This blog is part of a 6 part series which helps us look at the PESTLE impacts on the events industry. Previously we have touched upon the political, economic and social impacts. So if you haven’t done so already, catch up now.
We now move on to the fourth factor in the series, technology. Technology is ever advancing and therefore proves difficult to keep up-to-date with. Events in particular are at risk if they are not up-to-date with the current technology trends, especially with the majority of event audiences now being made up of the tech savvy generation. Here are 3 specific points that events need to be aware of in an era of advancing technologies.
1) Internet access
It is reported that currently around 40% of the world’s population has access to the internet whereas, in 1995 less than 1% had internet access. One of the biggest advancements in internet connectivity was the introduction of wireless internet in 1997, which allowed users to connect away from home and the office by linking up to Wi-Fi hotspots. Following on from this, the creation of smart phones means that people can now connect to the internet pretty much wherever they please. All of these advancements in internet connectivity has helped the development of event interactions as, now more than ever, events are using the internet to help boost delegate engagement.
Events have now been seen to use the ease of access to the internet to their advantage and ask attendees to use it to help them seek feedback on guests experiences at events. This is just one of many ways that events can be seen to engage delegates through technology.
2) Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
A lot of trade shows and conferences can involve demonstrations, however at these types of events it is hard to grasps the audience’s attention. Many believe that VR and AR will have a large impact on conference goers as it will make the event more engaging and interactive. An example of AR being used at an event can be seen from an event recently held by Ford, that allowed participants to use AR to see the technology within their latest model of car, which proved to have a great response from car enthusiasts.
3) Artificial intelligence
AI is a software that mimics human behaviour and processes. Reports show that businesses are utilising AI to help boost productivity and predict that in the near future, 85% of corporate customer service channels will be using AI to interact with customers. Speech bots are a product of AI and can already be seen answering customer calls, but currently do not have the capabilities to deal with enquiries. Such technology could be hugely beneficial to events as it could be used for pre-show marketing messages, pre-registration processing, exhibitor customer service, the list goes on. However, AI could prove to be disruptive across the events sector, as some see it as replacing the human element and events in effect are all about the human interaction. However, this being said, a recent article suggests that AI will allow us higher paid jobs on less hours – that’s the dream!
Written by: Paige Cradduck - Events Assistant for Grapevine Event Management.