The 5 Technologies You Need at Your Event

From smart tags to touchscreen tech, here’s how to do it

Technology is always evolving, and to keep your meeting tech savvy, you need to stay up to date on the trends that can enhance the event experience. Here are five current trends that you shouldn’t miss:

Smart Tags

Apple Watches, Fitbits and more—wearable technology has taken hold, and it isn’t going anywhere. MarketWatch recently reported that the wearable devices industry is expected to exceed $51.5 billion by 2022. One way to capitalize on the trend at your meetings: Smart Tags. Smart Tags are wearable devices powered by Bluetooth that can act as digital business cards. They allow attendees to network freely while electronically exchanging contact information. That data is then generated into contextualized lead information that will be available to users at their own convenience.

For Network events, planners should incorporate the Smart Tag technology into the meeting repertoire to make connecting easy for attendees—and to also make getting data on the event easy. The Smart Tag can record an attendee’s journey, including participation during sessions and which booths were visited, to garner data about what worked at a meeting and what was less popular.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)

Like Smart Tags, RFID is a wearable technology. It uses radio waves to read and track information through a unique chip identifier. It has been largely used at music festivals in wristbands to speed up the entry process or to create cashless transactions. And at events, RFID holds the same kinds of capabilities: It can streamline entry and check-in processes and create cashless and paperless events, while also working to eliminate fraud and providing real-time data about the foot traffic at your meetings. For multiday meetings especially, this means being able to see which areas or walkways are the most populated and reconfiguring your meeting setup to reflect attendee preferences.

A Do-It-All App

Nearly 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, which means they are used to having an influx of information and resources at their fingertips. Meetings should be no different, so find an app that merges all elements of an event into one place where attendees can readily access any element of your meeting at any time. MeetingPlay, for example, hosts a thorough event app experience that allows guests to network through matchmaking, integrate social, message and share photos. It’s interactive and includes gamification opportunities, live polling, quizzes and a personalized home screen to each guest to make sure attendees get what they want most out of your event. Planners also have the opportunity to spotlight sponsors and receive real-time data and feedback from guests.

Touchscreen Technology

Keeping attendees’ attention engaged is always a challenge, though incorporating interactive tech can help maintain attendee focus. Touchscreen technology requires guests to get up and get involved in the meeting around them through a sense not always activated at events: touch.

Depending on the meeting purpose, there are numerous ways to incorporate touchscreens throughout your event. You could create networking stations with iPads hooked up to chat room applications, or video walls that allow attendees to interact with content, data or branded material relevant to your meeting. Or, consider injecting more fun into the meeting and creating a game out of the screens. For example, create an Alex Trebek-approved Jeopardy board or a Vanna White-style Wheel of Fortune display for a healthy dose of attendee competition.

Livestreaming

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: If you’re not livestreaming your meeting, you miss out on a big opportunity to break out of venue guest limits to reach a larger, potentially global, audience.

It’s especially important to remember that the in-person and remote meeting experiences are two very different things, so consider combining livestreaming with some of the tech offerings above to enhance the at-home experience. For example, tell off-site guests to download the same app in-person attendees are using, so those who are remote can still engage with the event as a whole.