We'll cut to the chase—the next big advancement in event technology will be a completely customized experience for all your attendees, with minimal work on your end.
Great idea, but what will this revolution in attendee experience look like in practice?
Let's take a step outside events and look at a place where this revolution has already happened: Disney World.
Unless you visited recently, a signification portion of your Disney World experience involved waiting in epic lines and breathlessly rushing around the park trying to beat epic lines. For a company obsessed with visitor experience, this was a significant failure.
In 2013, Disney World rolled out their MagicBand, a wristband with a RFID chip and radio, for park visitors.
The custom experience provided by MagicBand begins when you book your Disney World tickets online. You pick your favorite rides and Disney provides your optimal itinerary and recommends other attractions for you to visit based on your preferences.
When you arrive in Orlando, you can board a shuttle to the park and check into your hotel with the wristband. Your luggage is automatically transported to your room. At the park, you don’t need tickets, you just wave your wristband. You also don’t need cash as your credit card is tied to the MagicBand. You already have reservations, so there is no waiting in line. All the friction in the visitor experience has been engineered away. Through data and technology, the system automatically anticipates and meets all your desires and attendees are left with a seamless, custom experience.
This technology benefits Disney World too. It helps spread people around the park instead of having everybody cluster at the best-known attractions. Disney can anticipate attendee movement, so they can be more efficient with their staffing. Customer service is also improved because Disney has the information they need to address (and even anticipate) problems. Visitors don’t even realize they’re getting a custom experience, they just know they’re having the experience they hoped they would have.
You can probably see the parallels between Disney World and events—and we bet that as an event manager, you’d love to recreate a lot of what Disney World offers. You and Disney have similar goals. You both want attendees to have an amazing time, leave with the brand's core message fixed in their brain and associated with positive memories.
What's exciting is that we're nearly there. RFID technology is commonplace at events. The current generation of event tech tools prioritizes integration, which allows them to work together to provide a seamless attendee experience. These connected technologies also allow you to gather much of the data you need to create custom experiences for attendees.
How might this look at your event? Hubb's ExpertFinder gives RFID badges to your conference's speakers and experts, so they're automatically checked-in when they step on your conference floor (sound familiar?). Attendees can locate these RFID-wearing experts in real time on an actual map of the conference floor, and schedule one-on-one meetings, all from the event mobile app.
In the future, these technologies are only going to get more streamlined, more customized, and more all-encompassing.
- Imagine: attendees automatically getting a post-event email with the content from every session they attended. Imagine: attendees not needing to check in but just being able to step foot on the conference floor.
- Imagine: attendees receiving personalized recommendations for sessions to attend, vendors to visit, and fellow attendees to network with.
- Imagine: digital signage that greets attendees by name and automatically provides personalized navigation instructions based on their event itineraries. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s coming. And that’s what we think the future of event technology is going to be.