The events industry is stepping into the future with certain innovations already on their way to becoming mainstream. Events are now quite a tech-driven affair.
Event technology has developed leaps and bounds in past years. Certain event-tech trends are bound to stay while some technologies will see major updates. Here are our predictions for event-tech trends in 2019:
1. Facial Recognition
Facial recognition is definitely an aspect of event-tech that is on its way up. It has already made significant marks on the events industry with a lot of non-corporate events such as music festivals, concerts and some major sports events using the tech in a lot of creative ways.
Facial recognition tech can be great in attendee management, behaviour mapping, attendee engagement and most of all, event security which is indeed a major concern, especially in high profile events.
2. Virtual Reality
We have talked about virtual reality for events a lot in the past. This is indeed a trend that is definitely here to stay.
A major plus in attendee engagement, event planners have been finding a lot of amazing ways to leverage this tech to create interactive displays, on-site experiences as well as utilizing VR devices as a major factor in their event promotion strategy.
Event experience, event marketing, user-generated content and attendee engagement.
3. Augmented Reality
Alternate reality transports attendees while ensuring that attendees remain connected to the event.
From scavenger hunts to exhibitor promotions and lead management, augmented reality has a plethora of use cases in events. Another factor in AR becoming an important part of events is its relatively easy accessibility such as the Apple AR kit and similar gamification apps (remember Pokémon Go?)
With event professionals leaning towards event apps and the easy accessibility of the AR feature, there is a lot that planners can do in terms of Augmented Reality for events.
4. Event Data
Big data is considered to be the future of technology. Event technology definitely is no exception. Time and again professionals have emphasized the importance of data and data security in events.
Data can be a great aid in strategizing for event experience. Apart from more reliance on event data, data security is also bound to become a priority. Data security plans have already been set in motion with policies such as GDPR. Event data and data security are going to be a major priority in the upcoming years.
There’s a lot that can be done with drones. Events like Superbowl, Winter Olympics etc. have used drones in the past to mesmerize attendees with breath-taking drone shows.
Apart from event experience, drones are also a great asset in terms of event security and surveillance. With an array of new and developed drones being launched into the market, drone technology will play a major role in events in the coming future.
However, along with technological developments, there are policies and laws being put into place to prevent misuse of said drones as well. It is only a matter of time for professionals to see how laws and utility of drones balance out in the coming year.
Wearable tech is all the rage these days. It’s been in the market for quite a while now, its utility beginning with events such as concerts, music festivals, etc.
Radio Frequency Identification as part of wearable tech trends will have many implications in the events industry.
From event ticketing to attendee mapping, RFID enabled bands and other wearable gadgets along with Beacon technology will be one of the most used event technologies in the coming years.
7. Mobile App for Events
Mobile apps for events is officially mainstream. A lot of events these days are going smarter, making the most of a mobile event app to let attendees access their event on the go.
From event info, schedule, speaker information to exclusive event networking features, it’s all in the palm of their hands. Event app developers are now focusing on integrating new and improved tech including AR and AI within the event app to engage attendees as well as for lead generation in events such as tradeshows, expos, etc.
For e.g. an AI scavenger hunt as a gamification feature within the event app could help attendees explore the entire event venue in a much more interesting way.
8. Voice Search
Not much has been talked about SEO fro events. Organic traffic through SEO is a great tool for event promotion. Talking about SEO, voice search is definitely the future.
According to this guide on Voice Search by Neil Patel, at least 20% of the overall searches this year were voice searches. Voice search optimization for event website as well as your event listing on similar event listing should be an important part of the overall event marketing strategy.
Planners must take care of general SEO in terms of relevant keywords, back-linking, social media presence, etc. as well as create content in a clear, conversational tone for voice search. Create an event blog if possible to further rank your website based on certain content that you share.
9. Artificial Intelligence
AI is making great leaps in every field imaginable. One of the most popular implementations of AI is Social Media such as the Facebook chatbot.
Event tech developers have started to focus on this tech in a lot of ways including stand-alone chatbots for events, integrating AI within the event app as well as using AI robots for attendee engagement.
There may be a time in the future where events may leverage AI bots as speakers for their events. One of the best examples would be Sophia the robot. It is only a matter of time to see how event profs will make the most of AI in the coming year.
10. Experiential Tech
Event professionals are now putting heavy emphasis on experiences. Experiential marketing is on the rise. Attendees, consumers even, now value experiences above anything.
The value addition that an event provides is important to gain loyal attendees. Event technology such as 3D projection mapping, video mapping, etc. that aid event planners in developing these experiences are the future.
Event profs must find creative ways to leverage the same for a memorable event experience.
How these technologies will play out in the overall event planning and management process in 2019 is a matter of time.