Monday, May 8, 2017

Technology Is The Key Driver Today

Like anything else, event planning too needs proper planning and execution. And Bringing in their experts, event managers work day and night in order to deliver a successful event. An event manager has to get into the client’s shoes in order to understand the requirements -from budgeting, accommodation, planning food, selection of venues, acquiring permits, arranging entertainment as per the selection of theme, managing risk and developing a contingency plan.

Technology, in terms of event management, has become more important than ever. From ticketing systems, to tools to measure ROI, User friendly applications etc have streamlined and consolidated our meeting systems, making it this age in which we live is one of innovation through automation in all business fields.

Social media engagement has resulted in events playing a bigger brand extension role. Where previously, many events were observed as standalone activities, they now serve a greater purpose – as conversation starters on social media, lead generators for businesses, data mining tools for CRM, experience centers for brands and engagement hubs for sponsors.

The American Express Meetings & Events surveyed 366 meeting planners and 160 attendees in the first quarter of 2016. The survey shows that 67% of organizers and 55% of participants consider mobile applications in connection with the event as the important factor in crowd engagement and interactive engagement in the event.

There are the 5 most important event technology trends that have a significant effect on the event planning industry:

1.   Live Streaming:  the idea of live streaming is becoming more popular and mainstream by the day as access to the technology has become widely available to anyone. Organizers see free live streaming technology as an opportunity to build FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that will help to build their overall audience and ultimately lead to growth and stronger ticket sales in the long term.
2.   RFID:  RFID technology continues to evolve and offer a wealth of opportunities to organisers. It is a technology that “offers advantages over manual systems or use of bar codes. The tag can be read if passed near a reader, even if it is covered by the object or not visible. The tag can be read inside a case, carton, box or other container, and unlike barcodes. With the reduction in cost of using RFID and increase in reliability, this is fast becoming a favourite way for organisers and exhibitors to interact with attendees and pass information.  
3.   Multi-Use AppsEvent apps have taken the industry by storm in the last few years. Gone are the days where bulky, paper event guides are thrust at attendees to explain different activities, break down the event schedule, and give speaker information. Instead, event apps have incorporated all these aspects, while simultaneously giving attendees access to a committed back channel where they can socialize with other participants, and expand their network, before, during and after an event.
4.   Virtual Reality (VR) :Virtual Reality is another relatively new form of technology that can change the future of events. Virtual information booths are a new trend at meetings and conferences. VR is a great way to disseminate specific booth information to attendees and engagement during events.
5.   Wearable TechnologyWearable tech is now, arguably, mainstream.  They are the smart electronic devices that can be worn on the body as implant or accessories which provide the user access to information in real time, such as biofeedback and tracking of physiological functions.

The levelling effect of technology will see more people experienced in managing events and, events becoming easier to manage .The audience are no longer observers. They are active participants shaping the success of the event – in real-time.

Sakshi Vig
Faculty, INLEAD

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