In this month’s round-up of top technology stories, we look at how Facebook is making further inroads in our industry by making it easier for people to share information about events they’re attending and chat with other attendees. We also look at the new ‘Event-Aware’ app which allows organisers to be a lot more proactive in the way they plan and manage emergency situations around their events – along with Google’s real-time language translator which translate conversations between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space. Finally, we bring you some cool new ideas for improving attendee engagement, including guest-generated hashtag mosaics and digitally-connected modular meeting rooms.
Have a look at what you may have missed:
TechCrunch: Facebook Adds Option to Share Events on Stories
Facebook is testing out a new feature that makes it easier for people to share events and engage with friends before an event starts. Users can share to their ‘Story’ those events they’re interested in attending, then make plans to meet up with others who also plan to attend. In terms of how it works, a new ‘Share to Your Story’ option will appear whenever you visit an event’s page on Facebook. If shared, friends will see a sticker within the Story that includes the event details and lets friends respond that they’re also ‘interested’ right from the Story itself. They can also choose to tap on the sticker to visit the event page itself.
It is certainly an interesting development for those of you who rely on the social media platform for your event marketing activities. It also brings about some new opportunities for people to engage more with one another in the run-up to an event. Facebook has said the new feature will offer a list of friends who plan to attend the event and create group chats with those users. Read more.
MeetingsNet: New App Simplifies Event Emergency Response
Last year, an industry poll reported that 77% of event planners see security and safety a growing priority for their events – which is no surprise given the world we live in today. Knowing what to do at a time of crisis has never been more relevant and one company has decided to tackle the issue head on. A new app called Event-Aware puts your event’s crisis response protocols and critical contact information onto the smart phones of every member of your event team. The app, which works offline, gives users customised and critical information, including things like contact lists for company and venue staff, response procedures for specific incidents, address details of nearest hospitals and evacuation plans.
Related Article: How to Handle a Big Crisis at Your Event
Event organisers can use their existing emergency plans on the app, or work with the app provider’s risk experts and template-driven emergency action plan development tool to create one. Available for both Android and iOS devices, Event-Aware also allows planners to submit incident reports using text and image files. Read more.
Wired: Google’s New Interpreter Mode Translates Your Conversation
Over the past year, Google has been making its Virtual Assistant more capable of handling what might usually be awkward or onerous conversations. Now the company is trying to outsource another human-to-human interaction: the kind that occurs between a person who works in hospitality (or events) and a guest who speaks a different language. A new feature in Google Assistant, called Interpreter Mode, turns the virtual assistant into a real-time language translator between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space.
The article illustrates an example of how the feature can be used between a guest and a concierge at a hotel: A German tourist asks the concierge about some show tickets. The concierge turns to a Google Home Hub and, using voice, prompts the Assistant to go into German interpreter mode. The concierge and guest have a back-and-forth conversation, with the Assistant translating, and the tickets are procured. It sounds simple enough and yet the applications of this kind of tech in our industry are endless – from information desks and real-time translation of Q&A sessions to on-site registration and networking. The Interpreter feature will support 27 languages to start, and will be available on Google Home Hub, Google Home speakers and third-party Google Assistant displays. Read more.
TSNN: Technology Was Hotter than Hot at Expo! Expo!
This article looks at some of the more interesting technology solutions and trends that were on show at the recent IAEE Annual Meeting & Exhibition. One of the highlights are the ZenSpace SmartPods which are insulated, Wi-Fi enabled and digitally connected modular meeting rooms that offer exhibitors and attendees a quiet space to meet, take calls and chat. The pods are equipped with power outlets and displays can be added for presentations and video conference calls. And best of all, they can be used anywhere.
Related Article: Ask the Experts – The Next Big Thing in Event Tech 2019
Another interesting solution is the PheedLoop portal system which allows speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and attendees to take more control over their own event experiences. For example, speakers can use the speaker portal to manage live polls, questions and feedback in real-time – as well as upload presentations and notes that attendees can download at any time. In the same way, calls for proposals can be sent automatically, while responses are aggregated through private speaker accounts. Read more.
Driving Social Reach for Events with Guest-Generated Hashtag Mosiacs
A guest-generated hashtag mosaic is a pretty cool example of tech that uses social media to engage attendees in a more fun and personal way. This solution from Luster allows your guests to snap photos on their Smart phones from any location at the event and post them to their own Instagram and Twitter accounts using your event’s hashtag in the caption. Photo stickers can then be automatically printed in matching mosaic cells and displayed on a wall at your event. As the mosaic image reveals itself, more attendees are encouraged to take part with their own social contribution. It’s effective because participation is simple. At the same time, every mosaic photo is an opportunity to engage existing people and reach new ones. To see the whole thing in action, take a look at the video below:
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