The latest technology trends can improve your event and help you stand out from the crowd. Give your event a competitive edge with these seven technology trends.

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1. Facial recognition for events

One event technology that will advance rapidly in the next year is facial recognition. Algorithms are already calculating facial features, hairstyles, body shapes, expressions, and body language.

Reach new audiences

Facebook uses facial recognition software to suggest tags on photos. Use this powerful technology to reach a broader audience. As attendees tag their friends, your posts will show up in more event-goers’ feeds.

To take advantage of the tech, encourage attendees and staff to post to Facebook. Add official event photos to a branded Facebook album. After the event, remind people to tag themselves and their friends in the pictures.

Improve check-in, feedback, and security

Facial recognition technology is still in development for widespread use at events. In coming years, software will predict the mood of attendees by reading facial expressions and body language. This will lead to more efficient event check-in, attendee feedback, and improved on-site security.

2. RFID for event sponsors

Experienced event organisers already know how to use RFID to replace tickets and physical payments. In 2018, the next step will be using RFID to upgrade sponsorship experiences. Faster activation check-ins increase engagement. Sponsors can gather data without interrupting the experience. This enables sponsors to get more creative with raffles and polls operated by virtual participation (RFID taps).

3. Artificial intelligence for events

AI is the next big wave of event technology. It can deliver a highly personalised experience, even at festivals and conferences with over 30,000 attendees.

Chatbots

Automated customer service helps both attendees and event organisers. Attendees get answers quickly, while staff can work more efficiently.

Sound on Sound Fest is a three-day music, camping, and adventure festival. They created a customer service plugin through Facebook Messenger to answer fan queries.

“It was automated, and able to answer a lot of customer questions with a great success rate,” says Morgan Howard, a freelance customer experience manager for festivals who worked on the bot. “Fans got the instant gratification of receiving a response.”

Personalised recommendations

Artificial intelligence is also personalising recommendations on a much wider scale than before.

For example, an AI matchmaking engine could interpret data from the social media profiles of attendees. Then, it could recommend people to meet, conference sessions to attend, or products to check out. One of the quickest ways to apply this to your event is by using an event app with an AI plug-in, like Grip.

4. The right event apps

When integrated seamlessly, event apps add tremendous value. Attendees at large scale events expect them, and sponsors benefit from the data they provide.

Conference and business event apps help attendees track speakers and networking opportunities. Consumer event and festival apps help attendees bookmark locations and create custom lineups.

With so many to choose from, the trend for the upcoming year is to get savvy about the best apps for each event type.

5. Livestreaming

Despite the growing popularity of livestreaming events, myths persist about their value. If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn how to livestream your event and boost your brand.

Encourage sharing

Livestreaming expands your audience beyond event capacity. Encourage attendees and staff to share your livestream with friends who couldn’t attend. They can invite people to join Facebook Live events and tweet links to their followers. Even staffers who aren’t physically attending an event can support from afar by sharing your stream.

“Crowd” streaming

The latest trend in livestreaming is crowdsourcing. Technology like Instagram and Facebook Live helps attendees broadcast their personal experiences easily. Define an event hashtag and encourage attendees who broadcast their experience to use it, so you can measure the results.

6. Social media walls

This event tech trend activates your attendees as event marketers. Social media walls show posts and photos tagged with your event hashtag. They generate real-time excitement, encourage attendees to post, and reinforce the right hashtag to use.

7. Event technology for productivity

While most trends focus on improving attendee experience, this one is for the event creator. Automate manual tasks like data transfer, event publishing, and even new audience discovery. Read this guide to learn how to use event automation to scale your efforts.

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In a saturated market, events that don’t nail the attendee experiences become irrelevant. You need to stay at the forefront of industry trends and innovation, reach new audiences, and best your competition. Stay Relevant with our guide to 6 Event Trends Shaping the Future of Festivals.