You’ve gone to all of the trouble to plan, organize and execute an incredible event. You’ve used event tech to create a custom app for ticket sales and customer service. Naturally, you want your attendees to enjoy themselves, take something positive away from it and just have the best possible experience. One of the ways you can make the event unforgettable to your sponsors, vendors, staff and attendees is to utilize some of the amazing options available in terms of event tech. Your options are nearly limitless with constantly changing technology. Here are a few add-ins to enhance your attendee’s experience.
1. Social Media Wall
Image from: https://www.bizbash.com/digital-wall-showcases-three-social-media-feeds-at-cocktail-reception/miami/story/26518#sthash.3qBKuyLV.dpbs
Image by Aaron Davidson
We might be a bit biased here but the importance of using social media to it’s fullest potential at your event cannot be understated. Commonly known as a Tweet Wall but also modified to include your Instagram feed is a live social wall. Our friends and partners at OpenHwy offer the option to display a specific trending hashtag or social media feed using their custom digital signage. Talk about cool event tech. You’ve heard of television stations using a two-screen experience to engage with you on your mobile device while watching – social media walls take it to a three-screen experience, with your main screen being real-life, where your attendees are currently existing; in this case, your event. You are engaging with them live and in person, you are engaging with them on social media and now, you can see it all on the big screen which also helps drive further engagement by promoting related conversations from occurring between guests.
2. Projection Mapping
If you aren’t familiar with projection mapping, it’s essentially where specialized technology allows you to throw (project) images onto irregular shapes. Think if you were to paint a mural on a rounded globe-like statue – that’s essentially what projection mapping is, except it’s digital and temporary. It wraps an object with an image or video. Using it as a cool event tech add-in helps immerse your attendees into specific settings, which can help you illicit a specific mood. Helping to put your attendees into a specific mindset, or mood helps boost immersive interactivity and can help your messaging resonate with them. You’ve brought them to your event already (using key messaging and providing them with value), so using technology to take them to another cool place, even if it’s just for a few moments is another bonus that adds to the memorability and enhances the enjoyment they can experience at your event.
3. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are very similar in concept. One takes you to another place by placing you in a headset where you can see and hear that you are elsewhere; and the other relies more on a mobile device, and two-screen experience to engage with you. If you are still a bit lost with what AR is in terms of using it as event tech, think of Pokémon Go where users are existing in the real-world but looking through a screen that is almost an identical replica of the real world, with some added visual stimulus. Send your guests on a virtual scavenger hunt to promote engaging interactivity and allow the technology to work for you while enhancing your guest’s experience at your event.
4. Mobile Microphones
Image from: https://fmav.ca/blog/portfolio_page/catchbox/
Though they can come in many shapes and sizes, we are so excited about Catchbox, a great event tech offering by FMAV. You know those fuzzy dice people used to have hanging from their rear-view mirrors? These are a bit bigger and have a specialized microphone inside of them. If your event features a seminar or speaker component that will inevitably include a Q&A, a mobile microphone is the perfect tech solution to promote engagement and interactivity. They are simple and easy to use – just throw them to the next speaker (and they don’t hurt if you have no hand-eye coordination and they hit you in the face!) Save your attendees the trouble of yelling over a crowd, save an intern or speaker the trouble of walking around handing off the mic – basically, this comes down to technology being used as a convenience. Furthermore, it allows you to create some amazing social media content like images, boomerangs and live videos of your crowd speaking into a giant, branded fuzzy dice, or other similar friendly and interactive object.
5. Event Tech Platforms – EventMobi
EventMobi’s “open platform has everything you need to engage your event attendees from start to finish.”  They offer many event tech solutions for each stage of the event attendees lifecycle: live display, apps, games, notifications, surveys and analytics. In this case, a great way to enhance the end-of-the-day experience is through geographically based surveys. Let’s say for argument’s sake that your event attendees all downloaded an event app for further engagement with your brand during all of the day’s activities. Ping attendees cell phones on their way out the door (using geo-targeting) with a brief 2-3 question survey. Why? For one, it will be top of mind as they are literally walking out the door and it’s often perceived as less intrusive than a follow-up email a week later, once some of the memories have faded. Regardless of when you choose to send out follow-up surveys to your event, they are a good idea because they make your event attendees feel heard and their opinions valued.
6. Photo Printer
We know Polaroids are so 1990’s when you think about it but they are definitely coming back, cooler than ever. Think of a typical photobooth at a mall or bowling alley. You have limited options for backgrounds or poses, and the quality of the printouts isn’t very good. Furthermore, when you think of Polaroids, you think of simple photo-printing-cameras that take way too long to spit out the picture. There’s a quick solution for that. Our friends and partners at Hip Image have a super-cool hashtag printer. Having a Hip Image or similar hashtag printer at your event combines several elements of event tech at once. Attendees are already taking images on their cell phones and likely sharing them on social media – so you have the live element; you have already plastered your custom branded event hashtag all over the place to make sure people know to use it – which will help you measure engagement and monitor the conversation for additional ways you can help your guests; you get to give them a branded takeaway that associates that great picture and experience with your brand and goes home with them, long after the event has ended.
Bonus: SOS Charging Stations
If you’re doing a good job and your attendees are engaging on their devices or telling their friends about the great time to be had; or even snapping pics all day, cell phone batteries can inconveniently die on them. Offering up a simple solution to help keep them happy, or keep them charged enough to use their mobile GPS to get home, is a great and inexpensive add on to the event. Another plus for you is that you can co-brand the charging stations to add another touch point on the customer journey.
Okay, we forgot one: Pixel Mapping
If you aren’t familiar with pixel mapping, it is similar to projection mapping in concept. Essentially, you take a still or moving picture or video and feed it onto a set of fixtures to create an interactive video experience. Think of it as enhanced LED lighting. It can help creates effects from twinkling stars to hypnotic waves and really help set (and maintain) the mood at your next event.
“Light creates dimension and illusion using colours and shadows in just the right way. ” – Pierre Marleau, CEO & Creative Director of Orange Frog Productions.
In terms of using lighting as a medium to engage with attendees via event tech, Pierre and his company have done some really cool things.
If you are looking for ways to engage further with your event attendees and create unforgettable immersive experiences for them, look to event tech for that added boost. It can be the difference between your event being a stagnant aisle-after-aisle of the same old thing, or it can help break up some of the booth visiting with fun, interactive activities to make your attendees more open-minded and receptive to your brand’s key objectives as well as vendor, sponsor or speaker messaging.
Ashley Saunders – Matriarch, Strategist, Live Social Coordinator