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The Future of: Digital Technology in Events

Although “Freedom Day” is almost upon us, the innovations brought to us by the virtual events industry will still have a long-term impact. 93% of event organisers claimed in the Post-Covid 19 Event Outlook Report that they will still invest in virtual events post-COVID.

So, how will your next corporate event utilise digital technology to increase your reach? How will it engage your audiences? We have investigated the latest in event news to find out. Below, we have listed the 4 top trends in event technology.

1. Email and Social Media

Social media is an extremely accessible form of digital technology to engage audiences. This is because your organisation is likely to already have a social media presence. You can build anticipation for your events with your existing followers. With encouragement, they can essentially help to promote your event to more people, with pre-event emails and posts that have shareability.

Regular Tweets, posted at the same time every day, can tease your event and ask people if they have signed up yet.

A countdown on your Instagram Story could be used to notify people when tickets for your event go on sale. As people browse on this app in their free time, this platform could help to garner direct sign-ups.

Live-Tweeting during the event is a must. This is an important way to encourage attendees to chat about how the event is going and keep the conversation alive. It is also a powerful tool to give non-attendees FOMO. To increase this, make the Tweets make your audiences want to bookmark them so they remember to attend your next event.

A lot of event organisers already promote via Twitter. So, to give your event the extra push, you should also promote on Instagram. This is a dark horse for event promotion because other people’s posts and Stories about your event can be reposted to your Story with a “thank you” sticker or reply. They might in turn reply to and/or repost this to their own Story again due to feeling appreciated by you. They will also be more likely to engage with your organisation in general.

But don’t think that Twitter and Instagram are your only options. If your prospective attendees are more active on LinkedIn, it is worth also promoting on here. This is because event promotion, especially for corporate events, is getting bigger and bigger on LinkedIn.

In a similar vein to social media usage, email is an incredibly valuable tool for helping people to engage with your events. Below is a simple flow chart for one email method for event promotion and attendee retention. This is especially important for the objective of getting more people to sign up for your future events.

2. Digital Signage

Mobile applications and event technology have become such a huge part of 2021’s event landscape, that digital signage is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s events.

You may wish to ask “What is digital signage?”, but you will have seen it before – video billboards, virtual maps at shopping centres, and screens showing train times, all count as digital signage. It includes electronic signage that presents multimedia content, such as images and videos, on a screen or other hardware.

In events, digital signage might include a social media wall. This might display real-time Tweets and Facebook posts from other attendees. This can make leaps in improving the interactivity and dynamic value of events. For instance, one of CPD Online’s event packages includes a live-scrolling onscreen Twitter feed. This invites attendees to comment on certain features of the event or share information for other attendees to view.

Digital signage might also include event updates. For instance, any room changes or time changes for certain sessions can immediately be updated on a digital screen so attendees are all notified. Other interactive information can also be shown onscreen or be available for attendees to download via an app, such as an event map, further information about speakers, a map of the venue, etc.

3. Contactless Entry

Even as social distancing restrictions ease, this does not mean that attendees will not be apprehensive about safety measures taken at your event. Allowing them to enter the venue in a contactless manner is one measure that uses digital technology to keep your event COVID-safe.

Mobile tickets are a common way to scan into facilities, but even these might be replaced by radio-frequency identification (RFID) sooner rather than later. This is because low phone battery or cracked screens might prevent mobile tickets from working, resulting in participants having to submit a long ticket code to enter, whereas RFID is a more fool-proof piece of contactless technology.

RFID features include chips inside attendee bracelets or badges, which are scanned to allow entry. Unlike mobile tickets or barcodes, RFID chips do not have to be scanned so closely, as they can be read just from being near a scanner. This is a much more seamless method with reduced waiting times, making mobile tickets seem old-fashioned. The bracelet or badge can even be used to let attendees pay for refreshments or event merchandise.

4. Livestreaming

Applications such as Zoom and Teams were relied upon for broadcasting events online in 2020 and early 2021, but it seems now that online audiences want to view events in a more sophisticated way.

Plus, event news shows that organisations are moving on to livestreams. Unlike online calls, these can be branded and also recorded to a much higher quality, which reflects the organisation and event speakers in a better light.

Yes, many events are soon returning to the in-person sphere, but that does not mean that online event access will disappear – people still want the option to attend events online. Until everyone is perfectly comfortable attending all events in-person, hybrid events are the future. PSB Research and Eventbrite discovered that 57% of respondents said that they may continue to attend virtual events even after social distancing restrictions are lifted. Eventbrite’s take on event news has also said that livestreaming, such as on Facebook Live, is a key trend in event technology which could be used in conjunction with paid ads on other social media platforms to increase your reach on social media.

So, who is livestreaming your event? If you need a company to broadcast your corporate event to any social media platform, get in touch with CPD Online today for a free quote.

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