On September 29, 2016, I wrote a blog post summarizing Corbin Ball & Co.’s top four technology predictions for 2017. I thought it might be interesting to look at which trends came true and which ones stalled out over the course of last year.
2017 Event Tech Trend Predictions
Livestreaming Becomes Mainstream
Did it happen? Yes and no. While the concept that every attendee could be a videographer was attractive and could bring an authentic feel to your event, it did not garner the steam Corbin thought it would.
Why? Because individuals still crave professionally shot video where blurry imagery and spotty audio is not a problem. However, attendee live video still has its place – especially if you want interaction (i.e. thumbs up, questions or comments) from remote viewers.
Winners: Facebook Live, Instagram Story and Snapchat Story. However, with the latest initiatives by Mark Zuckerberg to make Facebook more conversational, it is hard to determine how the business world will be impacted this year. Instagram and Snapchat are intended for young Millennials and have been effective for this target audience.
Losers: Periscope and Meerkat. These apps will probably be gone by the end of this year.
An All-Inclusive Software Solution
This has been a request from meeting planners for a long time – one application for everything related to the meeting including event and hotel registration, room block management and attendee communication once they are onsite.
Did it happen? Sort of. Software vendors are inching closer to this solution, but as of today there is no complete solution.
Winner: eTouches. This app is a comprehensive solution and while it is still missing a few things, functionality has improved significantly over the last 15 months.
Losers: Eventbrite and EventGeek. Eventbrite has gone deep in registration and promotion of an event while EventGeek offers almost everything except registration.
More Event Engagement
Did the following seven initiatives happen with events last year, as Corbin predicted?
- Survey attendees more often during the event: Yes
With the onslaught of more intuitive mobile feedback applications, even non-tech individuals, felt comfortable answering survey questions on the fly.
- Microphone rentals throughout the meeting room to encourage questions: Yes
- Asked for social media posts and displayed them on a video wall rental: Yes
This happened more often when the attendee used the event hashtag. The meetings that were most successful with this application displayed the hashtag in multiple places.
- Allow time for gamification: Not really
Gamification is a great concept, but only was adopted sporadically and sparingly at events.
- Networking tools that used interactions between attendees: No
It turns out attendees could conduct face-to-face interactions without the use of technology. Most preferred it that way.
- Hire presenters that were interactive and engaging: Yes
- Augmented and Virtual Reality rentals for launches and trade shows: Yes
This started to really take off in the second half of 2017. Look for more exciting apps this year, which may tie into #4 above.
The Year of Mobile Integration
Smartphones and tablets were part of the meeting scene in a big way. The demand for consistent Wi-Fi, in all parts of the venue, was a challenge to deliver. Hotspot rentals were in high demand to ensure everyone remained connected to the network (check out our blog about the advantages of event wifi mobile hotspots).
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