Digital technology and innovation are shaping the way we live, work and interact with others. In today’s event industry, technology plays an important role.
Online event registration tools, apps, responsive event websites as well as entry management systems help event professionals to save time and money. But what are the trends that actually help to improve the event experience of your attendees? What makes them come back and spread the word about your events?
Among all the technological trends, we identified three that will help you stay ahead of the curve and enable your attendees to make the most out of your events.
Mobile is more than a trend especially because smartphone penetration and the usage of mobile devices reach greater dimensions every day. By 2015 almost all countries in Western Europe will pass 50% smartphone penetration among the total population. The UK and US will break this barrier already this year.
Mobile allows people to connect and consume on the go. Therefore it is absolutely essential to make your event’s content comfortably accessible on mobile devices.
Make sure that your event website is optimized for mobile usage. The mobile traffic to our customers’ event websites has already reached 30% of the overall traffic. If you sell tickets for your event, choose an online registration system that offers a mobile optimized check out process. Don’t forget that your event website is one of the first touch points between you and your customers and you only have one chance to make a first impression.
If you have a mobile event app, make sure that all of your attendees know about it. Mobile event apps are a great way to offer relevant information like the event agenda and an overview of the speakers. It also provides additional space to show all your sponsors. People will use it on the go and especially at the event.
Some event apps also have a matchmaking service integrated. This significantly adds value for your customers. From an attendee’s perspective, an event visit is only then really successful when it generates interesting new contacts.
A free and stable Wi-Fi connection will enable your attendees to not only consume event related content but also to share their experiences live from the event.
Organizers have already recognized the huge potential of social networks for their events. According to Xing Events’ Social Media & Events Report 2014, where more than 2000 event professionals were asked how they use social media for events, 85% of organizers stated that they will further increase their activities in social networks.
Those platforms allow you to communicate with your customers or potential customers and collect valuable feedback that can be used to meet and exceed expectations. A great way to surprise your customers is to actually involve them in creating their own event experience. Let them decide about topics that will be covered, the keynote or the food at your event. There are many ways to involve your attendees before the event and there is a good chance that such campaigns turn into great marketing and attract even more attendees.
Smart recommender systems are especially used by e-commerce companies to sell more products. They make use of all the data available to recommend products that may be relevant for you.
This can also be applied to events and for matchmaking of your attendees.
When it comes to business events, there is huge potential for business-oriented networks like Xing and LinkedIn. For instance Xing, the biggest business-oriented network in the German-speaking region, recently launched its Event Market.
The Xing Event Market has around 150 thousand events per year. Due to the fact that they has comprehensive information especially of their 15 million members, they are able to recommend the right events to the right people.
This also works for matching attendees –platforms like this know about your professional background, your skills and interests, your business contacts and they can use this information to recommend other attendees who you should meet.
Relevance is important today as we are all flooded with information. It is hard to filter out the really relevant information. Therefore recommender systems will become more and more important to actually get your message, your content, your event to the right and the relevant users.
Digital technology opens up new possibilities for events and putting them together will help you to improve your attendees’ event experience and that is what you should be looking for. Stay informed about technological trends and try to identify the most promising ones for your event.