In our last discussion on event technology, we delved into the newer, more sophisticated options for giving presentations, but there are plenty of other types of event tech that are revolutionizing the meeting industry. While there’s definitely some spectacular new innovations being made in everything from event drones (yes, really) to apps, today we’re going to talk “wearables.”
For those who aren’t well versed in the latest event tech, the idea of wearable technology may sound a little overwhelming, or “from the future.” But this trend has been growing for a long time and, whether you realize it or not, has entered the mainstream already. Think about everyone walking around wearing fitness trackers that monitor their activity throughout the day, all while syncing to a smartphone app—that’s a wearable. Apple Watch, Google Glass, even virtual reality—they’re all going to become as common a sight at major events as your coworker’s ever-present Fitbit.
Smart Badges and Wristbands. If there’s one thing most major conferences have in common, it’s the name badge. Everyone is wearing them already, so why not make them work for you? “Smart” badges, such as Xfocus, can track attendee movement throughout trade show floors and within event sessions. Other events are using wristbands in a similar manner. These devices can serve not only to track attendee activity, but to market and promote your event as well, by instructing sensors to automatically post to social media on the attendee’s behalf.
Smartphones and Apps. While some event attendees may be skittish about using newer technology, there’s one thing most can agree on—very few people are leaving home without their smart phone these days. Considering most of your attendees will already have their phones within reach, why not work some smart sensor technology into your event app? This can work similar to a Bluetooth function, pushing notifications to attendees based on where they are in the conference center or which session they are attending. In addition to the smart badges, your attendees can integrate their social platforms into your app to automatically post to social as well.
Presentation Technology. Out are the old-fashioned “Jeopardy!”-style clickers to move through slide presentations. Instead, some speakers are using wearables like this Myo Gesture Control Armband. The band works with the movements of your muscles to effortlessly transition from page to page with the flick of a finger. As we noted in our blog post earlier this year, presentations are moving beyond the PowerPoint, and you’ll see tech like this cropping up more and more during otherwise regular keynotes.
Fashion. Attendees are used to receiving the traditional free t-shirt for events. What if you offered shirts outfitted with technology geared toward crowd experience? So far, “smartshirts” are generally used by high-performance athletes to track biometric data. However, there’s certainly room for sensor tech to enter fashion for the event attendee as well. There are already some start-ups creating smartshirts for attendees at sports events to make the experience of watching games more interactive. The sky is the limit, and we’ll be keeping tabs on this trend in 2016.
What event tech has you excited for 2016? Let us know in the comments.