It’s 2018, and that means you already understand the importance of technology in hosting a successful event in this digital age. For seasoned event planners, registering your event with an online ticketing platform is a no-brainer, and helps to streamline ticket sales and manage attendees. However, beyond managing your event digitally, there are a number of other event technology trends that you can employ to make your event stand out in 2018. Check out our tips below to ensure your event is on the cutting edge!
One of the biggest pain points for event attendees are the long lines at ATMs, food counters, or merchandise booths at cash-only events. Attendees may ultimately decide not to purchase food or merchandise if lines are too long or purchasing is slow and frustrating. Deciding to go cashless is a great way to speed up the purchasing process and ultimately drive more revenue for your event!
Eventbrite data shows that attendees spend 2x more when using cashless RFID payments than cash or card. If your event already uses RFID tags, it is simple to upgrade them to allow for payments too. This means that attendees can use one badge to check in at sessions, buy merchandise, and purchase concessions. Expediting the checkout process keeps attendees happy and and encourages them to purchase more!
Create An Event App Attendees Can’t Live Without
Society has undergone a mobile revolution, and 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. That means that people are constantly connected to an infinite source of knowledge, recent news, and apps that assist them in most day to day tasks. This creates a challenge for event planners: with so many invitations to download apps, how do you make sure your app stands out from the rest? Offer your app for free and follow the tips below to ensure the app is a true Swiss army knife for the average visitor
- Include a venue map – In most cases, attendees know what they’re looking for, and are grateful to avoid random (or worse – sequential) visits to booths. Test the service yourself on site, and make sure the map is updated to reflect any last minute changes to things on the ground.
- Allow attendees to create a personalized schedule – Attendees should be able to view the agenda as a whole and select the sessions that interest them most. This ensures that they don’t miss out on the right opportunities. Let attendees RSVP to sessions through the app, creating their own personalized agenda while helping you manage attendance.
- Add Visitor to Visitor Engagement Tools – From appointment scheduling to content discovery – use apps that provide these features or integrate a 3rd party to add this important layer to your event, even at a small networking meetup.
- Encourage Interaction – Include a “meet new friends” feature to help conference-goers connect and network, or think about incorporating a contest or onsite game into the app that engages attendees!
- Enable Digital Sponsorship – We cover this below in more detail. Bring the value sponsors are willing to offer directly into the hands of the attendees. You won’t believe the level of engagement and value it generates when done right! Always add it to your app to complete the set of necessary tools.
Bring Sponsorship Into the Digital Age
Attracting sponsors to your event is an important challenge for any event planner. “Sponsors” have fixed budgets and clear business goals, and are considering your event against other marketing opportunities, both offline and online. Your competition is tough and getting tougher.
Nowadays, sponsors expect it all. They want to connect with their target audience, acquire new business, boost sales, and increase brand awareness (preferably all at once!) To entice and especially retain them – you need to DELIVER! This is where Digital Sponsorship comes in. Digital sponsorship generates more sponsorship revenue, more leads, and more value for your sponsors’ investment.
Lead capture is often the most important part of the equation. The details and quality of these leads will play a large role when a sponsor is deciding whether or not to support your event again in the future. If they generate business directly from your event, it will justify the cost of attending and it will be a no-brainer to continue the investment.
Recent event technology has gone way beyond simply collecting your attendee information at a sponsor booth. You can now:
- Expose attendees to *personalized* sponsors content
- Generate high-intent leads, where attendees choose to opt in or interact with specific sponsors
- Report on tangible results through analytics, proving the ROI to your sponsors.
One such solution is EverThere, a mobile experience that helps your sponsors and exhibitors maximize their ROI by connecting them with potential customers on their mobile phones as an integral part of the event experience. Attendees interact with a digital offers from your sponsors and exhibitors and qualify themselves as leads for specific offers. This results in a list of high intent leads for your sponsors and detailed analytics for both you and your sponsors, making retaining them a breeze. Best of all, Everthere is free of charge and they introduce you to additional digital sponsors to help generate even more revenue!
Employ Proximity Technology
Proximity technology uses attendees mobile devices to track their activity during an event and communicate directly with them. It’s a great way to further engage your audience throughout their event experience. Use the event app you created using our tips above to have guests opt in for this feature.
This technology opens your event up to a range of exciting new capabilities! For example, you could send push-notifications including offers to those in close proximity to a sponsorship booth. You also have the ability to collect data about which booth, artist, or speaker was most popular by measuring how many attendees are in a particular location at one time. In addition, measuring the amount of time attendees are engaging with specific features of your event will give you valuable insight into how to improve upon your event for next year!
There are two different types of proximity technology that work together to provide these capabilities: beacons and geofences. A beacon is a small wireless device that uses Bluetooth to transmit a continuous radio signal that interacts with smart devices. A Geofence is a virtual barrier that triggers a response when a smart device enters or leaves a particular area. Employ both of these together to achieve the best results!
Explore VR & AR
Many events are making a splash this year by creating engaging and innovative experiences for their attendees through virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality immerses a participant in a simulated environment, often using headsets to block out real-world sights and sounds. This is a full sensory experience that makes the participant feel as if they are in the new virtual world. In contrast, augmented reality marries technology and reality to enhance the world around us.
Although VR and AR can seem intimidating, there are many easy and cost-effective ways to incorporate them into your next event. Google cardboard is an affordable way to bring VR to your event. You can set up a booth or area devoted to the experience and encourage attendees to participate. For AR, Snapchat filters are a simple and engaging way to add technology to your event. These filters can be geo-targeted, so they are exclusive for those in attendance. They also encourage people to share their experiences to their social networks, adding to publicity for your event!
Follow these 2018 event tech trends to help set your event apart. Staying on the cutting edge of technology provides engaging experiences for your attendees. And when attendees are happier and more engaged, you’ll see an increase in attendance and event sponsorship!