What are some innovative technology event ideas

Smart events under the sign of digital evolution

Arrange appointments via smart watch, call up event information in real time with mobile applications, enrich conference content with smart glasses and share it with the world via virtual walls, make products tangible via augmented reality and take part in conferences via human 3D projection - which sounds more like science fiction, is already a reality here and there in the event industry. But how many and which innovative technologies make sense? What is trendy gimmick and what is real added value?

New technologies bring many advantages in the event industry. In this way, continuously optimized participant management systems save companies valuable process time and costs. Mobile apps offer event participants a new dimension of network possibilities as well as practical information and organizational aids. Virtual platforms are now an indispensable aid for many event guests when they arrive. Interactive tools have long been an integral part of events, for example to enable the moderator to carry out live votes or to inform interested parties who are not present about the content of the event. After the event, new applications facilitate travel expense accounting, reporting and follow-up with the new business relationships as an interface between real encounters and virtual contact maintenance.

The unpleasant side effect of the increasing digitalization at events is the omnipresent, sometimes hardly manageable flood of information, the permanent availability up to the - at least perceived - control of the event participants as well as the data transparency or even the endangerment of personal or corporate data security. In addition, the arrival of new technologies is associated with numerous challenges: corporate departments such as travel and event management, IT, human resources and accounting must be seamlessly networked with one another. If there is just one media break in the data chain, the next level of networking will no longer work. In addition, all those involved in an event of all ages and areas of competence must familiarize themselves with the technologies used. This not only requires everyday suitability and user-friendliness of the technology itself, but also a great deal of sensitivity as to which tools make sense when in order to do justice to the target groups involved and the event content.

So whether a food printer is used for the next conference catering, the event process is controlled by a robot, the conference documents are delivered by a drone or the participants of a meeting meet as a projection, needs to be carefully considered in order not to overshoot the target .

Event communication in the 2.0 age

The digital evolution has revolutionized communication in all areas of life. From the location-based PC to the mobile laptop as a work device and the mobile tablet as a living device, we are not far from the visionary future scenarios for smart products that network every area of ​​life and work with microsensors, action logic and multiple, mobile Internet connectivity. Data glasses and data clocks, service robots, smart buildings, intelligent vehicles and even intelligent clothing will continue to change our world of communication, and quickly. At the international Consumer Electronics Show 2015, over 2,700 future-oriented technology products were presented, most of them with a direct influence on communication skills. With so-called off-body (e.g. smart phone), on-body (e.g. smart watch) and in-body (e.g. smart pill) products, communicative people increasingly merge with virtual technology.

Especially in the event industry, these technological innovations bring about a blatant change in values ​​and new communication phenomena, as an event in the real world is the epitome of encounter, networking, information exchange and interaction.

With the new technical possibilities, the event formats are also changing. If one believes some prognoses, traditional conferences seem to have had their day. In reality, however, a merging of familiar and future-oriented formats is more realistic. The audience is no longer only “sounded” and “entertained”, but actively involved in the event. Contents are developed together - analogue and digital; before, during and after the event.

The modern, future-oriented event participant expects to be informed and to be able to interact in their living and working world via the respectively available and preferred channel. Attributes that are actually traditional, such as service, benefit and impact, come into focus intermedially, i.e. in print media and on the web, in apps and social media channels. Sensible digitization in this context means transforming products, messages and content into a tangible context of use and a service that corresponds to the situation. In plain language: the service counts!

Digital optimization of events

In the event industry, various service providers have already implemented the digitization trend. Virtual attendee management systems (TMS) are an essential element for professional event planning and quality assurance. The web-based information, registration and booking tools save the event planner a lot of time so that he can concentrate on the content of the event. Event participants, speakers and event service providers also benefit from the automated registration process and the digital preparation and follow-up of the event.

Analog networking as a central element of a conference is optimized through the digital establishment of contacts around an event. Apps for direct dialogue, websites via desktop and mobile devices for indirect information gathering and so-called "iBeacons" for live visitor communication on site via Bluetooth for networking, voting, questions to speakers and real-time communication help. In addition, the organizer can then collect smart data and use personal search results to analyze participant data and to optimize events.

The event industry has also discovered the topics of story telling and content marketing via social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Co. have long been used to arouse curiosity about conferences and events and to convey event content in a target group-oriented manner. There are also special tools and apps for congresses, meetings and events. Event organizers operate cross marketing and sponsoring, activate evaluation portals, enable scheduling, book workshops, publish individual profiles of participants and speakers as well as presentations, transmit live event data, initiate surveys and feedback surveys, and promote networking and communication between those involved in the event. Ideally, TMS, web-based applications, apps, cloud storage, visitor terminals, event and presentation technology as well as analysis and reporting tools are coordinated to ensure a seamless flow of information and communication.


Modern event and media technology

While communication technology serves the individual end devices of event participants, modern event and media technology generates attention on a broad front. Modern building architecture of event locations takes technological innovations into account right from the planning stage. But also existing event venues and hotels with conference capacities can be upgraded or retrofitted with the intelligent systems.

With the help of multiscreens, for example, numerous projections can be strung together on a large area and extremely impressive effects can be created. An actually inconspicuous conference room can mutate into a spectacular 360-degree screen or a house wall can become an XXL stage.

LED technology is also playing an increasingly important role in events of all kinds. The flexible modules not only look stylish, but also help locations of all sizes to make optimal use of space. Another particular advantage is the cost efficiency of LED systems, which are up to 70 percent cheaper than conventional projection methods.

If the aim is to save personnel capacities and process costs and to comply with sustainability requirements by avoiding travel, there are also various options: Direction automation is, for example, an effective means of serving several rooms at the same time from a central control room with just one speaker. Video conferences work in a similar way, in which participants from different locations are added via video transmission. Transporting expensive products or large objects can be avoided through the use of augmented reality tools, which make objects tangible in three dimensions on a large stage or with the help of mobile gadgets.

Efforts are now being made in the third dimension to send meeting or event participants via 3D telepresence, which could soon replace the two-dimensional video conference. So if you want to shake hands with your table neighbor in a meeting soon, you could reach into nowhere ...


Need facts and need factors

Event planning is not just based on hard facts. In addition to the needs-based components such as date, number of participants, destination, hotel category, budget, number of overnight stays, requirements for the conference room, technology, etc., an event also has needs-oriented factors such as the type and objective of the event, target group, character, values, motivational elements, requirements in terms of ambience and atmosphere etc. In the course of increasing digitization in particular, these requirements pose a real challenge.

While the need, i.e. the purely factual components relating to the planned event, can be easily digitized, personal values ​​and some individual needs for an event, both on the part of the organizing company and on the part of the participants and service providers, cannot always be queried or fulfilled using a click function become. In event consulting, planning and booking, some sensitive areas are still deliberately worked offline. Because even if the digital communication media are so sophisticated, people are brought together in the real world at an event. You should be motivated, inspired and convinced by training measures, a business idea, a new product or a brand. This requires far more than just researching and booking event services. The consideration of many emotional criteria, which go far beyond the actual requirement, makes an event unique, “touches” the participants and leaves a lasting impression. This requires modern, digital tools, but still combined with the highest level of personal commitment and a good feel for the “analog” needs of everyone involved.

Summary: Back to the future

With all the progressive digital trends that enrich event management and the implementation of events, a return to existing values ​​in the event landscape can be observed at the same time. So new technological dimensions only work on a solid basis of lived service orientation.

Because when there is too much digital action, interaction, communication and information, a traditional lecture with very old-fashioned frontal sound, a few snacks and chats in the foyer can seem quite pleasant every now and then.

With a healthy mix of innovative technology, a few hip gadgets and target group and trend-oriented event formats combined with a comprehensible set of values, a few conservative event elements, motivational impulses and inspiring event content, every event leaves a lasting impression - analogue and digital!