Tag: social media

New Airbnb Tool for Event Planners and 5 Other Tech Stories to Read

In this month’s round-up of top event tech news, we look at Airbnb’s new accommodation tool for event planners, as well as the UK launch of the world’s first real-time venue booking portal. With GDPR in place, we also bring you some expert advice on understanding the kind of new obligations the legislation will create for the events industry – especially when it comes to vetting technology suppliers. Finally, we look at the latest engagement tools from Facebook and Instagram – as well as a new form of audio tone technology that provides a much simpler (and cheaper) alternative to on-site notifications compared to traditional tools like NFC, Bluetooth and iBeacons.

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

MeetingsNet: Airbnb Launches Interactive Tool for Event Planners

Airbnb, the online marketplace for short-term lodgings, recently announced a new tool for event planners to offer attendees accommodation in homes brokered by Airbnb. The new offering, called Airbnb for Events, is an interactive map of lodgings available near the site of an event that planners can use to either book directly or embed on registration sites.

It makes sense for Airbnb to be courting event planners and attendees this way – however, it isn’t clear yet whether the new tool will help or hinder conference accommodation plans.  In cities with tight accommodation markets, it could certainly help boost attendance.  If Airbnb is willing to share reservation data with planners, it could also help determine how many attendees are opting out of the room block and why. On the other hand, Airbnb accommodations don’t typically come with guarantees of standards.  So, if it’s something you’re considering for one of your events, the article suggests consulting a legal authority first to check whether or not your organisation would be legally liable if an attendee made a booking through your event registration site but consequently had a bad experience. Read more.

BizBash: How Audio Tones are Changing Event Communications

In the past few years, new technology solutions such as NFC, iBeacons and Bluetooth have become a lot more common in the events industry – offering a variety of ways to send notifications and offers directly into the hands of attendees. Now another option is gaining traction – Lisnr’s ‘Smart Tones’. The technology which transmits information between devices using sound as a conduit has been successfully used at some major events over the past year, including Budweiser’s Made in America festival, the Grammy awards, and Cleveland Cavaliers home games.

Lisnr’s Smart Tones can be added to existing media—for example music playing during an opening ceremony—or transmitted on their own. It doesn’t require any hardware such as transmitters, wristbands, or scanners as the tones can be played over speaker used at the event. It also means organisers can push content to attendees without having their Bluetooth or location services on – they won’t even need an Internet connection or a mobile service, which is great because we all know how connectivity is a big problem in large audience environments like trade shows and live events. Some of the content examples mentioned in the article include notifications about exhibitor discounts or restrooms with shorter lines, or an exclusive download from an artist or speaker. Read more

EIN: World’s First Real-Time Event Venue Booking Portal Arrives in UK

iVvy, the world’s first real-time booking engine for the events industry will be launching in the UK this month. The platform allows venues to publish live-availability and pricing for their meetings and event spaces, while giving them the tools to market and manage their own function spaces.  For event planners, it is a venue-finding portal that makes it easier for them to search, book and pay for their event space online instantaneously. It offers them a direct connection to venues showing real-time pricing and live availability for function spaces, catering and group accommodation. Read more.

Successful Meetings: 6 Things Meeting Professionals Need to know About GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25th and is set to impact all events that collect data on EU citizens and residents. This article looks at six key takeaways that will help event planners understand the kind of obligations the new legislation will create – especially when it comes to vetting event technology suppliers. As well as getting their own event operations compliant to the new GDPR requirements, event planners also now have the responsibility of ensuring that all the tech vendors that process data on their behalf (ex. Registration systems, event apps, surveys, networking tools) are also fulfilling their own legal obligations.

The article explains how event planners need to find out from their suppliers where their event data is being hosted and how that data is being transferred in a way that is compliant to the new regulations. They need to find out how the data is being used, who has access to it and where they’re based.    For example, if their customer support team is based outside the EU (even if data is hosted within the EU), then they’ll still need to ensure that they’re complying with GDPR standards.  Also, in the case of registration systems, event planners need to find out how their provider allows them to obtain and store consent in registration forms, as well as how the system can help them delete any personal data.    Having the answers to these questions will protect event organisers from any unpleasant surprises in the future.  Read more.


Are your events GDPR compliant? Read the EventTech Talk GDPR Special for expert advice and articles on the new legislation and its impact on event marketing, data management and event technology.


Content Marketing Institute: 7 Instagram Story Ideas to Get More Followers

This is an interesting one if your events have a big Instagram following.  In fact, Instagram Stories are on many brands’ radars today and for good reason too – it seems over 300 million people use it every day with one-third of the most viewed Stories coming from businesses.  So, if you thought that the social network was something that wouldn’t be so relevant for B2B events – it may be time for a change.

The article highlights some fresh new ideas on how you can use Instagram Stories for your marketing activities and help your events stand out.  One example is a Stories takeover – where an influencer of choice takes over the event or brand account for say, a day, to produce exclusive content. Another idea is the use of polls which can be used for audience research and creating better content that resonates with your followers.  You can also use mini videos, questionnaire and quiz templates, all of which can really help you stand out from the crowd and engage better with attendees – great platform for giving your followers some cool freebies too.  Read more.

TechCrunch: Facebook’s Oculus Venues Brings Virtual Reality to Live Events

Although this may only apply to those running big live events – it does give us a good picture of where virtual reality is going to take us in our industry over the coming few years. This month, Facebook’s Oculus VR division has launched the Oculus Venues social VR app that allows thousands of people to watch live events together in VR. The goal of the app is to make VR more of a social experience, introduce communications and interaction between viewers and essentially, give people an event experience ‘from the best seat in the house’.

The new app was recently demonstrated to a group of journalists to watch a VR screening of a basketball game. Participants had to create Oculus avatars first and were then transported directly into a dedicated VR seating section of a sports arena, with direct view of the action. Once the game had begun, viewers could watch the game surrounded by roughly 30-40 avatars and talk to them via voice chat. As in real life, participants could overhear the conversations of people sitting next to them, but unlike a live event you could switch seats to somewhere else in the venue and adjust the audio of the game. Read more.


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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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How LinkedIn Videos Will Help B2B Events and 5 Other Stories Planners Should Read

 

In this month’s round-up of top event tech news, we look at how event planners can use LinkedIn’s new video offering, as well as an interesting piece on how technology is revolutionising B2B events. We also bring you some cool new tech tools for meetings and events, including a fun augmented-reality app and an online platform that provides individualised lunches for event attendees. Finally, we look at Snapchat’s new ‘Crowd Surf’ feature which uses ‘video-stitching’ technology to create unique multi camera-angle footage of events on mobile devices.

The Drum: LinkedIn Adds Video Support to Become More of a Social Network

This week, LinkedIn announced that it will begin the global rollout of its new video offering to users after it began experimenting with the format last month.  The update means B2B event planners can now upload videos onto the network – though no live streaming support is available to date. The tool can also provide key insights into which audiences have viewed posts, including the top companies, job titles and locations of post viewers.  In addition, those posting native videos on the network can get feedback on how many views, likes and comments their posts have received.

For those of you using the LinkedIn mobile app, look for the share box at the top of the feed (on iOS) or the post button (on Android) and tap on the video icon.  You can then record a video in the app or upload a video you may have recorded at your event.  You can also access the analytics data in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile to help you better understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter. For more information, click here.

Event MB: Crowd Surf: Snapchat’s New Weapon in Event FOMO

New reports suggest that Snapchat’s user base is set to overtake Facebook amongst younger audiences in the UK and US markets – something worth keeping in mind if your events are targeting the 12 to 24-year old age bracket. The networking giant has also launched a new feature called Crowd Surf which will helps bring the event experience to a much wider audience in a completely new way. Using AI machine learning technology, Crowd Surf can stitch together Snaps (pictures and videos captured by the app) recorded by users at an event. It does this by using the recorded audio as a guide for putting the clips in order and in sync with the audio at the event.  This gives social media users worldwide the opportunity to have a multi camera-angle view of the event on their mobile devices.

Snap tested out Crowd Surf a few weeks ago at pop singer Lorde’s performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival. When she played her hit “Green Light” and everyone thrusted their phones in the air, Snapchat combined the clips using Crowd Surf.

As this article from Event MB points out, the new feature is completely aimed at sharing the emotion and excitement of the moment and in that sense, it’s perfect. For events with a high-level of fan engagement, such as sports and music festivals, Crowd Surf could be a very useful tool for extending the reach of event and sponsor messaging beyond the venue to a wider social media audience. And the best thing about it is that all of the work is left in the hands of the fans and the app’s AI.

Contently: How Technology is Revolutionising B2B Events

Events can be chaotic, complicated, and expensive. Yet in B2B marketing, there’s a reason they’re still incredibly popular. In fact, a report from market research firm Demand Metric, has found that events are second only to email when it comes to the most effective B2B marketing tactics. But that doesn’t mean B2B events aren’t affected by the digital revolution. A recent study from eMarketer shows that a new events technology stack makes all those conferences more effective than ever.

This story from Contently outlines how events should be tightly integrated into the rest of the marketing technology stack. Most marketers, for example, are already using CRMs like Salesforce to track and attribute sales deals to events. But many are also not integrating their event data into any CRM at all. The article also goes on to say that marketers are beginning to track as much as they can about events, not just sales deals won and lost. For example, tracking the quality of leads generated at an event offers a much more nuanced view of how to improve future events. Integrating events into marketing automation platforms like Marketo is also becoming more common as it can speed up post-event sales touches and make them a lot more personalised.


Integrating event data with CRM and marketing systems can help organisations drive more value from their events. Find out everything you need to know about event data integration by downloading this free eBook from Event Industry News and Eventsforce:  The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Integration.


BizBash: 5 Cool New Tech Tools for Meetings and Events

BizBash has put together a nice roundup of five of the newest and updated technology products for events and experiential marketing.  One of the highlights include Forkable’s online platform, which offers a new option to providing individualised lunches for office meetings and events. Attendees can put in their dietary preferences, after which they receive a message with a suggested lunch from a nearby restaurant – based on the budget determined by the event planner. On the day of the event, Forkable delivers the lunches, which are labelled with the names of each attendee.  Users are also asked to rate their lunches so the system becomes ‘smarter’ over time.

Other tools include Bizly, an online platform for booking and managing small meetings and events with an AI-powered messaging centre and Skyrite – an augmented-reality app that allows users to upload content such as words, drawing, photos and logos in the sky above an event location. The app is free for content creators and viewers, but also offers a fee-based model for brands that want a more customised interface or if they want to ‘rent’ an entire zone.

EventPlanner: How to Learn More about Your Attendees Preferences and Needs

We all know how essential it is to have access to information about attendees’ demographics, preferences and needs in segmenting audiences and delivering personalised event experiences.  Yet you can’t just run an app and miraculously find out what your attendees wants from your next event.  What you need to do, as suggested by this article from Event Planner, is to analyse information from different data sources, including social media, surveys, interviews, registration forms and more. Check out what your industry influencers are worried about, for example, along with their followers’ opinions or reactions. This will help you make a comprehensive list of hot topics, reactions and interests – as well as a list of important influencers which you can invite to your event.  Use survey tools to ask your past attendees what they would like to learn at your next event – and make sure to ask that question within registration forms too.

Read: 10 Effective Data Collection Tools for Events

Digital TV Europe: New Event Video Streaming Technology Tested at Edinburgh Fringe

This month’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe saw the first live tests of a new technology that enables live, high-quality, large-scale event video streaming over a WiFi network. The Bx-WiFi system allows simultaneous streaming of uninterrupted audio or video content from multiple sources – such as satellite feed, ‘live’ video or digital radio – to thousands of smartphone or tablet devices all located in the same hotspot (for example at an event). According to this article, it uses Forward Error Correction to maintain video quality despite potential Wi-Fi loss, as well as multicast technology that minimises bandwidth usage when a large number of users are streaming simultaneously.  A certainly interesting development that will probably redefine video broadcast for large-scale events in the future.


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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Facebook Live at Events

Facebook live

It’s official.  Facebook Live is now the most popular live-streaming app platform, beating You Tube for the first time, as well as all the other usual suspects like Periscope, Instragram and Snapchat’s Live Stories. And the reason for this success? The Event Manager Blog summarises it pretty well – anything that has been battle-tested by Facebook’s competitors has been adopted into the Live platform.  And more than that, the tool benefits from the one thing no one can touch: Facebook’s staggering 1.86 billion user base.

Figures released just this month reveal that the amount of time people spend watching live videos on Facebook has grown more than four times over the last year, with one out of every five videos shared being live. Research also shows that people spend three times longer watching live videos compared to ones that aren’t live.  Is it any wonder why so many marketers are jumping on the live video bandwagon?

Using Facebook Live at Events

Facebook Live has already made quite an impact in the events industry over the last year – the biggest being the Rio 2016 Olympic games where an estimated 277 million unique people had 1.5 billion interactions on the platform throughout the two-week sporting event.  The ability to record live videos using nothing more than a Smartphone is opening up all sorts of opportunities for smaller events too – it’s helping them better engage with attendees. It’s also helping them reach out to new audiences too.

But as with anything live, things can always go wrong.  The camera might stop working. The feed might cut off.  Your speaker might mess up or some crisis might unfold…and the whole thing gets broadcasted on the Internet.  So, needless to say, it helps being prepared.

Have a look below for some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid when using Facebook Live at your events:

Mistake #1: Not Running a Check on Your Equipment

Run a complete test on the equipment you’ll be using for your live-stream – everything from your Smartphone’s microphone and camera to Internet connectivity and battery life.  Stay on top of any cables and wiring you may need and think of backup in case something goes wrong. Decide who will be responsible for recording the video and whether or not they’ll hold the phone themselves or use some sort of mount.

Mistake #2: Not Testing Your Bandwidth

You should always check the reliability of your venue’s Wi-Fi service because your live feed may drop as a result of poor connectivity.  If this happens, you usually have around 2-3 minutes to reconnect to the original stream. Otherwise you’ll have to generate a new URL for your live stream, which isn’t ideal as you risk losing many of your viewers. Ask your venue provider if their connection has the bandwidth to support fast and uninterrupted streaming and see what kind of contingency plans they have in case of any issues.  Facebook recommends having access to a 4G connection – otherwise, consider using a portable mobile wireless router instead.

Mistake #3: Not Thinking About Sound Quality

If you’ve done live-streaming for a webinar, then you’ll know how important it is to have good audio. Try and minimise background noise and make sure your Smartphone or tablet is positioned close to your speaker. Consider using another microphone and brief your speakers so they know they need to speak loudly and clearly throughout the stream. Facebook does give you the option to run a test without actually sharing the video with anyone else – just use your own personal Facebook profile and change the privacy settings to ‘Only Me’.  You can then watch it at your own pace to see if you need to modify anything before your event.

Mistake #4: Not Promoting It Enough

Facebook does do a good job of notifying followers the minute you go live and in the immediate period following the broadcast – but don’t depend on these last-minute notifications if you want to maximise your reach. Start by creating a compelling title – because once people get a notification that you’re live, the title is the only thing they see when deciding whether they want to join in. Talk about your upcoming live video through news feed posts – a great description will capture people’s attention and help them understand what your broadcast is all about (details of session, speaker names, timings and so on).

For ideas on how to use videos at events, read: Why Video is a Big Deal for Marketing Events

Good practice suggests promoting the feed once at least one day in advance, followed by a short reminder just before you go live. You can also build interest by sharing updates on other social media networks, posting teaser videos, sending emails to your subscriber lists, offering sign-up forms for alerts of the live stream, creating a hashtag for it and publishing blog posts relating to the broadcast’s topic. Get your speakers, partners and employees involved by doing their own bit of promotion through their social networks too. And if you’re streaming something of particular importance ex. keynote session, considering boosting your announcement posts though paid Facebook ads.

Mistake #5: Not Engaging Your Live Audience

The earlier you get people engaged in your live conversation, the more likely you’ll be able to take advantage of Facebook’s algorithm, which has shown to favour live broadcasts over news feeds.  The earlier it gets included in news feeds, the more people you’ll get to join in – so get them engaged from the very start.  Have your speakers welcome them directly, as well as your attendees in the room. Encourage your viewers to comment and ask questions and engage them by having a dedicated member of your team responding to comments from an on-site computer – remember the more people who ‘like’ and ‘share’ your live broadcast, the more it will show up in people’s news feeds.

Think about timings too. The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and invite others on Facebook to watch the video too.  Again, best practice suggests going live for at least 10 minutes – although you can stay live on Facebook for up to four hours for any given video. Another thing to think about is making your videos visually engaging. The more visually appealing you can be, the more you can convince your viewers to stick around.  That means keeping the camera moving and making sure your subject/speaker doesn’t sit in one place.  This will again get your broadcast to be ranked higher in other people’s feeds. Why? Because Facebook also measures engagement by monitoring things that viewers do, like turning on audio, enabling high-definition or switching to full-screen mode.

Mistake #6: Not Editing Your Video After the Live Feed

Even though your live broadcast is over, there’s no reason to let it fade into the past. Once your Facebook Live video is on your wall, you can go back and edit the description, change the privacy settings or delete the video, just like you would with any other post.  Facebook allows you to provide a much longer description at this point – so it’s a good opportunity to put something in there that matches the ‘call to action’ you had at the end of your video.  One example is a trackable link which can direct viewers to your live videos page, your event website or anywhere you wish.

Another worthwhile consideration is adding subtitles to your video.  Videos on Facebook auto-play without sound and marketers across the board have seen that very few opt to turn the volume on – in fact the overwhelming majority of social views of most videos are without sound.  Facebook reports that captioning a video increases average video view time by 12% – so, it’s something worth doing it if you have the time.

Mistake #7: Not Measuring the Results

The performance analytics for Facebook Live videos are very similar to that of regular videos on the platform, along with some useful additions. You can analyse how much time people spent watching your video, identify peak times throughout the broadcast, how many people you reached, as well as reactions, comments and shares.  You can also click on to each metric to see how it changed over time when the video was live.   These stats don’t necessarily provide direct proof on how live video impacts your event ROI, but you’ll be able to see how your Facebook audience engaged with your event and begin to draw conclusions from there.


Want to be a tech-savvy event planner? Sign up to the weekly EventTech Talk newsletter here and get updates on all the latest technology trends, discussions and debates shaping the events industry today.

Sources:

http://www.marketingdive.com/news/report-facebook-live-passes-youtube-for-most-popular-live-streaming-video/434205/

https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-live-is-a-fifth-of-the-social-networks-video-sharing/

 

 

The New WhatsApp and 4 Other Event Tech Stories You Should Read

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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:

BizBash: 5 Innovative Tech Tools for Meetings & Events

Untitled design (91)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

Untitled design (89)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

Copy of crowdA 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.


Want to be a tech savvy event planner? Sign up to the weekly EventTech Talk newsletter here and get updates on all the latest technology trends, discussions and debates shaping the events industry today.


Event MB: Twitter Starts Trialing Sponsored Emojis For Events

Untitled design (88)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?

shutterstock_233448184Want 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.


If you would like to learn more about what Eventsforce has to offer, take a look at a few other blog posts listed below or get in contact with out friendly team.

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5 Ways You Could Use Virtual and Augmented Reality at Events

Virtual and augmented reality are two of the hottest trends in event tech for 2017. In fact, with the launch of more accessible and affordable devices from the likes of Google, Samsung, Sony, Oculus, HTC and Microsoft in recent months, altered realities have become one of the most fast paced emerging technologies in our industry today.

We’ve seen some incredible applications of demos, videos and experiences that help brands differentiate themselves at exhibitions and conference-style events. At the recent Event Tech Live show in London, the exhibitors that offered interactive experiences were the ones that attracted the most people to their booths – from Noonah’s virtual mirror to a robot on the Festyvent stand that interacted with delegates and even sang songs. In the same way, virtual and augmented reality technologies are helping brands stand out and bring something a little different to the event experience.

Here are five great examples of how virtual and augmented reality have been used to attract crowds and create unique experiences at events:

Coachella Music Festival Virtual Reality App

US music festival Coachella recognised the growing appeal of VR this year by launching a new app and shipping Google Cardboard headsets to attendees alongside their tickets. Debuting ahead of the event, the Coachella VR app was designed to let Cardboard VR, Gear VR, Oculus and Vive owners browse through 360 degree photos from previous festivals and watch interviews from this year’s line-up of artists. 3D virtual tours of the festival grounds let fans familiarise themselves with the layout before they even left the house.[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id="2"]

AHS Fearless Virtual Reality Experience at San Diego Comic-Con

The annual comic book convention in southern California attracts more than 130,000 people each year with hundreds of media companies competing for the attention of fans. This year’s Comic-Con saw many exhibitors turning to VR to promote their movies and TV shows. One experience that particularly stood out was FX Network’s VR journey inspired by American Horror Story (AHS). A purpose-built dome was created outside the convention centre where a psychological immersive experience took participants into the AHS universe.

Upon entering the dome, attendees were met by hosts in white lab coats while calming music played overhead. A series of ‘beds’ were positioned in a pentagon where they were asked to lie down, a sheet placed over them then a HTC Vive headset and headphones were fitted. The experience exploited common phobias such as clowns, vertigo and claustrophobia, and introduced the frightening characters and locations from across the multiple AHS series in a 5-minute video.

By adding group psychology tactics to cutting edge VR technology and some classic theatre trickery,  FX was able to create a more intimate experience. Blurring the lines between reality and fiction resulted in a truly memorable experience for participants with some hardened horror enthusiasts describing it as “absolutely terrifying”. [tribulant_slideshow gallery_id="1"]

Cambridge Yourself Augmented Reality Booth by Noonah Experiential

Noonah Experential partnered with Cambridge University Press to create a fun experience that promoted the publishing business as a digital provider and not just print. Using an AR photo booth, delegates at the event used gestures to take their own photo and appear inside Cambridge University (with real-time video content) without the need for a green screen.

Noonah constructed a triangular structure that would fit onto the corner of the stand with additional viewing monitor to attract other passing delegates. Each visitor to the stand could choose to punt down the river in Cambridge or visit Kings College with each delegate receiving a printed copy of their photo inside a branded photo wallet.

The Cambridge Yourself photo both resulted in more delegates being drawn to the stand as well as increased data collection. Users were impressed by the digital technology allowing the conversation to link seamlessly into Cambridge University Press’ digital products. Noonah also plans to add social sharing to the AR Photo Booth’s features.

Radiant Event Technology’s Virtuacast Augmented Reality Experience

Radiant Event Technology’s Virtuacast was runner-up for the Best Augmented / Virtual Reality Technology Award at the Event Tech Awards. The company has been working with NBA Properties to bring its Virtuacast technology to fans, giving them the opportunity to interact with virtual versions of some of basketball’s biggest stars.

Using pre-recorded video and photo content, Virtuacast marries digital with live interactions in augmented reality. The technology creates the illusion of life size holograms that attendees can see and interact with, then share the resulting video or photo online or via social media. The system consists of a special mat that is set on the floor and an accompanying mobile app. The hologram appears wherever the mat is placed in view of a mobile device’s camera.

As the Virtuacast system just consists of the mat and an app, being a flexible, mobile and lightweight set-up is an ideal tool for consumer engagement at all types of events.

Boursin Sensorium VR Experience by Because Experiential Marketing

Another runner-up for the Best Augmented / Virtual Reality Technology Award at the Event Tech Awards. French cheese brand Boursin wanted to reach a wider, younger audience, and do something unexpected for a brand in a category filled with ‘me-too’ sales promotions. It teamed up with Because Experiential Marketing to create The Boursin Sensorium which toured key food events, combining a VR experience with live sensory engagement to immerse consumers in different flavours.

Using Oculus Rift headsets, consumers were taken inside virtual fridges to experience the best ingredients up close, while tasting various Boursin samples. Personalised videos of their experience were emailed to participants to share on social networks. The campaign resulted in an increased social reach of 5 million, 80k+ video views and 4,800 VR experiences.

Boursin Sensorium VR Experience by Because Experiential Marketing

To read more about what’s hot from Event Tech Live, see 6 Technology Trends from Experts at Europe’s Largest Event Tech Show. You can also watch our video on data integration from ETL at Event Tech Live 2016 – Do More With Your Event Data.

Event Spotlight: Women into Leadership Conferences

Women into LeadershipThe annual series of Women into Leadership conferences has established itself as the main go-to event for people interested in seeing more leadership opportunities for women. The 2016 events were held in London, Leeds and Edinburgh, featuring over 50 speakers and more than 1,000 attendees.

EventTech Talk spoke to Claire Walmsley, Senior Content Manager at Dods – organisers of the event – about her experience of working on Women into Leadership as well as getting some insight into what it takes to be successful in event management.

How far in advance do you usually start planning and booking guests? Do you already have dates scheduled for next year?

Women into Leadership is a year-round project that not only covers multiple venues but also numerous sessions within each one that require extensive planning and advertising. As soon as one event finishes, we will move straight onto revamping the agenda for the following year. The conference agenda is shaped by the suggestions offered from our planning group so it’s essential to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

We already have the dates for 2017 and have added Cardiff to the list. So we’ll have four events next year, spanning across March, May, September and October. This means we have even more pressure on us to be organised and focus on every detail.

Women into Leadership Conference 2015What would you say was the biggest challenge of planning the Women into Leadership events? How do you prepare for a crisis scenario?

There are lots of very high profile speakers at these events, and they really make the events what they are. The biggest challenge is therefore getting the dates in their diaries as early as possible, and keeping them there! It’s crucial we are as flexible as possible with the agenda for as long as possible, as our senior speakers have competing commitments making their way into their diaries all the time. In terms of crisis management, we always expect some last-minute speaker cancellations so we always make sure we have people who could step in at short notice.

Has anything gone wrong at one of the Women into Leadership events that required a quick response and how was it handled? For example, issues with the venue, tech problems, etc.

Yes – when we arrived on site for Women into Leadership Leeds last month, a miscommunication in our operations team led to no AV being ordered for the event. This meant that, in a room with over 150 delegates, there was no PA system, no microphones, nothing. Luckily, we were able to work with our venue contact to get a hand-held microphone straight away, while the in-house AV team worked on getting a more substantial system (lectern, microphone, panel table microphones, etc.) up and running. By the time our first speaker took to the stage, we were all set-up and ready to go, but it was extremely tight! We almost had to go into that first session with one hand-held microphone between the chairperson, keynote speaker and audience!

How big is the team involved in the planning and execution of the conferences? Do you work on multiple events at once? What project management tools do you use to ensure everyone is up-to-date with each stage of the process?

I work on Women into Leadership year round with support from various teams around the company, including sales and marketing. I have support in terms of agenda and speaker ideas from the FDA [the union for senior public servants and professionals], our event partner, and also a wonderful planning group of civil servants who contribute lots of great ideas for content. I also have my lovely colleagues to call on in particularly busy periods and a brilliant team of Dods staff with me on the day to ensure on-site execution is top notch.

Women into Leadership Conference 2015How do you evaluate the success of your events?

The most immediate feedback comes from social media. Our delegates are really active on Twitter and we can always tell straight away how well particular speakers are going down [see @WiLeadership_UK]. We also have a more formal feedback form process, which I write up into an evaluation report and take with me to the subsequent planning meeting. This provides the basis for the next event.

How does the Eventsforce software benefit your events?

All of our delegates register via Eventsforce, so it’s an essential component of the events. We can tailor the sign-up process to our particular events and delegates always feedback that they find the system to be simple and straight forward – exactly what we need with this volume of delegates!

What do you see as the most important trend in the events industry today?

Women into Leadership Conference 2015From a Women into Leadership perspective, speaker line-ups are definitely becoming more diverse and event managers are very aware that they are being judged on the diversity of their speakers – it’s very important. Gone are the days when an all-male panel was acceptable – our audience want to hear from a diverse range of people, which reflects the society we live in!

Which mobile app or social media platform couldn’t you live without?

Twitter!

Is there any advice that you would give to someone considering a career in event management?

Know your industry. Delegates are attracted to events which show a deep understanding and passion for the topic area. Get on Twitter and sign-up to news bulletins, follow all the relevant organisations/groups/individuals who regularly comment on your industry and keep up-to-date. Knowledge is power, and this could not be more true than when working in events – your agendas really need to reflect the most up-to-date policies and ideas to stand out from the crowd.

Click to get in touchDo you have any anecdotes about any of the events? Or is there a special power you sometimes wish you had when planning/managing them?

I often think about Bernard’s Watch (anyone who grew up with kids’ TV in the 90s will understand the reference!) and how totally amazing it would be to have one of my own at these events. It’s basically a pocket watch which, when you press it, stops time for everyone but you. At the London event, there are six breakout sessions running at the same time and I am running all across the venue just to pop my head into a room and check all the speakers are there and the session is ready to start. I really do need to be in six places at once during these times of the day. If only I had Bernard’s Watch, I could actually do it!

Images © Women into Leadership