It’s hard to believe, but before you know it, you will be ringing in the New Year with new ideas about ways to improve your meetings and events.

However, with the plethora of technology that is generally available and limited time to review it, it can be difficult to assess which solutions make sense for your meeting.

Here are six technology trends identified by Brian Pesin, Marketing Manager at Event Farm and Corbin Ball, Owner of Corbin Ball Associates as the ones to keep on the radar in the coming 12 months.

6 Exploding Trends

Mobile Event Apps

Whether you have used them at your event or not, it is most certain that your attendees are tweeting about something that just happened or checking out your speaker on Google.

Because all apps are now being developed to be mobile responsive, hardware selection is no longer a factor as the apps can run on anything from Android smartphones to iPad rentals.

While there are thousands of apps available, the ones that should be in every planner’s pocket for 2016 are:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Vine
  • ChirpE, for your photo booth and
  • Meerkat or Periscope for live video streaming

Smart Video Walls

These large video wall rentals will make images pop because of the Ultra High Definition within the unit. Uses can include:

  • Pictures taken at the event via Instagram and shared on the event’s Twitter feed
  • Video clips of presenters that entice attendees to stay at the conference or attend specific sessions
  • Live video streaming of the keynote speaker address

Second Screen Technology

Although this is highly utilized today in the entertainment industry, especially with TV shows, Corbin Ball believes this technology will used to displaying content such as:

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Polling Apps
  • Video Streaming
  • Social Media Channels and
  • Real-time Updates.

The issue in 2015 has been the limited number of apps that can deliver SST. Ball believes the number of apps will continue to grow over the course of 2016 and the use will make the use of stage screens will become obsolete.

iBeacons and BLE

With an iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) network, an event organizer, sponsor and booth exhibitor will be able to understand exactly where an attendee is in the event space. This provides an opportunity to send attendees highly contextual, meaningful messages and advertisements on their mobile devices.

For example, the attendee carrying a smartphone or tablet walks onto the trade show floor. Apps installed on their device listen for iBeacons or BLE technology. When an app hears this technology, it communicates the relevant data to its server, which then triggers an action. This could be something as simple as a welcome message or more complex things like targeted messaging, special offers, and helpful reminders.

 Metrics Matter

According to Event Farm, 67% of Chief Marketing Officers believe that event ROI will be the primary measure of an event’s effectiveness which mean that goals and objectives need to be in place before the event occurs.

Each social media platform has their own set of metrics, as well as standard website measurement tools, such as Google Analytics.

However, it needs to be more than that. As wearables and other technology options become more available, your CEO is going to expect to know how many people came to your event, how long they stayed at a particular booth and how engaged they were at each educational session.

Virtual Reality

This computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment can interact with, in a seemingly real way, a person using special equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.

Corbin Ball notes that Facebook, Samsung, Sony, Google and GoPro have made significant investments in virtual reality (VR).

What are the benefits of using VR in meetings and trade shows?

  • Booth vendors can demonstrate products in an interactive manner via a large monitor rental, thus eliminating the need to ship and store physical products.
  • Because attendees will be using googles and/or gloves, attendees can easily play games that cement the message of the organization, sponsor or presenter.
  • Virtual attendees can feel like they are in the meeting room, because they will look like they are real attendees.

SmartSource Rentals is prepared for 2016 and beyond

With fully-staffed and equipped branch offices in 21 major metro markets, SmartSource Rental has the largest national footprint in the computer and audio visual rental space. Give us a call at 800.888.8686 to learn more about ways we can serve you!