CMW embraces digital transformation, and gives room to event tech’s growing presence within the global events industry.
Proceeds from global tech IPOs amounted to US$25.1bn in 2017, with 168% growth from 2016 (PwC, Global Technology IPO Review). The present-day digital dialogue is anchored in transformation and growth; and, as our event tech section reveals, advancements in technology open the door for change and curiosity…
Proving ROI on events is under even greater scrutiny – so much so, there is a now a big call to action for planners and organisers to ensure they are doing everything they can to enhance the attendee experience.
All the pointers of how to create even better events are there – given the goldmine ofdata which gives details on attendee preferences, interests and their interactions. Yet, conversely, in age where technology can hugely aid the MICE world with the aggregation of rich data, according to recent research conducted by Cvent, just two in 10 event professionals say they are using the data to improve the attendee experience.
Lack of sufficient knowledge means organisers often overlook the vital integration process of a wide range of data and information to build more complete attendee profiles. By collecting more data and integrating an attendee’s digital engagement with their physical footprint prior to, during and after an event, organisers can track event performance, improve education content programming and personalise communications.
Take online registration – this provides a great opportunity to include questions to gather information on what attendees want from the event and topics they are interested in. Organisers can use this information to send targeted communications pre, during, and post event via social channels or the event’s
Mobile apps, which can gather attendees’ interests and actions provide an opportunity to boost lead generation, facilitate in-session polling (resulting in higher engagement), and aggregate social media posts. In addition to apps, there are tracking tools such as beacons or badges which use RFID or QR codes to track attendee’s movements at the event.
The power of all this captured data is realised when it’s simply and efficiently integrated and shared with customer relationship management or marketing automation systems. With full visibility into each interaction, journey, and activity attendees participate in, sales can be driven at a faster pace and then attributed back to the event to measure ROI and ensure a better attendee experience can be delivered year after year.
Enhancing the attendee experience is an issue, which needs to be front of mind for the event industry. To hit the mark organisers are increasingly using gamification (incorporating game design elements) at conferences and trade shows to draw more attendees to exhibitor stands, encourage greater engagement, build brand awareness, and facilitate lead generation.
Popular methods of gamification include in-app solutions to encourage actions from early registration to social media shares, interactive touch screen points, customised scavenger hunts and digital passports that collect points for attending seminars and visiting stands.
For event technology providers, it’s also a great way to unlock the mystique around what technology actually does and crucially the benefits.
For example, the Cvent Express Challenge – complete with a leader board (think Top Gear), is now held at many big trade shows. The Challenge has built a reputation for being a fun, interactive game which sees many in the industry fighting it out in their bid to be the quickest at setting up an event website, launch the event, register, and print a badge.
With many also remarking, that they now ‘get’ just how the technology can transform their day to day working lives – so a win-win scenario.
With over 6,700 meetings taking place over two days, national tourism organisation, VisitBritain, showcased a selection ofthe UK’s business events industry at MeetGB, held at the Hilton London Bankside, London, 19-20 April.
Tech trends/themes gaining traction in the global events industry include:
• Smart data (automation and big data being important for attendees);
• Single focus (choosing to ‘stay in lane’ translates to keeping a single, coherent focus when using social media);
• Smart remote (using phone to control other things, for instance translation apps and e-posters);
• Voice activation (voice control as a trend that will automate our
• New types of business
communication (ChatBots assist with rudimentary conference/event FYIs);
• AR (facial recognition apps and software used at high security events, for example);
• Experience through others (live storytelling is shifting the way we produce and experience, narration and comments lends to increased interaction);
• Influencer marketing (and influencer marketing tools);
• Personal Sound (sound wave beamed into the ear; simultaneous translator).
VisitBritain hosted MeetGB in partnership with London & Partners, VisitEngland, Visit Wales, VisitScotland and Tourism Northern Ireland.
Click here to read the feature in issue 94 of CMW