By Gareth McTiffin, Events Development Manager
Technology has become a key investment through many sectors of business and has integrated itself into our day to day lives.
As events become more immersive experiences, technology has inevitably heightened the expectation of event attendees; basics like Wi-Fi, integrated lighting and sound systems are the norm and can be found in most places as part of the venue’s offering. Our everyday use of technology, from Twitter and Instagram to event apps and ticket purchasing, makes technology the ‘norm’ on any event planners list.
As Techniquest’s Events Development Manager I’ve rounded up some of the industries cutting edge technology trends and how I think these will play a role in cultural venues in 2018.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is virtual reality’s (VR) close relative, using elements of VR to blend the boundary between physical and digital space. 2018 will further the use of AR by incorporating the technology into events and exhibitions to engage and interact with guests like never before.
Here at Techniquest we’ve already introduced AR into one of our many fun and interactive exhibits available for delegates during events.
Apps already play a huge part in how organisers and delegates can communicate and interact with events, particularly those hosted at unique venues.
Specially designed event apps enable companies ‘Go Green’ by replacing resource heavy printed guides with electronic guides that can be accessed on a tablet or smartphone. Event organisers can also use event apps to control content and engage with guests in different ways depending on their location within the event or on the time of day!
Live steaming events is fast becoming common practice to reach larger audiences and to whip up online interaction. I believe we’ll see a surge in the livestreaming of awards ceremonies and conferences as businesses continue to maximise their resources.
Techniquest work with the audio-visual specials Orchard Media, who offer live streaming across all spaces within our attraction.
Social media walls
Every day we immerse ourselves in Facebook and other social platforms to see the latest trends and gain updates from friends and colleagues. In 2018 the integration of the ever-growing desire for information and online interaction into an event by adding a social media wall will increase.
Social media walls are live or aggregated (and usually filtered) feed of social posts from sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook that are displayed on a digital signage display. They can be used for feedback during product launches or to monitor polls running during an event.
There are loads of fun ways to add gamification to the events experience. Companies have been utilising event apps and badging systems to add an element of fun. At a recent event hosted by Noodle Live, a league table of guests were kept to monitor those delegates who were being the most proactive with their radio-frequency identification (RFID) badges!
Venue choice can also be a quick win when considering introducing this trend into your events strategy. With over 130 exhibits and electronic interactive trails to explore, Techniquest certainly breaks down barriers amongst delegates and injects a bit of fun into any type of event.
Whenever the topic of technology arises, I’m always thinking, what comes next? In a few years we’ll be discussing the next big development to transform the way we communicate, promote and engage at events. It’s an ever-changing landscape, and cultural venues have to continue to evolve to remain at the forefront.