Tim Sutter, Cvent’s regional business development manager, made his predictions on the future of event technology while reflecting on past equipment and services during Confex North.
Describing technology as “everchanging”, Tim presented the lifecycle of an event as having three stages: pre-event, travelling to the event, and “the last mile”. Each of these stages requires technology to market the event, enhance audience experience or create more efficiency.
Not too long ago, we were talking into hefty mobiles and owned computers the size of the average kitchen appliance. Now, everything we need to be connected to the digital world can fit in our back pockets.
“It is important to acknowledge the past in order to predict the future.”
It is fair to say that technology has altered every aspect of our events: from the way our audiences are hearing about, and engaging with, our events, to how they are consuming our content and issuing feedback.
Emails, social media posts, Google Ads and YouTube videos are go-to advertising techniques for many organisers. Fliers, brochures and newspaper adverts, though useful in days gone by, are now less efficient and more costly than their digital counterparts.
Sutter predicted that present technological trials and developments may also introduce the holographic invitation.
Experiencing the event
Pre-printed badges laid out on a table is enough to make any GDPR officer tear up. When done correctly, online registration and check-ins not only comply with new regulations but also streamlines the whole check-in process.
Multi-channel headsets, live translations and beacons are commonly utilised to improve experiences at events. They demonstrate technology utilised to maximise sessions, provide essential services and enhance audience-experience.
At some festivals, it is usual to find airport-style scans to diminish the need for bag checks. Using this technology for this purpose improves security and significantly reduces queue times, allowing fans to approach bars and food vendors more quickly. Additionally, festival-goers’ first impressions of the event are greatly improved which generates a more positive atmosphere.
The last mile
Sutter explored the advancements such as the UberPool to benefit events, stating that organisers could come to level some control over which of their delegates meet. Predetermining who shares an Uber on the way to or from an event could put organisers’ biggest clients in the same car as their biggest prospects.
Not only does this offer yet another marketing tool, but it also slashes costs for the organiser too!
Looking to the future
Sutter explored tech currently being trialled, such as the hypersonic flight from Boeing and Aerion, set to take to the skies in 2023, that would allow delegates from across the Atlantic to attend events while enduring a fraction of the travel time.
Augmented reality, remote attendees and HumaGrams are other examples of technologies that could, in the near future, become part and parcel of organising live events.