We've spoken to our Head of Innovation, Rob Curtis in our latest blog. He's travelled far and wide over the past year, investigating the world’s best event technology and attended leading international business conferences including C2 Montréal. Below he sums up the trends he feels will have most impact to event planners during 2019.
Top 5 event tech trends, by Rob Curtis, Head of Innovation
The vast choice of event technology available to planners is quite frankly overwhelming, the latest report from brand experience agency, Cramer, is evidence to this. The results of its' 2019 Event Technology Landscape study, highlighted the plethora of emerging and expanding technologies now available to event professionals.
Above: Cramer's Event Technology Landscape for 2019. Credit: Cramer
Cramer’s report shows an 82% year-on-year growth, with several new categories being added including chatbots, attendee tracking and attendee collaboration systems, we’ll look at some of these in our top 5 tech trends below.
1. Attendee tracking
Attendee tracking is increasingly being used at meetings and conferences and thanks to advances in technology it’s now incredibly easy-to-use. Event owners are no longer just verifying who was at their event, but now they’re able to track what they did, how and where they did it. Wearable technology, which communicates with Bluetooth hubs strategically placed across the venue, passively gathers location data that can offer real-time insight, which is invaluable for event planners and conference organisers.
Integrated technology is now available that can track the attendee’s journey, from the point of registration through to post-event evaluation and even from CRM to CRM. Technology helps build a very detailed picture of the attendee’s interests, likelihood to return or buy and engagement levels. We have reached a point where the data collected is akin to Google Analytics, but for offline events.
The more we know about the attendee, the more we can personalise the experience for them, during the event and after, and continue the cycle of engagement. We can take these deeper insights and feed it back into our marketing strategies, design a far better event, improve the effectiveness of sponsorships and do a much better job of exceeding everyone’s expectations.
Organisers can benefit in other ways, including the ability to make real-time decisions and keep an eye on attendee flow, highlight and ease congested areas and improve traffic flow in event zones, monitor event registration and attendee/exhibitor interaction, report on exhibitor booth dwell time and much more.
2. Event intelligence
The wealth of data provided by attendee tracking, along with good integrations with other platforms like registration, means we are able to measure the impact of your event and improve insights for the future by unlocking the value of attendee data.
We’re seeing a shift in marketing budgets towards events, with face-to-face marketing fast becoming the most effective channel to deliver brand engagement. Organisers can use the valuable data we can collect, not only to personalise the event to the attendee, but to feedback into CRM systems, improve sponsorship packages for exhibitors and prove the return on investment to event owners and exhibitors.
Events will need to deliver a similar level of measurability to other marketing and communications channels, especially as they grow in importance in the marketer’s armoury. Choosing the right event technology that can capture the data for these deeper levels of insights will help you build better events and create more engaged audiences.
As we’ve mentioned above, attendee tracking and event intelligence are key trends as we move into 2019, and this leads onto personalisation and putting our attendees at the centre of our event. We will see more event planners seek to provide an individual experience, tailored to an attendee’s interests and preferences throughout the entire event life cycle (from registration, agenda choices, location, interactions, social, networking, biometrics and other activities afterwards). We help our clients design the meeting around engaging the attendee from the outset, to create a more memorable, personalised event and experience.
4. Emotion and biometrics analytics
We’re hearing more and more about emotion and biometrics tracking and its applications in the event marketing industry are starting to be explored. The ability to capture and analyse the physical and behavioural characteristics of your attendee is set to become a crucial addition to the event marketer’s toolkit.
What started out in the fitness and medical space, with wearables like Fitbit (that can measure heart rate and sleep patterns), advances in gathering and interpreting data means we can now provide new insights into attendee sentiment and interest levels at events. This will lead to a whole new level of measurement, attendee personalisation and event experience.
Organisers will be able to measure how likely an audience or attendee is to adopt new ideas, or if they are in the right mood to network or learn. We will be able to measure and, potentially, trigger the increase in wellbeing of an audience by responding to their physical signals, like sleep quality (one way to measure how well ideas or thoughts persist in memory), heart rates, activity levels and steps taken.
Above: Rob Curtis participating in research by Tech3Lab into emotional research with wearables in live events, at C2 Montréal.
5. Experiential events
Events will continue to become more experiential. Event organisers want to give their attendees an event to remember and create opportunities to make strong, face-to-face connections with their customers. Great event experiences, for example story telling, create strong emotions and great memories.
We work closely with our clients and look at ways in which our technology can elevate their event, adding value to all key stakeholders and ensuring everyone involved gets their best event yet.
If you would like to discuss how event technology can elevate your event or learn more about the trends I’ve mentioned above then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org