Are you bored seeing the same technology trends and topics at corporate events? Does it seem like every event but yours has the newest technology trend? Or, have you wowed your audience and want to continue down that path? If you answered yes, or even a maybe to any of the questions above, you are in the right spot. First, and most importantly, I want to emphasize the importance of choosing technology that is right for your event. I repeat, not all technology will suit your event, and that's ok! I recommend answering the following questions before implementing a new event technology trend: 1. Do you actually need something new? Everyone wants what's new and trending, but new and trending might not be any better then what you are already using. If you are seeing success in your current tactics there probably isn't a need for you to switch up what you're doing quite yet. When companies and event planners do this, they risk doing the complete opposite of their goal, upsetting their attendees and spending unnecessary time on adapting a new technology that might not even be better then what they had. 2. Define your goal. Determine what type of event you are executing BEFORE you decide on a technology to incorporate. You will have a greater synergy between the use of technology and your event if you first define your objectives. 2. What is your budget? The type of technology you work with will be correlative with the capital you have to invest. 3. How technologically savvy are you/is your team? Choose technology or technology companies that align with your technological knowledge, goals, and desired outcomes. Remember, people would rather see old technology used well, rather than the new technology used poorly. Now that you've determined the basic logistics for your event, you are ready to make an educated technology change to your event. Below I will highlight the top 5 event technology trends that may be right for you. 1. Mobile Event App - Selection What does 22% of the World’s population have in common? According to an article by John Heggestuen, “One in every 5 people in the world will own a Smartphone by the end of 2015.” In other words, an event mobile app will be able to reach 1/5 people to their mobile device. Due to the high percentage of smartphone users, an event app has grown in importance. So how can you choose the Event App that is right for you? First, plan within your timeline. It takes, on average, 4-6 weeks to create a Mobile App. Second, refine your options by answering the following questions: - Will I create an app specific for my event or will I use an existing app? - How easy will it be to create my app? - How much will I invest in my app? - Will this app be accessible both online and offline? - How easy will it be to navigate my app? Many companies are opting to create their own mobile app. This option allows maximum customization, flexibility, and creativity though it requires a stronger technologically savvy team. If you decide you would rather use an existing mobile app, check out Event App Comparisons to determine which app may be the best for your event. Lastly, note that bigger is not always better. Consider apps with concise detail and high user-friendly navigation. For more information about creating your Mobile Event App, check out the FREE Event App Bible. 2. Maximize the use of Bluetooth / iBeacon Undoubtedly, we’ve heard about Bluetooth and iBeacon becoming widely used within event technology trends. Bluetooth and iBeacon are location sensing devices. This means a broadcast can send and receive from one another within a 40-yard radius. In other words, you can influence an attendee before they know about you. How can we maximize the use of Bluetooth and iBeacon throughout events? - Get Bluetooth / iBeacon. Most smartphones and mobile devices have an embedded Bluetooth Sensor. For a centralized iBeacon platform, you can buy an iBeacon transmitter separately. You will want to notify guests in advance to turn on their Bluetooth Setting. To learn how to pair devices, read more about Bluetooth Device Advice. - Set up the following Features When a Device Enters Range o Personalized Welcome Message o Establish Social Media Check-In o Launch Push Notifications o Advertisement Bundles o Location Alerts Bluetooth will also allow data insights, such as attendee location, tracking, and feedback. These low-cost applications provide real-time updates and increased engagement among event attendees. 3. Wearable Technology Trends With the highly anticipated Apple Watch now on the market, the use of wearable technology has significantly increased in the Event Industry. The Apple watch and Google Glass are a few of upcoming technology trends. So how do we incorporate wearable technology with the latest event trends? Apple Watch: When you create an event app (Technology Trend #1), you can make apps specific for the watch. Learn more about developing watch apps for apple watch at Jackrabbit Mobile. Additionally, this device is compatible with Bluetooth to allow users to receive any electronic updates. Google Glass/Smart Glasses: Users will be able to track attendees, take images, and access important data about the conference. This device could also walk viewers through important step-by-step processes. The development of this product could be a major turning point in the wearable technology industry. Stay tuned for more detail on wearable technology trends in blog’s to come. 4. Social Media It is now clearer than before to understand the importance and impact that social media has on today’s society. Big changes, however, are still to come. By focusing on the following Social Media points, your event will be sure to stand out. - Sneak Peak Video's. Research suggests people are more drawn to short videos through the increasingly popular use of InstaVideo, Vine, Snapchat, and hyper-lapse. Pro Tip: Create short clips averaging 6 seconds that capture the top highlight details of an event - Facebook. Facebook is the opposite of dying. Over 60% of marketing activity occurred over Facebook over the past year. Pro Tip: Engage attendees early with interactive posts and advertisements - UTM Parameters. Include UTM Parameters with EVERYTHING. UTM parameters are tags attached to a URL, which can track activity Pro Tip: Provide attendees with direct links to all references - Testimonials. According to an article on Marketing Land, 90% of consumers said testimonials influenced them to buy. Pro Tip: Visual Testimonials provide a more real scope on the product. This can include graphics and/or videos - Social Participation. Creating a social environment will increase the energy, interaction and participation among guests. Pro Tip: Customize the social media experience throughout turning points during the event 5. 3D Printing Imagine walking into a convention center and you see two Direct TV Events side by side. The first door displays a large banner that says, “Direct TV.” The second door you find yourself face to face with a life-like statue of Hannah Davis and her White Horse. Which event would you rather attend? Though "technology" may imply electronic, web-based, and elusive, a technology trend that will remain tangible is 3-D Printing. What is it? 3D printing is converting a digital file to a three-dimensional solid object. The following list provides suggestions how to incorporate 3D printing within your event: - Creating life-like prototypes for products or services - Overcoming design obstacles - Creating Event Banners, Signs, and Displays Though there are high initial setup expenses, the long-term benefits outweigh the costs making 3D printing a highly desired object creator. Wrapping Up The event industry is taking technology trends seriously. While there are constant updates and improvements with technology, remember the importance of choosing the best technology for your event. The five points above highlight the key event technology trends to inspire a change in your next event. If you found this post helpful, please share on Twitter or Facebook.