How GDPR is Changing Events and 6 Other Tech Stories Planners Should Read

In this month’s round up of top event tech stories, we look at what impact the EU GDPR has had on the events industry – one year after coming into effect.  We also look at some cool new event marketing tools from social media giants, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, and the launch of a new online portal that is a lot like a Craigslist for cancelled meetings and events.   Lastly for a bit of fun, we look at the world’s first hologram circus act (amazing) and a robot photographer that offers organisers something new when engaging people at busy trade shows!

Have a look at the top event tech stories you don’t want to miss:

Special Events: Most Event Planners Still Struggling with GDPR, Study Shows

A new research study has found that 90 percent of event planners are still struggling in meeting General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, one year after the European Union’s data-protection law first went into effect. Though 81 percent of respondents believe they are complying with the new regulation, ongoing issues include consent management, running GDPR checks with event suppliers, and controlling how third parties are using attendee data.

Related reading: The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance

It’s interesting because from a tech perspective, it shows how important it is for organisers to manage their data effectively and deal with event tech systems that can support them with things like tracking consent, deleting personal information, and securing attendee data so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.  Aside from the risk factors, the study also shows how GDPR is bringing about a number of positive changes to our industry, especially around event marketing, data management and data security. Events are also starting to promote their data-protection credentials a lot more than before to show attendees that they can be trusted with their most valuable asset – their personal information. Read more.

The Verge: Snapchat Experimenting with New Events Feature

For those of you using Snapchat as a platform to engage with people around your events, you’ll be pleased to know that the social media network is working on integrating support for events into its service. And though it is currently unclear in how exactly Snapchat’s event feature will work — preliminary details have been released. Users can create events by assigning a time and place, while swiping up on an invite will allow recipients to join a group chat for the event. The feature will also allow users to assign events to specific locations, so it seems plausible that it will integrate with the photo-messaging app’s Snap Map.  Watch this space. Read more.

Read: Ask the Experts – Top Event Technology Trends for 2019

Event Industry News: Robot Photographer Leaves Traditional Magic Mirrors and Photobooths Standing

Photobooths and magic mirrors have traditionally been popular entertainments at parties and special events.  But has come up with something even better for event planners with a new robot which provides both photo and survey capabilities.  Eva the robot can move around a venue and locate guests using an advanced facial recognition system. She then asks if guests would like their photo taken, providing lots of fun options, like a magic mirror to make the photo more memorable.  The photos can be easily uploaded to social media or printed out at a print station on-site for guests to take away with them. Also, the robot’s surveying capability makes it a valuable tool in data collection for event organisers. Read more.

MeetingsNet: A Craigslist for Cancelled Meetings?

Usually when events or meetings are cancelled, the party that signed the contract is responsible to pay either a flat fee or a percentage of the revenue they were to bring to the contracted supplier. And when a cancellation happens within a few weeks of the event date, the payment is often for the full amount that was due. Until now.

To help event organisers mitigate cancellation-related costs, Amsterdam-based has launched an online marketplace for reselling and purchasing contracted elements of meetings and special events – from guest rooms, venue rentals, catering and audio-visual services to group tours, transportation services, and other items. Planners dealing with an event cancellation can obtain a voucher from a contracted supplier to be posted to the website under the specific product/service category, along with an asking price. Then, potential buyers can contact the reseller and negotiate for the contract. A great idea with all sorts of potential!  Read more.

Conference News: Tech Startup to Offer Live ‘Cross Reality’ Streaming

VRJAM, the world’s first real-time, performance platform for live virtual and augmented reality on mobile devices, has revealed its beta version technology this month. Showcasing at the Createch 2019 conference, VRJAM is set to disrupt the way XR (Extended Reality) content is streamed via mobile. It also offers a brand-new way for events to reach global audiences.

Designed in consultation with Google, VRJAM’s technology allows content creators to project live performances into a 3D, animated world, creating an immersive experience for users. At the Createch conference, the technology will be used to simulate the UK minister for culture and a Facebook executive inside virtual reality as 3D avatars, and three hours of speaker content from the conference will be live streamed via VRJAM so that remote users will be able to watch in VR.  A potential game-changer in the way this kind of content is shared in the future.  Read more.

Related reading:  AI and VR will Revolutionise Communications at Events

New Appointment Booking Tool from Instagram and Facebook

An interesting one for those keen on using appointment booking tools around their events. Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a feature for businesses and their customers that allows users to book appointments directly through Instagram and Facebook.  A demo video in this article shows how a “Book Now” button will now be available on business pages. When users click on the button, they’ll be able to select the date, time, and services they want, and then hit “Request Appointment.”  The two parties will be able to address any questions, and then when the business confirms the appointment request, users will get notified through Messenger. Users then have the option to add the appointment to their calendars, which can connect to the Facebook events calendar, or external apps. Read more.

BBC: German Circus Uses Stunning Holograms Instead of Live Animals

A German circus has become the first in the world to use holograms instead of real animals in its acts. Clever special effects produced by 11 different projectors mean the whole audience can see elephants, horses and even a goldfish. The circus features other acts, like clowns and trapeze artists but has used the holograms to take a stand against the mistreatment of animals in the industry. It really does look amazing and certainly a showcase of things to come around the use of holograms across events in the future. Read more.

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