How many times have you been asked to offer a “wow” factor to get a group — especially with all the new event technology accessible? Technology has completely revolutionized the meetings and events industry, from the way rooms, are booked to the development of custom apps, so it is not surprising that hoteliers are increasingly expected to keep up with the latest trends. Here is a look at how technology is altering events — and how hotels can keep pace with the change.
1. Putting AI to Function
According to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the top emerging event technologies. The invention involves the use of machines and computer applications that respond as a human would. Think back to the last time you called your bank or a credit card company and interfaced with a human-sounding voice to get your account. That is AI at work.
In the events world, AI applications come in many forms. For example, AI interfaces called chatbots can serve as virtual, 24/7 customer support reps through a personalized website or mobile app. Does a delegate have questions regarding the place or the neighborhood?
Another option is creating a sound virtual assistant, similar to the Siri, Alexa, and Google assistants which are already popular. Similar to chatbots, virtual assistants can answer questions about the place, event, and more. They may be integrated into a signage or a customized website or app. Not only are they able to offer advice to event delegates, but they also collect information on what people are asking about in real time. Want to know the most popular questions? An AI interface can tell you.
Hoteliers shouldn’t be afraid that delegates might be put off by virtual assistants or chatbots. People are already used to asking their appliances and devices to perform tasks and searches — and they are increasingly open to that kind of interaction at an event.
2. Make It Virtual (Reality) (VR)
Another trending event tech is that the emerging field of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The fundamental difference between the two is that VR creates an immersive experience through goggles, while AR produces digital images that overlay fact on a smartphone or tablet computer. With AR, electronic signals are sent to a person’s smartphone to show enhancements to reality. If you recall the Pokemon Go craze a few years back, it was an excellent example of AR. VR, on the other hand, completely shuts out reality.
Event creation and leasing company Meeting Tomorrow has noted an uptick in VR being used at events and meetings. While they still consider this technology in the novelty stage, the purchase price of VR equipment is falling and the rise of AR games such as Pokemon Go has attracted AR and VR to the mainstream.
Kiosks and booths that feature VR equipment can be installed almost anywhere and event attendees can participate in everything from product demos to 3-D tours of buildings and neighborhoods.
3. Tune Into RFID
Ultimately, radio frequency identification (RFID) is on the increase. Because RFID uses a radio frequency to transmit data from a sensor to a reader, the most frequent usage is as a wristband or token that transmits information to digital readers set up at different regions of the event.
Eventbrite created a whole tip sheet on why RFID is an excellent way to streamline events and supply a seamless attendee experience. Wristbands contain an RFID chip that stores an attendee’s credentials. By waving the wristband over a sensor, an attendee can enter the event and other designated areas. They can also store payment information on the chip to pay for merchandise, food, and beverages, or other products.
In recent years, meeting delegates have come to expect technologies like branded event apps and digital check-in and registration. Implementing the latest technology at your property provides the”wow” factor that many planners and guests are looking for.