Event tech trends are evolving faster than ever before. We are seeing giant leaps forward in technology. These giant leaps forward impact and shape the way we execute and plan events. The event tech trends we are listing today are being used everywhere at events and behind the scenes in planning.
Below you can watch Will Curran of Endless Events, Alex Plaxen of Little Bird Told Media talk all about their favorite 2019 Event Tech Trends at GOWEST. Joining them are Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey of Pathable, and Chuck Alias of Eventbots. We will expand on each of these 2019 event tech trends and how you can implement them in more detail in the article below but you can’t miss this presentation!
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Artificial Intelligence (AI)
We have seen AI on countless event trends lists by now, so why is it a 2019 event tech trend? We believe while it has been trending for many years it is an ever-evolving trend. When you think of AI you immediately think of physical robots who are capable of thinking and learning. We think about the robots we saw at CES this year like Sophia, the humanoid robot who can express feelings and even has a sense of humor. However, this bleeding edge technology in AI is not quite ready for mainstream use yet. It will be years until we see these types of AI at events.
In reality currently, AI at events is mostly just programmed answers in technology such as chatbots and some event apps. We don’t see these robots of the future walking around passing out drinks or registering attendees just yet. However, it could shape up to be an interesting future with the way AI is evolving!
Saves Planners Time
Time and time again event profs have found themselves on the list for most stressful jobs. In fact, CareerCast listed Event Coordinators as the 5th most stressful jobs of 2018. Event Coordinators were right up there with military personnel, police, and firefighters in terms of stress. Part of this is because event profs are stressed for resources. There is always a lot to do but never enough time. Often eventprofs feel as though they are running against the clock. However, thanks to recent developments in technology, event automation can help both event profs in the planning and execution of events and attendees have the best event experience possible. In fact, event technology can not only reduce stress but increase planners’ productivity by 27%. That is huge!
Event automation allows eventprofs to automate tasks, create workflows, cut costs. Automation can even measure the success of event activities and marketing efforts. By setting up event automation you can set and forget tasks allowing you to focus your talents and time elsewhere.
Creates Custom Attendees Experiences
And that’s not all event automation does! It also gives planners the ability to create personalized experiences for attendees sending attendees information tailored to what they are interested in. It could also help prevent attendees from getting slammed with information overload. Have you ever got an event email with everything you need to know in one giant email? That can feel like too much at once. Instead, eventprofs can use event automation to create email drip campaigns that slowly drip information out to attendees into smaller more digestible emails!
In summary, chatbots are a conversational tool that automates a chat-driven process. Their primary function is to give consistent responses to questions via programming. The programming works by implementing 2 key components the template and the library. The template consists of the questions and the library. The questions are what you can ask the chatbot, the library holds all the answers programmed for the chatbot to respond back. More than likely you interact with chatbots on a day to day basis, for example, the little boxes which pop up on a website asking ”How can I help you?”.
There are many benefits to using chatbots.
Can Be Used At Any Size Event
They work for virtually any type and any size event. Whether it’s a 4-day conference, a music festival with 100k attendees or 10 person leaders retreats, a chatbot will benefit your event.
Can Alleviate Overwhelmed Staff
Chatbots can answer most popular questions taking some of the work load off of event staff. They also greatly improve communication allowing attendees to get information 24/7 instantly and in a world of instant gratification, the ability to immediately assist is what really cements chatbots as a new wave of communication in event support.
Chatbots Can Be Used on Many Platforms
One of the best parts about chatbots is you can use almost any channel from text messaging to social channels like Facebook Messenger, and websites allowing the attending decide where and how to use them. This puts chatbots at an advantage over event apps when it comes to getting attendees information as they don’t need to download another app just to get event info. Furthermore, ff your chatbot is using SMS to get messages out there is a great chance your notifications will be seen. VoiceSage reported 90% of SMS messages are read in the first 3 minutes of receiving, and 82% of people say they open every text message they receive. With compelling statistics like that, SMS chatbots could be a godsend when it comes to sending out emergency notifications or schedule changes as it’s very likely your attendees will see and respond to your notifications.
Accessibility at events has always seemed like an afterthought in event planning but that’s a big mistake. About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. With these numbers in mind, it’s no surprise planners are starting to put more focus on how to make their events more accessible so that events are inclusive and welcoming to every attendee.
Often when you think of accessibility you think about physical modifications like ramps and elevators, but accessibility stretches far beyond that. When planning events you need to think about providing all types of accessibility. So how does tech play into this? Assistive technology. The use of according to ATiA ,“Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.” We are seeing the use of assistive tech help make strides in improving accessibility at events in the form of 360 audio (spatial audio), video captioning, and even VR.
Google is Leading the Way
“Using an HTC Vive, we built a prototype of a 1:1 scale virtual room, recorded the name of every object in the room, and linked these audio labels to the individual objects—including the floor, walls and other features. Then, we made the user’s field of vision entirely black to simulate complete blindness. To enable navigation in the pitch-black room, we created a 3D audio laser system that includes a laser pointer extending from the Vive controller to select and play the audio labels, and an audio location control (touchpad click) to provide distance and direction to the last object aimed at by the laser pointer.
When a person aims the laser pointer at a virtual object and selects the audio location control, the VR system plays a short impulse response tone at location of the controller. Then the sound is played a few more times as it quickly progresses to the location of the virtual object. Because all audio is processed using the Google VR Spatial Audio plugin, each tone provides enough information to understand distance and relative location of the object in the virtual space.” Google
We can see this specific technology being used at events to guide attendees through show floors and exhibits creating an inclusive experience allowing attendees to be fully aware of their surroundings even when they cannot see.
It’s important to note some of this technology is only at its start. Assistive tech still needs to make a lot of progress before it can be implemented at events. With a growing need for accessibility, it will happen. Technology will provide real solutions to accessibility so that all attendees can feel included in event experiences.
Hybrid events are events such as conferences and meetings that have both a physical event and a remote component where attendees can be a part of the event virtually. These events are quickly gaining traction. Each year we are seeing more and more events that happen concurrently in person and live streamed to virtual attendees.
Can Increase Live Attendance
However, this trend is met with a bit of reservation. It’s a common misconception that having a hybrid event will make your in-person attendance decrease, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Having a hybrid event will not make your in-person attendees go-down, it will actually raise in-person attendance the following year! Digitell found that 30% of people who attended a live streamed event attended the live physical event the following year. Think about it, it costs a lot of money to go to large events from travel to event tickets, and before investing in it people want a taste! They want to make sure the investment will be worth it for them, and hybrid events are a way to give them that peace of mind.
If you are still leery, don’t fret! You don’t have to give away your entire event, in fact, we recommend making sure you have some sessions and content that are exclusive to the live event to incentivize in-person attendance. But! Give attendees a preview, let them have a taste, just make sure they have a reason to come for more!
Hybrid Events Work With Any Budget
A hybrid event work with any budget. You can live stream free to social media even with a smartphone, but if you really want to impress your virtual audience you will need to up to production value with professional live steam. This will give you professional quality videos, interesting angles, better audio, an all-around superior quality. If you are serious about creating engaging content, we highly suggest hiring an AV company. They will have the best equipment like microphones, multiple cameras, and allow you to produce the best possible quality. A bonus to this is you will have high-quality content you can repurpose it for event marketing efforts. For more information on living streaming at events check out our Whiteboard Wednesday, How to Live Stream Your Event where we cover the best ways to live stream your event from DIY to professional services!
Long Term Engagement
Everyone always talks about audience engagement at your event. This shouldn’t come as a shock, the last thing you want at your event is the audience sleeping. But ensuring onsite engagement isn’t enough for a great event. For a truly remarkable event, you need to keep your attendees interested engaged before during and after the event. Leveraging technology is a great way to keep engagement high!
Before your event
Before your event, you need to create a buzz! Get everyone talking about your event and make them feel FOMO. To do this create early bird incentives, make teasers from keynote speakers, and show glimpses into the behind-the-scenes planning. Another great way to build excitement is to promote the highlight reel from last years event (repurpose that content from last years live-stream!). All of these tactics work well to engage your audience and get them excited for your upcoming event. You want to build anticipation and excitement right up to the live event!
During your event
At your event, it’s not enough anymore to just add in some polling for audience engagement. Attendees want amazing experiences! Create shareable experiences like photobooths, encourage the use of event hashtags, pull video clips and quotes to share from your speakers and post them all over social media, encourage speakers to use live polling and q&a, and think beyond a boring powerpoint to create engaging presentations (we love seeing video!), be sure to give your audience a glimpse behind the scenes of your event too. All of these options will keep the buzz going throughout the event.
After your event
You aren’t done yet! Be sure to share the best moments from your event, create a recap video for attendees. Be sure to send out surveys asking attendees how you did. Use that feedback to improve the next year’s event. Most importantly sincerely thank your attendees, your vendors and any partners involved in your event.
If the tools and software you use when planning events don’t integrate you’re wasting time entering the same information over and over. You’re a busy eventprof and you don’t have time for that! Make sure all the platforms you use during event planning integrate well. This is going to save you so many headaches by providing you a more streamlined process.
When you are looking for software that integrates, we aren’t just talking about platforms designed specifically for events. Think about all the programs you use daily that are an essential part of running your business, those too ideally should integrate. This could include your CRM, company chat such as Slack, and an event software like Bizzabo. It can also include project management tools like Trello and more. When choosing platforms always check into integration, nothing is more frustrating than when two platforms do not play well together. Everything should come together and work seamlessly to make your planning process easier.
It is no secret we love video content here at Endless! Video is an extremely powerful event tech trend you can leverage for your business and events. Why so powerful? Video is the most observed content on the internet. Youtube has over a billion users, that is over ⅓ of the internet. On top of that, over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every single day. And according to Optinmonster.com, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.
So to state the obvious, you need to be creating video content for your events! Video content works well for any size or type of event. You should be creating video content for before, during and after your event to really maximize the effectiveness. Videos can spark excitement for your event, lead to more sales and better engagement.
Ways to Use Video Content
There are many great ways to incorporate video at conferences and events from behind the scenes videos, sneak peeks into your events, introduction videos, countdown videos, recap videos and so much more. Like live streaming it’s likely you have the tools to get started right in your hand, and you can scale up depending on what you need!
Always be sure to talk to your AV company when implementing video. You want to ensure you are creating content in the right format for the screens being used at your event! Nothing is worse than spending hours on a presentation only to find out it doesn’t fit the screen. Even worse, the format cannot be opened on the event computers. If you want to make sure you have flawless events and presentations check out our free webinar, .
So there you have it, our top 2019 event tech trends. These trends will certainly take over events this year and we can’t wait to see how they are used. And while these are great, it’s just like anything else in the events world only use them if they fit your event’s purpose. What is the point of a trend for trend’s sake? Make sure the trends you choose benefit your cause.
Do you agree with these trends? Think there are more? We want to know what you think will be the big 2019 event tech trends? Comment below and let us know!