What are the top technology trends in the business events industry in the coming year? Who better to ask than the tech experts at Convening Leaders, many of whom presented educational sessions in the Innovate and Elevate Arena.
We asked: “What’s the one technology trend you are keeping your eye on in 2019?”
“AI chatbots for events are going to go mainstream. They’re the easiest way for attendees to get instant information and for producers to access attendees through the channel they most often use: text. And do it at scale.” — Chuck Elias, CEO and co-founder, EventBots
“Every marketer has heard the maxim that the best way to engage your customers and audiences is to have a conversation with them. With the rise of artificial intelligence, chatbots are finally getting smart enough to have literal conversations with audiences at scale. You’ll start to see live experiences truly engage their attendees through omnichannel voice- and text-based chatbot solutions that really drive revenue and registrations.” — Wilson Tang, vice president, Digital Experience, Freeman
“Incorporation of voice technology into events, like with Alexa. This goes hand in hand with event bots. With voice technology, attendees can find out how to get from point A to point B or talk about what signage doesn’t work, all by voicing it. All of these things collect analytics on what attendees are thinking and talking about. That data can help to improve your next event.” — Katie Dolan, attendee engagement specialist, Glisser
Event tech meets digital marketing
“In 2019, we see event tech and digital marketing tech colliding. Success this year for event professionals means a laser focus on an attendee acquisition and engagement. Organizations will adjust their tech stacks and marketing ecosystems to expand beyond traditional email blasts and social-media posts to utilizing influencer networks, key stakeholders, and passionate organization members as integral members of their marketing team.
“And when influencers are on site at your event, invest in tech to post compelling content across multiple channels to grab their attention and give them a reason to amplify your event, making their network’s universe your organization’s universe.” — Dahlia El Gazzar, DES, Dahlia+ Inc.
“Event technology and event strategies that unleash data for a more personalized attendee/customer experience.” — Nicole Cote, director of marketing, Shepard
“We will be watching the trend of useful mobile app features. As we continue to see mobile app usage grow we will be adding enhancements for the attendee experience. And why does just the attendee get to experience all the fun on the mobile apps. We will be also creating mobile apps for the Event Management Team to include meeting logistics, staff/volunteer management and more.” — Michael Horton, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, eShow
Unlocking the value of the data you have
“Organizers need to unlock the value of the data they already have and continue to collect. Integrated and accurate data will increase attendance and exhibitor ROI.” — Norm Gritsch, founder and president, Nexus Data Group
Facial recognition meets registration
“We’ve seen a lot of developments recently with on-site registration. One of the most innovative is the use of facial recognition as a way for attendees to check in and have their badge printed. We’re definitely keeping an eye on this exciting new trend.” — Carlin Frey, director of onboarding, Executivevents
“My top event trend will be that we’ll see many more events using match-making/networking/meeting-setting tools this year, helping attendees and exhibitors/sponsors to maximize and optimize time spent at events.” — Tamar Beck, CEO, Gleanin
“Planners and vendors have worked hard the past few years to make integrations easy and seamless. This will be the year when all the hard work pays off. We’re going to see all kinds of opportunities pop up for collaboration because of the groundwork we’ve laid.” — Mike Doane, marketing manager, Cadmium CD
Hybrid and virtual events
“More hybrid and virtual events, which opened the door for organizations to broaden their reach, increase revenue, and improve the overall attendee experience.” — Scott Cohen, chief revenue officer, Conferences i/o
“With so many great providers of tech out there, I’m keeping an eye out for how easy it gets to integrate data behind the scenes in order to deliver a seamless experience for organizers, sponsors, and attendees.” — Justin Post, regional vice president, Map Your Show
“The expanding integration between vendors and platforms — such as Fusion by Freeman — which will create a common language so computer platforms can speak to each other. So if, for example, there’s a speaker room change at an event, that data can cascade out to all the vendors who have a need to take action based on that information.” — Jason Daiger, director of IT, Attendee Interactive
Paige DeRuiter, manager, strategic alliances, Bravura Technologies, LLC
Wayne Crawford, vice president of sales, Core-apps
James Parker, president, Digitell