6 Event Technology Trends to Explore in 2018
The latest technology trends can improve your event and help you stand out from the crowd. Give your event a competitive edge with these six technology trends.
- Facial recognition for events
One event technology that will advance rapidly in the next year is facial recognition. Algorithms are already calculating facial features, hairstyles, body shapes, expressions and body language.
Reach new audiences
Facebook uses facial recognition software to suggest tags on photos. Use this powerful technology to reach a broader audience. As attendees tag their friends, your posts will show up in more event-goers’ feeds.
To take advantage of the tech, encourage attendees and staff to post to Facebook. Add official event photos to a branded Facebook album. After the event, remind people to tag themselves and their friends in the pictures.
Improve check-in, feedback and security
Facial recognition technology is still in development for widespread use at events. In coming years, software will predict the mood of attendees by reading facial expressions and body language. This will lead to more efficient event check-in, attendee feedback, and improved on-site security.
- RFID for event sponsors
Experienced event organisers already know how to use RFID to replace tickets and physical payments. In 2018, the next step will be using RFID to upgrade sponsorship experiences. Faster activation check-ins increase engagement. Sponsors can gather data without interrupting the experience. This enables sponsors to get more creative with raffles and polls operated by virtual participation (RFID taps).
- Artificial intelligence for events
AI is the next big wave of event technology. It can deliver a highly personalised experience, even at festivals and conferences with over 30,000 attendees.
Automated customer service helps both attendees and event organisers. Attendees get answers quickly, while staff can work more efficiently.
Sound on Sound Fest is a three-day music, camping, and adventure festival. They created a customer service plugin through Facebook Messenger to answer fan queries.
“It was automated, and able to answer a lot of customer questions with a great success rate,” says Morgan Howard, a freelance customer experience manager for festivals who worked on the bot. “Fans got the instant gratification of receiving a response.”
Artificial intelligence is also personalising recommendations on a much wider scale than before.
For example, an AI matchmaking engine could interpret data from the social media profiles of attendees. Then, it could recommend people to meet, conference sessions to attend, or products to check out. One of the quickest ways to apply this to your event is by using an event app with an AI plug-in, like Grip.
- The right event apps
When integrated seamlessly, event apps add tremendous value. Attendees at large scale events expect them, and sponsors benefit from the data they provide.
Conference and business event apps help attendees track speakers and networking opportunities. Consumer event and festival apps help attendees bookmark locations and create custom line-ups.
With so many to choose from, the trend for the upcoming year is to get savvy about the best apps for each event type.
Despite the growing popularity of livestreaming events, myths persist about their value. If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn how to livestream your event and boost your brand.
Livestreaming expands your audience beyond event capacity. Encourage attendees and staff to share your livestream with friends who couldn’t attend. They can invite people to join Facebook Live events and tweet links to their followers. Even staffers who aren’t physically attending an event can support from afar by sharing your stream.
The latest trend in livestreaming is crowdstreaming. Technologies like Periscope and Facebook Live help attendees broadcast their personal experiences easily. Define an event hashtag and encourage attendees who broadcast their experience to use it, so you can measure the results.
- Social media walls
This event tech trend activates your attendees as event marketers. Social media walls show posts and photos tagged with your event hashtag. They generate real-time excitement, encourage attendees to post, and reinforce the right hashtag to use.