Technology has taken live event production a long way from the days of a single screen and slide show. Projection mapping, mobile apps, and personalized event experiences are taking live event production to the next level. As with any new technology, it should be a tool to help companies save time and increase efficiency in the event planning process.
Here are a few high-tech live event production tools we’ve seen work well and can help your team make your next event memorable.
Elevating Live Event Production With Projection Mapping
Never heard of projection mapping? You may have encountered this visually-stunning tech at a recent event. This augmented reality experience is created by projecting images on various surfaces and structures to turn them into 3D displays. Projection mapping enables the event planning team to transform a conference center or hotel ballroom with eye-popping design elements.
This flexible technology can be used in a number of applications, from displaying maps of the convention floor to interactive art installations to a constantly updating social media wall. How you use projection mapping should be based on the type of event and your company’s goals, but it has the potential to create a memorable visual experience of your attendees.
Mobile Ticketing and Mobile Pay
Mobile ticketing has been around for a while, but some event planners have been slow to fully adopt this useful, time saving technology. Today, tickets are often purchased online, and then printed out for the registration process on the first day of the conference. If your company is still registering people with paper tickets, you are missing out on an opportunity to automate the process and improve user experience with shorter lines at check-in.
By using a single mobile ticketing platform for the purchase of tickets and on-site registration, the ticketing process is streamlined. Staff have guest information available at their fingertips, and guests are not scrambling at the last minute to download the printable ticket—or even worse, looking for a place at the hotel to print it. They simply show up at the event, pull up the barcode or QR code on their phone for scanning, or in some cases simply present an ID to the check-in staff, who have all the guest’s information within the mobile ticketing app.
Mobile pay and person-to-person apps for payments are growing in popularity among younger Americans for their ease of use. A consumer payment study found that 27% of people age 18 to 24 have a debit card loaded into a mobile wallet or app to make purchases, and a 2018 Bank of America survey found that 51% of millennials, and 37% of Gen Xers use person-to-person payments.
With guests becoming more accustomed to mobile apps for payments, food and service vendors are also looking to cut down on lines and streamline their services with mobile pay. Just as the trendy coffee shop down the street has gone cashless, so are many vendors, opting instead for using mobile pay platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo so readily available.
While this tech may be an adjustment for some guests, many more will appreciate being able to show up to events cashless and check in easily.
Integrate a Branded App With Your Live Event Production
In 2017, there were more than 178 billion mobile app downloads on smartphones worldwide. With mobile apps becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, it only makes sense to have one at your company’s next event. Many of these apps feature maps of the venue, information about speakers, and event schedules. When it comes to live event production, however, branded apps have far more capabilities. Among event and meeting planners, adoption of branded events app is on the rise, with 46% of event planners currently using event apps during their events, while 26% are considering using an event app in the future (EventMB, 2018)
By using branded multi-use apps, your team can design ways to connect with attendees and engage them before, during, and after the event. For example, your team can create surveys and polls within the app that speakers can use during their keynote presentation. Apps can also be designed to award points for key actions, such as check-ins at sessions or visiting vendors, motivating the audience to improve their scores by being more involved in the event.
It’s All About the Experience
In 2016, millennials became the largest segment in the U.S. labor force, representing 35% of workers. This means that the majority of your event attendees will soon be millennials, if it hasn’t happened already. This tech savvy generation puts a high value on the quality of an experience over physical things, like high-end swag, so this has pushed event planners to up the “experience” on the convention floor and in their live event production.
Younger attendees don’t want to sit in a ballroom for an hour-long presentation. Interactive experiences that carry beyond the session will keep attendees engaged throughout the conference and beyond. This could include participation through a mobile app (see above) or connecting to a global initiative or local charity.
Technology as a Live Event Tool
Large conferences and events require significant investment in technology, from planning and staging, to lighting and sound, to managing the guest’s experience. Don’t let poor tools slow down your team and create more work. It’s not about just going with what’s trendy. Look for tools that are proven to help create a successful event.