Using technology to enhance event engagement

Friday, 23rd November 2018

Guest blog by Natalie Roberts, The Fresh Group. This blog first appeared here.

A delegate’s technology journey begins the moment they receive an emailer inviting them to attend an event. Throughout any live days, it then plays a pivotal role in supporting the seamless delivery of the logistics and content. Beyond practical use though, technology provides an important way to increase levels of engagement and immerse an audience in the event.

Creating a window into another world

Innovation is often about rethinking the way we currently do things in order to make improvements. Virtually every event relies on screens to display information to the audience, and as well as ensuring the content itself is engaging, the way it is delivered is vital in making the key messages and strategies memorable.

Depending on the content, venue and theming of an event or activation, alternatives to the usual type of projection or LEDs include:

  • Curved, wraparound screens
  • 360 immersive units
  • Transparent OLED
  • LED banner screens
  • Overhead screens
  • Planetarium style display

Thinking of the audience

Virtual Reality is familiar to us in the events industry, but for many of the sectors we work with, this technology still feels new and exciting. As this innovation has been around for a while now, the price of devices such as VR headsets has reduced, making it accessible for more events than ever before.

This should not be used as a technology for technology’s sake though, as having the right content is crucial to ensuring VR goes beyond just being a gimmick.

Bringing products to life

Holographic illusion technology provides a great way to showcase a key product or drive people over to an exhibition stand at an expo. 3D imagery (which you upload to the system) is brought to life through LED strips on a rotating unit that works in a similar way to a fan.

A number of units can also be connected onto a rig to display one large impactful holographic image as shown in this video.

Voting without downloading an event app

Web apps are a simple way to incorporate live polls, Q&A sessions and voting into an event in order to show real-time results on screen (these can also be moderated prior to being displayed).

As these are web-based apps, delegates don’t need to download anything onto their phones, instead they simply click on a link and sign into the discussion.

Creating multi-sensory experiences

There are the obvious ways technology can be used at an event to help deliver content in plenary sessions and workshops. But it can also be used to help create memorable moments during other key points in an event.

For example, immersive dining has grown in popularity over the past few years through the rise of pop-up restaurants that incorporate theatre and technology alongside each course to deliver a multi-sensory experience.

Taking inspiration from this trend, event catering can be transformed by elevating taste with sounds, scents, lighting and film to create a dining experience that incorporates technology to deliver an emotional connection with the audience.

Thinking smart with technology

When it comes to event technology, it’s not necessarily about having the very latest innovations, which can be way outside of budgets and aren’t always fully tried and tested. Instead, it’s more how you use it, as even the simplest of technologies can help to deliver impact and increase engagement when applied in smart creative ways to help tell a bigger story.

Join us at our Trailblazing Tech Conference this coming March. We’ll be showcasing Manchester’s finest talent at The Lowry Hotel on Friday 22nd March. For full information, head to our event website here.