As we enter a new decade, the range of technology available to event organisers just gets bigger and better. Streamline your project management processes and give your event a competitive edge with the latest Event Tech Trends for 2020.
From event software like ticketing systems and webinar tools to innovations such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, technology is an incredible enabler.
What is event technology?
So, what’s the definition of event technology? Essentially, it’s any digital tool that can help planners perform essential event organisation tasks – think event marketing and management software and event apps. But event technology can also include other technologies that are shaking up a whole range of industries, for example, facial recognition and augmented reality.
10 event technology trends to explore in 2020
1. Things can only get quicker with RFID and facial recognition
One of the biggest tech trends of the past few years, radio-frequency identification (RFID) continues to streamline the attendee experience by replacing tickets and physical payments. In 2020, things will get even faster, thanks to facial recognition technologies. Automated check-in terminals and guest list check-in apps can dramatically reduce waiting times and, with facial recognition technologies starting to be implemented, attendees who are willing to let their faces be scanned will find checking in is even quicker. In addition to speeding things up, software can read facial expressions and body language in order to predict the mood of attendees – taking feedback to a whole new level.
2. Chatbots will demonstrate it’s good to talk
As people get used to asking Alexa and Siri to add milk to their shopping list or play their favourite album, we can expect to see digital assistants and chatbots powered by artificial intelligence popping up in the event industry, too. By automating customer service, attendees receive a rapid response and organisers can continue to focus on planning their event. From Google’s Dialogflow, which integrates a chatbot into a website or event app, to using a customer service plugin with Facebook Messenger, there are plenty of ways to get started.
3. Data collection and AI equals personalised recommendations
Talking of AI, it’s increasingly being used to analyse data and offer up personalised recommendations. This is huge for event planners, who should be investigating how AI can enable personalised experiences and meaningful interactions that will delight attendees, exhibitors and sponsors alike. Post-event surveys are really useful, but you should also collect geolocation data and use AI to interpret data from the social media profiles of attendees. If this all sounds a little tech-y, don’t despair – the quickest way to get up to speed is to use an event app with an AI plug-in, such as Grip.
4. We are all entering a new reality
You might have heard a lot of buzz around experiential events, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) certainly have the ability to transport attendees to a whole new world. The possibilities are seemingly limitless, with brands using AR and VR to stand out among hundreds of exhibitors at expos and trade fairs, and charities using the technology to draw attention to their cause and revolutionise fundraising.
5. Livestream your event to online attendees
Motivated by a desire to reduce their event’s overheads and environmental impact, respondents to our latest Pulse survey predicted 2020 would see more organisers host online and virtual events. But while many event organisers are embracing webinars as a means of reaching remote attendees, it’s also worth discovering how live streaming could enable your event to reach an even wider audience via broadcast technologies like Periscope and Facebook Live. Encourage attendees, volunteers, staff and suppliers to share your livestream with friends who couldn’t attend. They can invite people to join Facebook Live events as well as tweeting a link to their followers.
6. Connected customers are happy customers
With the roll-out of 5G cellular network technology, there’s an expectation that venues will provide a super-speedy WiFi connection – and that’s good news for event organisers and attendees alike. Faster download and upload speeds mean connectivity will be less of a concern at events. In addition, technologies like live streaming, VR and AR will be easier for planners to implement. Organisers have never been more within their rights to check with any potential venue what the strength of the WiFi signal is and the amount of bandwidth available.
7. Tech adds a visual element to events
A few years ago, social media walls started catching attendees’ eyes at events all over the country and, in 2020, we expect to see technology integrated into another visual trend: projection mapping. Using lights to create 3D interactive displays that are then projected on ceilings, interior walls and building exteriors, these optical illusions will add an experiential element to events.
8. There’s an app for that
Still considering an event app? What are you waiting for! Conferences and B2B events help attendees keep track of the schedule and identify networking opportunities, while apps for festivals and consumer events allow attendees to bookmark locations and create custom line-ups. With so many to choose from, now’s the time to discover the best app for each event type. In addition to a branded event app, there are plenty of apps out there that can help creators discover extra information about their audience and sell more tickets in more places – check our App Marketplace to find one that works seamlessly with Eventbrite.
9. Project management tools can make life easier
From time-saving apps to productivity tech. So far, we have looked at how tech can improve the attendee experience, but it can lend a helping hand to event creators, too. From automating your social media marketing efforts to handing over admin tasks to event management software, there are plenty of tools out there to make scaling up less stressful.
10. More tech collaboration and integration
Tying together these last two trends, 2020 will see an increased connection between event management platforms, ticketing systems and tech companies. This includes social media integrations that work alongside Eventbrite and the ability to sell tickets via your website.
Take your offering to the next level. Download our free report to discover the key UK Event Trends for 2020 and expert advice on how to implement them.