Since its beginnings, the event planning business has utilized various technological and other innovations to speed up the entire process and make it simpler.
This has also led to the automation of repetitive tasks such as ticket purchasing, event registration, check-ins, and more.
Take for instance ticket purchasing. The advent of computers and printers has increased the speed of ticket designing and printing. The World Wide Web has allowed people to order, pay and have the tickets delivered to their doorsteps. E-ticketing has even removed the need for having paper tickets altogether.
The rise of eventtech
The so-called eventtech (“event technology”) tools are increasingly popular among event professionals. For example, 84.5% of them said they used online registration for their events in 2018, while 49.4% of them used some sort of event app.
So let’s take a look at some of the best event management innovations and tools that make event planners’ jobs easier.
1) RFID technology
Short for “radio frequency identification,” RFID refers to the technology used for wireless identification and tracking. The RFID system consists of RFID readers and RFID tags. Each RFID tag has a chip and an antenna. The chip’s role is to store and process information, while the antenna communicates with the radio signal from the reader.
One of the companies implementing RFID technology is Eventbrite. This event management software provider utilizes RFID solution to reduce entry wait times and provide full control of event entrance. One RFID reader can scan over 20 people in one minute.
The concept is similar to scanning the barcode on a paper ticket at the entrance to the venue to retrieve the ticket information. The RFID device reads the chip inside the badge or wristband to get real-time attendee and check-in data.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Its other uses include shipment tracking, access to VIP zones, sponsor benefits, social engagement, as well as cashless payments for attendees for purchasing food, beverages, and merchandise at the venue. Furthermore, Eventbrite’s system enables offline scanning in case of a power shortage.
2) Real-time incentives
Sometimes your potential attendees need additional motivation to purchase tickets. This motivation can be achieved in the form of incentives such as gentle but convincing promotional graphics.
These graphics can include countdown timers, limited time offers, number of other people viewing the page, number of tickets left, and more. Their purpose is to create a sense of urgency by encouraging indecisive customers to purchase.
As part of its integrated sales and remarketing platform, Getix offers real-time information shown on the sales page in combination with mildly persuasive language and phrases like “selling fast” and “last tickets”.
Getix implements these incentives to take customers through the sales funnel as quickly as possible, using the concept of “fear of missing out” (FOMO) and providing a quick check-out process.
3) Sponsor outreach
The organization of most events would be impossible without sponsors. This is why it is important to have a quick and easy way to connect with them and offer them interaction possibilities with your attendees. Event sponsorships make your event financially viable and give it credibility.
Bizzabo offers interactive sponsorship packages that go beyond simple logo placements. The platform has tools for creating email blasts, highlighting sponsors on the event website, as well as providing data on how attendees interacted with sponsor profiles. Additional features include engaging attendees with polling and interactive app profiles, as well as branded mobile splash screens.
4) WordPress plugin
Some event management companies offer WordPress plugins, allowing you to embed event registration forms directly into your WordPress site. One of such companies is Ticket Tailor, with a simple booking form widget that you can be placed on any page of your website or in the sidebar, using a simple shortcode that you receive upon signing up for the service.
WordPress plugins can turn your website into your very own online ticketing and event registration system. Attendees just need to fill out a simple checkout form and pay via PayPal or Stripe. Both will allow them to pay you directly using a credit or debit card. Customers can also pay using their Apple Pay-enabled devices.
Referring to the real-world application of gaming mechanics to solve problems and achieve business objectives, gamification has found its place in event planning as well. The purpose of event gamification is to boost attendee engagement, generate loyalty, entertain, and inform.
EventMobi uses gamification in the form of creative passcode challenges that attendees can access in an app. Challenges could include anything from scavenger hunts and collecting points for interacting with other visitors to testing knowledge on the event subject matter and sharing photos of the event.
6) Event calendars
The importance of calendars in the event planning business goes beyond the traditional day-planning organization. In order to help you in planning, visualizing, and sharing actual work, Wrike has developed an Event Marketing Template which streamlines workflow and simplifies planning.
Its colour-coded real-time calendars allow for a better overview with real-time reports and status for all events, giving you complete visibility over events for the following month, quarter, and year. They allow social sharing and coordination of schedules across projects and other content for a better-integrated marketing campaign. They are also a much better alternative to overwhelming and confusing spreadsheets.
Wrike’s pre-set project-based smart calendars automatically display tasks tagged in a specific folder/project, while task-based smart calendars allow for criteria and filter selection. The company also has classic calendars which are customizable and flexible, displaying individually selected tasks with any properties.
7) Hotel and travel management integration
Managing travel and acommodation when organizing events for groups is sometimes a must for event planners. This is why it is good to have a solid platform to help you take care of such details.
Cvent’s platform integrates with the best travel and acommodation tools, enabling smooth communication with venues, travel agencies, and attendees. Cvent’s Passkey integration automates the process of hotel reservations and group booking, also allowing attendees to request hotel and travel assistance when registering for an event.
The benefits of such integration include lower organisational costs, fewer redundancies, and more visibility over the return of events like corporate meetings. In other words, instead of dividing various parts of hotel and travel management process to different departments and third-parties, an integrated approach provides a one-stop process in which attendees sign up, pay, book a hotel room, get a flight, and receive all relevant follow-up communications, thus reducing the overall costs related to the organization of larger events.
Furthermore, in some companies, smaller events are regularly charged on corporate credit cards, and the expenses are often categorized under “general travel and entertainment,” instead of “business development,” causing lack of visibility over the true return of corporate meetings. With an integrated approach, corporate travel managers gain better insights about such details, as well as receive real-time reports on pickup rates, available rooms, and more.
What is next for eventtech?
These are some of the best eventtech innovations you can utilize today. The use of new technologies like blockchain and facial recognition is on the rise and will be commonly used any time now. As the world continues developing, we might also witness an increasing adoption of new and exciting trends like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), by the top software platforms. These exciting advances may help organisers tell their story, forecast attendance, or streamline large and repetitive tasks even better. We’re looking forward to seeing it happen.