Top Event Tech Trends to Watch in 2018 and 4 Other Stories Planners Should Read

In this month’s round-up of top technology stories, we take a look at Corbin Ball’s annual review of tech trends that are set to impact our industry over the coming year – from AR-enabled indoor navigation to chatbots and cyber security. We also explore some new tech options for event planners, including ‘WiFi on the Fly’, an alternative to Snapchat filters and a host of new offerings from Apple. Finally, we look at why Europe’s upcoming data protection regulation is such a big deal, how it will impact event technology and what steps event planners need to take today to get their events ready in time for the May 2018 deadline.

Take a look at what you may have missed:

Corbin Ball & Co: 8 Meetings Tech Trends to Watch for 2018

The rate of technology change is accelerating with thousands of ideas, apps and innovations bubbling up to help event planners do their jobs better and improve the attendee experience. This great annual review from Corbin Ball covers many of the major events technology trends we need to watch over the coming year. Some highlights include improved indoor event navigation through the advancement of augmented reality (AR) and the increasing use of AI-enabled chatbots which provide on-demand text-based information to event attendees.  Some of these chatbots provide a full range of services, including polling, surveys, meeting scheduling, directions, feedback, in-app messaging, searches for speakers/attendees/exhibitors and more.

The article also suggests data security will become more of an issue in the industry with hackers almost inevitably targeting some events through online registration systems or mobile event-related apps.  Have a look at this infographic if you want some tips on how to keep your event data safe. Events will also become a lot more central to the overall marketing effort, thanks to the recent explosion of on-site data collection and analytics tools. Event planners and marketers will be working a lot closer together to improve events and provide a much more detailed profile of the attendee (customer) interests, while raising the importance of events within organisations. Read more.

Read: How to Become a Tech-Savvy Event Planner

Event Industry News: ‘Wi-Fi On the Fly’ For Instant Connectivity at Events

DB Event Networks has launched a new Wi-Fi connectivity solution, called, Wi-Fi on the fly. As the name suggests, the system makes it easy for event planners to instantly create a Wi-Fi network where there is no existing connectivity infrastructure – which is ideal for festivals, experiential events, pop-up activations or on-site production teams.

The system is essentially remote control – users simply plug it in and turn it on, allowing the DB technicians to set it up remotely and create a Wi-Fi network. Using the built-in antennae, it can support approximately 60 devices within a 25-metre radius. Or, if operating in an area with low 4G connectivity, an external aerial system can be plugged in to boost the connection – making it suitable for any kind of event in any location. Read more.

MeetingsNet: Heard of GDPR?  It will Impact Meetings and Events!

If your events collect personal data on European citizens and residents, then you need to pay attention.  The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect in May 2018 and is set to radically change the way event planners collect and handle the personal information of people coming to their events. This article from MeetingsNet gives a good overview on what the new privacy rule actually means for our industry, what it should matter to event planners outside the EU and how non-compliance will not be an option.

Is it a big deal?  Yes, because GDPR is going to change the way you ask questions and process information through things like registration forms and mobile apps. It’s going to impact how you use that data for marketing and personalisation. It’s also going to impact the measures you have in place to keep that data safe. If you’d like to find out more, then Eventsforce has just launched an eBook, titled:The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, which explains how the new regulation will impact event marketing, data management and event technology and the nine steps event planners can take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

Read: Will GDPR will change the rights of your attendees?

Event Industry News: 7 Ways Apple’s Latest Updates Impact Event Profs

Last month, Apple made one of its biggest announcements in recent years by unveiling the company’s latest range of game-changing products.  Some of these will be of particular interest for event planners over the coming year, including the new iPhone X – the handset that promises to set the tone for the next decade of Smartphones. The phone charges wirelessly, which means it’ll be easier setting up charging stations for attendees at events. The improved display also means better quality event apps and more possibilities for added features.

This piece from EIN does a good job of summarising how our industry can benefit from Apple’s new offerings. The ARKit, for example, will make it easier for app developers to use augmented reality in event apps. This could open up some brilliant opportunities for supplying event information in different ways, as well as enable some great navigation tools for events. The new Apple 4K TV is also exciting as it offers a cost-effective alternative for delivering high-quality 4K content at live events. Read more.

BizBash: New App Create Snapchat-Like Photo Filters for Events

Planners looking to offer a photo-sharing experience at their events have a new option. Snap Mask is a facial-recognition app that’s been created to offer a Snapchat-like filter for people taking selfies at events.  It’s interesting because it’s a platform that’s available for everyone at the event – not just those who have Snapchat on their phones. Guests pick their filter, take a selfie on the tablet, and then share the image or a short video clip via text or email. It can also be used with a printer to give guests a physical photo to take home with them. Snap Mask starts at $5,000 for the artwork and app.  Read more.

While on the subject of Snapchat, the social media giant debuted its sponsored 3D glasses this week. Advertisers can now sponsor 3D objects with greater interactivity features, bringing characters and products to life – similar to the popular ‘dancing hot dog’ meme some of you may have seen earlier this year. For event marketers, it can be used for top-funnel engagement with attendees, as well as product discovery and sampling on the video sharing network. Audience targeting capabilities also include age and interest types, with a new “swipe-up attachment” feature now available via Snap Ads for the first time. Read more.

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