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How Event Technology Helps Engage Attendees

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Modern life is distracting. You may genuinely be trying to have a quiet, family dinner, but your phone is buzzing with an important work email, or your smartwatch is alerting you about a breaking news story.

According to a 2015 study, these daily distractions have reduced the average person’s attention span to eight seconds, a full second less than the nine-second attention span of a goldfish. However, it’s more likely that our brains haven’t changed and, instead, there are just more options for our brains to process. So, if someone is not completely engrossed, they are likely to move on because they have a wide variety of choices.

Event planners are acutely aware of how easy it is for attendees to become distracted. That’s why, in addition to providing gripping content, organizers are incorporating a variety of technology to ensure that attendees remain focused on an event. Whether it’s adding a fun, unexpected element or making an everyday device integral to the show, event technology is ensuring that attendees remain engaged.

Interactive Responsive Flooring

One method to ensure engagement is to incorporate a surprising element. For example, one of the most overlooked surfaces, at an event and in general, is the floor. Of course, there’s a reason it’s overlooked: it’s boring. Typically, there’s nothing on the floor except a bunch of feet.

Event planners can reclaim this real estate and make it a vital part of the show with responsive flooring. These systems utilize either monitors, LED panels, or projection methods to create an interactive display on the floor. Have attendees splash through a river. Turn stairs into a climbing adventure. Make dance floors spring to life. Enable guests to walk across stars or kick away clouds. Convert the floor into one giant puzzle. Create a soccer game for two people or a crowd.

The possibilities are limitless. The ground becomes your canvas with an interactive floor. Change the ambiance of an area and convert the ordinary into something extraordinary.


Photo Credit: Vertigo Systems

Photo Credit: Vertigo Systems

Smart Tags

The benefits of event technology are not limited to entertainment. There are many practical elements to attendee engagement, including the ability to capture a bird’s-eye view of every attendee’s journey.

That’s what Smart Tags bring to an event: the ability to passively record every move an attendee makes. The booths they visit. The educational sessions they attend, and the amount of time they spend at each. When they arrive at an event and leave. Smart Tags provide the ability to monitor all of these factors and more.

However, it is not just event organizers who benefit. Smart Tags also function as digital business cards for attendees. At any show interaction, such as networking events and visits to exhibits, attendees can use the Smart Tag’s Bluetooth function to exchange and record information digitally. After the event, the data is available for review at a person’s convenience.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming delivers your event to a crowd that is interested in your content but unlikely to attend in person. The fear for many event organizers is that livestreaming will cause physical event attendance to decrease. However, it turns out there is almost no overlap between the people who want to attend your event and those who livestream it. In fact, once someone attends an event virtually, they are much more likely to appear at an upcoming show in person.

Livestreaming is becoming an important aspect of many events and is not something that can be done as an afterthought. The amount of thought and care that goes into the physical event needs to be the same for its virtual content. So, event planners need to incorporate virtual attendance as part of the overall event strategy and allow enough time to plan the livestreamed content. Consider the experience you want the virtual audience to have and how that relates to the in-person experience.

Finding the right livestreaming partner is essential to providing a satisfying streaming experience. A professional company will guarantee that your virtual event looks as professional as the physical one. A professional crew will deliver a quality look and sound to the presentation, such as managing the presenter’s mics and ensuring that no one from the in-person crowd mills about or accidentally stands in front of the camera.


Multi-Use Apps

Once a download and delete proposition, event planners are now using their show apps as a valuable, year-round resource for attendees.

Producing a new application for every exhibition can be costly and time-consuming. Plus, many attendees question the need for downloading an app they will only use one time. Storage space on devices is a premium commodity for the end-user, and there is a learning curve with each new app.

Multi-use apps convert a one-time download into a year-round service by providing continuing information, education, and a way for attendees to communicate and network after the event is over. Users are also able to send feedback to event organizers quickly and easily.

Providing these services is a great way to keep your event top of mind throughout the year, even when the actual show is months away.

Chatbots

Chatbot tech is rapidly evolving and improving with advancements in artificial intelligence. This is why chatbots are increasingly being integrated into event apps to answer questions and manage the user experience. Soon chatbots will be able to interpret vocal inflections to determine someone’s intent, meaning, and emotional state. 

Still, an event venue is an active scene that is frequently loud and frenetic. Also, when it is not, such as during a keynote speech or educational presentation, distractions from the crowd are particularly noticeable. This is the reason that voice-activated chatbots are eschewed at events in favor of text-based systems.

These chat-less chatbots are deployed through an event app and over messaging channels like Twitter, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Slack to provide event information (such as program and room changes), directions, Q&A exchanges, and more.


Augmented Reality

Many event apps include an augmented reality (AR) function to convert previously banal experiences into active, engaging ones. Augmented reality uses a smartphone’s (or other internet-connected device’s) camera to layer computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world. With augmented reality, it is possible to provide animated step-by-step directions of the show floor and highlight areas where presentations and events are about to occur.

AR uses geolocation to have specific items pop up when a user enters a predetermined area. Exhibitors can utilize this technology to create animated signs and banners and incorporate interactive elements in their exhibits. For example, as someone approaches a booth, exhibitors could promote giveaways or event-specific promotions.

AR is also an excellent way to add gamification elements to an event. As attendees explore an event venue, they could be encouraged to earn coins, badges, or another event-specific currency by visiting specific areas or performing tasks. The event’s app could include a leaderboard highlighting the person, team, or company with the highest points or that has completed the most tasks in the least amount of time. For gamification to work, it needs to be thoughtfully integrated into your event. If game elements feel tacked on or secondary, attendees will ignore them and turn instead to one of the games that already exist on their phone.

Live event attendance is expected to increase over the next few years. However, if you want that trend to continue for your event, you need to provide attendees with a distinctive and engaging experience.