In this month’s round-up of top tech stories, we look at how organisers can address the growing issue of security at events – both in terms of the physical dangers and threats that events are exposed to and the security of data that relates to an event and its attendees. We also learn more about the use of facial recognition technology at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, some new communication tools from YouTube and Skype, and an integration platform that helps organisers build data-rich profiles on event attendees.
Have a look at the top tech stories you don’t want to miss:
Endless Events: Planning a Safe Event
The issue of event safety and security has never been so important in our industry. And with tech playing an ever-increasing role in event planning and production, not only do organisers need to be on top pf physical threats, but cybersecurity concerns as well. This article highlights the key things you need to think about when addressing security issues around your events – from the conversations you need to be having with venues and suppliers, as well as managing things like lighting and security personnel. From a tech perspective, the article suggests using in-app crowd trackers which can help pinpoint areas that are getting overcrowded, so you can take steps to disperse the crowd or direct more security staff to that area. You can also use heat mapping to monitor foot traffic – which helps prevent overcrowding and opening up new traffic routes.
The safety and security of your attendee data is another issue altogether. As an event planner, you may easily think that it’s something that needs to be dealt with by your IT and operations teams. But the reality is that there are many day-to-day things event planners do that could easily put their attendees’ personal information at serious risk of breach (think GDPR fines). In fact, research findings in the ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Security’ exposes a number of key vulnerability areas – including emails, passwords, event teams and printed delegate lists. Read more.
Marketo: HTML or Text Emails for Your Event Marketing – Which is Better?
This article from marketing automation experts, Marketo, explore the effectiveness of HTML emails compared to text-based ones – which is an interesting one for those of you looking to improve the performance of the email campaigns you run around your events. While many features of an HTML mailer help to accommodate key elements for visual branding and different device widths, they also can prevent people from focusing on the most important element: the main CTA or offer. In fact, after some thorough testing, the team at Marketo found that in many cases, focusing on a single-link, text-based email produced higher clicks on the call-to-action compared to the HTML one. What’s the lesson? Don’t just assume that pretty pictures and colourful visuals is what your audiences want. Test, test and test again. Read more.
EuroNews: Tokyo Olympics to Boost Security with Facial Recognition Technology
Facial recognition technology – it’s been one of those buzzwords we’ve seen coming up time and time again across our industry over the past year or so. And now it seems it’s finally starting to gain some ground. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are set to make history by being the first to use the technology in a move which organisers say will boost security and cut down waiting times. More than 300,000 athletes, staff, volunteers and media personnel will have to use the system to enter venues at the event. The process involves holding up a card containing a chip with their facial data up to a terminal while looking into a camera to verify their identity.
As suggested by this article on EventMB, this is more than a cool technology that people will start using sometime in the future. Facial recognition adds clear value to events such as improved security and better user experience along with unmatched analytics and insights. Some of these applications include event check-ins and watchlists, sessions tracking, heatmaps, personalisation and lead retrievals. Read more.
EventTech Brief: A Platform for Taking Trade Shows to Exhibition 2.0
Exhibition organisers don’t know as much about their attendees as they could. According to this article, despite the vast use of tech systems that help digitise attendee behaviours and preferences, very few organisations are able to combine all the data into a single attendee record – until now. The Nexus technology platform combines data from multiple sources – attendee databases, registration, housing, mobile app, event website, session attendance, exhibitor guide, lead retrieval and others – to constitute an actionable, real-time data system.
Why is Nexus’ ‘attendee record’ interesting for event planners? Because the ‘record’ might include valuable information such as an attendee’s demographics, attendance history (by individual and company), product category interests, exhibitors visited, sessions attended, website pages visited, emails opened, social media actions, companies of interest and not of interest, and other exhibitors who have identified the attendee as a prospect. Having this kind of data-rich attendee profiles makes it easier to personalise journeys throughout the event lifecycle through emails, suggestions, invitations and programming. Read more.
TechCrunch: YouTube Launches Suite of FundRaising Tools
This is an interesting one for those organising fundraising and charity events. YouTube has just launched a suite of new features designed to offer creators and their fans new ways to contribute to charitable causes. This includes beta versions of new fundraising and campaign matching tools, as well as a variation of YouTube’s Super Chat service, called “Super Chat for Good.”
With Fundraisers, YouTube creators and qualifying non-profits will be able to create fundraising campaigns that are embedded next to their YouTube videos. Meanwhile the Campaign Matching tool, which is set to launch in the coming few weeks, will allow people to organise fundraisers where they can receive matching pledges from other creators, brands and businesses to increase how much they’re able to raise. Worth checking out. Read more.
The Verge: Skype Finally Adds Call Recording
If you rely on Skype for organising meetings and events, as well as dealing with stakeholders like speakers and sponsors, we have some good news. Skype has just announced that call recording is now available in the latest version of the app (it will be available on Windows 10 in the next few weeks). Recording is pretty simple to activate. Once you’re in a call, just hit the plus sign on the lower right and then select ‘Start recording’. The others on the call will see a little banner announcing the call is being recorded, so there are no surprises. But Microsoft is clearly leery of consent laws like GDPR and reminds you via that same banner to verbally inform people on the call that you’re recording it.
You can also choose to save the recorded call on your desktop or mobile device. To save a recorded call on desktop, click the three dot icon within your group chat, then “more options,” and then “save to downloads.” For mobile, tap and hold the recorded call in chat to bring up Skype’s menu and then select “save.” Read more.
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