Technology changes with the times and both are changing fast. With the price structure of event tech going down as the tech gets smarter, event planners can take advantage of new technology to rock 2020’s event season. But with all the new innovation, it’s also never been easier to fall behind, missing critical event tech trends.
What’s in store for event industry tech? Here are 4 key tech trends to watch for.
Radio Makes a Comeback
Radio was huge and the 1920’s and it’s poised to be huge in the 2020s, too. Event planning is being revolutionized by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), automating and personalizing events, while providing brilliant insight into attendee activity.
RFID proximity devices provide insight into where event-goers are in your event and what they do. These devices can be card readers, badges, wristbands, small keychains—the important thing is that they’re cheap, simple, and have radio capacity. These proximity devices let you know where attendees are whenever the device is signaled, and many can even offer the same capability to attendees, allowing parties to find each other easily. Some of these devices can even point out key attractions to attendees. This RFID tech lets you see where attendees go, how long they stay, and which products and features they engage with at the event—all critical data. Even better? Rather than being limited to data after the event, RFID presents data in real-time, giving event planners a better understanding of the event during the event. This is invaluable for making changes on the fly and spotting problems attendees may have with the event.
RFID tech also streamlines events, allowing for cashless payments and confirmations with just the tap of a wristband. RFID can allow for personalized event access, VIP’s getting an extra special experience, their RFID devices enabling early access, discounts, reminders, and special attractions. RFID seems to be a leap forward for event planners and attendees because it’s so simple, streamlining everything from security to check-in.
If you’re looking to further streamline your ticketing and event-planning process, consider a white label solution. If you find RFID is still too expensive for your event budget needs, QR codes, while simple, has most of the same capacity. Ask us about its white glove service opportunities to simplify your needs and budget. Sparxo is an all-in effective if your tickets are also sold directly from your site, allowing for direct conversions, aggregating all your data in one place. You can use Sparxo to post your event description and sell tickets for your event directly from your website with no redirects – all for free! Sparxo lets you:
- aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand
Robots Find Your Venue
Robots are dominating 2020’s RFP game. A Request For Proposal (RFP) is a request that event planners send to suppliers, usually potential venues. In plain English, it’s how event planners ask for a venue. According to a Cvent Global Planner Sourcing Report, only 16% of event planners said they are “certain of their venue” when they begin the process of sourcing a venue. Going into 2020, event venue finders and RFP tools have been combined into automated event venue sourcing tools, streamlining the process for event planners. These tools will present you with hundreds of thousands of event venues, complete with blueprints and full specs. Once you’ve found a few venues that work, event sourcing tools send the venue manager a tested RFP, improving your odds of landing your dream venue.
Venue sourcing technology is not quite ready to cut out the human middle man—a human touch is still important for best results. You may want to further personalize some of your RFP’s, stressing special features of your event or some unusual venue feature you need. Also consider sending your RFPs out when people actually check their emails. Mornings on weekdays have much higher open rates than late Fridays or weekends. Many of these Event Sourcing tools can even do it for you, but it’s something to always be thoughtful of. Make sure your RFP asks for cost and DDR (Day Delegate Rate), as automation tools can compare these to final you the best rates.
Slow internet seems to be the bane of every event ever. Again and again, attendees report issues accessing and staying connected to event wifi, struggling to download key event information and media. But what if we told you internet connection could not only get much faster but also become one the most powerful tool for event planners’ analytics?
Enter, 5G. While 4G LTE ran 100 megabits per second at top speed, 5G runs 10 gigabits per second. 5G is 100 times faster than most attendees’ current 4G devices! This will make so many event technical difficulties a thing of the past. There always seems to be a handful of attendees who can’t access online event programming, left out of downloadable videos or photo sharing, or even big tech demonstrations like 3d, artificial reality, and virtual reality. The fear of these new technologies being glacially slow and crashing made event planners… cautious, to put it kindly. But 5g speeds make these fears a thing of the past, potentially turning more complex event tech from a risky fad to key feature.
Internet isn’t just getting faster, it’s getting smarter. 2020’s Wifi can give event planners key data and insight, from the sorts of technology attendees use to their demographics. Wifi will likely only get better at collecting information, able to offer key insight into how your attendees engage with your event, what they enjoy doing, and even what problems they need solving. The analytics of modern wifi gather incredibly useful data on attendees, data that can impress sponsors and help you improve. Before your event, ask your Wifi provider what data you can collect, potentially turning that knowledge into power with sponsors and future event planning.
Artificial Intelligence Gets Less Artificial
As the demand for artificial intelligence is higher, the bar is higher, too. According to a Nielsen study, 24% of American households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home’s speaker. Many of your attendees will own voice assistants, and they’ve come accustomed to a smooth, smart experience. A responsive FAQ is no longer enough—as AI grows in its capabilities, so will event planners.
Chatbots are an incredible way to automate customer service with AI, streamlining the process for both event attendees and planners. Attendees tend to have the same or similar questions. They want answers as fast as possible, and a robot operating at 10 gigabits per second is more qualified for that job than human event planners and staff. Event planners can use
But moving into 2020, artificial intelligence has the potential to make attendee experience less artificial and more human, personalizing the event. Some AI technologies can collect data from attendee social media and web activity, and then provide them event recommendations based on those preferences with shocking accuracy. This could potentially be used for smarter networking and meet-and-greets, artificial intelligence suggesting attendees other attendees with similar interests. AI itself could also connect with attendees on a more human level going into 2020. Smart AI like Neon’s Spectra is being put to use at events, artificial intelligence with more fluid communication styles, including friendly voices and faces to make the experience as human as possible. This new AI with a focus on human touch could very well be the next big thing in the events space. At the very least, it’ll be an improvement from finicky FAQ bots. There’s no Nielsen data on chatbots attendees want to strangle, but we’ve all thought about it.