Event tech trends for 2019

Time to read: 3-4 minutes

VR

I remember the first time I experienced virtual reality. It was early 2016, at an experiential marketing event in Westfield. They were marketing the Samsung Galaxy S7 and if I’d had a penny to my name I would have bought it, I still kind of want one now. No job and a penchant for laziness left me and a friend hanging around Westfield looking at Lush products every afternoon, so we got a front row seat on, what was literally the front row seat. Both the virtual reality roller coaster we went on, and the brand that stood behind it, is something I’ll never forget.

The VR tech that will be available by 2019 is leaps and bounds ahead of what was going on in 2016. For big companies, that means more exciting event tech to get people invested. For small companies, it means the headsets that were originally reserved for those with money to burn are now cheaper, but the interest in virtual reality is still growing. So many people still haven’t experienced what VR has to offer, and are desperate to try it. Meaning smaller events companies can provide an immersive experience without breaking the bank, and on a smaller budget can achieve a level of excellence affiliated with high quality brands. In fact, for about 2 quid you can now get a bit of cardboard off the internet that turns your customers’ phone’s into VR headsets. Jump on the bandwagon, get some VR.

Project Process Automation Software

I used to hate that I couldn’t watch all my Sims characters at the same time. Someone had to go to work while my other sim had to blow up the toaster and feed the baby. Fortunately, The Sims game would let you focus on what mattered while your other characters could do stuff like feed themselves, go to bed, break the shower and desperately wave their hands in the air all by themselves. You would occasionally have to intervene, like setting them up with a house or getting them to woohoo, but mostly you could organise from afar and let the system automatically run itself.

Also fortunately, project process automation software creates a lot less disasters than the Sims did. Budgeting, resource management, project planning, forecasting and reconciliation are all easier, quicker and safer now with the assistance of automation software, leaving project managers with the space and time to focus on stuff that matters. With Procim, data is entered at a live rate into industry and business specific templates. The data is then used by the system to create payment schedules, notifications, forecasts, revenues, analytics, purchase orders, documentation and comprehensively assist in a wide variety of administrative, sales, financial and project planning needs. If you’re still living in the world of outdated spreadsheets, stop it. Boost your margins and organise your workflow by automating all your front office requirements.

Facial Recognition

Ironically more affordable than RFID, this will give any event an exciting edge. When we tried to go to New York, my boyfriend and I were stopped and he had to undergo a facial recognition scan against his passport, the result was a 26% match. In border control’s defence, his passport picture was about 11 years old and I have no idea why the passport office let him use it in the first place; the picture was older than the passport. Fortunately, facial recognition services in the events industry are more accurate; they’ve got access to pictures taken yesterday! Having a secure, fun and interactive way of checking people in will give any event that futuristic edge.

Beacons?

Beacons have been talked about a lot recently, always added in as a side note at the end of some “what’s the next best thing” article. Here’s the disadvantage with beacons. Event planners love them! Of course they do, beacons would provide a wealth of incredibly useful data. However, when was the last time you enjoyed a company being able to track your movements? Someone I know took a picture of a store’s front the other day and within a few days was receiving personalised marketing from that store. He was inevitably, creeped out. Beacons offer an incredible opportunity to market in a whole new way, they’re exciting and the benefits are obvious. However, it will take a gradual shift in mentality before the average attendee switches on their Bluetooth.

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