Our guest blog this week comes from Siân Peak at Perception

Long gone are the days of pens and paper, A1 flipcharts and overhead projectors. Business meetings and events today are much slicker thanks to the continual evolvement of event technology.

Business professionals today rely on digital technology more than ever, for fast information at their fingertips, convenient collating and recording, plus instant communication. The events sector has seen a number of key developments over the years, designed to make corporate conferences, small meetings and large scale events more engaging, interactive and informative.

So what does the future of event technology have in store? Our Digital Marketing Manager Siân gives us some insight into a few innovations we’ll be watching for the year ahead…

Developed by Apple, these low-powered transmitters can sense the proximity of nearby devices, using Bluetooth technology.

iBeacons can be used throughout conferences and events as a tool for delegates to network with other attendees. When combined with Linkedin for example, guests can gain insight into the backgrounds and professions of their fellow attendees, and connect with them for conversations at a later stage.

For the environmentally-friendly event planner, this technology also replaces the need for printed materials, allowing organisers to advertise and send information to guests without the need for printed flyers or promotional materials.

Smart phones continue to reign champion
Ericsson have estimated that by 2020 there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users, almost tripling from the 2.6 billion users recorded in 2014. With the continual development of new apps, technology and slicker social media, we’re showing no signs of putting our smartphones down.

Event planners looking to up their game will need to stay up-to-date and informed about the technology available. From engaging attendees through social media groups, to creating bespoke apps to allow delegates to interact throughout the event, clever use of smartphone technology can help make organisation smoother, engagement stronger and encourage feedback to develop future events.

Event Apps
These days, there’s an app for everything. So why should a business event be any different? One of the biggest event trends last year was the surge in interactive mobile event apps.

A great tool for pre-event promotion, engaging attendees throughout, and post-event follow up, apps make for super efficient communication, data capture and sharing of key information.

Event organisers may choose to create surveys to understand their audience before the event, or polls to gather feedback. They may replace the traditional and laborious delegate sign-in process with an app based check-in. Information can also be stored for delegates to refer to, and share with others once the event is over.

Live Streaming
Events are no longer restricted to just the attendees that show up. Thanks to the developments in live streaming technology, event organisers can share what’s happening with the rest of the World.

Snapchat became a firm favourite for event organisers keen to share snippets of their event with potential clients and attendees sharing updates with their own professionals networks. Though as streaming technology continues to improve, events can now be shared on a global scale, increasing brand awareness, sharing ideas and creating new business opportunities.

Digital Goodies
It can often be a challenge for event planners to think up appropriate, and exciting gift bag goodies for guests. We’ve seen our fair share of branded keychains, pens and promotional USB sticks!

So digital is the way forward, as savvy event planners opt for ‘digital swag bags’, containing online gift vouchers and exclusive offers to use online. Not only does this cut down on bulky bits and pieces for delegates to carry around for the day, it reduces the costs for organisers with the saving on bags, design and postage costs.

Opt for special offers based on what you know your attendees would love, or that complement the theme of your event.