The world of events is, by its very nature, one which is constantly changing with the times. Over the past decade alone, we’ve seen huge leaps in the use of high speed wireless technology, the advent of 4G, incredible advances in augmented reality and virtual reality to name a few. The fact that this pace of change, improvement, and innovation is only set to speed up is something we can all get very excited about indeed.
In our latest insights, we cast our eye to the cutting edge of event technology trends. As was the case in recent years, it’s set to be a thrilling time for events organisers and managers, and there’s plenty of technologies we can all use to elevate our brand experiences and events.
Here at MCI Experience, we’re passionate about using the latest technology to heighten and empower our offering, and we’re always on the lookout for the event technology trends that will make an impact for our clients. That’s why we’ve decided to pick out six of the most exciting technologies that are evolving event experiences, and lay them out for you to marvel at alongside us.
Facial Recognition for Events
Facial recognition technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and the events industry has leapt upon the possibilities brought about by this next-generation tech, with clear visions as to how it can improve registration, security, and a whole host of other important event aspects.
Using cameras and computer systems linked up to facial recognition software, it isn’t difficult to see how security issues can be quickly resolved, with a complex network being able to identify individuals within even tightly-packed crowds. This event technology trend can also make event entry considerably more speedy and automated, and has the potential to dramatically cut queues, and open up alternative ways of making payments. We’ve begun to see face recognition at major events already, including Mobile World Congress where they introduced BREEZ (Biometric Recognition Easy Entry Zone). It allowed for contactless entry while enhancing security and eliminating the need to show ID or have badges scanned. GSMA reported a massive 40% of attendees used the service to successfully enter MWC19!
Social Media Walls
Social media walls offer truly immersive engagement on and offline. Used strategically at your event, audiences can use them to connect with one another face to face, as well as create incredible social media impact online.
We’re seeing a rise in social media walls because of the on-live communities they bring together. Real time social interactions are tracked for an event of any size, and extend the reach of an experience that much further – making them ideal branding opportunities. Immersive, fun, and addictively interactive: social walls can transform a digital campaign into an impactful physical experience.
Today’s audiences are more demanding and expecting than ever before when it comes to a sense of spectacle and uniqueness. Everyone loves a good special effect, and SFX don’t get more dazzling or more immersive than those achieved with Projection Mapping. This next-generation form of LED projections has lit up events all over the world for the past couple of years, and the possibilities it offers just keep on getting more and more impressive and far-reaching.
Projection mapping gives event organisers a chance to provide genuinely breathtaking atmospheres and settings. As the technology becomes more affordable and customisable, it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll be seeing much, much more of it in the future. This can only be a good thing for those who love their events to be the show-stopping extravaganzas of light and colour they deserve to be!
VR and AR
VR and AR technology isn’t just here, it’s a key part of the modern events landscape, and something which is only going to become more impressive, more immersive, and more essential as the year goes by. When it comes to events like product launches and expos, VR and AR have become powerful tools with which to walk audience members through details and demonstrations quite unlike anything that’s come before. By providing virtual, visible, and detailed guidelines of projects, products, and ideas, event presenters are able to take sales pitches further, and immerse their audiences in their brand worlds and solutions.
Of course, the entertainment factors of VR and AR are equally impressive, and equally fast-moving in the world of events. As far as gaming experiences go, virtual reality and augmented reality are hard to beat, and entertaining uses of this technology are bringing new dynamics to events all over the world. We’d also probably add to this section the rise in holographic ‘virtual’ performances – Michael Jackson, Tupac, and other deceased stars are once again filling stadiums via holographic avatars, and ABBA’s much-awaited new music was unveiled virtually in 2019, too!
Ever-increasing wireless internet speed is constantly changing the world of events as we know it. Live streaming has been around for some time now, but this year is set to the one in which crowd streaming becomes de rigeur in the events industry. In the past, crowd streaming has had one key purpose: for attendees at events to show their followers that they are present, and to share snippets of the event with those interested in seeing what’s going on.
Crowd streaming is a key part of the industry’s focus for the future. Why? Because online social media networks have the potential to reach millions upon millions of participants, and it only takes one or two influencers of social media mavens to crowd stream, and thus virtually involve a truly massive audience base. Crowd streaming has huge potential to raise brand awareness, create online communities, and secure new brand advocates. Who wouldn’t want to get a slice of that action, or indeed those marketing opportunities?
This is the big one: the advent of 5G. If you can cast your mind back to the days of 3G, and remember just how much swifter and efficient 4G connectivity felt in comparison, that’s just a mere shadow of the leap that 5G is set to bring about. Indeed, the brains behind it are claiming 5G to be at least a thousand times faster than its previous incarnation.
While this isn’t an event industry-specific technology, it isn’t difficult to see how the arrival of 5G is going to turn events on their heads, and kick open the doors of possibility for all kinds of advances, improvements, and developments. Every cloud-based app is going to be supercharged with blistering speed. WiFi speed and connectivity will no longer be a concern at large-scale events. Download times for event attendees will be reduced to barely anything at all. These are all dramatic changes which will allow events organisers to up the ante when it comes to engagement, mobile device integration, and interactivity, and it will also bring new horizons for live streaming and real time interactions from the wider world outside of the event. It might be a few years away yet, but if you’re an event organiser or venue owner and you aren’t planning for 5G or you’re not sure how 5G connectivity will affect your events, you’re in danger of being left behind on one of the biggest technological innovations your industry will see.
Event Technology Trends Shaking Up Events
It’s impossible not to get excited at what the future of the events industry will bring, not least when the event technology trends are already leaving last year’s innovations well and truly in the shade. To recap here’s the technologies that are evolving event experiences:
- Facial Recognition – we project that large scale events will incorporate this, revolutionising the format of traditional registration systems
- Social Media Walls – events and experiences are on-live, connect with your audiences online and live to maximise engagement and legacy
- Projection Mapping – visually stimulate your audiences with stunning light displays
- VR & AR – unlock the power of these technologies by immersing your customers in brand worlds and product walkthroughs
- 5G – supercharged connectivity is set to revolutionise events and experiences
Here at MCI Experience, we’re committed to staying on top of all the latest technology in the events industry. Why? Because the brand marketers and event planners we work with expect us to go above and beyond when it comes to marketing solutions and event innovation, and we never disappoint in this respect. Looking to see how technology can enhance your brand experience?