As we approach a new decade, events continue to evolve at a rapid pace. What event trends can event professionals expect to see next year? We asked Entegy Partners for their top tips and how events can keep their finger on the pulse.
When it comes to engagement, it all comes down to giving users a reason to use the app, and we’ve found that there’s no better way to do this than via gamification. Using incentives, games or competitions as a hook, people are encouraged to follow a set of actions which helps organisers achieve participation objectives and shows value to stakeholders. For example, we used the Entegy app’s Passport Competition feature at our recent Whisky Wine and Fire event which allowed us to increase app downloads by 422%, resulting in a rise of 1,674 leads over the previous year (224%!). The end result was engaged delegates, happy sponsors and a unique event that exceeded our client’s expectations.
More than ever society is focusing on sustainability and “going green”, so it isn’t a surprise that the need to reduce waste and save our natural resources should spill across into the events industry. As event management professionals it’s our responsibility to help foster sustainability and have a list of initiatives and ideas up our sleeves that we can implement into the planning of events. Below are some relatively easy and for the most part cost-effective practices you can adopt at your next event.
- Go paperless – gone are the days of big bulky multi-page event handbooks. Look to invest in an event app to house the event program, speaker bios and scientific abstracts. You can even get your sponsors and exhibitors onboard by offering a “digital swag” rather than the endless stream of pamphlets and brochures in the delegate satchels.
- Minimise plastic – opt for name badges that don’t require plastic sleeve pockets and encourage your sponsors and exhibitors to reduce single-use plastic at their stands
- BYO – encourage your delegates to bring their own keep cups and water bottles to your events to reduce the number of throw away coffee and drinking cups.
- Recycle – offer a number of recycling stations at your events for delegates to place unwanted materials. Even look to collect name badges at the end of the event for recycling.
- Pay it forward – in most cases there is quality leftover food at events. Oz Harvest offers great programs to ensure that surplus food makes it to those in need, while at the same time saving tonnes of food waste entering landfill.
Interactive Maps and Wayfinding refers to the features which add a layer of interactivity to the way attendees navigate an event space. The features achieve this both by providing step-by-step directions between locations at the event and the ability to select a point in the venue or floor plan and see additional information about it.
This can be key for organisers to enhance the event experience in a number of ways, including to highlight key sponsors and exhibitors at your event, allow for easy flow and movement through the venue and reduce the workload of your onsite staff.
Personalised content is one of the most powerful tools to enhance your attendee’s experience and add value, but it’s often overlooked. We see this time and time again where information is published and attendees give up trying to search for what they need or turn off notifications because they are bombarded with irrelevant information.
The solution? Make content relevant and targeted with event technology. There are multiple ways to achieve this for example:
- Personalised content, schedules and messages. By using data to identify your attendees interests and preferences you can serve up more valuable and specific information, tailored to them
- Create a buzz with secret, password-protected content. This can be gamification or something special for VIPs.
- Matchmaking – create conversations and networking via your app with attendees with similar interests
Privacy and security are ongoing challenges event professionals face and as the risk of malicious hacks and regulation of data and individuals’ privacy increases, it is a trend not to be overlooked.
Here are some ways event organisers can protect data and ensure compliance to GDPR and Australian Privacy Law:
- Gain consent during the collection of data phase (registration) and outline what the data will be used for. If you intend to share data with sponsors, you must obtain clear, freely-given consent from the attendee to do so.
- Ensure data collected is only what’s required for it’s intended use. If you only require the attendee’s email and phone number for communication purposes, don’t collect their address.
- Ensure your data is stored in a secure database, an encrypted system.
How your event technology can facilitate the above requirements:
- Implement two-level authentication for your event app and a unique event code
- Let attendees know they can update their details and privacy settings at any time from within the app
- Give attendees the ability to opt-in when it comes to sharing personal information such as name, email address and contact numbers. The default option should be to only share with connections only.
- Any messaging between attendees must be 100% confidential and should not be visible to any other attendees, conference organisers or anyone associated with the event.
What would your event look like without sponsors? Without them you may struggle to satisfy your attendees or worse, run the event at all. It’s vital to offer sponsors a partnership that provides exceptional returns. And that means eyeballs. Getting a sponsor’s brand in front of as many attendees as possible increases their engagement with existing customers and potential clients.
Alongside traditional posters and banners, think about unusual or interesting options to promote a sponsor’s logo. Registration kiosks, event badges and event apps all offer a range of digital and physical spaces that will connect event partners with attendees. Also take a look at your sponsor’s business portfolio to find other opportunities to increase their exposure. Can you incorporate their associated brands or products into your sponsorship package?
CrowdComms recently worked with Blackbaud on bbcon19 (a not-for-profit industry event). Initially, BlackBaud asked CrowdComms to provide the event’s badge-printing kiosks. However, they quickly realised there may also be an opportunity for CrowdComms’ sister company, GalaBid. As a charity auction software provider, Galabid was a natural event fit for bbcon so Blackbaud was delighted to offer GalaBid a major sponsor role. The three-way partnership was a great opportunity for our entire company and delivered significant benefits to bbcon. It’s an example of how providing high levels of visibility and engagement means your event is best placed to attract and retain sponsors. Which ultimately means you can deliver the perfect event experience to your most important stakeholders…your attendees.
The approach to your conference or event should have changed from 2-3 years ago. Traditional methods of conferencing are not having the reach or the traction that they have had in the past. We have been seeing the trend of mindfulness and inclusiveness emerging through conferences we have been involved with.
Your attendees long to be involved and connected in your conference through adaptive, interactive and engagement strategies. With so many possible distractions throughout your conference, your focus will need to be on the moments of connection that create unscripted and organic experiences.
We have seen the effects of a dynamic speaker whom can connect with an audience through interaction. We have experienced the return to our sponsors and exhibitors using automation, allowing more time for real and unmanufactured conversations. There are many strategies out there at your disposal with many experts like ourselves who love sharing thoughts and ideas.
There has never been a better time to access where your organisation is at when it comes to your strategies around engagement and real connection. Trends are showing that although society has never had the same number of tools for connection, people have never felt so alone in the world.
They are looking for something great to be apart of so why not make it your brand.
Augmented reality (AR) application developers will address the more practical uses for the technology in 2020. AR adds a compelling visual experience to events and booths of any size. Content can include interactive 3D models, videos, rich-media, landing pages, documents and more – all visible through the user’s mobile device. Augmented Reality has the potential to disrupt the trade show and conference industry, through the immersive visual experiences that it can support. This is no longer a gimmick. AR has real world applications that can be used for education, insight, sales, marketing, and much more.
Event attendees will have even greater expectations of the events they attend in 2020. They’ll demand more unique and sensory experiences. Ones that they’ll remember. The average business delegate has ‘seen it all’. So in 2020 event planners will be pulling out all stops when designing their events – with quirky setups, non-traditional venues, tantalising food stations and progressive technologies. With huge developments in event tech in recent years, 2020 will see a move towards a greater balance of technology with human touchpoints.
For a recent event, our client wanted to create a memorable first impression for guests on arrival. So we created a seamless check-in experience with the Sprintr kiosks. We made them a statement piece, wrapping them in event branding. And with our client freed up from registration, they were able to personally meet and greet their guests.
Imagine not having to worry about wifi speed and reliability at your event?!
Wifi is an essential component for any modern event and when it’s working, it’s great! But has your event ever experienced a wifi outage? Not the sort of experience anybody retains with a smile on their face. With the ever-increasing and improving performance of wifi – 5G technology will become more and more available over the next few years meaning faster data speeds and more amounts of data carried simultaneously to user devices. Therefore areas with a high density of users, such as a conference or festival can still experience fast speeds and low latency (the amount of time it takes for data to travel from the server to your browser).
In our experience, many venues offer free wifi to events – good for delegates who wish to connect on-site with their smart device……Definitely NOT good for your essential event needs, AV, name badge kiosks, registration etc. The more delegates log on, the slower it becomes. Until 5g is available extensively you can look at bandwidth splitting. This allows a percentage of the total venue bandwidth to be allocated to your event and password protected, this ensures no dilution by multiple users. This was the case recently when a client was quoted nearly $6,000 dollars to provide seamless internet in 3 conference rooms over 2 different levels. Our interjection saved the client a lot of money, they still had a seamless service and the venue did not realise that splitting was an option.