Google Maps Launches New Event Marketing Tool and 5 Other Tech Stories Planners Should Read

In this month’s round up of top technology stories, we look at a new feature from Google Maps that makes it easier for organisers to list and promote their events.  We also find out why Twitter’s new camera is good for audience engagement and how inflatable walls offer a better alternative to traditional shell schemes when creating meeting spaces around your events.  The growing importance of event data is another key issue we look at, as well as some key things to think about when using Augmented Reality (AR) at events – includes a fantastic video on how AR is revolutionising art!

Have a look at what you may have missed:

The Verge: Google Maps Lets Users Create Public Events

Google Maps is updating its system so that people can now create public events using the app’s ‘contribute’ section (currently used for rating businesses and adding crowd-sourced information).  Organisers will be able to set an event’s name, location, date and time – as well as assign various tags and images – to promote the event and describe to users what is taking place.  It’s good news in terms of SEO too.

The new tool is part of the app’s transformation from a service that tells people how to get somewhere into one that tell them where they might want to go in the first place.  So far, Google has focused on recommending locations with fixed opening times, but event listings should help people find activities that are more time-specific.  Watch this space.  Read more.

Forbes: Use Data to Stay Ahead of Event Attendees’ Expectations

Clear understanding of your attendee personas is vital to successful event planning. After all, the more you know about your attendees and their preferences, the better you can focus your event to include content that is on target and resonates with your audience. ITA Group shares some interesting insight on the growing importance of event data and how organisers can look at attendee information to anticipate successfully the wants and needs of their audience.

Related article: How to collect valuable data from events

One of the recommendations is to use a marketing engagement dashboard which gives you a live overview on engagement interactions and makes it easier to visualise which of your marketing pieces each attendee and prospect responds to. What are they clicking? What was the duration of their visit? That data, paired with demographic data you collect during registration, can give you a detailed game plan for how to best reach your target audience.  Read more.

Wired: Twitter Debuts In-App Camera Function

The hot app at SXSW back in 2007 was Twitter.  So it’s only fitting that SXSW is where the company unveiled its new camera feature earlier this month. Available on both iOS and Android, Twitter users can now take and post photos using an in-app camera. They can also record videos that last up to two minutes and 40 seconds or live stream directly from the app. If a user has geolocating services turned on, Twitter will recommend nearby locations to tag.  It will also suggest relevant event hashtags nearby.

The update is good news for event organisers as it makes it easier for people to engage visually with their events. Say your attendee is at an event; their app camera knows they’re there and suggests the event’s hashtag when they take a photo.  If the hashtag is selected, their photo shows up in the stream of all the other tweets and images also using it.  And Twitter isn’t stopping there.  In the long run, the company wants the camera functionality to automatically detect what events are happening in certain places and suggest trending event hashtags as a means to organise images and videos into feeds for people who are following that event.  Read more.

EIN: Inflatable Walls Offer Alternative to Traditional Shell Scheme

From meeting spaces to large exhibition halls, organisers often require a simple method to transform their venue into a more workable space for their event. Traditional methods have included shell scheme or a pipe and drape solution to create smaller spaces that can be used as break out rooms, seminar theatres and speaker green rooms. But now there is an alternative – the temporary inflatable wall.

One of the many benefits of using temporary inflatable structures is the option to easily create illuminated walls using projection effects.  This neat option, which can light up a dark venue and make it instantly more eye-catching, can also double-up as signage to help guide traffic flow. The inflatable structures can reduce noise too. The natural air cavity means sound travel is limited – which is ideal if you’re hosting multiple seminar streams in a small venue space.  They’re quick to set-up too.  The inflatable walls can be installed in minutes – whereas a seminar theatre for 300 attendees can be installed in as little as two hours. Read more.

Event Marketer: The Dos and Don’ts of AR in EventTech

When it comes to augmented reality, conferences are going all in on the tech. But successfully implementing AR means thoroughly understanding of the intricacies of the technology, a job that often requires too much time from a planner’s already busy schedule. So, when it comes to getting started, this article is a good reference point on what you should and shouldn’t do.  Things like making sure you understand the technology and how to go about finding the right kind of technology partner.  And more importantly, figuring out exactly why you’re going to use the technology and how you’re going to go about measuring the results.

Related article: 5 ways you could use virtual augmented reality at events

Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality tends to be enjoyed socially rather than solo, making events the perfect launch pad for new AR-based mobile apps.  We’ve seen some incredible applications of demos, videos and experiences helping brands differentiate themselves at exhibitions and conference-style events.  And the versatility of the technology and how it can be applied through different devices makes it a very useful technology for events.  Not convinced?  Have a look at this amazing video we found online on how AR is currently transforming the way people engage with art at an exhibition in France:

EventMB: Blockchain for Event Ticketing – A Complete Guide

Apparently, blockchain ticketing is set to change the way event professionals sell tickets for good. Yet the meaning of blockchain for the event industry is still obscure. The buzzword around it and poor coverage from industry media is making event professionals even more confused.  So, what is blockchain?  Why will blockchain ticketing have an impact on the way we sell events? And more importantly, why should event planners care?  If you want to cut through the jargon and get answers to these pressing questions, we highly recommend reading this article from EventMB.

The article explains how the current status of blockchain makes ticketing very appealing for some types of events, potentially less so for some others. For example, if you run high-demand events or ones with strong ticket resale potential (like music and sporting events), then blockchain will offer a lot of benefits – mostly around security and control. However, saying that, business events and conferences should not easily pass on the blockchain opportunity. It is extremely easy these days to forge tickets or get access to tickets in conferences, conventions, esports events, trade shows, etc. Someone with bad intentions could get their way in, by putting some effort into it. This makes blockchain ticketing very appealing for events that have security in mind and want to be able to have stricter control over who gains access to the event.  Read more.

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