Last week we covered the recreation & entertainment industry and how important technology has been in the changing dynamics and expectations of customers along with a brands need to stand apart from the completion. This week we will explore some of the trends that have been reshaping the meetings and events industry, one of five sectors that make up the hospitality industry.
The meetings and events industry was severely impacted by COVID which forced meetings and events to be canceled and forever altered. To stay relevant and to provide benefits, technology jumped in to help drive change, different expectation while also keeping people safe in a COVID world.
Examples of the most common meeting and events: meetings, expos, conferences, gatherings, networking events and special events that also includes corporate and private functions that are help in many different venues which include hotels, conference centers and destination locations.
When one attends a meeting or event, there are certain expectations that are important, so of these expectations are communications, information, a good experience, networking opportunities and being emerged into the town and culture. Part of the fun when attending a conference is to also enjoy the location in which the event is taking place.
COVID changed events and instead of traveling to a destination, they were help virtually – there were pros and cons to being virtual and the ones that adapted the best, still created experiences that were driven my technology.
Many trends that we are seeing in this industry are driven by technology and the for the need to meet and exceed the expectations of the attendants.
Trends that are shaping the Meetings and Events Industry
Instant Contactless Check-In
We have seen the evolution of contactless check-in within the transportation industry over the last 10 years and that same technology have also been been an evolotion for the Meetings and Events space. The ability to register, get meeting or conference information without interacting with a human is one benefit where many things can be arranged and curated behind a screen.
Kiosks are a big part of the check-in in process where events can move multiple people at once through the process by checking credentials, providing important information and even safety instructions. Kiosks placement is also important in expanding event experiences throughout venues with kiosk that provide information and value.
QR codes provide another touch-less approach to share information, content, marketing materials and experiences saving on printing cost and production. QR codes made a resurgence during COVID as more companies and brands needed easy ways to get information in the hands of their customers.
Event Specific Apps
Paper and printed event guides have been on the way out for years as the ease-of-use mobile friendly event apps put all the information in the hands of event attendees on accessibly from their phone. Event specific apps provide all information, speakers, bios, directions and even notifications and event specific alerts when needed.
Chatbots and assistants, which integrate into web experiences and apps help attendees at events by providing knowledge automatically and as needed based off “new” information and content it receives.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
To understand the benefits of AR and VR for events is to understand the difference between the two – will also help with where they could apply. Augmented Reality is mainly in the real world in which digital elements are integrated into the experience. Virtual Reality is an experience in which the user is in a completely fictional world.
The hybrid landscape changed dramatically with COVID where entire events, experiences and networking were done virtually. As we have moved from COVID, events are still providing some hybrid experiences for online chats, networking and more with technology that streamlines the process.
With all the trends above, data and data capture allows event coordinators and planners the ability to be more targeted with their messaging and communications. We can learn a lot about and attendee – their preferences, their likes, their dislikes to provide more reliant and targeted messaging via social media. Social media has been present in the past with live Tweeting or live streaming at events and then sharing with prospective followers and that won’t change but the way we engage on social will.
The meetings and events industry has been changing for years. Think back on how technology has been changing from offering wifi, to smart phones, to how information was presented and shared. To stay ahead, event organizers need to continue to rely on technology while understanding the wants and needs of those that are attending to provide experiences that stand apart but that are also part of the expectations.
Next up, and the final industry with hospitality, Travel and Tourism
Articles in this series
How Technology is Changing the Recreation & Entertainment Industry
The Intertwined Intricacies of the Hospitality Industry
Kiosk Technology in the Food & Beverage Industry
Driving Change in the Lodging Industry with Technology
EZ-Chow has solutions such as an Online Ordering Solutions and Self-Ordering Kiosk Solutions that integrate into your existing POS systems. To learn how EZ-Chow can help you with these initiatives and more, get started by contacting us here.