In this month’s round-up of the latest and most interesting event tech stories, we come across video beacons, Twitter’s hashtag emojis and an app that can help create projection-mapping experiences at events. We also look at how WhatsApp is taking on Snapchat with its own content consumption platform, a new online community connecting event planners and freelancers, as well as a very interesting case study on the role of AI in event personalisation.
Have a look at what you may have missed this week:
BizBash: 5 Innovative Tech Tools for Events
Great summary piece from BizBash here – a quick looks at some of the latest apps, software and interactive technology for events and experiential marketing. It includes the audience engagement system, Glisser, which allows event presentations to become instantly interactive and shareable. Presenters can use the system to instantly send polls to audiences and display the results, while members can submit questions anonymously and vote on the questions that have been asked. Another tool is the Estimote Mirror – a video-enabled beacon which not only communicates with nearby smartphones and apps but also takes content from those apps and displays it on nearby digital screens. For example, the system can be used to show personalised content on digital signs around a venue as visitors pass by or to show product information at an exhibit booth that’s based on the attendee’s interests, needs and previous buying habits.
Also included in the list is Air Events Global, an online marketplace for event planners looking to hire freelancers, and the $4.99 Project Mapper app that allows you to quickly create projection-mapping experiences for your events.
Forbes: WhatsApp Changes Everything with Its New ‘Status’ Feature
As an event planner, you probably use Whatsapp to communicate back and forth with your team members, especially on the day of your event. The company, however, has just announced that it’s turning the app into a content consumption platform – similar to the way people scroll through their Facebook or Instagram newsfeeds. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly like Snapchat’s hugely successful Stories feature but the twist is that it’s -end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp messaging (great for data security). The new ‘status’ feature will let users share and watch updates from friends and reply privately, shoot and adorn their imagery with drawings and captions and send their creations to chosen contacts with a persistent privacy setting. See full story here.
Similar to Snapchat’s stories, the feature opens the door to new advertising and marketing opportunities for businesses and events. At South by Southwest last year, for example, Mashable used Snapchat as an interactive way to connect with attendees. MTC also uses Snapchat’s stories to complement events the network hosts and add an editorial element to the other large-scale events it covers. WhatsApp currently has 1.2 billion monthly users that send 60 billion messages per day, including 3.3 billion photos, 760 million videos and 8- million GIFs. Its market is huge and if the status feature takes off as the company hopes, it could be a very interesting development for user-generated social content platforms.
Contently: How Boomers & Millennials Use Online Content Differently
A new infographic from Adweek, illustrates the difference in online behavior between boomers and millennials – which can be useful for planning content marketing activities around your events. Boomers, for example, like branded content that focuses on the product or service, while millennials like branded content that focuses on experiences. Both demographics like photos, but boomers are more likely to prefer written content or video. And when boomers share content online, they’re going to Facebook instead of Instagram. Take a look at the infographic here for a full picture.
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Event MB: Twitter Starts Trialing Sponsored Emojis For Events
This month’s Sanremo music festival in Italy has seen a social media first: a brand sponsor’s logo, in emoji form, attached to an event hashtag. The custom emoji accompanied every tweet mentioning the #Sanremo2017 hashtag – which meant every time anyone used the hashtag, they were putting the sponsor’s logo right into the timelines of their followers.
Although this form of advertising can seem somewhat brazen to some at the moment, don’t be surprised if it soon becomes the norm. According to this story from Event MB, hashtags have been helping us facilitate and organise event-related engagement for some time now. This simple addition of a company logo in emoji form could make the hashtag/emoji ad combination an extremely valuable sponsorship opportunity for events of the future.
BizBash: What Was IBM’s Watson Doing at a San Francisco Dance Party?
Want a glimpse of what personalised events will look like in the future? Daybreaker hosts about 15 events in San Francisco each year, and last month, it hosted what it called the ‘world’s first cognitive dance party’ powered by Watson – IBM’s cognitive platform. The company used Watson to analyse attendees’ Twitter profiles and personality quizzes to create three tracks that would determine the colours guests were encouraged to wear at the event (purple for conscientious, red for outgoing and yellow for expressiveness). The tracks also determined pre-party lists, a pre-dance fitness class suggestion, Chef Watson-designed breakfast menus and original Watson Beat music during the event. As party goers bounced around the venue, a swirling storm of lights illuminated the interactive LED dance floor – with patterns powered by the ‘energy’ (the social feeds) in the room. A custom-built LED sun also rose at the front of the room, which reflected the guests’ personalities. You can read more about it here.
What kind of impact will tools like Watson have on the events industry? Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) truly personalise experiences? According to an article by Event Tech Brief, attendees these days want tailor-made information, connections and experiences and current event technologies have set the stage for hyper-personalised attendee experiences – but we’re not quite there yet. AI has the potential to take event tech to the next level – from AI-enabled concierge event bots to personalised attendee matchmaking tools like Grip.
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