The events industry, as a whole, has one objective: increasing audience engagement. What “engagement” means depends on the event, but two generally accepted definitions include a two-way dialogue with attendees (meaning they are active participants in the event) and attendee emotional involvement (meaning they are invested and care about the outcome of the event).
Audience engagement can be achieved in a variety of ways, and technology is not only increasing those options, but is now presenting itself as a way that audiences expect to engage. Here are a few of the latest, most inspiring tech solutions that event organizers are using to engage their audiences:
Virtual Reality—With Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and other tech giants bringing forth more affordable, cutting-edge VR technology, event organizers can offer attendees new immersive experiences. And if the only way to get the “exclusive” experience is to line up for a turn with a headset… now you have double the opportunities for audience engagement!
Social Media Walls—Every event organizer knows that to have a successful, well-marketed event, you need a social media presence. Yet any engagement that has been cultivated pre-meeting will go to waste if you don’t incentivize attendees to engage at the event itself. That’s where social media walls can help: aggregated tweets, photos, and videos from attendees (tagged to your event, of course) will attract the attention of attendees and encourage them to respond and share. It’s a win for them, as they amplify their own voices, and it’s a win for you, as your event trends across social platforms.
Digital Swag Bags—Like the social media wall, digital swag bags are another win-win for event organizers and attendees. Organizers can forgo the pre-event hassle of collecting physical items and stuffing them into hundreds—if not thousands—of bags before an event. They can also track audience engagement, which is a big perk for sponsors who would never see measurable ROI from a free pen or notepad. Attendees, meanwhile, no longer need to keep track of a physical bag throughout the conference; they can open the “bag” on their smartphones, check out the contents, and when it’s time to move on to a session, close their phones, keeping the contents of the “bag” neatly stored away.
These are just three event tech ideas—there are many more out there. The key, as you sort through your options, is to look for solutions that increase audience engagement, because at the end of the day, that’s what event success is all about!