All meetings have one thing in common. Whether you're at a small department assembly, a board meeting or an international conference: there will always be some form of event tech present. Technology is used before, during and after; for registrations, communication and content sharing. What is going on in the event tech field right now?
Earlier this year, the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) published a list of the 10 most important event tech trends of 2015. Are they part of your work day yet?
10. Online Purchasing
Online shopping is huge, and it's not just retail purchases that are growing in numbers. Both event organisers and attendees have gone online. The event service providers who are going to make it are the ones with purposeful and multi-functional websites. A basic information web page, equal to an online brochure, is no longer sufficient. The client needs to be able to plan, book and pay for the entire event online. And SEO is key- a member of the IACC network recently revealed that more than 70% of their new contacts arrive at their home page via search engines.
9. Virtual Tours
This technology has existed for a long time, but event venue providers are full-on adopting it now. Part time event planners are growing in numbers, and the average time a planner is able to invest in an event is growing shorter. Being able to survey the premises through a virtual tour of a venue saves so much time. Custom made video clips of the facilities combined with Google Street View, that's the name of the game.
8. Virtual Encounters, Webinars and Webcasts
Bringing everybody together under the same roof is increasingly difficult, event organisers and producers understand this and are making remote participation easier and more appealing. Thousands of meeting venues around the world are being kitted out with top-of-the-line webcasting equipment as we speak.
7. Cables, Be Gone!
Wirelessness isn't just for local area networks, microphones and internet connections. A truly cutting edge event venue provides its visitors with wireless charging stations for mobile devices. Inductive charging technology is becoming more common and very affordable, there are no excuses for not bringing them into the meeting room. Charging units can be built into nearly anything: there are bar tops, tables, lighting fixtures...
Like something out of a spy movie when they first arrived on the market, drone cameras are now commonplace at large outdoor events. Drones are becoming more and more affordable and can be adapted for indoor event use as well. Video material is becoming an increasingly valuable part of storytelling, and drones will keep capturing every single large-scale event worth its salt.
5. App Galore
Practically every single event attendee is carrying a mobile device nowadays. Mobile apps are a perfect way of transmitting event information. Think meeting room information, contact details, food preferences, attendance tracking and much more. An event-specific app can help facilitate interaction between the attendants too, which opens up a new digital world of customized networking, gamification and social interaction. Imagine the possibilities!
Picture yourself driving along in a car, headed for a conference in a city new to you. Suddenly an alert pops up on your phone: a welcome message and driving instructions to the venue. As you step into the building, your personalised name badge pops out of a printer and a new alert informs you of all the important facilities within the sector of the conference hall you are in. Delightful! GPS-based app technology enhances the attendee experience, especially at large conferences or trade shows. Combined with an event app as mentioned in point 5, the possibilities are endless.
3. Mood Enhancers
Technology can help set the mood. With a little help from LED light technology, the feeling and character of a venue can be changed dramatically at a literal flick of a switch. Furniture and other furnishings, both hard and soft, are laced with state-of-the-art tech, like the mobile charging units mentioned before. On a budget? Even IKEA stocks inductive charging desk lamps.
2. Less 'Networking', More 'Hanging Out'
Socialising and other casual hanging out is just as beneficial as traditional corporate event networking, if not more so. No need to worry about productivity either- relaxed, comfortable and inspired people get the best ideas, let the space induce those feelings! A well-informed event venue provides its clients with informal, creative and inviting options to the traditional meeting room or conference hall. Dotting out small chill out-zones and havens for rest and relaxation is very popular at larger events.
1. Generation Y - The Millennials
Even more tech-savvy and addicted to social media than the preceding Generation X, Generation Y is starting to grow old enough to enter the workplace. Event tech trend number one is to keep up with Gen Y! Millennials have high expectations when it comes to connectivity, interactivity and influence. Hanging on to their gaze, interest and engagement is a challenge in all markets, not just events, but it will pay off. Top tip for event organisers and venues: make sure your Wi-Fi is both fast and free!
Have you read all our guides for event professionals yet? They are quite helpful and cover several subjects in the field. They are also free to download and read! Have a look on our website or simply click on stressed-out Steve here. Enjoy!