Every few years, new trends take over the event industry – as event planners do their best to make each year’s event, better and more engaging than the last. In an industry where the core experience remains pretty much the same – events, conferences, exhibitions – consistently delivering new experiences to audiences can be a tough ask.

But a new wave of tech is changing up the events scene. Wearable tech – specifically smartwatches and smart glasses – look like they have the potential to completely revolutionise the way we think about audience interaction at events.

Smartwatches: A connection to our bodies, on our wrists

While smartwatches have been around for a few years, 2018 was the year they started becoming mainstream – replacing popular G-SHOCKS and even designer watches, as people started appreciating the value of having a watch that not only told the time, but read your heartrate, tracked your steps, measured your activity levels, played music and much more.

As devices that stay securely on your event participants’ wrists at all times, smartwatches are even more readily available than smartphones – and that means more convenience and reasons to use them.

Also, with NFC technology rapidly improving, event planners could use a combination of these technologies in the near future to really shake up event interaction – opening possibilities for treasure hunts, instant registration processes (by simply walking through a registration gate or area), and a whole host of engaging interactions.

Smart glasses: A brand new way of seeing… everything

While the world has tasted the goodness of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the verdict is still uncertain on these technologies. The appeal is certain there, but the actual implementation has – so far at least – been relegated to exhibition booths and “fun sections” of events and exhibitions, where participants get a chuckle out of seeing other participants flail around while trying to shoot objects, fly or drive in a virtual world.

Smart glasses however, hold a much more intriguing promise. These wearables, when paired with technologies like NFC and facial recognition, could really stir things up in the events and exhibitions space. Imagine walking around an event hall and knowing everyone – their names, jobs, hobbies and more – without having to stare inconspicuously at their name tags.

Is the future of event tech in wearables? 

In recent years, event planners have thrived on gathering more data to better serve audiences. Currently, this data is being collected using technology such as event chatbots, event apps and web and audio conferencing, and more.

In the near future, data could be collected from event more sources – the most prominent of which, are wearables. Only time will tell, but vigilant event planners should certainly keep their eyes on this promising trend.

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