Trends in Event Technology and What They Mean for Event Leadership

Trends in Event Technology and What They Mean for Event Leadership

Trends in Event Technology and What They Mean for Event Leadership banner

Interested in breaking into the field of event leadership? Then you’ll need to be prepared to stay up-to-date on the latest in event technology and innovations. After all, event technologies are emerging more rapidly than ever before with the potential to revolutionize different aspects of this dynamic industry. As an event leader, being able to embrace and adapt to new technologies can help you drive your own future success.

So, what exactly does event technology entail and what kind of impact can it have on event leadership? We’re diving into this, as well as some of the latest event technology trends, below.

Understanding Event Technology

Specifically, event technology refers to any kind of tool, app, software, or device that can be used to improve the planning or execution of an event. Technologies are typically implemented to make the event experience more enjoyable for attendees, though some innovations can also save event planners and event organizers time and resources.

Some common examples of event technology used on a regular basis include:

  • Event registration software
  • Audience engagement tools (such as audience polling)
  • Virtual event platforms and streaming services
  • Customized mobile apples for specific events

Evolution of Event Technology

Event technology has come a long way over the decades. Consider, for example, the simple fact that in the year 2000, only about half of American adults had Internet access (with the majority of those users being dial-up users). Today, most Americans have a reliable, high-speed Internet connection not just at home, but through their mobile device networks as well. To give a better understanding of just how many people are using high-speed Internet in today’s world, a report from 2023 confirmed the number of internet users worldwide stood at 5.3 billion, which means that around two thirds of the global population are connected to the Internet. 

What does this have to do with event technology? With such ready access to the web everywhere we go (as well as widespread use of smartphones), it has become increasingly common for events to rely on broadband, dedicated smartphone apps, and other forms of technology that would simply not have been possible a couple of decades ago.

Impact of Technology on Events

Overall, the widespread availability of event technology has had a positive impact on events for both attendees and planners. For example, event organizers can now use different technologies to make data-driver decisions and plan events more efficiently than ever.

Meanwhile, many technologies make the entire experience more enjoyable for event attendees from registration and check-in to attending the event itself. Online registration and check-in, for instance, allows attendees to bypass long lines, whereas interactive technology (like virtual reality) makes event presentations more exciting and memorable.

Role of Technology in Event Leadership

Event leaders are constantly being tasked with such important jobs as optimizing event engagement and enhancing the overall attendee experience. Today, tech tools and other innovations make fulfilling these important job responsibilities easier than ever.

Improving Event Engagement through Technology

These days, there are all kinds of event engagement tools that make it possible for organizers and planners to improve attendee engagement during all parts of an event. For example, personalized emails and text messages sent directly to attendees leading up to the event can be a great way to get people talking online. This, in turn, can encourage more people to register.

Other engagement tools, such as tossable microphones, live audience polling, and even gamification to collect data can improve engagement while providing event leaders with the information they need to make data-driven decisions moving forward.

Enhancing Attendee Experience with Tech Tools

In addition to improving overall engagement with the right technology, there are numerous tech tools and innovations being used to improve the attendee experience. One prime example of this is event registration software, which makes it quick and easy for people to register and check into events without the hassle of waiting in long lines.

Likewise, dedicated event mobile apps have revolutionized the attendee experience, providing convenient access to things like event announcements, daily schedules, and other resources. Having all this information at their fingertips helps attendees get the most out of their experience at the event while leaving a good impression.

Exploring Latest Event Tech Trends

It’s no secret that event tech trends have come a long way in just the past several years, but there are a handful of emerging event tech trends that we predict will shape the next several years of the events industry. These include virtual reality, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and event diagramming tools.

Virtual and Augmented Reality in Events

Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have become increasingly popular in events over the past few years. Today, event planners are using VR headsets to take audience engagement and interaction to new heights. With these technologies, attendees can enjoy interactive data visualizations, 360-degree video content, and other immersive experiences that make exhibits more memorable than ever before.

Artificial Intelligence

In addition to the use of VR and AR, event planners have also begun to find success incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their events in several ways. For starters, AI can be used to customize event experiences to attendee preference in ways that were not before possible, thus improving the overall experience.

Similarly, AI is being used in the form of chatbots to answer common questions attendees (and potential attendees) may have about events and assisting people in navigating the event and finding certain exhibits. In some cases, AI can even be used to analyze attendee behavior and feedback trends, which can then inform decision-making for future events.

Facial Recognition

While facial recognition is hardly a ‘new’ technology in our everyday lives (many people already use it to secure and access their smartphones), it is now starting to be used in events as a means of maximizing security while speeding up the entry process for attendees.

Specifically, some venues are beginning to utilize facial recognition to scan the faces of attendees as they enter for those who have consented. This speeds up the registration and check-in process while enhancing security.

Event Diagramming Tools

Finally, event diagramming tools are now being used to aid in the design and layout of event spaces. Floor plan diagramming software, for example, can make it easier for event organizers to organize event spaces while optimizing arrangements for all involved. This kind of software can also be used for things like determining seating, predicting areas of higher foot traffic, setting up lighting/cabling, and much more. This not only makes the job of an event organizer a bit easier but frees up a lot of time and valuable resources in the process.

Diving Into Event Planning Technologies

Whether you’re already in the event planning industry or are interested in making the leap into this field, there are some commonly used event planning technologies that you’ll want to become familiar with. Having proficiency in these tools can help you better perform your job while saving yourself some time and hassle as well.

Event Management Software

Event management software is an essential tool for any event planner, organizer, or leader. This software can help you tackle everything from managing your event budget to coordinating with vendors and scheduling deliveries. There are plenty different options out there when it comes to event management software, so you’ll need to do your research and determine which option best suits your needs.

Event Budgeting Tools

While event management software can help with budgeting to an extent, some event planners prefer to use specialized event budgeting tools to help them cut down on costs and maximize results. Event budgeting tools can help organizers create budgets for their events and stay within those budgets throughout the planning process. This may include receiving customized alerts when any aspect of the event is nearing the top range of the budget and personalized insights for cutting costs.

Venue Sourcing Solutions

For many event organizers, one of the most difficult aspects of the job is venue sourcing—or locating a venue that will meet all the specific needs of an event without going over budget. Fortunately, venue sourcing solutions exist to help planners locate the ideal venue(s) for their events, whether they are looking for a venue of a specific size, in a certain location, or meeting other detailed specifications.

3D Event Space Technology

More often, event organizers are also using 3D event space technology, such as 3D walk-through software, to get a better visualization of what their event space will look like once everything is set up and ready to go. 3D walk-through software allows organizers to see a detailed picture of everything from seating and lighting to decor and other room elements, allowing them to optimize the space ahead of time. Correspondingly, 3D event space technology can be useful for ensuring that every aspect of the event is planned with diversity and inclusion in mind for all attendees.

Power of Virtual and Hybrid Event Technology

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual and hybrid events have become increasingly popular. Even now that isolation and quarantine orders are largely in the past, events continue to offer virtual and hybrid options, which can increase accessibility for those who might not otherwise be able to attend in-person.

Thankfully, a variety of virtual and hybrid event technologies have made the experience much more enjoyable for these attendees in recent years.

Personalizing Event Experiences with Mobile Apps

Dedicated mobile applications for events have made virtual, hybrid, and in-person events more enjoyable for attendees. These apps can help with anything from helping attendees locate certain exhibitions or demonstrations to providing live streams for virtual attendees. In a similar fashion, these apps make it possible to truly customize the experience for every attendee regardless of whether they are there in-person or virtually.

Social Media Integration in Event Planning

These days, social media integration also plays a critical role in event planning. Social media can be used for everything from promotion and audience engagement to real-time interaction among attendees. Attendees can use special hashtags dedicated to an event to boost online engagement and foster collaboration among attendees.

Event planners and organizers, then, need to be confident in their ability to integrate social media into their events. This means creating and promoting event hashtags and encouraging attendees to follow official event social media pages on popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and the like.

Interested in Event Leadership?

From artificial intelligence and facial recognition to augmented reality and everything in between, there’s no denying that event technology has come a long way in recent years—transforming the way people experience events and the way event leaders carry out their roles. By continuing to stay up-to-speed on the latest event technologies as they emerge, the next generation of event leaders will be prepared to succeed.

Looking to take your formal education in event leadership to the next level? Consider an online MBA in Event Leadership from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Professional Studies. This two-year program is available 100% online for your convenience, covering topics ranging from event planning and leadership to sustainability and risk management. Learn more about this exciting program by getting in touch or get started with your online application today.

For more information about completing your degree online, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].

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