As we round the second half of 2020, nearly every business across virtually every industry has had to get creative to keep things running in the time of COVID-19. The event industry is no exception to this new reality. Now more than ever event organizers and planners will have to find innovative ways to keep attendees and clients safe and satisfied. Fortunately, some exciting technology trends on the horizon will make life easier for everyone working in the event engagement industry.
Virtual reality (VR) devices are nothing new, but event coordinators are starting to see the benefit of mainstreaming these devices, especially considering the new social distancing guidelines related to COVID-19. While it’s necessary for public safety to remain apart, people still very much want to feel the social benefits of conferences and events. Virtual reality combines health and safety with a healthy social outlet. Some apps and programs allow guests to scan a QR code and enter an entire, 360-degree art show or ballroom.
Virtual events are great not only for the health and safety of guests but for their schedules too! By removing the need to travel, more attendees can attend the conferences and talks they’re interested in. Virtual experiences can now also be tailored to each attendee, making it feel more like a social event than ever before. Customized push notifications and popups can direct guests to virtual booths and events within the conference that they may be interested in. VR doesn’t need to be impersonal!
Chatbots & 3-D Diagrams
Social distancing requirements vary state by state, so some cities and counties that have been less impacted by COVID-19 may already allow for small-to-medium-size gatherings. If that’s the case, it will still be important to plan for appropriate safety measures to keep guests healthy. One way to make this easier on everyone is to deploy chatbots and guest-facing apps to answer questions, give directions, and otherwise act as an information desk would during typical events. Chatbots are getting smarter and therefore easier to use. Guests and clients can learn virtually everything they would need to know about an event by pressing a few buttons.
3-D diagramming has also become popular in the last few years and its arrival couldn’t have been better timed. 3-D diagramming allows event planners and coordinators to map out foot traffic, lighting, seating, and virtually every other technical element of an event from a tablet or laptop in great detail. This will be especially useful while planning for increased space limitations. These diagrams allow everyone to get on the same page about everything before guests even arrive.
Wearable Tech a& Mobile Tickets
If local ordinances allow for gatherings of any size, wearable tech will become a very health-If local ordinances allow for gatherings of any size, wearable tech will become a very health-conscious way for guests to enter and exit panels and events. Mobile ticketing was already experiencing a boom, but it’s projected to hit its stride in 2020. This wearable technology is easily identified by strategically placed scanners. Guests can scan their bracelets or badges for smooth attendance tracking and security. This also removes the need for close contact between staff and guests to check-in and out.
Another way to remove the need for too much close contact is to send virtual passes directly to guests’ mobile wallets. This way guests can pull up their phone and use scanners to the event or conference. It’s a great, economical and eco-conscious way to remove the hassle of having to organize paper tickets.
Author Bio: Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer, and technology writer from New York City. If I’m not writing my latest blog post in my kitchen, you’ll likely find me strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.