This wonderful world of corporate events is constantly changing. That’s why it’s imperative that you read this guide to the hottest event technology trends of 2021.
Even the very best event planners know there’s something new to learn. And no other area of corporate events changes and evolves as rapidly as event technology.
Event technology is at once a broad term, and at the same time, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. To put it as concisely as possible, it’s hardware or software that help plan, produce, or enhance the attendee experience of corporate events.
The beauty of event tech is that nobody will force you to use anything you don’t want to. You can pick and choose according to your event goals and needs. We’re just here to tell you what’s hot. Now get yourself up to speed!
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented and virtual reality is really hot right now for engaging attendees. By their nature, they fascinate people. They’re intrinsically cool.
What’s more, they draw meaningful engagement from attendees by providing a world outside their own they can shape and move around in.
Augmented and virtual reality is most common in the world of gaming, which makes a lot of sense. Just think back to the Pokemon Go craze. When done right, it works!
This new trend is particularly useful for hybrid events, as it can merge the in-person and remote experience as never before.
Speaking to Spacehuntr CEO Dietrich Moens, he told us, “one of the biggest surprises of 2021 so far for us has been clients inquiring about hybrid compatible venues. It’s clear that advances in technology are allowing in-person events and virtual events to blend as one like never before.”
Our friends at Spacehuntr have already taken the jump. Learn from them how you can use augmented reality.
Blockchain Technology: Art, Security, and Money.
Blockchain technology is a hot trend with an arsenal of practical appliances. It’s the technology that drives cryptocurrency spot and futures market, so you’ve heard of it before.
You’ll see cryptocurrency being increasingly adopted in the event industry supply chain, particularly in ticket sales, protecting attendees from scammers and the extortionate secondary sales market. Thanks to the ledger process, you can’t forge or re-sell tickets. Security in the supply chain will be consolidated in 2021, that’s for sure!
Blockchain is also the driving force behind NFT’s (non-fungible tokens), which are taking the creative industries by storm.
In the context of event tech, it tackles the issue of internet piracy. Where before, nothing was sacred on the internet. Everything was shareable, for free.
With NFT’s, event planners can lure in attendees with the exclusive digital content they can’t get anywhere else. It’s effectively a digital transaction in which embedded content such as images, music, videos, you name it. Now that is a hot event technology trend, is it not?
Artificial intelligence might remind you of some piece of daunting science fiction. But in the real world, it’s actually a neat event technology trend coming alive in 2021. And in the context of this article, it mainly has some neat appliances for event technology.
The most common example of artificial intelligence you’ll see this year are chatbots. In their infancy, chatbots were curious and novel things but never truly impressive. Today, however, they’ve matured into something quite valuable. In their elegant modern guise, they can offer good 24/7 support to attendees before, during and after your event.
What’s more, they can learn about your guests and cater to their needs. Say a guest walks up to a bar at your event and automatically receives the drink they want without having to ask for it. Yes, the future is coming fast.
You can also utilise artificial intelligence to collect fascinating event data to analyse what your attendees do and don’t like to improve your next event.
Gamification adopts game design elements and principles in corporate events to create a more immersive and engaging experience for guests.
It’s engaging, and it’s fun. Event planners and businesses love it because it makes their brand relatable and effectively disseminates their message. What’s more, it’s known to improve attendee engagement by 44%!
The options are endless. For example, you could do a scavenger hunt: the joy of a childhood game and the thrill of event tech; hide QR code clues around your event venue. The winner gets a prize of your choosing. It could be as simple as that.
Suppose you’re not quite sure where to start with gamification. Don’t worry a moment more. Learn how to boost attendee engagement with event gamification in this handy guide!
Facial recognition is another trend that has been around for a while but has only started coming into its own recently, becoming a common theme at both in-person and virtual events.
Facial recognition is an excellent tool for improving event logistics. It can speed up check-ins, improve security, stop bottlenecks, and save money on security. You can also use it to yield significant data for enhancing and analysing your events.
RFID is short for Radio-Frequency Identification. It sounds impressive, and it is impressive. It’s the streamlining of choresome event activities such as reducing queuing, check-in times and making cashless payments easier.
In short, it is a microchip that reduces person-to-person interactions that aren’t useful. They’re small enough to fit into bracelets, badges, lanyards, and more.
What’s more, they’re great for recording data such as the behaviour and movement of attendees. That could be great for redesign venue layouts in the future.
Up next on our guide to the hottest event technology trends is on language. The global nature of hybrid and virtual has led to a demand for live interpretation services. So for event planners, real-time translation event technology should be a priority.
For some examples of fabulous interpretation and translation technologies, you should check out Interpret Cloud, which specialises in customisable simultaneous and remote interpreting.
If you’re looking for hardware, then check out ABBN, which has some action-movie looking event tech that makes seamless simultaneous translations a reality.
Event diagramming is the layout of your event committed to 3 dimensions. This incredibly cool detail might seem like a novelty, but it’s a great way to ensure effective floor plans, seating, flow, foot traffic, lighting, cabling, and other room elements.
Thanks to intuitive event technology, this software is accessible and a must-have for the modern corporate event planner. It makes your event run smoother, and it’s just a cool gadget to have!
Project mapping is an appliance bracketed under what we call augmented reality. It’s a projection onto 3D surfaces with interactive displays.
What this means is that the blandest space imaginable can now be transformed into the most exciting.
You can project videos, graphics animations, light displays models, and anything that your creative brain of yours can think of. And remember, they can be interactive.
So not only is project mapping a visually fantastic experience, it’s engaging. And that’s the ultimate goal for any event planner.
Every event planner is using event apps now. They can help with organising, ticket sales, event running, participant engagement, and so much more.
The beauty of event apps is that you can custom build your suits. You can pick and choose how much of it you want.
You can go for full-service or choose specific apps for different things. What’s more, some are for free.
Traditional event apps have focused on event planning and event experiences, such as registration and agenda building. However, recently the biggest leaps have been made in marketing and sponsorship.
And speaking of event sponsorship, we’re here to point you in the right direction with this guide to virtual event sponsorship. Go get ‘em!
By now, we all know what a live stream is. It’s the live transmission of audio and/or video of an event over the internet.
Before COVID-19, they were a not uncommon, but largely unnecessary - but welcome - addition to live events, made all the more accessible thanks to the boom in social media.
However, since the advent of the coronavirus, quality live-streaming has been essential as a vast amount of events have gone either virtual or hybrid. But as events start to go live again, we’ve made an argument of the benefits to keep video conferencing all the same.
Thankfully, however, live streaming can be done to a high standard and relatively low price, even by those with limited technical expertise.
With an immersive and captivating live stream, you’ll also be able to lure in some quality sponsorship opportunities. The thing is though, with the rise of virtual events comes new challenges in effectively collaborating with sponsors.
So there you have it, the hottest event technology trends of 2021. You’ve seen new things, and you’ve seen existing bits of tech come of age.
And where will we be in 2022? Aside from seeing these 12 hot trends prosper, we’re sure to see things we could never even imagine.
But regardless of what comes our way next. We’ll be here to keep you ahead of the trend!
Harry Prince has been the Creative Content Manager at Spacehuntr since 2020. With a keen eye for SEO and strategy, his areas of interest include event technology, trends, marketing, catering, architecture, and interior design.