Five Tech Trends Impacting F2F

Published by on June 30, 2014 4:20 pm
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Optimizing the Next Generation
of Event Technology

by Richard Reid
Vice President | Digital Services
Freeman Audio Visual

Optimizing the Next Generation of Event Technology

Digital devices, platforms and tools impact the way we communicate, interact and manage everything. At Freeman, we often field questions from clients about different technology they read about in the industry media or hear about at presentations like one I gave recently gave at the Healthcare Conventions and Exhibitors Association (HCEA) Annual Meeting.

In today’s event/tradeshow environment, utilizing digital services technology to effectively generate attendee-driven experiences is key. These types of solutions give meeting attendees the ability to consume conference information in a meaningful way with an intuitive and interactive context-driven experience. Innovative technologies can differentiate your event by:

  • Empowering attendees with an unparalleled range of integrated, connected solutions
  • Maximizing flexibility with collaborative technology that connects the event with the devices that attendees bring with them
  • Transforming the event with relevant digital services that attendees expect

There are many new developments in technology that will impact the face-to-face marketing industry.

Here are Five Trends to Watch:

1. Proximity Technology:

Smart devices will become more interactive with pre-programmed preferences coded within to provide customized experiences throughout the event. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solutions like Apple’s iBeacon are being tested by several retailers. This type of technology could be used to navigate a large trade show floor to help attendees identify exhibitors that match their interest areas.

2. Wearable Technology:

Access smart device content like contacts and calendars or the Internet for related content, with the addition of photo and video capture. Google Glass and smartwatches become very powerful extensions of the ‘computers’ you are already carrying in your pocket.

3. Telepresence/Virtual Events:

Build a community year-round, planning live, hybrid and virtual events. Event professionals have been hearing about this for years now but when done successfully it can help your organization reach more people. For example, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) reported a 40% increase in virtual attendance, about 877 users for 2104 Convening Leaders. As technology evolves, hybrid events continue to gain popularity as a way to deliver content, build community and encourage collaboration.

4. Drone Technology:

View floor plans, see meeting room configurations or plan for available sponsorship opportunities, from a tablet, computer or smart phone. Use fly-through videos, user controlled 360 imagery with interactive hotspots, photo galleries and 2D facility renderings. Freeman’s PLANTOUR® is an example of drone technology already at work in the events industry.

5. Mobile Internet:

Apps will be integrated with content from other social media platforms. Map features will be dynamic, similar to Google Maps today, as a way to navigate a trade show floor or locate educational sessions in a convention center or hotel.

These are just some of the ways that the next generation of technology is reshaping the events industry. By tapping into the ever changing world of digital solutions to enhance the face-to-face event experience, the possibilities are endless.


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