Technology is constantly evolving. And with a current emphasis on safety and contactless encounters, the meetings and events industry has become more reliant on it. A permanent state of iteration paired with this new dependency equals new and ever-changing trends. In this article, we share technology trends centered around three important categories in the industry: safety, accessibility and immersive experiences.
Top tech trends that will improve
your corporate meetings and events
When it comes to the relationship between technology and events, one thing remains the same: technology underpins how your audience engages with your event at every step of the way. This has proven even more imperative when it comes to virtual and hybrid experiences. With a limit on human connection, technology helps to enhance the attendee's experience and create the impact necessary to deem your event a success. Technology also provides the ability to mine the data collected in order to continue designing more impactful events that truly motivate and resonate.
Technology for safe events
Staying safe and healthy has always been top of mind for attendees, but especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Identify practices that make attendees feel confident that attending your event will not jeopardize their health.
Pre-event registration prevents unnecessary person-to-person contact onsite, and also helps event planners prepare. Make in-person registrations contactless by using QR codes to help attendees register safely from their phone. Within the registration form, you can share health tips and any requirements such as mask use, health screening, or distancing protocols. Attendees can get all of the information they need by simply scanning a QR code so make sure all event and exhibitor information is available digitally.
Using digital passports allow attendings to share their vaccination status or test results prior to the event. This helps event planners anticipate the amount of on-site testing needed. Today's solutions range from daily health surveys to on-site temperature checking and contactless tracing to validating health statuses through lab integrations.
Be on the lookout for: Robotics
Robots can add an interactive element while still being contactless. And vending machine technology can create engaging food and beverage experiences while still remaining contactless.
Technology to ensure accessibility
Whether global, remote or, special needs, technology can ensure your events are accessible to all attendees.
Adding a live interpretation feature to your event's mobile app and virtual sessions allows all attendees - sitting in a ballroom or watching from their home office - to hear your message in their preferred language. For virtual content, consider adding live captions for attendees who are hard of hearing or subtitles for multiple languages. ASL interpreters can be easily incorporated into a virtual event too.
No matter how well you plan, some attendees just won't be able to travel in-person, but that doesn't mean they need to miss out. Including a broadcasting stream to reach a larger virtual audience and offer on-demand content for later consumption. Additionally, since travel restrictions vary by country, virtual events make it possible to create regional hubs where local attendees can gather and watch a real-time broadcast of the main event.
Applications have become a no-brainer when it comes to the meetings and event industry. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of apps in the event space each offering customizable solutions for any type of event. Mobile apps are critical for keeping attendees connected while they're socially distanced, and QR codes are an easy way to share information in a contactless way. Be sure you have a great mobile app for your event so every attendee can still interact with their global colleagues and have event details at their fingertips.
Be on the lookout for: AI Captions
Amped-up live caption options powered by AI can provide real-time captions in multiple languages.
Attendees crave new experiences, especially after a year of being stuck at home. Use technology to immerse your audience in the event with games, virtual reality and wearable tech.
This technology has been at the fingertips of consumers for years through voice activation and ridesharing applications. More recently, it has become a tool that event stakeholders are including as part of their event technology solutions for customers. AI has enhanced the personalization of the attendee experience with more meaningful interactions and is now being used as a matching engine to pair attendees with activities and experiences that align with their own interests and goals for the event.
In virtual formats, AI has become no less important of a tool for planners and participants alike. Not only can AI lend a helping hand when planning meetings, but leveraging AI for virtual meetings has the potential to make them more efficient, productive, and intuitive. This technology can help streamline tasks like joining a meeting or adding people to calls. During meetings it can automatically mute disruptive background noise to keep audio clean, leverage facial recognition to help you easily identify new faces on a screen, and keep detailed information on participants to help facilitate smoother human interaction.
This technology overlays a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, creating an enhanced reality. Event professionals have been implementing AR into their events to improve event engagement within product demonstrations. With AR, attendees can interact with new products in ways that create an emotional connection with the experience. To change a user’s perspective on a product at a trade show, AR could allow an attendee to see how it works from the inside out. Or, it could compare the product to different models highlighting the unique differentiators.
AR has been adapted to virtual and hybrid events to immerse attendees in their home environments and create a more accessible, immersive and interactive experience. AR events can be created from home by triggering experiences from a mobile phone, tablet, or VR headset sent to participants at their remote locations. The accessibility of AR allows for a wide range of possibilities to engage attendees including creating entire tradeshow booths from home, showcasing new products and services, or integrating gamification and virtual training features to significantly increase audience engagement.
In addition to making event experiences more accessible, AR utilized in virtual environments also opens the door to gaining key insights into your event and attendees through accurate data and analytical reporting. Whether you are trying to gauge progress on training or engagement with a new product that’s launching, AR experiences can often have analytics embedded in the experience to expertly track your attendees' experience.
Be on the lookout for: The Metaverse
On the virtual tech horizon is the “metaverse.” Not unlike Marvel’s “multiverse,” it describes multiple worlds with multiple (virtual) versions of attendees. High tech companies are diving in headfirst (Facebook changed its name to “Meta”), and it might not be too long before meetings and events take place in the metaverse. What is the metaverse, and how can you prepare for success?
The metaverse is a shared virtual world. You can enter anytime, interact with people’s avatars, and even buy things. Think of it as an evolution of the internet – soon, it will be just as critical to have a virtual shop as it will be to have a website. Platforms like 6Connex and On24 are already expanding into 3D event spaces where attendees can watch a keynote speaker and then network with other avatars. The metaverse provides endless environments to bring together your team in a fun, engaging way. Even in-person events can benefit from the metaverse. Imagine sitting in a hotel lounge, putting on a VR headset, and chatting with your colleague in India.
Experts recommend getting comfortable with new technology and being agile as the landscape shifts. The virtual environment is incredibly visual, so event planners should reimagine their content in a 3D environment and ensure it works well across multiple virtual arenas. Keep an eye on this important trend as it evolves over the next few years.
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