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man in front of smart screen at event

The events industry, like so many others, is a dynamic landscape that constantly evolves. For instance, in the wake of the global pandemic, virtual events experienced a surge in popularity. As is often the case, technology was the driving force behind this change, and today, technology is again reshaping how corporate events are planned and executed.

Our industry thrives on innovation, and technology is rapidly transforming the events landscape. Cutting-edge solutions have revolutionized the way we conceive, organize, and experience events. From interactive engagement tools to immersive virtual experiences, event technology has become an indispensable asset for organizations seeking to leave a lasting impact on attendees.

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Why Invest in Event Technology?

Event technology encompasses all of the electronic devices, tools, and software applications that assist in the industry and provide points of data related to the attendee journey. These tools help to facilitate various event planning tasks (such as registration, check-in, and scheduling) and can also create advanced presentations, including lighting, music, and staging. In nearly any circumstance, technology has the potential to both enable and enhance an event.

However, event technology isn’t just for event planners and venues. Event guests can also have their experience elevated by utilizing technologies through apps and social media, as well as wearable tech. In the same way that technology has the power to improve our daily lives, it also has the potential to change an event, simplifying logistics and engaging guests. 

If you're not already using it to its full potential, event tech can make significant enhancements to every detail of your program. No matter what type of event you are planning – franchise events, trade shows, or incentive travel programs – all events can benefit from new innovations in technology.

How Can Tech Improve Your Event?

With new technology, organizers can gain a better understanding of what attendees want in an event and make certain programs shift in order to satisfy their audience. However, in order to meet the demands of these guests, up-to-date technology becomes vital.

In addition to assisting event planners, venues, and organizers, technology has the potential to create an even better guest experience. Event technology can:

  • Facilitate event navigation and scheduling
  • Foster a sense of community
  • Enhance the attendee experience
  • Enable networking
  • Offer personalized experiences and recommendations
  • Improve follow-up
  • Connect guests to special offers and amenities
  • Support guests with specific needs
  • Encourage and create opportunities for interactions
  • And more!

In short, staying on top of event technology has the potential to change the event experience for everyone involved.

However, there is still a balance between innovative technology and providing a human touch. While event tech can enhance some processes, that doesn’t mean that the role of an event planner becomes obsolete. One trend that remains constant year over year is the craving for personalization and human interaction, so the use of tech should never come at the expense of a personalized experience.

AI event tech

Top Seven Event Technology Trends in 2024

Given the importance of event technology, knowing what tech to utilize is vital for hosts, organizers, venues, and anyone involved in the industry.

1. Artificial Intelligence

First and foremost, AI is the star of the show, not just in events, but across virtually every industry. With generative AI, event planners can not only generate more data, but effectively analyze it and adjust event logistics as needed. 

One exciting way we’re seeing AI utilized in events is with behavioral mapping and analysis, such as the tech developed by Zenus, which uses cameras to note attendee behavior and to provide real-time updates in order to make events as seamless as possible. 

For trade shows, this technology is excellent for monitoring traffic patterns to turn spaces into highly efficient layouts that maximize movement and limit traffic congestion for both vendors and attendees. And, AI for behavioral insights can provide accurate headcounts in order to better understand attendance metrics and which sessions or booths are most popular. 

Further, the same cameras used for behavioral mapping can anonymously record dwell time and use facial analytics (not to be confused with facial recognition) to better understand anonymized attendee demographics, such as age and gender. The keyword there is “anonymized” as attendee privacy must be kept top of mind. This tool helps streamline the process of data capture, which previously relied on manual inputs from attendee registration processes. Plus, facial recognition tech helps address concerns that the Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) 2023 report highlighted regarding security at travel events. 

2. Accessibility Tools

Events should already be accessible to everyone in accordance with ADA requirements. However, accessibility goes beyond the space that you’re hosting in. In fact, now that events can be held in a hybrid manner, having an option for guests to tune in virtually means more flexibility in attendance. 

But, accessibility also goes hand-in-hand with AI. With AI and machine learning tools, you can convert key features of your event into accessible content. For instance, if there is someone in the audience who has difficulty hearing, you can provide them with AI-generated captions of the event in real time. This same process can also be used for anyone who doesn’t speak the language of the presenter by providing translations on the fly. 

Further, event tech can ensure that everyone can participate and engage in the event. With interactive features such as live polling, even those with accessibility limitations can actively participate in sessions. Thanks to AI, some of the heavy lifting of accessibility can be taken off of event organizers while still ensuring the needs of every individual in the room are met. 

3. Wearable Tech

We’ve seen the boom of the smartphone, but along with it came the introduction of smart wearable devices like Apple Watches and Fitbits. Some of the more recent iterations of these tools act like a smartphone on your wrist, including the ability to use apps and receive up-to-date notifications. 

Wearable technology is going to be a large part of events in 2024. For example, smart badges or wristbands with RFID capabilities promote seamless check-ins. And, we’ve even seen this tech use LED features to turn the audience in a large space into a part of the show or presentation – talk about an immersive experience!

And, wearable tech goes hand-in-hand with augmented reality (AR) experiences. Wearable AR glasses unlock a new way to deliver personalized and immersive presentations or exhibits. Instead of showing a new product or presentation to attendees, let them experience it themselves using wearable AR. If you’re planning on incorporating wellness activities in your event schedule as well, then you won’t want to miss out on AR and wearable fitness trackers to enhance those experiences for your guests. 

event tech for registration

4. Lead Capture Strategies

Since we’re already discussing wearable tech and event badges, let’s also talk about how lead capture is expected to change in 2024. With the current shift from cookies to gather information about attendees, event planners need to explore new ways to gather important data. Fortunately, badges and branded apps help to capture this data, which helps organizers better understand their audience and create more personalized experiences. 

For hosts and planners, branded event apps (which can even have smartwatch integrations or capabilities) are highly adaptable. They’re an excellent way to stay in contact with and update your attendees and others about changes, updates, and sessions they might be interested in. Post-event, they help you gather data for future marketing efforts and planning.

For attendees, apps create an enhanced guest experience by providing all the relevant information they need in one place. Rather than searching online, apps allow them to plan their schedule, identify vendors or sessions they don’t want to miss, utilize chatbots and additional resources, and network with others before, during, and after the event.

5. Personalization

Personalized chatbots, agendas, gifts, activities, and feedback – all are achievable with the right tech. Personalization is going to be highly emphasized at events because attendees now expect some degree of this highly touted engagement feature. Because of these expectations, event organizers are going to use AI to analyze behaviors and preferences in order to create tailored experiences. In addition, they will use post-event surveys to glean feedback, so AI algorithms can further curate personalized experiences for future programs. 

With regard to content, “personalized” now means that everything attendees are engaging with is tailored to them. From email communications to event app copy, nearly every touchpoint will have a hint of personalization that keeps attendees engaged. 

6. Event Marketing

With all of this buzz surrounding personalization and AI during events, what changes can we expect to see to get attendees through the door? We’re noticing that event attendees are registering later for events, in some cases a large number of registrations occur the week or two leading up to the event according to Boldpush, a leading event tech consultancy. This creates a challenge for event planners as they may not have an accurate understanding of capacity when planning food and beverage arrangements, transportation logistics, hotel selection, and trade show layouts.  

However, there are a few ways to combat this. With advanced marketing tools and targeting techniques, event organizers can drive demand during the early stages of planning, which helps avoid last-minute surprises. Additionally, content marketing plays a huge role in ensuring attendees are engaged with the event well before it comes around. Thanks to AI tools, event organizers can specifically target content to the right people at the right time in order to drive this engagement and boost ticket sales early. 

Speaking of ticket sales, another way to drive excitement is by using a tiered ticketing approach. In your event marketing efforts, don’t forget to mention early bird specials, VIP packages, and standard general admission tickets. This strategy helps create a sense of exclusivity and urgency that will help boost interest in your event, not to mention ticket sales. 

7. Sustainability

Focusing on environmental impact is nothing new, but it is taking center stage throughout the event industry. In fact, this is a trend that we’ve noticed to be particularly strong among younger workers who are increasingly in tune with the impacts of climate change. Millennials and Gen Z want to work for companies that prioritize sustainability and other CSR initiatives, and keeping these demographics satisfied boosts employee retention and satisfaction.

And, since technology has become a focal point in essentially every process, it makes sense for these practices to be sustainable as well. With a focus on sustainability, expect to see a transition from less paper to more screens. No more check-in sheets or flyers. Instead, with event apps guests can register or check-in anywhere. And throughout venues, you’ll find screens set up with important messages, like updated session information or schedules. 

As we continue to revisit event tech trends, we see some standard technology that we are familiar with that continues to support our efforts; however, we also see new tech and advancements in existing tech (such as AI) that promise to change the business and how we create attendee experiences.

If you wish to leverage these technologies for your next corporate event, get in touch with the Bishop-McCann team today! As experts in the field with years of experience, we can give you the guidance and advice you need to get the most out of tech while providing the best experience for your guests.Corporate Events and Technology Can Provide the Data You Need in a Cookieless World

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