The events industry is constantly evolving and striving to incorporate the latest technologies. A couple of decades ago, selling tickets online was virtually impossible. You can now sell tickets online, stream live events, and so much more.
So, what is the next greatest development in event technology?
Here is a closer look at the technologies set to shake up the event industry in 2021 and beyond.
What Is Event Technology?
Event technology includes digital tools that assist with planning, producing, and promoting events. Examples of technologies that you may already use include online ticketing platforms, such as Seatedly. Event organisers also tend to rely on marketing tools, mobile apps, and other IT solutions.
Before the development of event technology, planning events was a primarily manual process. You would promote an event through traditional channels, such as direct mail and radio ads. Ticket sales were typically completed at the event.
You can now sell tickets online and even check guests in with mobile apps. The newest event technologies are taking advantage of breakthroughs in the tech sector to deliver more efficient solutions. Some digital tools may help you manage events, sell more tickets, or provide a better customer experience.
The technologies that stand out as providing the most potential include:
- Virtual events and live streaming
- Seat mapping
- Facial recognition
- Artificial intelligence
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
- Second screen technology
These technologies are in various stages of development but are already impacting the event industry and other sectors.
Virtual Events and Live Streaming Reach a Larger Audience
Live streaming technology has existed since the early 1990s. However, it did not become a viable option for large-scale virtual events until the 2010s. Setting up a live stream of an event has become more accessible and more affordable in recent years. The quality of the streams has also improved, making it a viable alternative to in-person events in some situations.
Virtual events are also becoming more popular. Businesses were forced to adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lockdowns and other restrictions. The events industry adapted by using virtual events to continue holding everything from concerts to business conferences.
Virtual events are likely to remain an essential part of the recovery from the pandemic. Live streaming allows people to participate in events, no matter the current COVID restrictions or health risks.
Virtual events do not need to replace in-person events. As many areas have eased restrictions and lifted lockdowns, you can hold live events in most regions. However, continuing to stream your live events allows you to reach a larger audience. You can sell tickets for both in-person attendees and virtual attendees to maximise sales.
Seat Mapping Technology Helps with Planning Safe Events
Seat mapping is another technology that has become more important during the pandemic. The right seat mapping technology makes it easier to ensure social distancing and safe events.
For example, you can easily modify the availability of seats to accommodate greater social distancing or limit the event’s capacity. Instead of scrambling to deal with new Covid-19 protocols, you can instantly make changes through an online platform, such as Seatedly.
Seat mapping also provides the option to allow customers to select their preferred seats or seating area. Customers can visualise the venue and the seat placement to choose the best spot based on their preferences. For example, some people prefer front row seats while others want to sit toward the back or near the restrooms.
Facial Recognition Allows for Contactless Check-ins
Facial recognition is becoming more sophisticated and accurate. Today’s facial recognition algorithms are up to 99.97% accurate. Quality facial recognition can verify someone’s identity in just seconds, making it a valuable tool for event check-ins.
Mobile technology already assists with the check-in process. You can use a mobile app to scan QR codes instead of relying on paper tickets. However, a mobile app with facial recognition technology could be used for safer contactless check-ins. Staff can verify ticket holders while maintaining a safe distance.
Mobile apps and facial recognition also reduce wait times. You can speed things up during the check-in process, which helps keep attendees happy.
Using facial recognition also improves security. You may also use facial recognition for VIP access or ushering attendees to their seats. After recognising the attendee, the software may provide additional data, such as VIP status or seat number.
AI-Powered Personalisation Boosts Customer Satisfaction
Artificial intelligence (AI) can automate certain tasks, including delivering customised recommendations. AI-powered personalisation allows you to tailor each customer’s experience. Customised offers are useful for cross-selling items, such as event merchandise.
AI-powered recommendations are already commonplace on the web. When you visit your favourite online marketplace, you may see a list of recommended products based on past purchases and your browsing activity.
In the events industry, AI software may make recommendations based on customer data. For example, the ticketing platform that you use may collect demographic data or track a customer’s purchase history. Based on a customer’s habits, the software can recommend related merchandise at checkout.
Personalised recommendations are a common marketing practice. It is known to boost sales and customer retention. The personalised experience that you offer helps keep people coming back.
Retargeting Technology Helps Increase Ticket Sales
Retargeting is a marketing technique that involves targeting consumers who have already expressed interest in a product or service. With retargeting, advertisements are delivered to potential customers after their initial visit to your website or ticket sales page. A small cookie is stored in the user’s web browser, allowing ad services to continue delivering ads to these people.
Studies show that about 97% of website visitors leave websites without acting, such as making a purchase. Retargeted ads follow visitors around the web, reminding them of the product or service that they previously viewed. In the events industry, retargeting may help convince leads to purchase a ticket as the date of the event grows closer.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Offer a Fresh Perspective
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) may soon change how you host events. VR systems can take people into a virtual world where they can enjoy an immersive experience.
AR is used to augment the real world. Most AR programs use a camera to place virtual objects on top of a real environment. When you look at the screen, you see the environment in front of you, along with the virtual assets created by the software.
VR and AR are suitable for all types of events. Companies are using these technologies at trade fairs, music festivals, lectures, and other live events.
Chatbots Help Streamline Customer Service
Chatbots are everywhere on the internet, as they help businesses provide better customer service. A chatbot can quickly address frequently asked questions in seconds, instead of requiring a customer to wait on the phone.
Chatbots may provide several uses in the events industry. A chatbot on a website can address questions related to ticket sales or details of the event. However, a chatbot may also be useful during an event.
Event organisers are already using chatbots at trade fairs and corporate conferences to address questions on the spot. This is an innovative way to provide a more interactive experience and give attendees the answers that they need.
Along with keeping customers happy, using a chatbot frees up resources. Your staff can focus on other responsibilities instead of addressing the same questions over and over.
A Second Screen Delivers Supplementary Content
Second screen technology helps increase engagement by giving attendees access to additional content. People often use their smartphones during meetings, presentations, and even music concerts. A second screen allows you to deliver information to attendees in real-time.
The second screen may be used to send supplementary content, directions, and other helpful information. For example, you may use a second screen to deliver slides or data that corresponds with your presentation during a business event.
Event venues may also use second-screen technology to improve accessibility. At a large venue, some attendees may struggle to view or hear what is happening on the stage. A second screen can bring visuals and sounds directly to the audience’s smartphones.
How to Access the Latest Event Technology
Event technology offers a wide range of benefits for the events industry. Using the right technologies simplifies how you plan and manage your events.
Technology also helps you comply with safety recommendations. You can use seat mapping and facial recognition for social distancing and live streams to connect with a remote audience.
These are just a few of the technologies that are reshaping the events industry. Event organisers and venues also use social media, GPS, RFID technology, and other IT solutions to create more appealing events.
To benefit from the technologies discussed, partner with a leading ticket selling platform like Seatedly. As mentioned, some of the technologies discussed are still in the early stages of development, so choosing a platform that remains at the forefront of the latest technologies ensures that you receive the most innovative solutions.
Get in touch with the team here at Seatedly today or book a demo to see how our innovative events ticketing platform works for yourself
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