Now that we are officially two decades into the 21st-century, technology trends are taking over the events industry. These technologies are making life easier for event planners, and attendee experiences are being elevated as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many planners to transition their live event into a virtual or hybrid event. Many emerging event technologies have made these moves possible and it is likely that they will remain long after this health crisis is over.
Here are some of the top event technology trends of 2020 and what they might mean for your next event:
Top 8 Event Technology Trends to Watch in 2020
1. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR are not new technologies but they have found a growing audience in the virtual event space. And now that most of us are social distancing in our homes, these technologies are providing a useful outlet.
Use the information you have collected on your target audience/attendees and create an experience that speaks directly to their interests and needs. This technology can be used to increase branding, engagement, and overall attendee/exhibitor experience.
2. Facial Recognition
Facial recognition technology is a software tool that tracks and logs a person’s facial features. While this tech trend is far from perfect, it can go a long way toward improving your event.
In particular, facial recognition can do two things: streamline check-in, and provide contactless entry to your event.
If an attendee opts into facial recognition, they will no longer have to stand in a registration line and wait while people search a list for a name or other relevant information. All they have to do is step up to be scanned and just like that, they’re in.
Once COVID-19 has been contained, it is likely that in-person events will have to practice social distancing measures as much as possible. Facial recognition allows for a contactless registration, meaning this technology is only going to grow in popularity in the months and years ahead.
While it may be a cool feature, there are some risks and pushbacks associated with it. Aside from the racial bias found in the current iterations of this technology, people, in general, are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy and may be turned off by this option.
If using facial recognition, it is a good idea to enhance your cybersecurity so that any personal data being pulled from attendees is not easily accessible to identity thieves.
3. Live Streaming
Why limit your event to a physical, local, audience when live streaming can be used to reach a global one?
Event organizers have been using live streaming to deliver quality hybrid events for some time now, but with stay at home orders in place across much of North America, it has become even more significant.
Through the use of event platforms and social media, you can deliver content to people who may have been unable to attend in-person while increasing brand awareness and messaging. The more people talk about your live stream, the more curious people will be and the more likely they are to purchase tickets for any future event you plan.
Streaming can be used in a traditional event venue as well as it provides accessibility for event-goers who may have difficulty attending live events. If you are operating a large event, in a sprawling venue, consider setting up screens and streaming important talks, demos, or presentations. Doing so allows more people to connect with your event content and helps them get the most out of their experience.
4. Enhanced Attendee Experience
A positive attendee experience is one of the hallmarks of a successful event. And while this can be easy to do in person, when it comes to virtual events, you will have to use event technologies to create the experience you want your audience to have.
There are few things people love more than hearing their own name, so, use your event app or platform to create personalized communications. Personalized emails, text messages, and push notifications are all great options. At registration, ask a few questions about the particular interests of your guests and then use that to alert them to sessions that may be of particular interest. If possible, develop a “build your own agenda” option, allowing attendees to select and plan which sessions they’d most like to participate in.
Use an event ticketing or registration platform to make ticket purchasing and registration easy. Remove as many barriers as possible so potential attendees can book their tickets, their travel, and their accommodations all from one place.
5. Live Translation
Like so many items on this list, translator apps are not a new technology but their continued development has led to improvements that make them increasingly useful and relevant.
A communication gap can hamper an attendee’s experience. Similarly, failure to offer your events in a number of languages could really limit your audience pool, particularly for digital events.
Whether you use translation software or a remote translation app, you will improve accessibility and allow all attendees to feel connected to