5 Reasons to Use Wearables
From event security to attendee engagement, wearable technology can upgrade your meeting processes
Own a smartwatch? You’re not alone—research estimates that nearly 117 million smart wearable devices will ship out to new homes in 2019, helping the wearable technology industry pave the way to a $27 billion market by 2022.
So, what does this have to do with events?
Wearable meeting technology, or smart devices that can be worn on the body through clothing or accessories, can ease event processes and better connect attendees, providing an overall more engaging event experience. Now, that doesn’t mean planners need to equip each guest with an Apple Watch—but they should understand where the technology might fit into a future event. Here’s how meetings can benefit from wearable technology:
Wearables streamline event logistics.
Check-in lines? No, thank you. Wearable technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID), which use radio waves to read and track information through a unique chip identifier, can live inside wristbands and badges and allow guests to speed through entry lines with a flick of the wrist. Besides eliminating long check-inlines, RFID can also store credit card information, easing mealtime lines and making for a cashless event—not to mention that because each chip is specific to every attendee, the tech also prevents fraud. Talk about a tech superpower.
Wearables offer valuable attendee data.
To improve future events, you have to understand the attendee experience—that is, how guests perceive and experience meetings. Traditionally, planners have used surveys that directly ask attendees for their input post-event. Now, wearable technology allows planners to see this data in realtime. For example, wearable tech’s location information can give planners insight into which areas attendees are visiting and how much time they spend there. For large events, this type of data can also alert planners to which sessions are overcrowded or which walkways are billowing up with traffic, allowing them to act swiftly to provide extra seating or alternate pathways.
Wearables increase engagement.
No meeting is a success without attendee participation. Just as an event hashtag encourages guests to interact with your meeting via social media, wearables promote engagement with your event. For example, the mapping technology mentioned above can be used to host a friendly competition: Award attendees points for visiting the most booths or sessions, and give the top three people with the most points special meeting swag. Or, for Network meetings, do away with business cards by programming wearable badges with each attendee’s contact information, so guests can instantly scan one another’s badge and be connected.
Wearables secure access.
With safety being top of mind for many planners, wearable technology can act as an electronic lock for meeting spaces. This ensures that only registered guests have clearance to attend the festivities, which can give guests peace of mind that their event is private and out of reach for strangers.Wearables amp up communication. Between you and your staff, wearables offer your team the ability to communicate more often and more discreetly, when necessary. They also allow your team to connect individually with attendees. For example, if attendees are required to sign up for meeting activities, wearables can notify guests when a session starts, allowing them to roam freely and explore other elements of the event instead of being tethered to a nearby spot while they wait.
Whatever your meeting purpose, wearable technology works to streamline and elevate the attendee experience—and should problems arise during your meeting, it also gives you the ability to correct issues in realtime.In other words, wearables are in sync with your meeting goals as a planner. Here’s to the future!