Top Event Tech at 2018 Winter Olympics and 5 Other Stories Event Planners Should Read

There have been a number of important technology stories over this past month that are of particular interest to our industry – from the incredible display of drones, 3D projection mapping and AR at the world’s biggest winter sporting event to the growing concern around data security amongst event planners preparing for GDPR.  In this month’s round-up, we also look at the most recent social media changes event marketers need to be aware of – as well as some great ideas on interactive tech designed to boost attendee engagement and bring a wow factor to your events.

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

Bizbash: Event Producers Give Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony a B+

The opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics took place in South Korea last month, delivering a technology-heavy spectacle to the 35,000-seat Olympic Stadium. This article from Bizbash looks at some of the key highlights from the show, including the use of colourful projection-mapping technology on the stadium floor, augmented reality segments for viewers at home, over one thousand people creating the image of a dove with LED candles during a performance of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Intel’s Guinness World Record-breaking light show that incorporated more than 1,200 drones. Take a look here to see what event producers liked and disliked about the kick-off to the Pyeongchang Olympics.

For those of you interested in projection-mapping technology, we’re recommend watching this video from the BBC news site, which gives us a glimpse into where the technology will be heading in the near future. University researchers have developed a new way of using colour lasers and dust particles to create images that float in the air – which makes it possible to use the technology without the need for a screen.

MeetingsNet: Survey Says GDPR Still a Mystery for Majority of Meeting Planners

While most event professionals are taking steps to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new survey has found that 62% still don’t understand what’s required for compliance.  The study also highlights the growing importance of data security in events – given the financial implications of a data breach under the new legislation.  Yet despite 81% saying GDPR will make data security a bigger priority for their events from May 2018, less than 30% have taken steps to update their data security practices or prepare for a breach – and only 41% are confident that their event tech systems meet the new requirements.

You can see the full results of the survey in this infographic here – including details on what steps event planners are currently taking to meet the GDPR deadline, as well as what impact the legislation will have on their marketing activities. The team at MeetingsNet have also produced a great resource for meeting and event planners on GDPR – you can get the ‘Meetings Professionals Guide to GDPR’ here.

Get your FREE eBook: ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

EventMB: 10 Ideas to Incorporate Interactive Technologies into Your Event

Interactive technologies can be a great addition to events in terms of engagement, interaction with sponsors and exhibitions…and general wow factor.  They can also offer efficiencies and savings in terms of staffing requirements and space.   Event MB has put together a nice round-up of tech solutions that are well suited for events, with details on how to use it, important considerations and how much you can expect to pay to rent these systems for your events – from mirror signage and touch-screen tables to VR headsets, video walls and interactive whiteboards. Have a look here for the full list of interactive technologies that can help you enhance engagement with attendees at events.

The Drum: The Biggest Social Media Changes in the Past 12 Months

Social media clearly plays an important role when it comes to kicking off conversations and creating hype around events. With users predicted to grow by over a million each year over the next five years and the emergence of new regulations like GDPR restricting traditional email marketing, it’s no wonder that more and more businesses are turning to social media to target their audiences.  As such, we thought we’d share with you this article from The Drum which highlights some of the most notable changes that have taken place on the main social networks over the past 12 months – from Snapchat’s new polling tools and Twitter’s increased character limit to Facebook’s ability to save videos that are broadcasted live after they’ve ended.  Read more.

AdWeek: How to Use Technology to Transform Yourself into a Master Networker

This piece from AdWeek looks at how technology can be used to facilitate networking at events – from the perspective of the attendee. Networking apps obviously do well here as they offer attendees the option to scheduling meetings way before the actual event – in areas that are of specific interest to them and as a way of negotiating potential partnerships. Some of the solutions mentioned in the article are simple to use, work in a similar way to dating-apps like Tinder and are powered by artificial intelligence.  LinkedIn and other social media sites are also effective networking tools as they allow attendees to do some background research on key contacts prior to an event. AdWeek also looks at on-site gamification technologies like Klik wearable smart badges which light up when contacts are made. Read more.

Eventplanner: This is How AI Will Impact the Future of Event Planning

Modern attendees want access to digital experiences that will help them enhance their face-to-face interactions, achieve personal goals and get a deeper understanding of the content presented at the event. According to this article from Eventplanner, not only does AI have the ability to do just that, but it can also change the way we plan events.  Let’s look at event websites as an example. Soon you may not need a copywriter for your event page as machines will do it for you – new sites are already offering AI-based design services.

Another example is on-site check-in. Forget about queues and delays at registration desks as we see an emergence of faster check-in solutions that use facial recognition technology. Based on AI and biometrics, these machines will be able to authenticate attendees and grant them access to the event venue, saving organisers a lot of time…and headaches. An interesting read.

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