Experts talk about technology innovation in events


New technology becoming mainstream

When we had the opportunity to talk with senior industry figures, we asked them which new innovation, technology or practice they think will become mainstream in the near future. The variety of their replies was so interesting to hear and some of the responses were not as ‘out there’ as one might imagine; they were centred on very realistic next steps that organisations might take.

Here are their thoughts.

“There are all sorts of things that organisers are playing with. At registration they tie up with LinkedIn and share people’s event info to appropriate contacts.”

“Livestream broadcasting will become mainstream.”

“3D is becoming less novel. It would be fascinating to understand how visitors’ smart phones could be connected to the exhibition in some way.”

“Direct transmission of what’s happening on the stand straight into the office. I would love to see an easy way to assess footfall figures on the stand. People would need to be engaged in some way – doing something that is funny and/or give them some simple learning. Perhaps a gaming activity where the game is directly relevant to the business/product. Nothing formal or demanding and done with charm. We are cognisant of limited attention spans. A game would capture young people especially and the elderly too.”

“Wearables – smart watches and smart glasses (Google glass) as they will be important in pushing information to people (in a different way than the smart phone). Communications will evolve (so we will still have apps and emails, etc.) but there will be direct click communication – click a button and directly talk to people. Oh, and video customer service as well.”

“Oculus Rift – virtual reality headsets.”

“We haven’t used it but augmented reality videos or holograms (such as pretending to have your CEO live on stage) could catch on.”

“3D printing will increase in the next few years. I think augmented reality will also be big. And touch technology too.”

“Anything cloud-based – streaming – especially when people can’t attend an event. People will broadcast directly from their booths to the web.”

“The use of iPads to share information, present data interestingly, engage with people.”

We believe that organisations do not wish to use technology for its own sake; they want it to be a tool to enable them to communicate more effectively with visitors. So, ‘splashing the cash’ is not the way to go. Rather, carefully considered messages, design, content and delivery devices are the order of the day. Real, positive, human impacts are the goal, denoting accessibility. Technology that is too ‘out there’ might alienate and raise eyebrows, jeopardising the meeting of objectives.