Recently the Old Truman Brewery in London hosted Europe’s only free to attend dedicated event tech show focussing on the increasing demands for technology within the event industry.
There was a common theme at the event that revolved around engagement via social media combined with various elements of technology to deliver interactive experiences such as TweetWall Pro or gain visitor intelligence via N200 for example.
Interestingly Bizzabo integrates social media to build highly-interactive event communities, helping organizers, sponsors and exhibitors to engage directly with guests and seek out those meaningful new business opportunities.
It should be of little surprise in these customer centric dominated times that businesses are rapidly understanding the best way of promoting events or anything is via their own audience and their authentic trusted voice rather than the traditional marketing messages that clog up our inbox and head straight to deleted items.
CEO of GleanIn Tamar Beck spoke of how the exhibitors themselves have a direct relationship with their customers and attendees of events, unlike the organisers or venue itself during a panel discussion on using technology to drive ROI and engagement at exhibitions, and went on to say how the use of Twitter/Linkedin should be encouraged by all exhibitors to spread the word of an event to increase pre registrations and attendance of events.
There was also an increasing awareness surrounding ‘mobile app fatigue’ as 49% of apps are now apparently dumped within 2 weeks if they are of no further use to our everyday lives as people no longer want to download apps that will only clutter up their phone.
The event also featured an incredible amount of knowledge from guest keynote speakers such as Julius Solaris who fascinated crowds covering different aspects of technology at events.
Personalisation of Events
Users want to personalise their experience and know in advance which speakers or exhibitors that they want to see and exhibitions need to adapt the need of their audience by allowing users to personalise the event they are attending and be provided information and push messages to them that are relevant to them to create a unique visitor experience.
The current format often feels somewhat disjointed with information in various places such as emails, event apps, and guidebooks. People want all the information that they require edited to their interests one place with no clutter.
Exhibitors currently spend large sums of money on printed material to promote their product at trade events. However they are often discarded before reaching the car park which has long presented exhibitors with an expensive challenge.
Step forward Konduko who offers exhibitors an opportunity to track customer preferences, increase sales and reduce costs, whilst also providing visitors with a unique experience at trade shows and exhibitions where connectivity is highly problematic.
Location, Location, Location
Location tracking and marketing via ibeacons feels like the current flavour of the month with a myriad of options to track everyone from customers to staff.
Location based technology is being promoted at being able to help with everything from staff management and marketing. For example if a particular bar has very busy queues at an event where as another has much fewer customers, you could push a message to people in a particular area such as the smoking area with an offer of where to get a beer where there are no queues to increase revenue.
The most popular panel session of the day was the open discussion on the use of social media at events where the effortlessly cool Saul Leese pointed out that we should expect the capture of data and the rules/legislation to change dramatically over the next 5-10 years.
Currently it is not clear who owns much of the data that is being captured, this is prompting many companies to be caught in a California gold rush of sorts who are attempting to capture as much personal data as possible before the increasing concern of privacy prompts tougher regulation of this area.
Although Event Tech Live is a relatively small show, there is a strong realisation of how the industry is going through a transitional phase at the moment and they need to quickly adapt to customer behaviours which has resulted in a growing number of start-ups trying to fill this need.
However, it feels that this technology in some instances is very much in its infancy and much more like a Beta phase as a few of the demo’s had problems which magnified their reliance on a stable internet connection.
You cannot help but think that more budding entrepreneurs should look at a problem, followed by a solution and finally how technology can achieve that, rather than the complete opposite but maybe that’s just my over analytical IT side.
There is no denying the increasing demands for technology within the event industry and it will be fascinating to see how this world evolves.