Event management today is fundamentally different than it was ten years ago. The complexities of the process remain the same, but they can be handled with much more ease thanks to the advances in the event management technology.
Events and conferences are dynamic entities with changes often happening in real-time. Up until recently, event management tools weren’t equipped to handle these changes instantaneously. Even bigger issue was consolidation of multiple single purpose and disparate tools into a single platform, or at least getting them to work together to make it easier for event organizers to get their jobs done. Thankfully, things are changing and fast.
The event technology landscape is exploding in a variety of different directions. It is projected that the event tech market will grow to USD 9.28 billion by 2020. The challenge for event organizers is keeping up with the latest tools, implementing those that best fit their needs, and then using them for maximum impact.
Most commonly, event organizers are preoccupied with the following questions:
- Which tools should we implement to create a seamless, personalized attendee experience throughout the event process?
- How can we best leverage technology to manage event agenda, speakers, and sessions in real-time, and across different views?
- How can we deliver event content in a way that’s easy to consume for attendees and via their preferred channels?
And the list goes on. If you are an event organizer in a non-tech industry, things can become even more tricky to handle. The available technology that’s supposed to help you be more efficient at your job can easily become another hurdle.
But here’s the thing, event management technology can and should be judged by usefulness in terms of functionality, the ability to improve outcomes, and the overall experience - both for the organizers and participants. Event management tools should also be able to respond to emerging trends that are driven by consumer needs and shaping the entire industry.
Let’s have a look at some of the biggest event tech trends and how you can leverage them to better manage your events and improve attendee engagement.
Real-time Event Management
One of the biggest pains for event organizers is managing the event agenda, speakers, and talks across multiple channels in real-time. If your event agenda is available in more than one view, e.g. mobile, Web, messaging apps, you need to make sure you can update it to reflect any last minute changes, such as sudden changes in schedule, speaker cancellations, or room switches.
Making the necessary changes in real-time ensures that your event content is always up-to-date and that you’re providing your attendees with a positive experience.
Ideally, you’ll use a web-based event management platform that allows you to edit your event content and publish changes instantly on all your event tools, like mobile event app, Web agenda, and event chatbot. Our Sava event management platform is built from the ground up to solve this challenge for event organizers, allowing them to create, edit, and update content across all multiple different tools from a single dashboard.
Personalized Event Experience
Event attendees are increasingly demanding more contextual and personalized experiences. Online platforms such as Amazon and Netflix with their recommendation systems have made users accustomed to interfaces that “know” their interests.
This need is already being translated into different personalization features in more advanced event management tools. Attendees now want to be able to create their own personalized agendas, network with other participants based on common interests, and more.
Event organizers now need to increase the relevance of content they push to attendees, e.g. any notification they send needs to be targeted towards the right audience segment and delivered at the right time. Chatbots are the perfect channel to deliver these kinds of messages, which we’ll cover in more detail later in this article.
Live Audience Engagement
This may sound like old news to experienced event organizers, but what’s new is the tech that is enabling better engagement of attendees in-venue and during the sessions.
It’s becoming increasingly important to give your audience a voice and make their experience as interactive as possible. Ideally, you’ll have one platform that you can use to enable live polling and in-session Q&As which will help you turn passive attendees into active participants. Displaying this content live on digital screens will make your attendees feel more involved in the event. It will also be more convenient for your speakers to handle and respond to live questions.
Event organizers are now demanding solutions that incorporate at least a basic level of analytics e.g. tracking the behavior of event participants and then using those insights post-event to drive future event improvements.
Sophisticated event management platforms are enabling event organizers to determine top speakers and sessions, the number of in-app actions, the number and type of event chatbot interactions, as well as to collect real-time feedback from attendees.
Chatbots are slowly entering the event management space, and the reasons are obvious. People are looking for more lightweight, personalized experiences that feel like natural conversations. They want the information to be available on-demand and within the channels they already use daily.
It’s so much more convenient to ask a question about speakers, talks or the venue to a personal event assistant that “lives” within a messaging app, than to look for that same info on a website or within an event app.
AI-enabled chatbots can easily recognize these questions and instantly provide the answers. What’s even more interesting is that AI-powered chatbots, like our Sava event chatbot, are capable of learning user preferences from previous interactions and personalizing the conversations accordingly.
An event chatbot can be a standalone solution for your event exposed on a messaging platform your audience prefers, or it can be a part of your event toolbox. If we look at user preferences, we can see a future where event organizers move away from having dedicated event apps to deliver content through messaging platforms via event chatbots.
Event organizers use many tools in their daily work to manage the event process - from event content management platforms and attendee engagement solutions, to in-venue technology platforms. They are constantly logging in and out of systems, importing and exporting data, and trying to make sense of systems that were not designed to work together.
There is a strong demand for a single platform to manage the event agenda and the on-site technology, engage attendees across channels, and get behavioral analysis. We’ve built Sava Platform to answer to the modern event organizer needs and provide an all-around solution that streamlines the event management process and, at the same time, provides all the necessary tools to keep the event participants engaged.
The event management field is becoming more and more reliant on technology. But the technology is changing rapidly, closely following the needs of its end users.
Sophisticated event management solutions bridge the gap between the physical and online worlds, creating a frictionless, unified experience for event attendees. They aim to solve key challenges for event organizers helping them plan successful events and improve as they go based on the wealth of collected data.