You can drone on about drones and you know virtually everything about virtual reality. But what are the next event tech trends on the horizon to know about so you can stay ahead of the curve? Here are four exciting trends bubbling up at conferences.
Attendee Engagement Courtesy of Event Tech
We all pay lip service to engagement; it's the key to starting—and deepening—relationships with customers, which is why we host events in the first place. But engagement requires thought and effort, and we've got a million other things to worry about. Addressing the crisis of the day monopolizes our attention and before we know it the event is here, and our plans for engagement and the effectiveness of our event suffers as a result.
Fortunately, event technology is stepping up with new ways to enhanced opportunities for engagement without adding more to our (already full) plate.
Take our Event Tech Tribe-partners at Glisser. They've built a tool that allows for digital Q&A. Instead of the awkward time-wasting mic passing ceremony that also discourages those who are shy or perhaps a little insecure about their perspective, questions are submitted during the presentation via audience smartphones. Audience members then vote on the questions they'd most like to see answered and the results instantly show up in the live PowerPoint presentation. How's that for engagement!?
That is just one example. We recently saw a conference creatively use live-streaming to engage attendees by broadcasting every live session on a massive 3,500 square-foot video screen. Any attendee could watch any session by pulling up a seat and plugging their headphones in—no fighting for a seat in crowded hall or dashing across a conference to make a session in time.
These are just a few of the exciting and cool uses of event tech to drive attendee engagement that we've seen.
Want ideas to drive engagement for your event? Download our free Attendee Engagement Best Practices Whitepaper.
Chatbots Providing the Answers
Chatbots are getting lots of buzz lately in the event space. For the purposes of an event manager, a chatbot is a program that can "converse" with a human via using voice or text. These programs can provide helpful, customized answers for attendees without taking away valuable bandwidth from your team. They're effectively a kick-ass virtual assistant. Your attendees don't have to download anything—they can just text the event chatbot.
One of the reasons why we love chatbots is they allow us to make our events far more accessible. Allowing you to engage with everybody in a low-cost, customized fashion. Another benefit of chatbots? They help gather valuable feedback and data from your attendees. This data can be helpful in optimizing your event for the future.
More information about this trend can be found via Corbin Ball.
Connected content powered by APIs
You’re relying on more technology for your events, which is great. Technology (can) save us time, make our lives easier and less stressful, and help us plan better events. The reason why we said “can” is because if your technology isn’t connected, it’s not going to live up to its promises. Unconnected technology tools just give you more platforms to maintain and update, slowing you down.
To get the most out of your technology it has to be properly integrated. When your tech is integrated it allows you to make a change in one place and for it to appear across your tools in near-real time. For example, if you need deed to update a session, make the change in Hubb and then it will automatically be pushed out to your website, registration tool, mobile app, digital signage, live agenda, speaker roster, association management system, and whatever else you’ve connected. Or, you can connect your registration platform to your sales automation platform (such as Salesforce), so your sales team can know whether your prospects are attending your event without manually exporting and then importing that data. Or, you could connect your marketing website and the rest of your event tech tools with an analytics platform so you can get a 360-degree view of how your attendees are interacting with your content and brand. The possibilities are endless and exciting!
You may think your tools will do this automatically. Unfortunately, this is not the case and getting technology to work together is often more challenging than you’d expect. Fortunately, a new breed of companies in the event technology space are building tools with integration in mind, allowing you seamlessly connected content and save time.
Exciting Insights Delivered by Machine Learning & AI
The amount of data available to us as event managers is significantly higher than at any point in the past, and it's growing rapidly. Data is being generated from RFID, beacons, evaluations, and event technology tools and more. The volume of data creates challenges—dealing with it can feel like drinking from a firehose—but also creates opportunities.
How? Computers can help us make smarter decisions, and the more data computers have available to analyze, the more accurate their recommendations are.
With machine learning, you could do things like identify what session times and lengths that would most resonate for your specific audience.
Hubb is proud to be on the cutting edge of event technology innovation. Talk to us today to learn how we can help you take your event to the next level!