A new decade has arrived and with technology advancing exponentially, event professionals across the globe need to be taking stock and be prepared to leverage all the benefits technology can bring to their business, advises Patrick Smith, CMO of Cvent - a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider.
“The innovation over the next decade will undoubtedly reshape the way the industry manages, markets, and delivers meetings and events, offering event organisers a unique opportunity to take on a more strategic role within their organisations and, crucially, capitalise on revenue-boosting opportunities,” Smith adds.
Cvent’s guide to the emerging event technology trends in 2020 and beyond include:
1. New Artificial Intelligence-driven technologies will deliver more personalised event experiences and facilitate networking
Industry-leading organisations have revolutionised how customers are marketed to, and how they in return engage with consumer brands – and personalisation is the key to their success. Emerging technology within the meetings and event space is set to follow suit.
We will see the rise of AI-powered tech that will provide suggestions such as which sessions attendees might want to add to their agendas, which exhibitors they should meet onsite, or even which delegates they should connect with to discuss shared interests.
2. Big data will be critical
As the new decade unfolds, more event professionals will become savvier data collectors and will utilise technology to analyse the data points, all to gather crucially important event intelligence. This data will not only capture important insights into onsite delegate behaviour, but of every step of their unique customer journey. Proper data analysation will provide event organisers the opportunity to create more engaging, customised event experiences, driving even better ROI. In addition, sales and marketing teams will be able to use this data to uncover new business opportunities. For the hospitality industry, the right analytical tools and segmentation of data will give hoteliers the insights they need to stay ahead of market trends and drive more group business in changing market conditions.
3. Greater focus on driving revenue via mobile event apps
With more than a billion smartphones around the world – mobile apps are part of our daily lives. Undoubtedly, 2020 will see far more (if not all by the end of the decade) event organisers leveraging mobile technology to not only boost attendee engagement and facilitate networking onsite, but drive revenue. The average adult spends three and a half hours on their mobile device and mobile event apps offer a unique way to get event sponsors and exhibitors in front of a captive audience. Banners ads, sponsored listings, augmented reality-driven interactive venue maps, personalised ads delivered to delegates based on their location, or customised session recommendations, are all areas of opportunity to drive incremental revenue and maximise event sponsorships.
4. Expect Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to capitalise on the user experience
Innovative technology that adds “wow” factor such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and voice technology like chatbots will soon take centre stage at events. Expect to see AR experiences including 3D event mapping and dynamic signage – helping delegates navigate large conferences with ease. VR technology will help organisers source and select the right venue without having to leave the office for a site visit. These may be “wow” factors now, but in order to stay relevant, technologies like these will need to be hyper focused on the end-user experience. Event organisers want technology to enhance their event, not detract from it, and we will see the 2020s as a decade when VR, AR, and chatbots will either become an integral part of a delegate experience or turn into technology of year’s past.
5. Technology to play an even bigger part in climate conscious events
Events, and event organisers, will become far more climate conscious. There’s been a lot of conversation about sustainability, but the difference with the decade ahead is that industry professionals will look more deeply into how they can make truly impactful, but practical, changes that will set the precedent for events around the world – whether that’s using technology to cut down on paper, looking at digital giveaways, or hosting events in venues that put sustainability at the forefront.
6. Rise of instant online booking platforms for small meetings
The need for a comprehensive instant booking platform, particularly for smaller, less complex meetings, has become a priority for many in the events and hospitality industries. Hotels and venues are recognizing the business value and they’re working closely with online sourcing providers to make it a reality. In the next decade, expect to see the rise of innovative “instant book” solutions, filling a key area of need in the industry.