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While we’re sure 2019 was a good year for you, we’re all about making your 2020 even better which is why we’ve created a list of the most crucial and impactful event planning tools and technologies that you should consider for the year ahead.

This article will cover:

Marketing

Social media as a warm up act

It’s no surprise that social media will continue to be an important tool for marketing events, but 2020 will see an amp up in video content (particularly on Instagram), and a greater focus on providing eventgoers with a behind-the-scenes of the setting up of the event. Think time-lapse videos of stages being built, and decorations being put up; it gives the perfect tease for the event, and people generally get more excited when they know what to look forward to.

Chatbots

Chatbots on company and event websites are becoming every more popular. Being able to ask a “person” questions in real-time about accessibility, directions, start-times etc is valuable for many customers. Knowing that their experience will be seamless and easy, makes the event more desirable. Having a chatbot integrated on event or ticket websites will be a great tool for planners to consider.

Eventum Bot is smart, can have automated conversations, can personalise event itinerary based on reviews and customer journey, and can produce platform analytics for planners afterwards! Check them out for some chatbot action at your next event.

Multi-use event apps

This one is a big one: multi-use apps are on the rise and will give a whole new meaning to the event experience.

The ability to engage guests with an app tailored to the event, and include QR codes (to enter), timetables, information about booths/speakers as well as live polling and post-event feedback forms embedded in the app is industry changing. Mixed with machine-learning and AI abilities (see later in this post), event planners will have the possibility in the future to personalise events for eventgoers and create an experience unique to each person.

Event Mobi includes registration, an app that engages attendees based on their preferences, networking with one-to-one messaging and discussions, and even fun competitions via the app for attendees.

Cyber security  

RFID

To make ticket scanning more efficient, and to minimise the risk of people buying tickets from third-party sites, RFID tags and bracelets have become all the rage in the industry. The tags, or bracelets contain a unique identification code embedded in a chip which is then scanned by a machine. Some events even have differentiated RFID chips for VIP and regular guests, so VIPs can scan quickly into special areas without fuss. The possibility of attaching card details to RFID is another aspect of the technology emerging now. Contactless payments take on a whole different meaning when all you need to do in an event is tap your bracelet against a card reader to purchase products.

Event Genius does all of the above. Online ticketing, cashless payments, access control and even data analytics to see how your event went. A great partner for a cashless experience and an all-in-one ticket system.

Facial recognition 

Similar to RFID, facial recognition offers the possibility to event goers to enter the event by scanning their face at the entrance.

Field Drive is the leading company in this technology, and claims that it is 50% faster than traditional methods of checking-in. It is fully encrypted and does not store photos, so one less thing to worry about there. Not only does the technology “wow” attendees, but it is an eco-friendly alternative to most methods used for check-in at events. Another option is Zenus Biometrics, which include a built-in ROI measurement and attendee engagement. Both can be used at various locations within the event and can gauge how long an attendee stays in a booth too!

Wearable Tech

On-site wristbands are a prime example of wearable tech! Klik wearables is at the forefront of such hands-free tech. Similar to RFID wristbands, wearable tech can link to credit card information.

Klik also allows for registration, event programming, networking, location services, attendee tracking, gamification and provides an app for attendees to manage their profile and access important information relating to an event. It uses this information to then create an “unrivalled experience” and ensures that attendees have a personalised and unique time.

Blockchain

Blockchain can be embedded on event websites or apps to cut down on ticket scalping outside the events. Ticket scalping is when tickets are reproduced and resold to other people for often a higher price and by a non-legitimate vendor.  By using blockchain, event planners ensure secure transactions without the risk of reproducing a single ticket. Thus, there can only be one owner of each ticket at any one time.

Site Planning

Projection Mapping

Projection mapping, the projection of projects imagery onto 3D objects instead of flat surfaces, is expected to grow in popularity this year. It can show projections such as stage lighting, or even videos being mapped onto buildings. A popular example is the Sydney Opera House, in which the sails of the building are illuminated using this technology. Projection mapping offers the possibility of transforming an event or a building into an interactive display. Whether you’re at a concert, or at a conference, creativity is at a hand’s reach using such technology.

LCI Productions has been providing projection mapping for years and is equipped to display large or small-scale imagery.

Event diagramming and space planning

Event diagramming software allow planners to map out every event detail and visualise it. Seating, 3D walkthroughs, stage directions, facilities and booth placement are essential for the success and efficiency of events. To create a truly special event, it’s argued that the physical space and its parts need to work harmoniously; event diagramming facilitates this.

A newcomer to the market, OnePlan is an extremely successful diagramming and event space mapping tool and is accurate as well as collaborative. Our tool is easy-to-use and can centralise all information and changes on one plan for all interested parties, from clients and colleagues to suppliers and the venue owner itself. It even lets you calculate queuing times and source equipment and staff from approved suppliers at the click of a button.

Event Content

AI

Similar to multi-use apps, AI learning machines will soon be able to study events, attendee information, and create a tailored timetable for the event-goer. Based on activities, preferences and behaviours, live data will feed AI software and enhance the experience for every attendee. It will also give the planners an indication of what was successful in the event and enable them to capitalise on the interests of their demographic to advise future products and events.

Virtual Reality

This tech is, obviously, not exclusive for event planning. However, virtual/augmented can majorly boost and attendee’s experience of the event. It can be used for fun (e.g. a VR booth can offer attendees an unusual experience), or it can add a digital element to information a speaker or the event wishes to convey. Either way, virtual reality will be key in the entertainment aspect of events and will likely boost satisfaction and engagement.

Virtual Reality Experiences provides all virtual/augmented tech for events of all sizes. Its technology can be used for workshops, team building and can be hired for large-scale events.

Virtual Events

With the hassle of travelling (and the cost!), attendees can sometimes be put off by events that they very much wish to attend. Livestreaming is a thing of the past with the technology offered by virtual events, which is where an event takes place entirely online. Attendees can access it from wherever they are, providing they have internet access, and they can interact, network and collaborate using web chat, audio chat or video chat functionalities built into the virtual event platform.

Ivent offer event planners a range of options, from webinars to conferences. While many fear that this will kill ticket sales and investment, iVent says it offers what many people desire: the ability to attend an event from the comfort of your home.

5G

Ever been at an event that had horrible connection? No WiFi? No 3G? Not even LTE? The arrival of 5G is set to fix this. 5G offers people a speed of 1,000x that of 3G! It will allow cloud-based apps for event coordinators on the day, as well as RFID technology, and event apps for attendees to be much faster. Everyone part of the event industry will likely be happy by this introduction which is being rolled out across the world right now.

Chatbots, again

Again, chatbots will play a huge role before and during the event. Enabling event planners to reduce the number of support staff at an event, chatbots could be used for queries or providing general directions or instructions that are tedious for staff members to repeat. iPads equipped with chatbots can be set up at various checkpoints across your event  to help attendees with any questions or concerns they have.

Participant to speaker/speaker to speaker participation

Sounds like a mouthful but this technology is used to connect speakers with attendees using live polling, live chat rooms and forums.

The Network App allows text-to-screen and text-to-moderator communications to filter real-time questions to moderators. Its tagline is “participants come prepared and leave with the answers and connections they were looking for”. Be sure to check the company out if you ever want to boost your attendee engagements during panels!

Whova is another app which facilitates participation, but it also allows attendees to start discussions and communicate with one another, as well as the planner!

Profiling

As mentioned in cybersecurity section above, wearable tech is a fantastic tool that can be used for recognition as well as for personalisation. Loopd is a wearable technology that comes with chips that can track guests as they move through the event. The guests and event planners can open the app and look at information relating to traffic flow, how guests engaged with one another, how long they stayed at a booth, which people they connected with, and more. It’s a great technology for networking events, and for planners looking to bump up their ROI.

Wearable tech can also provide planners with the ability to personalise the event to their attendees. You can have them book appointment at booths online before the event, push notifications for them to go towards a certain booth you know they’d like, or even suggest a food they might enjoy. Data can do magnificent things.

Drones

Drones are an incredible tool, not only for marketing (those aerial shots, though), but also to help remote attendees experience the event online through an immersive view. Drones provide a beautiful snapshot of the event as well as the opportunity to attend it no matter where you are.

And that’s it! Have we missed anything that you think deserves a place on our list? Let us know by contacting us here.

9th January 2020