With the constant flood of technology, it's easy to not be up-to-date with the latest advancements and gadgets. This is especially evident in the events industry. Which is why there has been a recent surge of tech-related events.
For example, take a glance at the events calendar on TechMeme and you'll notice that there's an explosion of tech events. In fact, there's an event almost every day in locations all over the world. With the industry currently booming, how are events organizers and producers getting smarter in applying integrated toolsets to marketing? Furthermore, what does the future hold for events management, administration, and marketing?
For the past several years big data has been a popular topics of discussion. While it's amazing that we're able to gather and analyze large amounts of information, big data is most valuable when you put it to good use.
For example, the organizers of an event can use Google Analytics to discover which online campaigns are influencing registration or being discussed on social media. You can also track the movements of attendees with Wi-Fi, GPS, iBeacons, or low-energy Bluetooth (via tools like Topi and Loopd) to see which events or booths they're visiting. Or, you could send out survey questionnaires or second-screen solutions to discover the actions and thoughts of audience members before, during, and after an event.
DoubleDutch is one platform that can be used for acquiring and analyzing real-time data, since it can see what session sponsors and attendees are most interested in.
There was a time when speaking engagements consisted of passive audience members. Thanks to technology, however, that has completely changed. Attendees can use a tool like Speecheo to help them view presentations and take notes. Evolero is another tool that boosts engagement by helping planners, speakers, sponsors, and attendees create a community before, during, and after an event by linking to social profiles.
Sensor integration and wearable technology.
Digital technology is also changing the landscape of events thanks to sensor integration. Take Connect&Go. The company is using wearable technology, in this case an RFID wristband, to accept cashless payments, connect to social media accounts, and replace paper tickets. Bright Interactive is also using sensor integration to create innovative games and displays at events. In fact, Bright Interactive recently teamed up with Victoria Hill to create one of the most technologically advanced exhibits ever, the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Times Square.
With all of this access to data and technology, an events planner can now provide attendees a more personalized experience. In fact, don't be surprised if someday the large events are replaced by several smaller events that are focused on data segmentation.
With tools like Pathable and Goombal you can plan such events, because you have access to the preferences of attendees, speakers, and sponsors, which allows you to create the perfect event just for them.
Social media as a planning tool.
If you've ever attended South by Southwest, then you know how effective social media can be for event planning. In fact, Marketing Land recently dedicated an entire article on how to incorporate social media into event marketing. Some of the highlights include:
Augmented and virtual reality.
If you kept up with this year's CES then you probably heard that virtual reality was all the rage--particularly with Oculus. While we still have a way to go, events like Sundance Film Festival and the Game Developers Conference are already using this technology. In the future, virtual reality could provide attendees an amazing experience with a lot of physical products being brought in. Virtual reality could also make it possible for people all over the world attend and experience an event without physically being there.
Robots and drones.
Another technology that was heavily present at this years CES was robots and drones--yes, drones. Robots were being used as booth attendants, bartenders, and entertainment. Mobile telepresence was also on display, from companies like MantaroBots, TeleMe for people who can't physically attend an event--they call into Skype, for example, and have a robot roll around an event so that they can hear and see what's going on.
As for drones, they are being used to capture aerial photography or even to deliver drinks that have been ordered through a smartphone app.
The possibility that 3-D printing will change the future of events isn't exactly a new topic. A couple of years ago, BizBash asked, Will 3-D Printing Change the Future of Events? At the time, it was being suggested that 3-D printing could be used at events for decor and entertainment.
Fast forward to 2015 and this seems like a definite possibility as advancements in this technology are making it more attainable for the general public.
Consolidation of tools.
Finally, tools like Bizzabo are consolidating all of the previous tools needed to effectively manage, plan, and run an event. Bizzabo, for example, is your one-shop-stop for events management and marketing, allowing you to create a website for your event, sell tickets, launch an email marketing campaign, and have on-site check-in and an award-winning app for visitors to use.
Don't be too surprised if you start noticing more services that consolidate all of your events marketing and management tools.