As we count down to 2020, it’s time to explore technology trends that will shape the future of live meetings and events.
Fact: Live events are here to stay. People love to network and learn with their peers in a live setting.
The exciting part? For audiences, next year's event tech innovations will make their experience even more rich. For event planners and stakeholders, it will make events more impactful and effective than ever.
But watch out: Not all innovation is good innovation (at least, it may not be good for you). Gaining clarity on what’s coming will help your organization make informed choices on what to adopt, what to tweak, and what to leave behind.
So, what are the hot trends coming in 2020? Let’s dive in:
To begin with, there are two kinds of technology tools for live events: Those that improve participant experience and those that enhance content. The best of these tools bring people together, merging the content and the experience with the kinetic energy of the crowd.
There is no excuse for slow or glitchy internet, and the savvy attendee won’t tolerate it if there is. The coming year will see the increased expansion of 5G adoption and implementation, ensuring that even the most remote events will have a superior Wi-Fi capabilities.
What does this mean for the event industry? Read more on the subject here.
Have you ever wanted to outsource the drudgery of your event to someone other than the unwitting intern? The future is no longer just for the Jetsons with companies like Service Robots bringing quirky innovation to your events that delivers real results.
From reception, to advertising, to entertainment, Service Robots offers diverse options for specific goals. The Roaming Robot can be programmed to recognize faces, take pictures, and print or send them on demand. Proprietary software enables these robots to interact with guests and facilitate personalized surveys throughout the event. Beyond the innovative functionality, Service Robots create excitement and add personality to potentially dry aspects of your live meeting.
Hotels like The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas and the Clarion Hotel in Amsterdam already employ VIP virtual hosts and chatbot butlers to assist guests with cab hailing, dining recommendations, and other hotel related options. Live events can follow suit with helpful robots who ease the entire attendee interface. Ultimately, robots and other forms of AI (Artificial Intelligence) catalyze the opportunity to provide a level of personalization at events that attendees are coming to expect and rely on for an optimal experience.
Like robots, chatbots are the digital equivalent to an all-knowing, helpful human. Essentially a conversational form of software, Chatbots can assist attendees with conference questions, logistics assistance, and general insight. They offer information that can enhance the power of the meeting by removing barriers of misinformation.
Are you intrigued by chatbots but don’t know where to begin? Check out this in-depth exploration of what services they can provide and what options exist in today’s market.
Better Business Cards
Anyone who has ever attended an event knows the necessary evil of business cards. They require manual effort to store and save and are all too easily misplaced. The best innovators of the better business card are looking to digital solutions to streamline the process. Deets hopes to make physical cards obsolete. It allows users to create a unique, custom digital card that can be swapped with other attendees with the tap of your phone.
The magnitude of the business card problem invites a deep field of competitors, check out the full list of leaders here.
Beyond being a neighborhood nuisance, drones can be quite useful in the context of a live meeting, and the FAA reports that over 7 million will take flight across the United States by next year. According to Hubb, while the flash of drone novelty may have worn off, they can still bring functionality as mobile hotspots for improved internet speed at conferences and events. As event security becomes an increased priority, drones can also be a strategic addition with mounted cameras and aerial monitoring that can identify suspicious activity or security violations.
In-App Engagement Technology
Event apps are fantastic tools to enhance your audience's experience. Where do they fall short? In-room engagement. Most event apps are built for registration, networking, synching sessions with participants' calendars, and navigating exhibits. When it comes to engagement with presenters, slides and content, most are clunky and tough to navigate.
In-app engagement technologies like Array Mobile bridge the gap of in-room engagement. Simple to use, audience members can navigate and interact with slides in real-time. They can answer polls and surveys, ask questions, take notes and save slides, all from within their event app. These technologies are available as a plug-in with any app, making them extremely versatile and cost-effective.
Meeting Data and Analytics
Access to more audience information allows meeting organizers to plan better events. While this aspect of live meeting technology is often unseen, it is one of the most important components to a successful event.
Platforms like Educational Measures’ Array Hub™ paired with interactive meeting technology, allow you to track, measure, and quantify audience engagement with the material being presented. There’s no doubt that creating content is expensive and time consuming. Knowing what kind of interaction and impact topics and presenters are having with the audience can provide event planners and organizers with a distinct advantage.
By leveraging meeting data and analytics, organizers can pivot in real-time to make their current meetings more dynamic. They can gain insights to plan improved, future meetings tailored to specific needs and preferences of their audience. Planners and organizers can even use the insights to create more targeted follow-up for individuals. By consolidating and analyzing relevant engagement data, organizations can distill actionable steps that drive true ROI.
Video & Social Media Integration
Broadcasting live events (or portions of them) is nothing new, but with immersive experience tools like Snapchat Spectacles, it can take on fresh capabilities and the ability to expand beyond the physical confines of the live meeting space. Similarly, video is the hottest item on the internet and accounts for 82% of web traffic. Paired with VR and gaming capabilities, event organizers cannot afford to overlook this trendy, but likely enduring, aspect of audience interest.
Looking for more disruption? Check out CWT Meeting & Events’ guide of 2019 takeaways and recommendations. Want to hear what 27 industry experts have to say about the emerging trends in the live meeting space? Strategic Meetings & Events pulled together their thoughts here. Hungry for even more information? Check out Event Manager Blog’s “Top 100 Trends” for conferences.
With the technology explosion of recent years, industry leaders are also seeing an emerging awareness of simplicity and a return to basics. If new tools simply create more confusion, then no amount of flash can justify the headache. Good technology transcends trends and delivers true ROI for your event.
Before you blink, 2020 will be here. As you adopt new technologies to enhance your meetings and events, key your eye on your event goals and be sure to choose the right tools to further your goals and truly connect with your audience.
Ready to take a deeper dive? Check out the 2020 Meeting Technology Buyer's Guide.
Want to explore how Educational Measures Array®, Array Hub™, and Array Mobile can engage your audience and amplify the impact of your next event? Contact us here.