Nick Vuoto is an Account Executive with Concept3D, creator of immersive online experiences with 3D modeling, interactive maps and virtual tour software. Nick specializes in supporting event and hospitality clients.
Using Technology to Make Your Events More Interactive
Trade shows, expos, fairs, fundraisers, you name it – events are changing and integrating new technologies to make the experience more engaging and interactive for participants. Event planners are working hard to improve the guest experience and make visits memorable and engaging. But time and attention are limited, and finding the right mix of tech can be a challenge.
Technology serves an important role in the success of events but must be user-friendly and complement the event’s goal. If the time and effort to use certain tools outweighs the value, it can overwhelm visitors.
Below are several examples of event technology that are becoming more prevalent and designed to help event planners, guests and vendors alike.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID can streamline previously clunky processes, like checking a bag or coat. But the fun starts with the ability to use RFID to increase interactivity and utility for guests, including a quick scan at a booth to request more information or be entered into a giveaway, among many other uses.
From event ticketing to attendee mapping, RFID technology is an event tech tool that will continue to grow and be used anywhere from music festivals to trade shows. Noodle Live, an event technology company specializing in RFID smart badge solutions, has taken RFID to the next level. The company has designed treasure hunts, personalized information points and workshop booking points, and more.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality continue to be hot, and there are a number of different applications of VR that organizers can use, from wayfinding to visitor engagement.
VR allows event attendees to be immersed in an experience, from feeling what it’s like to skydive to becoming a tree being cut down by workers to show the effects of deforestation. VR truly allows visitors to engage with an event or project.
VR is also a great tool to use for wayfinding, as many convention centers and event venues can be challenging to navigate. Having virtual tours of an event space allows visitors to get a better idea of what the campus looks like before arriving.
AR can also engage users with only their phones. Having stations set up throughout an event incorporating AR can allow visitors to simply hold up their smartphone over an image on the wall and be transported into an engaging experience.
While VR and AR have vast and complicated uses, there are applications of these tools that are easy and fun for event planners to implement.
Drones may be a more controversial piece of technology, but that isn’t stopping the use of commercial drones, especially in events. The FAA predicts the commercial drone market will triple over the next five years, hitting 835,000 drones by 2023.
Drones can take amazing aerial photos and videos during an event for social media and real-time engagement, as well as capturing footage of set up before the event to start creating buzz.
Apart from creating or capturing the event experience, drones can assist in event security and surveillance of events so event planners can quickly identify anything that might be out of place or could pose a danger to attendees. Additionally, drones can be used for logistical monitoring, such as parking lot traffic or the flow of people.
Mobile Event Apps
Event apps are effective and many event planners are making the most of apps so attendees can experience events from anywhere. Apps can offers schedules, speaker profiles, networking event info, navigation tools and much more.
App developers are working on integrating new technology like VR and AR to make events more interactive. One example is creating an AI scavenger hunt feature for attendees to explore the event venue. Apps can also be integrated with push notifications or live wayfinding so attendees can be alerted when a meeting is starting and provide directions to the location.
Integrating different forms of technology into your event can enhance the visitor experience. But when planning an event, make sure to balance the tech you use so those tools add to the experience rather than distract from it.