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In this month’s round up of top tech stories, we look at the latest trends in social media and what event professionals can do to boost their marketing activities in 2020. We take a more in-depth look at Uber’s event service and how it can benefit corporate event organisers. We also find out why there is a growing technology skills gap in the events industry and how events can benefit from voice technology. Lastly, we have some cool new tech that help organisers address some of the engagement, translation and content management challenges they have around their events – including Wi-Fi in a box and a new quiz tool for attendees.
Have a look at the top event tech stories you don’t want to miss:
Social Media Today: 6 Key Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020
Social media is now such a critical marketing tool for event organisers that it makes sense to keep up with what works and what doesn’t. This article highlights some of the biggest things you can expect to see in 2020, one of which is the growth of influencer marketing. Humans are after all, social animals. We tend to trust people we admire and often model our behaviour after theirs. This simple fact, along with the explosion of social media has led to the rise of digital influencers – and consequently, influencer marketing. Research cited in the article shows that 59% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer budget in 2020 – with many SMBs with smaller budgets focusing on micro-influencers in the new year.
Stories are another big thing to watch in social media. This was a feature that was initially exclusive to Snapchat, but then Instagram and Facebook Stories came out. Now even YouTube has its own stories format. Why should you care? Stories can offer your viewers with a more authentic insight into your event, as the videos are often created on the spot. Since the content disappears rather quickly, it presents a good opportunity for event marketers to capitalise on fear of missing out (FOMO) and offer flash offers that only loyal users will learn to look for. Other notable trends worth mentioning include more shopping on social media (ex. selling event tickets directly on social platforms), integrated AR tools and more intelligent chatbots. Read more.
Skift: Uber has an Event Service – Who Knew?
Uber knows it is one of the primary modes of transportation at events – and has designed a service around that. Yet the company has done little to promote it, which means many planners aren’t aware of it. Part of its Uber for Business platform, the service involves Uber partnering with planners and venues months in advance, co-ordinating with law enforcement agencies and helping design an entire transportation strategy around an event. But until now, the focus has been largely on big sporting events and music festivals.
The article suggested that Uber is now seeing the potential impact it can have on the world of business conferences and is ready to ramp up its marketing efforts. The company has spent the past few years learning how large-scale events work and building up its event-related tech and infrastructure and can now address the needs of corporate conferences. For example, it has begun testing larger vehicles that can carry up to 50 attendees. It is also looking at working more closely with event planners to devise event transportation strategies. Read more.
MeetingsNet: IBTM World – Tech Watch Award Winners
This year’s IBTM World show recognised six new tech tools that aim to address the challenges organisers face around collaboration, translation and content management. Among the finalists of the annual Tech Watch Award were AllSeated, a space diagramming software using VR technology; G-SMATT America, an LED technology wall displays provider; and Zenus, a facial recognition technology used to streamline check-in processes, enhance security and retrieve data analytics.
The winner, however, was Wordly, which uses voice recognition and artificial intelligence to provide live translation services on attendee devices. Without having to hire translation personnel, the app allows attendees to access a translated version of a live speech in any of 15 languages, both in audio and text formats. The app is able to support 2,000 users simultaneously and is compatible with most mobile devices. Read more.
Special Events: New Research Shows Growing Technology Skills Gap in Events Industry
Is the events industry facing a technology skills gap? It seems so. A new research study has found that 47% of event planners say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments, despite holding responsibility in the majority of organisations. The study also found that an overwhelming 91% of organisers say event tech is an important aspect of the job, but only 48% consider themselves to be tech-savvy.
So how tech savvy should event planners be these days? Do they have the time and skills to manage their event tech investments effectively? Or is it time for the industry to recognise the need for ‘event technologists’ – a new breed of event professionals whose job focus is exclusively on all things technology? These were some of the questions industry experts addressed in a panel debate at this year’s Event Tech Live show. One of the take-aways was how organisers don’t feel pressured to learn and become more confident about event technology. The other issue was data management – especially when you look at things like compliance, reporting and analytics and the increasing use of tech tools that help organisers collect an enormous amount of data on their events and attendees. Read more.
Conference & Meetings World: Slido Launches Quizzes
Slido is making audience engagement at events a little more interesting. The company, which offers live polling and audience interaction, is making engagement more fun for attendees with the launch of a new ‘quiz’ feature. The new tool allows presenters, lecturers and trainers to gamify the learning at a conference or exhibition, making it social and competitive. Quiz questions are displayed on the main screen and can be activated one by one with a click. As the quiz comes to an end, the host is able to reveal the leader board straight away. The tool was recently used at the Web Summit in Lisbon where moderators used the feature to emphasise highlights from the morning sessions at the Startup University stage. Read more.
Event Industry News: New Wi-Fi in a Box
Organising Wi-Fi around an event is always a bit of an issue for organisers. You need to know what connectivity is needed and how to provide it. The Wi-Fi you have has to be in alignment with predicted attendance numbers, the number of devices and the type of broadband demands (are you streaming live video, for example?). Sometimes your Wi-Fi will require back-up or you may be required to upgrade existing systems. With all these factors in mind, many organisations are now starting to consider pop-up Wi-Fi as the right solution for their events.
This article from EIN looks at One World Rental’s latest offering, called Wi-Fi in a box, which can be installed in 30 minutes and can provide high-speed broadband for 100 guests. Need to expand the network? Then simply get more boxes. The product is compactly delivered in a durable case that transports easily. It includes a router which works through multiple providers. It’s both WiFi and WAN compatible and can be used in remote areas or for events in high density environments such as festivals, exhibitions, tradeshows and conferences. Read more.
Related reading: 8 Important Wi-Fi Considerations for Event Planners
TSNN: How Event Organisers Can Incorporate Voice Technology
Voice-operated technology is at its flash point. Innovations in smartphones, networked home devices, and voice recognition enable futuristic applications such as voice-operated Google search, and personal assistant software including Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Google, particularly, is one key beneficiary and driver of voice tech: Voice searches account for 20 percent of queries on Google mobile app and Android devices, according to their latest stats. And according to this article, it seems event organisers are starting to take note, as voice technology allows them to deliver personalised attendee experiences in a scalable way.
Trade show marketers can increase the likelihood of showing up in Google by catering to voice searches. Google has recently introduced features such as the “featured snippet” and “people also ask” box as part of its goal to answer user queries directly on its site. Events can increase exposure and site traffic by answering questions attendees are already asking Google. The article recommends browsing the free keyword.io and answerthepublic.com to learn how people are searching for events. Google’s “people also ask” box also gives a look into what phrases people are using to search. For example, if someone asks, “What’s the closest furniture show near Chicago this year?” and you provide relevant content to that question, you are more likely to show up in voice search and featured snippets in Google. Read more.
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