TOP 7 TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR EVENTS
Content provided by Québec City Business Destination
Québec City Business Destination, a leading reference in meetings and conventions, leverages the tremendous potential of technology to ensure that your next event goes down in history. Here are some of the most exciting and noteworthy technology trends for 2016—and beyond—that are promising to revolutionize the event industry.
Today’s busy mobile professionals now expect all events and venues to offer reliable Wi-Fi everywhere. Cities, hotels, like the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, restaurants and venues alike are investing heavily to meet the increasing demand for bandwidth. Québec City is also becoming a wireless city, thanks to local businesses’ commitment to offering free Wi-Fi to customers. The Québec City Convention Centre, for example, offers wall-to-wall free Wi-Fi access, including in their meeting rooms and public areas.
Social media is fast becoming a must of any successful event. Many event goers are using social media to evaluate what events to attend based on their social networks. Event planners are also focusing on social media as an affordable means to communicate with exhibitors, attendees and staffs. Studies shows that the more event planners create stories around their event, using Twitter Moments, Instagram Stories or Snapchat Live Stories, the more engaged attendees are.
And what’s more: thanks to social media, the impact of the event is not set in stone (i.e., the event’s specific dates); events are becoming more like communities, where attendees can network with each other before, during and after the event, thereby extending its overall life cycle.
EVENT MOBILE APPS
With the skyrocketing use of mobile devices, savvy meeting planners are developing event-specific apps to replace paper (programs, exhibitor’s guides, course notes, polls, surveys, etc.) as well as signage and event maps. In addition, event apps can help facilitate social media engagement and networking, send targeted alerts to event goers, enhance gamification opportunities, and much more.
Event gamification, otherwise known as points, badges and leaderboard systems, can be fun and useful in providing incentives for attendees to attend conference sessions, interact with others, visit certain tradeshow booths, etc. By providing a friendly competitive environment, event gamification relies on behavioural psychology principles to energize and engage participants.
Marketers and event planners around the globe are implementing iBeacon from Apple, a wireless technology that provides location-based information and services to iOS-based devices, or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to improve attendee experience.
For example, an event organizer can use iBeacon to push out alerts about surprise guest speakers, short queues to pick up registration badges, free food vouchers, and last-minute meeting room changes. RFID wristbands can replace admission tickets and offer a new means for participants to purchase gifts, merchandise and products. Both technologies are excellent means to increase in-event revenues!
Google Glass and smart watches have the potential to facilitate attendees’ travel, appointment scheduling, menu selections, and navigation during an event.
GoPro and other similar devices can record experiences through the eyes of attendees or organizers, capturing the vibe of an event for promotion months, if not years, to come.
BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS
While mobile has gone mainstream, analytics and big data are also becoming entrenched in event planning. More and more event planners can unlock the potential of mobile apps, event platforms and the bevy of other technological innovations to easily collect valuable data. Every touch point at an event can be tracked and stored for subsequent analysis. The end result? Event organizers can better tailor their messaging, marketing and events as a whole for better performance in the future.
The list of technological advances that are changing the world of event planning is as long as it is fascinating. Other up-and-coming solutions include drones (yes, you read correctly) for promotional videos with sweeping panoramas, virtual reality for product demos, virtual event assistants and simulations of live experiences, and holograms—similar to virtual reality applications, but without the cumbersome headgear.
Sounds like stuff out of a Hollywood film? Perhaps. However, forward-thinking event planners are taking the next step to boost interactivity and engagement during events.
To start planning your meeting, contact:
Assistant Director of Sales
Québec City Business Destination
418 649-7711, ext. 4039
1 888 679-4000