According to Frost and Sullivan, B2B events account for $512 billion in spending every year. With so much money on the line, it's no wonder event managers are turning to technology to up their share of the take. Recent research from Enterprise Event Marketing discovered that better event technology can boost attendance by 20 percent while decreasing costs up to 30 percent.
Not all technology is created equal, however. To take advantage of the benefits of tech, event managers must understand what their audiences need and pick the right tools for the job.
To stand out from competing gatherings, B2B events must use technology that creates more personalized and productive experiences for attendees. These four technologies help create memorable events that attract new crowds and keep visitors coming back.
Automation can assist with web development, marketing, customer service, and more. Don't waste the time of event staff on tasks that could be automated. Instead, leverage technology to take care of the grunt work so staff can focus on tasks that require a human touch. According to data from Konica Minolta, automating your workflows could result in a 176 percent return on investment -- not too shabby.
Eventbrite, a leading events technology company, encourages companies to focus on working smarter over working harder: "Continuing to scale your event doesn't require endless investment and growing complexity. It just requires more efficiency. That's where event automation comes in. Using technology to automate tedious tasks will save your team time -- so they can focus on the strategic work that drives your business."
Although radio-frequency identification isn't new technology, events managers are only now realizing its potential. Festivalgoers use wristbands connected to their credit cards to gain entry, pay for snacks and merchandise, and register for contests on the fly.
B2B events can do the same, encouraging attendees to register wristbands and badges in advance, then using the preregistered information (e.g., contact details, payment information) to streamline sign-in, purchases, and other facets of the event experience. Even better, these RFID sensors can collect data on attendee behavior, helping event managers refine their strategies to deliver improved experiences year after year.
3. Facial Recognition
The recent launch of the iPhone X brought facial recognition to the top of consumers' minds. Soon, they will expect the same level of easy personalization at events as they do with their personal devices.
For event planners, facial recognition software offers multiple benefits. Organizers can track facial expressions during major presentations to gauge feedback, improve social presence through automatic picture tagging, and bolster security by identifying and monitoring potential threats.
4. Live Streaming
People who can't attend an event one year might be interested in attending the next -- but only if they see what they're missing. According to research from Digitell, up to 50 percent of people who attend live streams have never attended a physical event before, but up to 30 percent of people who watch online will attend the event the following year.
Live-streaming technology allows event planners to add an extra layer of experience, bringing people from around the world into the same room. When more people attend the event, word spreads quickly, attracting the attention of new sponsors, speakers, and attendees from among the professional networks of viewers.
People who go to B2B events aren't looking for rock concerts -- they just want more engaging experiences. By taking advantage of new technology, event planners can provide the experiences attendees crave and generate the excitement that keeps crowds coming back for more.