technology trends for trade shows and events

10 Technology & Industry Trends That Are Reshaping Trade Shows and Events

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As conventions, summits, and trade shows once again take center stage, venue managers face stiff competition. Event planners want to deliver a unique experience, and they’re looking for the best location to have it. Leaders can take advantage of technology and industry trends to differentiate their offerings while reducing costs. Discover 10 event technology trends you can use to spice up your venue and help improve exhibitor and attendee experiences.

Allegiant Stadium will be fully covered by 1,700 managed WiFi access points and underpinned by redundant 40-gigabit optical internet connections that will deliver high-speed bandwidth for every mobile device in the 65,000-seat venue. Cox will also power nearly 2,200 Cisco Vision dynamic screens and signs stadium-wide – guaranteeing a memorable, interactive experience.

1. More Internet Bandwidth

Events place a significant demand on your internet bandwidth – and event coordinators need assurance that your WiFi delivers a reliable connection that can support tech-heavy hybrid events and conferences with on-site attendees and virtual participants. At the same time, your internet signal strength and speed impact customer experiences the minute they step on your property.

Take advantage of this current trend in the event management industry by assessing your wireless capabilities and real-time visibility tools. Look for managed WiFi solutions that help improve speed and reliability throughout your facility while providing software for managing and optimizing bandwidth.

More internet bandwidth also opens up the possibility for augmented reality exhibitions. When trade show vendors require large spaces to showcase their products, augmented reality provides an alternative solution by allowing them to use interactive holographic technology. These types of event tech trends, although an exciting way to enhance event experiences, require significant bandwidth on a reliable network.

2. A Dedicated Tech Support Team

After bandwidth, access to a dedicated tech support team is a top priority. Technical disruptions can tank experiences for exhibitors and attendees at live events, potentially leading to poor impressions, lost time, and for exhibitors, lost leads. Having on-site personnel for your venue’s camera, sound, and lighting equipment is essential.

Moreover, event planners expect your staff to assist with setup, including teaching presenters how to use the technology and offering self-service tutorials. Make it easy to request help and give your IT team access to real-time data and diagnostic tools for wireless services, devices, and more.

3. Contactless Technology

Contactless technology is in-demand by customers and event planners, from automated check-ins facilitated by smartphones to facial recognition tools for badges. Venues can help improve operations while delivering seamless experiences with contactless technology. It can streamline check-ins and provides data used for personalization strategies.

Supporting customer-centric technologies helps your venue stand out. And contactless lighting and facility fixtures can also help to deliver cost savings through lower electrical and labor costs. Venues and planners use the technology to track session attendance, print-on-demand badges, and prevent bottlenecks in high traffic spaces.

4. Break-Out Spaces

Group sessions allow exhibitors and event coordinators to personalize experiences. As such, they’re looking for facilities that support exhibitor technology, like the ability to live stream from micro spaces. These rooms offer the same high-speed internet and technology tools as larger convention areas but on a smaller scale.

5. Personalized Food and Hospitality Services

The ability to meet corporate expectations when it comes to foodservice can enhance a venue’s offering. Many people love the shared dips and hospitality suites of happy hours. Others, however, prefer individually packaged, eco-friendly menu items and mobile-optimized contactless ordering.

In addition, exhibitors and attendees expect venues to deliver timely offers about related amenities. Recommend local activities using push notifications. Or, for example, highlight event-focused promotions, such as expanded fitness center hours or immunity-boosting mid-day snacks during a natural healthcare convention.

6. Outdoor Meeting Spaces

As corporations look to revitalize the event space, venues are stepping up by offering exterior spaces for eating, meetings, and more. Venue managers can promote outdoor spaces as a safe alternative or backup option if concerns about COVID arise.

However, wireless internet access must be just as reliable and fast as indoors. Even though your event attendees appreciate the portable heating elements or a lovely view, their internet connection and ability to use various technologies is still a top priority.

7. Well-Equipped Event and Studio Areas

A long with outdoor spaces and break-out rooms, video studio spaces are desired by corporate planners. They’re looking for portable light boxes and mobile phone compatible microphones. These spaces can be small, as they’re used for self-produced videos and live streaming before, during, and after the main event.

Adding a second screen is one of the least expensive yet highly popular ways to attract event coordinators. This upgrade lets presenters use their mobile phones and multiple screens to create an engaging experience. It helps ensure people can see and hear what’s going on.

8. Wearable Tech

Wearable event tech can help to improve security and provide real-time insights. Smart badges and wristbands use near-field communication (NFC) chips to let attendees exchange information, make contactless purchases, access event areas and receive exhibitor marketing materials.

On your end, wearable tech delivers real-time data, allowing your team to prevent unauthorized access to certain areas or open up a new overflow room when needed. Plus, venues can equip staff with wearable tech to ensure public spaces get cleaned on schedule and receive alerts if priority maintenance or cleaning is required.

9. Wayfinding Tools

Indoor wayfinding supports event attendees, event organizers, and other visitors. Bluetooth beacons send out signals to mobile apps, which direct people in real-time to the correct location. Besides improving the customer experience, venue managers can use Bluetooth-enabled systems to showcase amenities, such as spas or gift shops, to event attendees.

10. RFID and Geofencing

Radiofrequency identification (RFID) is another tool to streamline guest experiences, and it’s similar to beacon technology. It tracks attendee preferences, allowing them to see which booths they interacted with and keep conference details on their person. Exhibitors receive real-time notifications about visitors and behavior. For your venue staff, RFID and beacon technology helps manage crowds and security in real-time.

Geofencing is another location-based marketing tool that event venues can use to promote their facility and services. Guests entering the geofenced area can seamlessly check into the event, receive push notifications, and view advertising related to the event.

Beacon, RFID, and geofencing can all be used to secure equipment and quickly locate hardware. The flexibility of these technologies offers many possibilities for venue managers, both as operational and security tools and as experience enhancements.

Leverage Industry and Tech Trends to Attract Corporate Events

In most cases, the priority for venue managers is reliable, high-speed WiFi. After that, it’s a matter of creating seamless experiences for everyone involved. Take a look at technologies that support planners, attendees, and exhibitors, while reducing event costs. The right tech can differentiate your location and make an impression on in-person and virtual participants.