As technology moves ever faster, new gadgets are released which aim to solve a problem or to improve an experience. But how exactly is this shaping the future of the events industry? Below we explore some of the key trends transforming this sector:
Quick—reach for your phone. How long did that take? Less than 30 seconds? Mobile apps are quickly becoming a necessity for events, replacing brochures and information packs. They are a vital tool, providing attendees with in-the-minute information and the opportunity to connect and share information with other delegates or stakeholders. Using an app can also allow the event organizer to engage with attendees regularly via push notifications throughout the duration of the event.
There are also apps that can seat guests according to their social preferences, making it easier for guests to “break the ice” when seated at a wedding dinner, for example.
Moving even further, need an app on your Fit Bit? Apple watch? Event apps are now quickly becoming available on these types of devices providing another opportunity to enhance the guest experience.
"Real time intelligence provides up-to-date information as it happens, and actions can be taken to solve any issue that may arise with confidence."
Real time intelligence
Event managers are always in need of real time business intelligence, especially at large scale events. Take a major sporting event, for example. One must monitor the entrance to be able to manage the flow of people and staff allocation. Real time intelligence provides up-to-date information as it happens, and actions can be taken to solve any issue that may arise with confidence. This type of technology can also be used to improve the guest experience with automated systems allowing a seamless signing in process and can be used potentially as a customer engagement platform.
Holographic projection systems are taking advantage of the most innovative 21st century technologies, transforming the Victorian-age Pepper’s Ghost optical illusion into a state-of-the-art multimedia platform that enables 3D holographic projection; a jaw-dropping visual phenomenon that amazes and fascinates audiences.
Unlike traditional 3D, viewing these images does not require 3D glasses because holographic projection is not a stereographic effect. Instead, the hologram illusion is created by using projection to provide the viewer’s eyes with other visual cues—reflection, light, shadow, movement, and contrast—that fool the brain into thinking it is seeing a 3D image.
Drones are being used by big agencies to film their events from a unique perspective, creating innovative content for event marketing campaigns. However these incredible little devices can be used for more than just filming. For example, the machines’ capabilities lend themselves beautifully to allow production teams to create impressive light displays. Consider the 2017 Superbowl halftime show with Lady Gaga and her squadron of drones over the Houston, TX skyline changing from stars to a flag. You can also view a YouTube video highlighting Intel’s 500 drone light show here.
Mixed reality & virtual reality
There has been a lot of excitement for several years about virtual reality, despite that it has been deemed an expensive service. Now it’s much more affordable and is finding its way into events. One of the best ways to use this is to mix reality with the virtual. Imagine you are promoting a new destination or property. Guests can walk round with VR headsets on and get an ‘almost real life’ 3D experience. Add in a scent machine coupled with applicable sounds being pumped in and you end up with a very memorable experience without actually taking your guests anywhere!
One to watch is progression robots being used at events. It is tipped that these helpful machines could help direct us around a large exhibition or even be your friendly bartender.
One of the most stunning technologies of recent times is the development of Magic Leap, an extreme, cinematic form of augmented reality. Imagine creating a ‘real life style’ experience that happens right in front of your eyes, such as whales jumping out of gymnasium floors or holding solar systems in the palm of your hand; with this technology the possibilities are endless. For the events industry this allows the event organizer to share a slice of their world with their audience in a completely new way.
Sarah Hill has written extensively about event planning and conference management for Group 7 Events Ltd, a well-known conference planners and event organizer in London. Sarah has contributed to many reputed event and meeting blogs like Etouches, Boomset, meetingsnet, Bizzabo and many more. She is a wanderlust, lover of wine and the queen of baking.