There is no way around it — technology in the meeting and event industry is here to stay. It isn't a fad or the wild, wild west any longer. It is part of our every day lives and as we move into 2013 and beyond, it is going to be a bigger piece of every meeting coordinator's budget and logistical planning process.
Event Manager's Blog recently posted an infographic called "How Technology is Changing Events." They identified 11 technological changes. Today we will explore 3 of the changes and which interactive technology tool rentals can help you make this transition easier.
#1: The number of computing devices is growing.
In 2011, the average American owned 2.7 mobile devices and in 2012, it is 3.5 devices. This includes laptops, tablets, readers and smartphones.
What does this mean for planners? You need to pay particular attention to what computing devices attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff and the press are bringing to your meeting. The more devices connected to the Wi-Fi system, the more pressure it puts on the bandwidth. Explore the option of a Wi-Fi network array rental unit if you think bandwidth and/or security is going to be an issue.
#2: Hybrid events are going to continue to grow.
Even though the economy is on the upswing, live streaming and video on demand will still be used to engage remote attendees who cannot come to the meeting or are looking to save money.
A recent study found two interesting facts about virtual events:
- 82% of remote attendees found hybrid meetings useful in making a decision whether or not they wanted to attend the next face-to-face meeting and
- Companies save $1,000 in travel costs by having the attendee stay home.
What does this mean for planners? Again a fast, secure, and robust Wi-Fi connection is going to be the key. Remote attendees expect video streaming without buffering and live attendees want to see the speaker whether they are in the session or viewing him/her from a video wall rental unit at the hotel or conference center. All of these demands and devices on the venue's Wi-Fi network can be overwhelming. Renting a bandwidth booster is going to be a real need, especially if you have a large number of local and remote attendees.
#3: Attendees are going to use social channels as a tool for engagement.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still going to be the channels of choice for attendees and will allow them to feel part of the conference.
What does this mean for planners? If you rent iPads for your conference, take the extra step and load the online backchannels that make sense for your attendees. Create a special hashtag for your meeting and encourage attendees to post their tweets to that hashtag. Have your team monitor and respond to the questions and comments. All of this interaction will help increase attendee participation, especially if your event services company is providing real-time responsive to attendees.
AV Event Solutions is an interactive technology tool rental company based in California. They rent iPads, Wi-Fi network arrays, and much, much more! Check out their website for more details and give a call to their experience staff to learn more about how technology can help you with your next event!