4 Emerging Tech Trends to Watch for in 2019

The day has come: It’s no longer a stretch to book a hologram speaker

Exciting technologies that once seemed like science fiction—or that were accessible only to deep-pocketed meeting planners—are becoming the norm at many types of events. 

Whether used for entertainment or greater efficiency (or both), the tools have potential to make a positive impression. Better yet, they’ll leave guests dazzled and ready to spread the word about your tech-savvy gathering.

From swag-delivering drones to intuitive data software, these rising trends offer tangible benefits for organizers. 

Drones offer dazzling drama.

The high-flying devices remain a surefire way to impress. Although not entirely new, drones continue to drop in cost—and they’re easy to incorporate into your next event. Among the possibilities: Using a drone to soar above attendees for an unforgettable group selfie or sending up several lighted devices to illuminate a dark room with flair. 

Whether livestreaming a seminar from a lofty vantage point or delivering goodies to unsuspecting guests, there’s no better way to capture the scale and scope of a major meeting. Less flashy drone uses, including monitoring traffic and lines in or around the venue, might also be considered. They can be used to carry mobile Wi-Fi hot spots, too. 

Holograms bring lifelike appeal.

Heads turned in 2012 when a virtual projection of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur “performed” onstage at the Coachella music festival. Could your CEO or keynote speaker now do the same? Today, such immersive telepresence has become far more scalable—with some hologram-capable tech costing less than $200.

Still, beaming in your next guest of honor isn’t as simple as pressing “play.” Special technology is required to project a lifelike being on a large stage. But it’s feasible enough that Marriott recently identified holograms as a key trend for meeting planners to consider. It might also one day be used to connect multiple participants remotely.

Facial recognition software supplies speed and safety.

Check-in at large events can cause a bottleneck of ID presentation and paperwork. Facial recognition software offers a way to shorten the queue by letting attendees upload government-issued identification and a selfie in advance. A camera-equipped station on-site can then use that data to provide seamless verification of a given attendee. 

The technology can also be used to unobtrusively track faces that enter and exit a session. That’s an easy way for large-scale event planners to determine what offerings are most in demand (and, if needed, provide an extra layer of security for workshops that have entry restrictions, contain sensitive material or feature high-profile guests).  

Data integration saves time and hassle.

For event planners juggling details such as attendee registrations, travel booking and payments (just to name a few), avoiding duplicate efforts is crucial. That’s where data integration software, which can organize those elements on a central platform, can simplify spreadsheets, reduce manual entry duties and eliminate errors.

How might this data integration be used? To sync travel bookings and registration forms or update a visitor’s new contact information across all platforms, for example. On a higher level, the software gives organizers an invaluable resource: real-time analysis that brings together the most important details of your big event.