As video streaming (and especially live streaming) technology has progressed in recent years, industry outsiders have anticipated doom and gloom for the events industry – suggesting that audiences would skip events and simply catch up with all the news online.
What the naysayers missed though, was how the events industry would embrace technology and use tech advancements to revolutionise how events are run – making events attractive to both existing audiences and new ones.
Robo Assistants, Powered by AI
As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, so too does its capabilities. Today’s “robo assistants” are capable of speaking with event attendees and handling a host of miscellaneous tasks – including handling enquiries, driving sales, taking care of registrations, keeping delegates informed of event updates, and more.
Among these are chatbots (such as Angage’s Event Bot) that can do all of the above tasks, and a few more. Effectively, these AI-driven assistants can exponentially expand your event and customer service teams – without scaling in cost the same way.
Besides saving costs, these technologies also allow event planners to spend their time more economically, and on more important issues – such as better event marketing, content, setups and more.
Virtual Events, Powered by Virtual Reality
While the adoption rate for virtual reality (VR) hardware has been slow, it has been on a steady incline as hardware (and software) developers continue to push the envelope with what VR can do.
Even back in 2016, Facebook-owned Oculus showcased just how their technology could merge virtual and real worlds to deliver astounding levels of interaction and connection at events. Take a look at this groundbreaking demonstration, for example:
In 2019, you can expect to see virtual delegates joining live event attendees via VR technology. This has major implications for event planners, as it potentially opens up any event to a global audience – who can now fully immerse themselves in the event, instead of simply watching a video stream.
Connecting with Participants, Powered by Wearables
Wearables have exploded in popularity in recent years, thanks largely to fitness applications and smartwatches. And while wearable technology in events is still in its infancy, 2019 could be the year where wearables start becoming a bigger part of events.
In addition to smartwatches, event organisers can also introduce affordable (and easily distributed) wearables such as smart badges to help participants to register themselves, check into locations, exchange digital name cards, and perform other actions in seconds.
High Speed Connectivity, Powered by 5G
Although 4G LTE networks have been adequate for downloading information and streaming decent-quality video, truly high speed streaming and downloads have been exclusively the domain of high speed Wi-Fi networks (or cabled connections).
This changes in 2019, as telecommunications providers and smartphone manufacturers gear up for the launch of blazing fast 5G networks (and products) sometime this year.
What does this mean for event planners? It means that participants will finally have fast, reliable mobile connections that they can use at your event. And if your event is gamified with an event app, you can expect even higher engagement levels as all cloud-based information (including streaming videos and downloads) can now move at lightning speeds.