After more than 12 months of restrictions, events had no choice but to adapt, with many companies moving online and using software they weren’t previously familiar with, sparking new trends across the events industry.

We’ve taken a look at some of the current and upcoming trends in tech for the event industry, for both virtual and in-person events, as well as the benefits and challenges they bring.

 

Virtual event tech trends for 2021 and beyond

Improved video and audio quality

With many companies moving events to online, all internal business events such as team meetings and socials have moved to virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

However, many people are experiencing “Zoom fatigue”. This can stem from poor audio and video quality, excessive eye contact in comparison to an in-person meeting, as well as being able to see yourself in a call, which can cause you to become more critical of yourself, as people tend to find their eyes drifting to their own face rather than others.

Therefore, upgrading video resolution for virtual event platforms, different visual-layout options so you don’t have to see your own face, as well as moving to different locations within the house for each meeting, could help make working from home much less taxing.

Gamification

Everyone needs a little bit of fun, and an effective way to provide this in a video conference is through gamification. This can help to break up long meetings, reduce fatigue, regain attention, and boost engagement.

Self-made mini-games, such as skribbl.io (virtual Pictionary), allows participants to compete against each other using breakout rooms for team members to complete tasks or mini-games. These features allow attendees to let their creativity flow and to temporarily think about something other than work.

Live streaming

When the pandemic began, so ensued a catastrophe of cancelled events. From award shows to concerts and theatrical productions, all ticket holders were either refunded, or asked to hold on and wait for a reschedule date.

The music industry was struck especially hard as many smaller acts rely on touring and concerts for their income. So, artists and creatives had to find a new way to entertain. Many event planners moved to live streaming, which opened an entirely different stage. It gives international fans an ability to attend events they may have never been able to in person, and allows new kinds of interaction with viewers.

 

Face-to-face event tech trends coming up

Event management software

Event planning software provides a convenient solution that can help you track everything going on with your event in one place. 

Communication and coordination with others at every part of planning an event can be difficult when you’re having to use different programs or mediums to contact people e.g., email, calling, video calling. So, using a reliable tool that keeps everything in one place is essential to help maintain organisation throughout the event, no matter what stage you’re at.

Event management software can be used for a wide range of events, and can help with budgeting, venue selection, schedule planning and more!

Facial recognition

Whether it’s physical or digital, people don’t like long-winded event check-ins; It’s irritating, especially when you’re running a little late and get caught up in a 10-minute check in. While not a new technology, facial recognition is on the rise.

It can streamline the checking-in process, allowing people to walk up to a camera and verify who they are. This can also allow event planners to easily track attendees as they enter. 

Artificial Intelligence can be used to help recognise the moods of people as they scan in, and data can be collected from this to read the overall mood of the room, and then can use this data to shape the event to better suit the audience’s emotional needs.

RFIDs

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) wirelessly transfers data through tags, wristbands and smart devices that allow event planners to monitor movement and behaviour, as well as giving attendees a more permanent style of ticket, and allows a cashless payment system.

There are many benefits to RFID technology, including streamlined check-in, quick data collection, and contactless systems. It can also provide contact-tracing solutions if an attendee tests positive for COVID-19.

 

What else is new for event tech?

Hybrid events

While tech events in 2021 are beginning to open up to the outside world, some people aren’t able to travel, or are uncomfortable with larger events after attending completely virtual events for the past year.

Therefore, providing online facilities at physical events is crucial to allow people to virtually participate freely, and allows the combination of the two.

While it may be difficult at first, event planners will need to find the sweet spot between the number of physical and digital attendees so both are engaged comfortably and nobody is left on a laptop with poor lighting in the back of a room.

Micro-experiences

Smaller events allow people to network on a more personal level, and creates a more interactive environment. It provides better engagement and communication, while also meaning less stress for planners, even allowing them to be a part of the event as well.

Micro-events can be either virtual, physical, or in a hybrid form. In this way, attendees are able to personalise their own experience, meaning they can attend virtually one day, and attend in person another day, without overwhelming them after a long period of time with minimal personal interactions.

 

Do any of these upcoming event technology trends intrigue you? Would you be interested in attending these kinds of events?

Contact us on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn and let us know your thoughts on these trends, and any trends you’ve come across as well.

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