. They can also help you engage with your attendees in new ways, but as is the case for most new technologies, there are tricks to getting it right. This two-part article from Meetings Net looks at the kind of things event planners need to think about before taking on a drone project, as well as some creative ideas on how you can use drones to create a buzz around your events.
Attendees can learn about flying drones from pro pilots, then take part in drone racing themselves. Because they are equipped with cameras, drones can provide some amazing footage, both still and video, to bring a new perspective on sessions, trade show floors, or evening galas. Planners can also put virtual reality goggles on their attendees and let them experience the drone perspective on a personal level. While your budget may not be amenable, some events are using drones to produce amazing outdoor shows. Have a look at some of these examples here.
Event Industry News: New Beacon Enhances Event Analytics Technology
Beacons are already aiding visitors with wayfinding and personalised promotions. Now, brand new beacon technology is helping event managers branch out with data collection and conference and event analytics. Beacons were originally only able to function in relation to a smart device. Without a smart device that physically entered the event space and recalled the beacon information from the cloud, the system was unable to contribute value.
However, this article explains how there is now a gateway beacon that connects beacons in the field to the cloud without the need for an intermediary. Beacons used in conjunction with cutting edge beacon gateway technology allow for a system that automatically and digitally collects beacon information without the need for a user to physically use their phone and interact with beacons. The result is far more reliable heat maps and data sets for later analysis as well as automated and instant alerts. Moreover, this technology is easily implemented into other apps, allowing solution providers the chance to quickly and effectively add asset monitoring and other beacon capabilities to their offerings.
Want to get regular updates on the latest tech stories in the meetings and events industry? Get your monthly summary by subscribing to the EventTech Talk blog here.