With each passing year, technology at events becomes increasingly innovative and necessary. It would be difficult to find a single event in 2016 that did not have some element of technology, whether it be virtual tickets or even a simple tweet. As technology expectations grow, events must adapt to evolve into sophisticated and modern experiences. With 2017 on the horizon, event tech is becoming vital to an effective brand experience. The three varying levels of tech below can be an important addition to future events.
Social media—although not a new technology by any means—is one of the most used at events today. Social media creates a connection between consumers and a faceless company. This relationship personifies a brand and builds trust, giving consumers a chance to have a conversation with, and about, a company. Finding a brand with no social media presence is a rarity these days. Although social media seems simplistic in comparison to innovative new tech popping up at events, it continues to be an effective way to measure and track consumers. Social media platforms open up a dialogue between not only the company and its consumers, but also between consumers themselves, creating a community beneath the umbrella of a brand. During an event, social media can be used to share content, go ‘live’ online, create buzz, and even to get more attendees to the event itself.
Wearable tech comes in many forms, but don’t be fooled into thinking a FitBit is the next big thing in events. Whether it be a wristband that allows the wearer to program their credit card information for easy payment or a device that can light up depending on what sports team the wearer roots for, wearable tech is another way to integrate an attendee into the event itself. Wearable technology is also extremely measurable, compiling data on consumer movement and patterns of purchase that gives useful insight into potential customers. Wearable technology has been around for a few years, but by making it into a way for the attendee to interact directly with the event, this technology has carved itself a place in the event industry.
Perhaps the most talked about technology of 2016 is virtual reality. The immersive tech is taking the event scene by storm, and as it grows in popularity, virtual experiences become more and more creative. Virtual reality has created a way for events to go beyond the physical space, giving event goers a way to experience a brand in every sense of the word. Virtual reality can put the guest in the shoes of a professional athlete scoring the winning goal or front row at a sold out concert, adding a more exciting element to a brand experience. The technology allows a company to offer a ‘behind the scenes’ look with less effort and more return than an actual peek behind the curtain. Applications for virtual reality will continue to expand in the coming years, and as more innovative ways to entertain and excite are discovered, event tech will have to change with it.