For many years, events have been the lifeblood of numerous industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses shifted to hosting virtual events. This allowed event holders to reach new audiences through alternative technology elements but caused them to lose some control over engagement. While some aspects of virtual events are here to stay, in-person events are now coming back. That means event management is now a priority for businesses and brands once again.
As we go back to in-person events, the need to engage audiences is still there. Now that attendees have experienced virtual events, they expect a certain level of professionalism and technology. Technology can help you manage events more effectively and increase audience participation and enjoyment. As an event manager, a large part of your job is to make the event worth an attendee’s time.
Integrating exciting technology elements into onsite events is a great way to increase engagement. As the world has adapted to new technology, it’s become an expected part of many business areas. You’ll discover higher attendee satisfaction levels by adding helpful, entertaining and engaging technology elements to your event. Software platforms and event management support companies can help you achieve your goals. Below you’ll find five technology elements that will engage event attendees.
1. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality means adding something to the real world through technology. Virtual reality refers to an entirely virtual experience, like a virtual event with avatars and online conference rooms. Likewise, these types of different realities are becoming more and more popular with event management.
In particular, augmented reality can add an extra layer of interest to in-person events. This helps keep your audiences engaged and event attendees entertained. For example, you can go to an in-person event and take a virtual tour of a company’s production line. Or imagine going to a booth and getting a full virtual product demo. Similarly, these types of augmented reality elements can make your event space more enjoyable. They also help fill the time and keep attendees entertained while walking the floor.
Who doesn’t like to play games at events? Gamification refers to adding gameplay elements to create a more fun, engaging and entertaining experience. You might already have seen gamification examples, including interactive rewards programs and e-learning apps. In addition, gamification has proven to be incredibly effective in creating loyal customers and increasing engagement. You can apply these same tactics to your event to see similar results amongst your attendees.
Not only does gamification keep attendees interested, but it helps generate more leads for exhibitors. Examples include quizzes, trivia games, scavenger hunts and reward points for taking different actions like group participation or break-out attendance. You can even consider making a leaderboard so attendees can compete with their coworkers or friends. By adding gamification elements to your event, you help audiences enjoy their time and want to participate. Entertained attendees are also more willing to give out their information to vendors.
3. Exhibit Halls
One of the most complex parts of event management is setting up the exhibit halls. It can be a hassle for event managers with different booth sizes, layouts, vendors and limited space. Technology can help you organize your exhibit halls and plan out each step of the in-person event. This makes attendees have a better experience and enjoy themselves more.
Management software can help with onsite event check-in to exhibit floor planning. Using these tools can help streamline your planning and organizing process. This allows you to spend more time thinking about the attendee experience than trying to arrange booths. For example, you can plan your exhibit hall to match the types of products and vendors your attendees want to see first.
4. Touchable Tech
Touchable tech is great for events as it almost forces attendees to participate and engage with booths and stands. As the name suggests, touchable tech is touch-based interactive technology. This can include signing in on a tablet, interacting with a virtual product demo or viewing 3-D models. Touchable tech puts the power in the hands of the attendee, allowing them to have control over how they interact with your product.
When audiences control their event experience, they can enjoy it more. Rather than listen to a sales associate describe how great a product is, they can see it for themselves. That leaves booth managers time to engage with those who have specific questions, not every visitor. Both attendees and vendors will be pleased with the outcome of touchable tech opportunities.
5. Event Apps
Event apps are another great way to combine technology elements with an in-person event. Partnering with a software company that provides event app options can help your attendees get the most out of the event. An app allows attendees to have a centralized dashboard for all their activities. They can look at schedules, plan which breakouts they attend and view maps of the exhibit halls. Experts in event app planning can help you quickly put together an app that benefits your audience.
Such apps can also provide gamification opportunities, videos, chat and connection options and critical updates for attendees. You can create interactive floor plans, showcase sponsors, target messages and customize dashboards. The level of personalization that you can achieve with an event app keeps attendees engaged. They are more likely to use an app tailored to their event. An event app can also allow you to track all of your event attendees and gather their information.
Keeping Your Attendees Engaged from Event to Event
Attendees want entertainment at an event. Events are expensive for businesses, and they want to get their money’s worth. How you present information is just as important as the information itself. In addition, no one wants to go to an event and get bored by the talks and lack of activity. Using event technology at in-person events can help keep your audiences coming back for more.