With the current global situation, it is indeed wiser to host events on screens. Although, as we move forward, the world learns to live through and with the circumstances every day. There have been exponential digital advancements in the last couple of months in the industry, with the industry being pushed online. The event industry has not only adapted but evolved within the digital space. They have adapted to the new normal beautifully.
As always, the backbone of the event industry is its audience. Their satisfaction, and experience, is what encourage the industry to move forward to create better and bigger events. As the industry transformed digitally, the customer, or rather the attendee interaction, satisfaction, and experience were taken to a whole new level. The attendee user journey at every stage were mapped better, and studied to make each experience better than the previous one.
Let’s take a look at a few areas that can be digitally transformed to benefit the attendee.
Registrations have always been a cumbersome process. The tiny text, multiple checkboxes, and not enough space to put in your e-mail ID is enough to frustrate anyone. With digital transformation in place, attendees will not have to struggle filling out papers or even forms on screens.
Registrations can now be done through your already existing IDs, either Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and so on. Event organizers make use of third-party tools to take registrations or accommodate their features into their own applications. This way, the attendees are relieved of repeatedly typing in data and trying to scroll through multiple forms to see which blank has yet to be filled. The virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon took place on the of 4th October saw over 35,000 participants from all over the world. The marathon could be run from anywhere and the miles would be tracked on their phones. The event even had their official app, powered by TCS. All you have to do to register and enter the event is download the app and register through it.
There are more ways to garner attendees than hand them user friendly methods to register. Find out what they are.
2. LIVE STREAMING
Previously, events had the drawback of being held at venues that were not accessible to all. It is also not practical to purchase an entry to the event and fly halfway across the world to attend them.
With live streaming in picture, anyone can attend events from literally anywhere. Digital transformation has granted event access to even the remotest corner of the world. An event could be held in New York and someone from Sydney or London could easily attend by just logging in.
An event that made heads turn recently is the launch of iPhone 12. On October 13th, Apple held a live streaming event for the launch and updates on their watches and iPads. The live streaming experience delivered from Apple was nothing less than magnificent, as it always is. Millions of people across the world tuned in to watch the launch.
3. VR AND AR
Event experiences are evolving even as we speak. As Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality make their way into the event space, attendees are introduced to immersive experiences.
Bringing in AR and VR into events will help attendees by spiking their curiosity as well as incentivizing people to attend and interact with fellow attendees. These technologies have mostly been used as promotional material, at a few stalls across conferences and exhibitions. However, recently they are making their way to the mainstream event industry. Toyota is one such company that invests heavily on AR to wow their customers.
Esports is one of the verticals of the event industry that is powered by AR and VR. There are Esport championships taking place across worlds, where attendees or participants can take part from their home, interact, play and compete on VR or AR platforms. Britain even has its own esports association to keep the attended updated on their upcoming events.
4. MOBILE FRIENDLY
As mentioned before, the event industry rides on attendee experience satisfaction. Agreed that events being accessible across nations is commendable, but they must also be mobile friendly to be truly accessible.
Not everyone has access to laptops, tablets, or even large screens to view events. All event-related process from registrations to the final program and all process in-between must be mobile friendly.
It is not just a question of accessibility; it is also a question of user traffic via mobile phones. Out of 4.5 billion active internet users, 3.5 billion are active mobile internet users. Taking these number into consideration, it is smarter to ensure events are mobile-friendly.
5. ATTENDEE POWERED PROMOTIONS
An event’s attendees are a powerful source of promotion. Regardless of how far we’ve come in marketing techniques and strategies, the age old ‘word-of-mouth’ still prevails and holds great value.
All event attendees promote the events they attend by default. Either by telling people about it personally, or posting it on social media. Posting on social media would of course increase the reach, and that is where attendee powered promotions come in. These days there are a number of tools available that help attendees post event related content on social media without having to go through the hassle of preparing content themselves. All event streaming platforms now allows attendees to share pre-designed posts on the attendee’s Social Media. On Speaker Engage, however, the public sharing link allows event organizers to share the link with their attendees who can easily then share pre-designed posts on their respective social media platforms. This way, event attendees do not have to spend time on phrasing, link, hashtags and the likes while posting about the event. One click and the post is up.
6. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The growing popularity of AI in understanding data and decision make it an incredible ally in the event space. AI can be used to communicate with the attendees, instead of having personnel for the same. Not only would AI respond faster, they would also have quick solution answers to attendee’s queries.
AI-powered chatbots have now become essential in the event industry. Mostly owing to the fact that there is a dearth of volunteers physically available to run around and help attendees. On virtual platforms, especially since it’s a new experience for many, queries would be pouring in from everywhere on everything ranging from software, hardware, agenda, and bandwidth issues. Chatbots are deployed with pre-programmed data that would help deliver the right solutions to attendees and with a personal touch. For instance, 42Chat is one such chatbot that can be deployed for virtual experiences, from conferences, exhibitions, virtual events and even graduation ceremonies.
With digital transformation paving the way for smoother and better experiences for attendees, it is not a trend an event organizer can afford to ignore. The way forward is digital, be it for any industry, and it is here to stay. The onus is upon event organizers to ensure this transition to newer technologies is made easier for all.
Transform your event attendees’ experiences and make sure they come back for more. The only way to do so, is to make sure you’ve organized a top-brass event. The only way you can organize events better and bigger than your previous ones is by managing your event using Speaker Engage. Get yourself a free demo with Speaker Engage and elevate your attendee experiences.