Planning Tips, Your Event Career

5 Tech Trends Event Managers Need to Know in 2020

Now more than ever, it seems as though technology is one of the most important parts of any event. From online conferences, to hyper-digital displays, technology isn’t just the future of event planning… It’s the present! 

If you’re an event manager, you’re probably well-versed in your industry’s tech as it stands right now. But of course, technology is always changing! This means that it’s important to stay on top of new tech trends, too!

So, study up to make sure your next event is up-to-date, polished, and exciting for everyone (including you)!

Why is technology important in event planning?

Just like with everything these days, technology covers nearly every aspect of the event planning industry. Whether you’re using an app to manage your tickets for a conference, scanning your thumbprint to check-in, or using VR to show attendees a brand new kind of experience, technology is part of everything you do. 

Event managers know that the key to a memorable event is to keep things exciting for attendees. One of the best ways to do that is through new technology. Remember what it felt like the first time you held a smartphone? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could re-create that experience for attendees, again and again?

How to incorporate technology into your events

Of course, technology in event planning isn’t all science-fiction-style advances. It’s important to remember that there’s so much tech out there that simply aims to make events and event management easier! If your audiences aren’t the VR-Goggles-and-Machine-Learning types, there are other ways to incorporate technology.

Instead of having a sign-in table manned by countless staffers or volunteers, why not allow guests to register on a tablet? Why not take it a step further, and have that tablet print their event badges for them?

Our point is: there’s always some way to incorporate technology into your event!

Tech trends event managers should know about

Attendee Personalization

Have you ever quickly Googled something once, and then discovered that all of your ads for the next week revolve around that search?

While it can be a little unnerving in the wrong situations, attendees love this level of personalization when it comes to events! Use tech to welcome them personally to the conference. Gather information about their business, and use it to provide them with networking or career-building opportunities.

You can also use apps that personalize attendees’ experience through surveys and recommendations, so that they’re guaranteed to get the most out of their experience!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Once thought of as something that would only ever exist in the world of Science Fiction, AI has taken the world by storm! Why should your event be any different? 

While we’re not (necessarily) talking about robot butlers serving the snacks at a cocktail hour, artificial intelligence can be SO useful for event planners who are stretched thin. For example: some events employ chatbots so that guests can have their questions answered at any time of day it is, regardless of how busy the conference gets.

Others use AI to provide guests with customized itineraries, based on their professional goals, personal habits, and/or general interests.

Data, Data, Data

Another great part of technology in events is that it allows event managers to collect data about their guests. Interestingly, many attendees are also interested in this data!

Many conferences are great about showing off their information, so as:

Having all this data is great for event planners, since you can use it to better understand your clients and their attendees. At the same time, it’s also great for the participants themselves! Collecting and storing data through tech means that they’ll be sharing ideas long after the event is over.

Remote Events

This is possibly the biggest trend to come out of 2020 (though it certainly wasn’t by choice)! Virtual events have moved past necessity, and now simply make the most sense for many event managers.

For starters, it keeps you, your client, and the attendees safe during the current pandemic. Beyond that, remote events mean guests no longer need to spend time away from their friends and families in order to stay informed about the current goings-on in their industry. They can also participate in team-building activities that will benefit their careers, from the comfort of their own home. 

Whether you opt to create an entirely online event through streaming platforms (such as Zoom, Facebook Live, or a Webinar platform), or you’re more interested in having “virtual ad-ons” for guests unable to appear live and in-person, remote events are a fantastic way to make your event more inclusive (and, yes, safer)!

Branded Event Apps

A fantastic way to kill two birds with one stone, branded event apps raise awareness of your business AND help event-goers understand their schedule for the day. Apps are a fantastic way for guests to understand the dozens of speakers, workshops, and other activities available to them – without having to carry around pamphlets or maps.

(Plus, it’s way less embarrassing to look at your phone than a massive map when you’re lost in a conference center!)

When you brand your app with your business, guests will begin to associate your brand with trustworthiness, helpfulness, and organization. Isn’t that exactly what every event manager is hoping for? If you aren’t the most technologically-minded person out there, don’t worry: there are plenty of companies who can help you create the perfect app for any event, and it costs much less than you may think!

While not every event needs to be entirely remote, entirely based around tech, or entirely technologically groundbreaking, no one can argue that technology brings so much to the event planning industry!

Whether you want to help lost guests find their way a little faster, painlessly organize the schedules of 500 people at once, or simply put a smile on a guest’s face with a little personalization, you can do it all when you embrace new technology trends.

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