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Did you know that 29% of Americans say their phone is the first and last thing they look at every day? People are always connected and are continuing to grow into a technology dependent reality.

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Undoubtedly, as people grow their personal lives into the technology realm, they expect their professional and social lives to follow in suit. Due to this quickly changing way of life, it is crucial that events stay up to date with the latest and greatest. Below I will outline the top 2017 trends for event AV & technology to be the most successful event planner.

2017 Trends For Event AV

  1. Live streaming
  2. Adaptability
  3. Real Life or Fantasy
  4. Agility through Application Program Interface (API)
  5. Crowd in control
  6. Ticket tracking
  7. Smart events
  8. Activate all senses

Live Streaming

It’s no surprise that social media channels have gained an exponential number of followers through streaming videos. As a result, nearly every major social media channel now has a video offering. Consequently, in the next year, researchers expect to see an increase in demand for live streaming events. With every social media platform utilizing this marketing method, you will want to prepare to have the best live streamed events. For those without extensive resources, tune into live event broadcasts through live broadcasting drones equipped with 4K cameras. Drone streaming is another trend that we expect to see next year, paired with the live broadcast features of social media sites such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live, according to the Endless 2017 Event Trends guide. This will allow events to grow to the next level and achieve full streaming before 2017 ends.  Follow the simple tips below to maximize live streaming:

Camera Quality.

Say goodbye to phone recording. Invest in a quality videographer with proper equipment. Although the expense may be greater initially, viewers will appreciate the clarity. Cameras with 4K capability have been the highest quality video we have witnessed with live streaming.

Increase Wi-Fi bandwidth.

You want the user experience to appear as seamless as possible. This includes minimizing as many interruptions as possible. Make sure your Wifi signal is strong enough to cover the area of your event while also considering the amount of users who are linked to it.

Protect yourself, plan ahead.

Discuss the speaker and copyright agreements with the parties that will be involved in the live stream. Ensure you broadcast the appropriate material without being at risk of being sued.


You’re an event planner which means you’ve already mastered the art of adaptability. Although you personally are able to make quick decisions and changes on the fly, you may not understand what changes need to be made. Over the past few years, technology has grown to have the ability to analyze statistics in a short amount of time and consequently, make real-time improvements. Now is your time to pick 2017 trends for event AV that are able to analyze as quickly as you. Below are a few helpful resources that will help increase your technology adaptability.

Real Time Data Analysis Trends

– Mobile event apps
– Beacon technology
– Mobile polling and surveys
– Measurement of dwell times
– Social Media Utilization (hashtags)
Altogether, by tracking and understanding your analytics as they are happening, you are able to make quick adjustments to your event to maximize the attendee experience.  By measuring this data, event managers can measure the ROI of each event.

Real Life Or Fantasy

The era of alternate realities is quickly taking over. In a world that is continually advancing, the need to “feel” like you are in a reality that you are not physically present is becoming a new norm. Technologies that once geared toward the gaming realm are quickly sweeping the nation. These technologies are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, predicted, “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.” [Tweet “”One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.” – Mark Zuckerberg”] The shift toward AR and VR provides unique ways to connect customers to an ideal state. Below are a few tips to incorporate AR and VR into your event:

AR and VR Tips

– Product Demonstrations. Prospective customers can test, view and interact with their potential new purchase
– Engage Attendees. Everyone likes a game of hide and seek. Incorporate an interactive scavenger hunt or strategy game that will result in a memorable event experience.
– Interact with non-present Attendees. For the attendees who are unable to physically attend an event, this system can give them a seemingly real-life experience.
– Tell a story. Many props and displays can quickly get expensive. With AR and VR, you can more efficiently tell a story through special scenery, performances and creative aspects.

Agility through Application Program Interface (API)

For many years, companies have been incorporating new technology trends into their systems and events. With consistent rates of change, this has created road bumps when upgrading, replacing and connecting systems. The API, however, has been a proven solution for this challenge. API is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications. In other words, it is a centralized application that specifies how software components should interact by ANY device. Below I’ve outlined some steps to incorporate API into your event technologies:

API Steps

– Step 1: Create your application todo list. What do you want the application to be able to do?
– Step 2: Create the API Server. This is where hiring a coder might be beneficial as this is mainly back-end work.
– Step 3: Secure the API Server with an ID and Password.
– Step 4: Create the Front-end Experience. What do you want the customer/client to see?
[Tweet “The challenge of the future is unifying, organizing and enabling APIs to work together so you don’t end up with an enterprise with hundreds or thousands of islands of data – Mark Geene”] Learn more at the 5 Best Machine Learning APIs for Data Science here


Crowd in control

Attendee engagement is a major factor contributing to the experience of a meeting. Engagement promotes an emotional tie which results in the attendees learning and retaining more. Additionally, 2017 Event Trends predicts next year will be a gradual decline in the keynote speaker-dominated events structure. Instead of having one keynote speaker dictating the event, future events will focus on the creation of “learning sessions” where both speaker and audience can share the limelight. Consequently, if an attendee can customize their experience, they can create an environment which is best suited for them. Not only will they be satisfied but you could track the customization preferences to better prepare for future events. So how can the attendee control the event they are attending? Below are a few 2017 trends for event av to allow your attendees to have control over their experiences:

How you can incorporate your guests feedback:

Create polls when developing the event (and actually utilize what people want). You can also decide to invite guests to the meeting governance meetings when making decisions Include them from the beginning.
Ask for feedback. Make a decision and see how the audience likes it. If they have feedback, consider their opinion and making the potential change.
Create a hashtag specifically for improvement ideas. Utilize this hashtag through the lifespan of the event; from the early development process through the actual event.

One of the hidden secrets of many events are the talks among attendees, often held in between booths, hallways and activities. The next year will see this conversation being incorporated directly into the framework of events. Imagine creating an impact in an event even when you’re just chatting in the corridors.


Ticket tracking

Believe it or not, ticket scalping is one of the greatest financial loses with events. Although this cannot be prevented, event managers can sell tickets through ticketing software that can track who is using the tickets. With innovative solutions, event managers can now leverage the power of the cloud, mobile apps and online marketplaces. Below are the top 6 ticket sale companies to check out:

Ticket Sale Companies

1. Eventbrite
2. Purplepass Ticketing
3. Tix
4. TicketSpice
5. TicketPeak
6. TicketSource
Want to analyze which software is best for you? Sort by features at

Smart events

Technology has advanced to a level where recognition software can determine physical, mental and emotional characteristics of attendees. This not only enhances the user experience, but also provides insight into the type of guests who are attending. By using simple cameras and sensory wristbands, this technology is able to track face analysis and mood.


One example is the XOX. The XOX is a basic system which includes a server, cloud and sensory wristband. Under those circumstances, the wristband reads raw data through the various biometric sensors detecting an individual’s mood and sending to the server. Consequently, you can know an attendees mood which can help determine what you need to change or keep for your future events.

Facial Recognition:

The human face plays an important role in social identity. Imagine having an event where each attendee needed to use their human face as a key to security, services and products. You would be able to track the exact biometrics of that individual while allowing the program to adequately supply their needs.


Activate all senses

Gone are the days of music and video projections. 2017 trends for event AV have expanded to a world that incorporates all of the 5 senses. Although sight and sound are the most common among events, attendees have recorded having a higher retention of events where smell, touch and taste is involved. Below are the 5 senses and tips to maximize each experience.


Use stimulating visual content including pictures, videos and lighting techniques during your event. Understanding the impact of social media, add incentive for guests who publish the best photo or video to their sites. Ensure pictures are high resolution and clearly depict your event in a positive light.


Think of what mood you want your event to have. Undoubtedly, setting the right soundtrack will help create a mood for your guests. It is also important to understand the demographic of your audience and how they respond to the chosen soundtrack. For example, jazz music is directly correlated to stress reduction. According to Alphonse de Lamartine, [Tweet ““Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” – Alphonse de Lamartine”]


Don’t skimp on catering! When choosing a catering company, keep in mind your event theme, attendee demographic, dietary preferences and duration of the event. Also don’t be afraid of free samples! Attendees love having a taste of what the event has to offer and ask for their feedback on your event app. Remember, make all appetizers bite size and finger food. Guests wont likely have time to sit down or use utensils.


Similarly, the smell of an event will set the mood or the theme of the event. Take the time to test different scents for your venue, number of attendees and additional factors that may alter that fragrance. For example, lavender eliminates nervous tension, relieves pain, disinfects the scalp and skin, enhances blood circulation and treats respiratory problems. No wonder many luxury events incorporate this scent.


Select the right textures, shapes and feelings for your event. Additionally, some new 2017 trends for event AV allows guests to interact with AR that incorporates touchable water surfaces. Incorporate this effect as a water sculpture or add a mist for a booth. A guest will not forget that experience!

Undoubtedly, if you incorporate all the 2017 trends for event AV above into your next event, you will soar above all other event planners. Guests will be in shock when they are able to experience the newest 2017 technology trends at your event.

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Katie Christianson

Author Katie Christianson

Katie has been involved in the events industry for years! When she is not working, she enjoys working out, riding motorcycles and walking her wiener dog, Holly. She is passionate about traveling and learning about new cultures and hopes to experience living in many different countries. Katie values a hard work ethic, a light-hearted personality and a good pun.

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