The technology behind Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality has never been better, or more available. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could attend an event, without actually having to be there? That’s what AR and VR are for. Check out the newly launched Bridge and Structure, and even Daydream VR by Google, for starters. These, and the VR platforms to come, will make it possible for digital and physical realities to merge.
Livestreaming is huge these days—just think of Facebook live and Instagram live—and the tech behind it is only getting better. Participants can now attend events via livestreaming and even view live drones footage. Amazing, right?
Virtual meetings—the next level from livestreaming, is a more immersive way to attend meetings via your personal avatar. Facebook showed that this is possible in 2016. Plus, with Microsoft’s Hololens, you can attend meetings and have the same options that are made available to the actual attendees.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana— The thing is, you can apply Artificial Intelligence to events as well, by using AI for personalized service, to be, say, a personal marketing concierge, which can be given to millions of users at the same time—think of Hubspot’s Growthbot as an example.
An AI can also become the personalized branding tool of your event (think Siri and Apple) and numerous people can interact with it at the same time.
And for you, events professional, why not have an AI virtual events assistant—to assist you with registration, flowcharts, bugeting, etc.
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For example, with Loopd, which collects real time data on the spot. Why is this important? Because you get real time data that can be processed right then and there, allowing you to measure your expected ROI for each part of the event. This also tells you which segments of your events are more successful than the others—allowing you to further personalize them for your attendees. Other apps allow for real-time surveys—you have instant useful data for your event.
One huge trend in event planning is that locations are getting more and more casual and informal. Think studios, lofts, rehearsal spaces, and the like. Another possibility is “pop ups”. Yes—when, seemingly all of a sudden, an event is announced, set up, and held shortly thereafter, often in an unconventional place. The spontaneity of it all is very appealing.
Third, locations that are further away from central areas are gaining in popularity as well. Think about it—it allows the participants to avoid traffic, for one, and has the attraction of going somewhere new and unknown
Give the participants a say in the event. Yes, you heard us right. It certainly is an unusual thought, but you may want to give it a try. For example—the time of keynote speaker driven events may just be coming to an end. To replace this will be sessions where in the audience gets to share the spotlight with the speaker. How? Well, for one thing, in this kind of setting the moderators don’t get to ask the questions, the audience does.
Another thing that will increase audience participation is that conversation between attendees, will be removed from the sidelines and become incorporated into the main activities. Chatting about the event becomes one of the highlights.
This way, the audience gets to create the content of the event together with you. And because they are engaged this way, with the use of live social media, they become part of advertising the event as well. And they don’t just share the event, but how they think of and feel about it as well. Seen this way, it becomes a win-win situation for both sides—you and your participants.