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Fresh insights and best practices for event professionals

17 Event Technology Ideas To Elevate the Guest Experience

by | Oct 4, 2023 | Attendee Engagement, Event Technology

With event attendee expectations shifting, event organizers are on the lookout for fresh ways to create memorable experiences—and that’s where event technology can be a game-changer. Event technology has become a powerful tool for event planners, offering wide-ranging solutions to elevate any event experience with a wow-worthy impact.

From augmented reality to AI-powered chatbots and event management platforms, recent advancements in event tech are taking the events industry by storm. Here’s everything you need to know about event technology solutions to leave a lasting impression on your attendees.

  1. Real-time polls

What if your guests could voice their feedback in real-time? Thanks to innovative event technology, event organizers can use real-time polling apps to engage the audience and make them feel like active participants. You can integrate these polls into presentations or display them on large screens. Attendees can then use the tools to vote on topics, express opinions, or even choose the direction of a discussion, such as uploading and voting on questions during a discussion panel. 

Crowd holding up cellphones
  1. Interactive signage

It’s time to say goodbye to static signage. Personalized digital displays and interactive screens are effective ways to engage your guests during in-person events. These displays can show real-time event information, interactive maps, and even user-generated content from social media. The dynamic nature of digital signage can add an element of excitement to the user experience and boost audience engagement at your next event.

  1. Hologram speakers

Hologram technology isn’t just for sci-fi movies anymore. Event planners can use hologram speakers to bring remote presenters to life on stage. Whether it’s a keynote speaker from across the globe or a historical figure making a guest appearance, guests will be wowed by the lifelike presence of the hologram, creating a memorable and immersive event experience.

In November 2022, Skift CEO Rafat Ali presented as a hologram at the ICCA Conference in Krakow. In contrast to a Zoom call, the hologram created a lifelike effect, allowing the presenter to convey body-language cues, present life-sized demonstrations, and connect with the audience on a deeper level.

Star Wars scene: Leia's message to Obi Wan
  1. Augmented reality and virtual reality

Imagine attending an event where you can step into a virtual world, interact with attendees, and explore new dimensions. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tech solutions like Meeting Tomorrow are transforming events by offering immersive experiences that leave guests in awe. Event organizers can use AR and VR to create interactive booths, virtual stages, or even entire virtual event spaces, allowing attendees to engage with content in a brand-new way.

  1. Generative AI-powered chatbots 

AI chatbots aren’t a very new technology, but one powered by generative AI is–and can make guest interactions even easier for event organizers while also improving the guest experience. Bots powered by artificial intelligence can answer a variety of complex questions, providing guests with the information they need and even recommending event experiences based on attendees’ preferences. 

For example, if your guest wants to look up information on a speaker they are about to see, need to know where a particular booth or feature is, or are debating between two sessions and want to see which is a better fit, they can stop at generative-AI help centers and simply ask. By utilizing chatbots, organizers can create personalized experiences for guests, helping boost attendee engagement and event turnout.

  1. Customer relationship management

One size doesn’t fit all, and modern guests expect personalized event experiences. A CRM for event management can help organizers collect and analyze attendee data, allowing them to personalize event content and offerings. You can use the information to send customized invitations, recommend sessions or workshops that fit the attendees’ interests, and even offer personalized schedules. With built-in features like email monitoring, custom tagging, and forms that can be used as pre- or post-event surveys, your CRM tool helps to streamline and organize larger amounts of attendee data. 

  1. Live streaming platforms

While in-person events are back on the rise post-pandemic, some attendees may still be more comfortable tuning in from home. Event organizers can now use event tech to create hybrid events for virtual attendees. Live streaming solutions like Sparkup allow attendees to participate in conferences, concerts, and even weddings from the comfort of their homes. Integrating virtual attendance options expands the event’s reach and ensures no one misses out on the experience.

Red and white colored presentation on smart board
  1. Virtual social media feeds

Virtual social media integrations can be a game-changer for your next event. By displaying live Instagram posts and Facebook updates on large screens, you create a real-time, interactive experience for attendees. This way, they can share their thoughts, photos, and reactions, fostering a sense of community and encouraging other event attendees to engage and share on their platforms. It’s a great way to generate organic buzz around your event.

  1. Contactless self-check-in

Long lines and paper-based check-in processes are becoming a thing of the past. Contactless self-check-in tools, typically integrated with event apps, allow attendees to seamlessly check in using smartphones, QR codes, or mobile apps. Guests can breeze through the entrance, starting their event experience on a positive note.

  1. Event wearables

Instead of handing out business cards, provide guests with smart event badges or wristbands equipped with RFID technology to transform the attendee experience. These wearables allow guests to easily exchange contact information with a simple tap or scan. Event organizers can also track attendance and engagement, providing valuable data for post-event analysis.

For example, Bizzabo’s SmartBadge serves as an intuitive, interactive asset for attendees. As a form of wearable event technology, SmartBadges allows attendees to check in to sessions, download content, optimize networking capabilities, and more—all with the click of a button.

  1. Comprehensive event management

Behind every smooth event is meticulous event management. Successful event managers use event platforms like Planning Pod, Cvent, or other platforms to streamline and organize their business.  With event management technology like Planning Pod, it’s possible to centralize all event-related information. Organizers can easily coordinate schedules, manage vendors, track event registration, and oversee every aspect of the event in one place. This efficiency means fewer hiccups and a smoother experience for guests.

  1. Streamlined communication

Effective communication is key to any type of event—whether it be a webinar, in-person event, or hybrid conference. Event planning software provides event professionals with tools for seamless communication with attendees. From sending important updates to follow-up surveys, these solutions ensure information reaches guests promptly.

Attendees engaging with event technology
  1. Gamification

Picture this: You’re attending an event, and instead of the usual passive experience, you’re caught up in a captivating game. You’re unlocking achievements and competing with attendees, all while enjoying the event. Gamification transforms events into an immersive experience, with event tech functionalities ranging from interactive scavenger hunts to QR code challenges.

You can share a real-time interactive leaderboard so people can see where they’re ranking throughout the event. At the end of the event or game, celebrate the winners with a leaderboard announcement or special prizes. 

  1. Floor planning tools

Each event is unique, and customized seating arrangements are key for planning a successful event. Floor planning and diagramming tools streamline seating layouts and floor plans based on the event’s unique needs. Whether it’s a theater-style setup for keynote VIPs, round tables for a wedding, or booths for trade show exhibitors, these tools make it easy to tailor the experience to your event’s unique goals and to play around with different variations that are comfortable and functional, yet unique. 

  1. Custom event websites

Your event website is often the first point of contact between potential attendees and your event. Planning Pod makes it easier than ever to create customized event websites with interactive features like event agendas, online registration, and social media integration. A well-crafted event website, along with a good event marketing strategy, will help you reach and connect with guests, encourage registration, and build anticipation for upcoming events.

Custom event webpage from Planning Pod
  1. Touchscreen kiosks

Touchscreen kiosks are revolutionizing the way event professionals engage with attendees. Interactive kiosks can help elevate the guest experience by providing real-time updates, touchscreen maps, event surveys, and even interactive games and contests. Want to make it even more personal? Give everyone a personalized tablet to use. You can use the tablet as a place setting for each guest at a gala or formal dining event and preload each one with customized content for that guest. For example, it could highlight their history with the organization, including previous or current awards, membership status, donation rankings, and more. It can also be used as an interactive event program, to get a close-up live stream of the speaker, or to participate in polls, auctions, or other interactive portions of the event. 

  1. Automatic Translation Tools

Hosting a global conference? Then you need translation tools at your next event. New tech like Worldly provides seamless translations for in-person or virtual events, making your next event accessible to more people. It will also make it easier for speakers, who can give a speech in their native tongue, and guests can simply select the language they want to translate it to via their phone, tablet, or computer and listen to or read in their language in real time. 

Innovative solutions for modern event management

In today’s fast-paced world, event organizers are constantly searching for ways to amaze their attendees. Event technology offers countless solutions to achieve this goal—from creating immersive experiences with AR to utilizing all-inclusive event management software. By tapping into the latest event technology trends, it’s possible to leave a lasting impression on guests and ensure the success of your events. Ready to wow your guests with a one-of-a-kind event experience? Contact a Planning Pod specialist to see Planning Pod in action for yourself. Together, we can transform your next event!